To Béjar - The Seven Year Itch - CycleBlaze

April 26, 2024

To Béjar

It looks gray out today and the weather app tells us it’s still cold.  We’re at the leading edge of the cold, wet weather pattern that prompted us to slow down and change our route to avoid the high road through the Sierra del Gredos range we’d been planning on.  With a really short ride ahead we take our time getting started and enjoy our last few hours in this lovely apartment - listed as La Antigua Farmacia on Booking.com, in case you’re interested.

Conditions changed overnight. We lost our blue skies, and are facing a series of cold, wet days.
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We leave at eleven, the latest checkout time available.  It’s warmed up enough that it’s reasonably comfortable and it helps to keep us warm that it’s uphill for most of the ride.  Were on an empty highway again, the N630 for the first half and then its spur the N630a at the end, once again enjoying the fact that all the traffic is on the autobahn.

Rachael found her backup batteries and we have full-coverage video again, so I just stop for a few photos along the way and let her do most of the work today.

We’re on the Way, following the Ambroz River upstream. This is still the route of the Via de La Plata that we’ve been tracing for awhile, in one of the short sections where the only option is the highway.
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Chilly, but not frigid. I don’t even need my coat at the moment. Climbing helps.
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The tile adds a little color to the scene.
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Looking back and down, congratulating ourselves on our progress so far. I’m stopped here waiting for Rachael to show up after stopping to take off her long pants. Oh, here she comes now.
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Patrick O'HaraWow. That's a rare shot. You in front of Rachel!
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3 weeks ago
Climbing through Baños de Montemayor, a Roman spa town. Behind is the Baños de Montemayor reservoir, formed by the damming of a tributary of the Ambroz.
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Not as steep as it looks. It’s really quite a manageable ascent.
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Looking down on Baños de Montemayor, we can see the hairpin in the road we ascended along.
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Patrick O'HaraGlad you pointed that out. Nice climb!
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3 weeks ago
New province! After over two weeks in this one (ever since Zafra) we’re finally leaving Extremadura.
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Another not so black black redstart. It turns out these are fairly common here. I’ll see three or four more before leaving Béjar, one of which is actually black.
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Rachael thought we should remember this spot where I prayed that my tire was just low and not flat. Prayers were answered, thankfully.
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As Béjar comes into sight, a biker overtakes Rachael and I think is gesturing that we should take the turnoff ahead, which we’ll see later is an access point to the Via Verde.  We didn’t follow his lead, but maybe we should because we would probably have avoided dropping to the river and climbing back up the other side again.  I’m sure the old train line wouldn’t have done that.

Béjar Is a ribbon city, built along the crest of a knifelike ridge. In an odd mental association, when I first see it I’m reminded of photos of the Potala Palace in Tibet.
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Video sound track: Urban Driftwood, by Jasmin Williams

We arrive right at lunchtime and head for a restaurant near our place.  We’re happy to get a table, something we had been concerned about since it’s a Saturday afternoon; and also happy that their menu del dia includes revuelta, something Rachael’s been looking forward to.  We’re less enthusiastic though when the dish arrives - a reddish, soupy thing with bits of ham embedded in it.  A spicy dish, and palatable enough.  Puzzled though, I translate the name of the dish and am reminded that revuelta doesn’t mean scrambled eggs - it just means scrambled, in this case a scramble of blood pudding.

Our apartment isn’t available until three, and we have to notify him through WhatsApp in advance.  As we’re finishing up the meal Rachael pulls up the message and sees that we’re supposed to give him 45 minutes notice.  We do that, and then order a cortado each and hang out at the restaurant longer because it’s too chilly outside to wait around long.

Our host pulls up nearly right on time, lets us in, shows us around, shows us where we can lock the bikes at the base of the stairs - all in pantomime, because he doesn’t seem to know word one of English.  It’s another great place though - large, has a washer and dryer, and comes with an awesome close-up view of the occupied stork nests just across the plaza from us.  Looks like a fine place for the next three nights while we keep dry and watch the weather.

Dialing our host, hoping he’ll arrive soon as promised.
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Sometimes it helps to scream and stamp your foot.
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Our apartment offers this view of San Gil Tower, all that remains of the 13th century San Gil church.
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It’s quite windy this afternoon. We’re happy to be indoors, not getting our feathers ruffled.
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Today's ride: 15 miles (24 km)
Total: 1,171 miles (1,885 km)

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Steve Miller/GrampiesBlood pudding! Language glitch nightmare.
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesYup. I thoughtfully didn’t tell Rachael until later.
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3 weeks ago
Betsy EvansI would’ve made the same mistake - I love revuelto eggs. Blood pudding, not-so-much. 🤢
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3 weeks ago
Keith Adams"revuelto" looks suspiciously close to "revolting", to me at least. Then again, I actually like black pudding and haggis, so there's that to factor in.
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2 weeks ago