Táliga to Olivenza - Spring in Iberia - CycleBlaze

April 14, 2024

Táliga to Olivenza

Before we left Cafetería Colaco last night, I made sure they would be open in the morning. The same man who was serving beer and coffee last night and was up early in the morning serving coffee again, greeted us like old friends. With coffee and tea and some packaged pastries under our belt, we were on our way.  

And now for a bit of foreshadowing - this was to be our third day of adversity in a row. It started out all right. The road was lovely, the hills gentle, the distance moderate, the sky blue.

Cafetería Colaco open late at night and early in the morning
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Small roadside church when leaving Táliga
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We see many different style gates to the pastures
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Bear territory?
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The cows are running away from me again, I'm just not fast enough with my camera.
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Eyeing me before taking off
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Janos enjoying the ride
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Nice rollers, not too steep, just right for coasting down without braking
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Then came the calamity. Janos called out, I can't pedal, the pedals are jammed! It took several minutes for that to sink in. Janos could not continue on his bike. We had about four more kilometers to our destination and were immediately thankful that we weren't farther away. With pushing and a bit of downhill coasting he got to our hotel in Olivenza. Now big questions loomed. Can the bike be repaired? We will need our car that we had intended to cycle back to, but how to get there. When checking in to our hotel, we tried to find out what means of transportation Janos could find back to our car in Estremoz, Portugal. He could take a taxi to Elvas and get an express bus from there, it was do-able. 

While we were occupying the reception with our problems, I heard some voices behind us, probably guests who were impatient to check in. I turn around and see Rachael and Scott! None of us could quite believe it. This was their second day in Olivenza and they were just dropping by the hotel on their way to lunch. Road angels had appeared. 

We agreed to meet them at the restaurant and by the time we got there, Scott had already hatched a plan. As I have mentioned before, Scott is a logistics genius. And extremely generous. He proposed that he, the next day, could ride his bike to Estremoz, only 70 kilometers, and drive the car back to Olivenza. After some discussion, we accepted his more than kind offer.

 Janos would wait for him in Olivenza and Rachael and I would bike together to their next stop in Santa Marta de los Barros. Scott and Janos would then drive together to Santa Marta. From there it would be another day for Rachael, Scott and me on our bikes to Mérida while Janos drove his car there. And that's what we did.

We are staying in a palacio.
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Scott AndersonI’m really glad you ok a photo of this place, Suzanne. Somehow I failed to.
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1 month ago
The four of us sat here and discussed the details of the undertaking. How Scott was to find the car, how to mount the bike rack if his bike didn't fit in the car, and other details to perfect the plan.
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Our palatial room had just one drawback. The evening sun shone on the windows and the room was about 29C. I turned on the air-conditioner and it got hotter, 30C, then 31C. I telephoned the reception and learned that they have no air-con available in April, only heating! Oops. We opened the windows and went out. By the time we went to bed, the temperature was bearable.

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Today's ride: 20 km (12 miles)
Total: 600 km (373 miles)

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Rachael AndersonGreat write up of the day!
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1 month ago