Valverde de Valdelacasa - The twelfth step ... Three months in Spain - CycleBlaze

April 24, 2022

Valverde de Valdelacasa

The albergue was pretty full last night so it was always going to be loud at times.  The last pilgrim crept in sometime after ten o'clock when all the lights were already out.  This wasn't a problem for us but what was was that someone had knicked the bacon I had left in the fridge - it was to be part of our supper for tonight! 

We headed off a lot later than everyone else apart from the late arrival.  First stop was a Carrefour Express at the local CEPSA service station, about the only shop open in the district on a Sunday.  We managed to stock up with a lot more than the lost bacon and started up the climb of almost five hundred meters net altitude gain to Puenta de Béjar.

The climb was over a distance of almost fifteen kilometers so the gradients were never too bad and the scenery and perfect weather made it so enjoyable.

Leaving Aldeanueva it was difficult not to enjoy the sight of the snow capped hills around the village.
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A long gentle climb.
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Snow isn't a rare occurrence here.
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About halfway up the climb we passed through the pretty town of Baños de Montemayor.  There are hot springs here and the town has numerous expensive hotels providing access to the waters.

Looking back down on Baños de Montemayor.
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We crossed over into the Castile and León and the province of Salamanca.
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At the top of the climb at Puerto de Béjar we stopped to decide which route to take.  A Spanish couple of mountain bikes stopped and chatted to us for a long time trying to give us advice, of which I only managed to take in a small amount because they spoke so fast.  What we did understand is that there was a Via Verde just ahead, one of the many disused railway lines that has been converted into a walking and cycling trail.  They showed us where to join it and we headed off on it with little idea as to where we were going.  With the great environment,  good road surface and excellent weather it didn't matter where we ended up. 

The Via Verde trail.
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We eventually reached the city of Béjar where the trail took us passed the old railway station.
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About to enter an old railway tunnel.
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Still fixated on the snow.
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Just before the village of Navalmoral de Béjar the old railway line became part of the trail for about a kilometer - not as easy a surface as before.
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Mike AylingBump bump bump over the sleepers!
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2 years ago
Looking south towards the mountains we had crossed earlier.
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The Via Verde trail ran out at Navalmoral de Béjar, after which we had a series of curves on a rural road that took us down into a valley and through the village of Peromingo.  Six kilometers later we found ourselves in the village of Valverde de Valdelacasa. 

Downhill from Navalmoral de Béjar. leigh's comment at this point was that it was silly to take off her jacket before a downhill. The temperature has been great for cycling - in the low teens - but without sufficient cover it got pretty chilly.
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I had to include a cow.
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Valverde de Valdelacasa has a simple albergue run by folks who have the local bar / cafe / community centre.  Apart from us there are three other pilgrims, two American ladies and a Swede, who have made pleasant company.

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All in all, this has been one of the best cycle touring days we have ever enjoyed.  The route had everything we could have hoped for and a nice place to end the day.  Tomorrow we head for Salamanca.

Today's ride: 40 km (25 miles)
Total: 991 km (615 miles)

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