Friday: 11. 04.2014
Puento la Reina - Viana 63kms 773m
A good start! I ordered what I thought was a breakfast but somewhere in the translation the word breakfast was lost. Nonetheless, we received two large pieces of toast with jam and butter, a glass of juice and then a white coffee ‘cos we couldn’t remember the Spanish for black coffee. Yes thanks, have got it now!
The bikes have been safely locked away each night and this night was no exception: the only small problem was the key provided did not fit the lock. Always a Mr. Nice Guy around when you want one and this one ferretted around in a shed and came up with a key to fit the hole. Hoorah! Bikes were released, packed up (still takes ages) and off we went…………….Uphill, just for a change.
Weather still hot and sunny but today we are the scenery is beautiful. Interesting to note that new cultivation is taking place in otherwise very arid soil. GM? We have passed through delightful villages all with churches and quiet roads as the newish motorway has taken most of the traffic away from the old main road so cycling is a pleasure or so I keep telling my protesting muscles. Have found some that I forgotten I had!
Navigation has been made easier since I purchased a book in St. Jean etc the title of which for any mad bugger who wants to replicate our example, “Sur les chemins de Compostelle, Le Camino Frances a velo.” Authors: Marie-Helen et Pierre Costes. It has saved us hours of head scratching – not quite eliminated that past-time but reduced it to manageable proportions.
We arrived in Viana, eventually and set about the evening ritual of searching our accommodation. As ever tourist information was SHUT but as we admired this gorgeous little town, a very helpful German gentleman suggested that we take a look at rooms that he had found for himself. (People are so forthcoming.) Anyway, in this instance, the rooms were fully booked by the time I made enquiries so having thanked him profusely and wished him well, I returned to the search and made for the hotel. Oops, no reservation, no room! Back down the hill to the Alberge. No rooms for two available! After much gesticulating, we were awarded a room for eight but with only us inhabitants. Fine!
A grand group of pilgrims from all over the world were already ensconced and we joined them for our evening meal (the remains of lunch) but washed down with a bottle of wine. As breakfast was to be served at 0700 hrs, on the dot we were in our bunks by 21.30 with Al fighting to stay alive in his sleeping bag! Hee, hee.