We have given up expecting a day which doesn’t include multiple hills. We long for a bike trip through Holland and the thought of cycling Dunsborough to Busselton and back is a mere fantasy. We have no excuse, we did plan this trip! As Tony knows, if you are on a roundabout and there are five exits and one is up a steep hill, that’s the way Duncan’s route will take you. Julie through a wobbly today at the sight of a steep incline and refused to get off the main road which appeared to be going downhill. Downhill we went. It’s all futile really as hills cannot be moved and only billion dollar roads have tunnels. So on we go and the hill came back around the next bend!
Photo below of one of the Mansions near where we stayed last night. Open to the public June to October.
The first big climb of 170m wasn’t too bad. It was Sunday and so the local cycling groups were out in force. They love the hills. Everyone says hello going down and up and all overtake us on the hills as they have ultralight bikes and no gear. We also saw a batch of walkers as this again was on some of the North Route.
There is one major feature of today’s ride that you won’t spot on the photos. This regions rural areas smell so strongly of cow manure, it’s quite pungent and we don’t get used to it. Julie grew up in a rural location with cattle close by but the smell was nothing in comparison to this. As buying fresh milk is almost impossible in Portugal and Spain, we can only assume it’s all going into cheese.
We took a detour into Avilés, which seems well worthy of a two night stop and a full day to explore. There is a huge water frontage area with the Oscar Niemeyer Cultural Centre taking up a great space and the old centre is quite beautiful with some gorgeous architecture and pedestrian only (and two bikes).
We started off in beautiful sunshine but we had seen the weather forecast and knew the rain and storms would come. So, we skipped lunch and pushed on. It caught us at one point and as luck would have it a coffee stop appeared in the middle of nowhere, so we sheltered in there. We did make Gijón by 4.30, 30 minutes before the storm hit.
As we have finally given in to Tony’s idea of researching restaurants, we actually had dinner booked for 9pm (earliest you can find here). It was a small and simply furnished spot serving dishes for two. We had a superb couple of dishes and shared a dessert. The hotel manager on asking where we were going was quite excited when we told him and suggested a dish, which we had and agree was delicious. The chef was very young and very happy we enjoyed the food. A five star spot in a city that’s an industrial working one with a small ancient heart.