It was another short hard day of riding into hills and headwinds. I only covered 51 miles in five and a half hours of hard riding. I also climbed 3000 feet, which getting up to near Parkway climbing, but the steady wind out of the north was what really did me in. That and gasoline tainted water I got from a service station near Santiago.
The heavy traffic didn't help. There was very little relaxed riding today because truck were almost constantly roaring by. The constant traffic, the hills, and the constant headwind wore me out. When I got near the Cathedral at Santiago, I rested for half an hour in a park, considering whether I should go on. Since traffic in Santiago was heavy and I had no idea how to get out of town in the direction I wanted to go, I decided to visit the Cathedral and then look for a place to stay that would also provide me with internet access. I found one, albeit in the $100 for bed and breakfast price range, adjacent to the old town that surrounds the Cathedral. I don't have in room access, but they do have a system that let me do what I needed to do to get my web pages up and my tour reports mailed. Hopefully I'll get this one and the one before it up before I leave tomorrow.
My night in the Albergue de Rendondela went well. A very nice bunch of folks - I guess there were 20 to 30 of us - in a big common dorm with separate male and female bathrooms - but most of them did like to hit the road early. At 6 AM - Portugal time - They were getting up and getting ready to go. I got up about 7 when, I think, there were two other people left in bed.
I didn't miss supper, but I was hungry this morning and lucky enough to find an open cafe just a few blocks away. I had two kinds of pastry - they don't do pastry as well in Spain - and double espresso. That wasn't enough to get me to my noon lunch stop on top of one of the many ridges between here and Redondela, so I stopped at a service station for pastry and a coke at about 10:30. Lunch - fish done Galicain style - was excellent.
Hilly? Yes, it was hilly
I'd climbed 1800 feet before lunch
The bay at Redondela
That is the autoroute bridge crossing it
The road went down to sea level at several places, and climbed as high as 850 feet above sea level in other places. That made for pretty views, but smog, especially in Redondola, messed them up. It is better up here in Santiago, but, even with the constant winds, smog was visible most of the day.
There were many reminders of the pilgrim route
along the road
Here one sign, on the left, provides pilgrims with info and the other sign shows the pilgrim route leaving the main road.
Another pilgrim route sign, this time just after a beautiful old church
The last climb, into Santiago, was the longest. It started near sea level and climbed to over 800 feet. Then there was more climbing, in very heavy traffic, through Santiago. My tummy started acting up on that climb, shortly after I stopped and got a coke and water at service station. Then I realized I had been drinking obviously contaminated water!
No, I never felt in danger of ending up in a graveyard today ;-}. Despite the bad traffic conditions, I felt quite safe. I did have one car come a little too close, but that was a auto school car and I bet the driver was spoken to about being more careful around bicyclists! Drivers training and EU laws that consider a driver guilty until proven innocent if they hit a bicyclist or pedestrian make riding much more comfortable here than in the States.