Day 17 – Rain O Porrino

The hostel last night was busy as usual and the little room we were in had about 20 people sleeping in it.  The problem last night was that about 5 of those people were heavy snorers!  So after getting to sleep late because we were next to the kitchen which was full of chattering Italians until midnight, I woke to the pre-dawn snoring chorus at 4am and never got back to sleep.  At 6am I resigned myself to getting up early and packed up and got breakfast ready for when Dave grumpily dragged himself out of bed (after I shone a torch in his general direction during the packing up operation – oops!).

So having ridden in the rain all day yesterday and listened to the rain all night, we breakfasted watching the rain outside before we had to go out in it.

We had a nice ride to do today but the weather was absolutely rank.  Dave was still grumpy despite the quiet roads I was navigating us on and rode straight past a junction where we were supposed to turn off.  My shouts and rings were carried off on the wind and I made a little news video whilst I waited for him to return (slightly more grumpy for his extra little jaunt).

It was a lovely road up through the forest and we rode slowly uphill, getting wetter and wetter and wetter.  There was no traffic though, and the forest smelled lovely.  Some parked trucks had sprigs of flowering broom on them.  We’ve seen quite a few of these on houses, shops and vehicles, but haven’t yet found out why it’s customary.

Lovely smelling forest.  Still rainy though.

Lovely smelling forest. Still rainy though.

Flowering broom

Flowering broom

After our long uphill, we whizzed all the way down again, wearing down our new brake pads.

Then our 15km on the lovely quiet roads came to and end and we rejoined the N-550 towards O Porrino, still in the pissing rain.  There wasn’t that much traffic, but the wet roads always make passing vehicles louder and less pleasant.

We stopped for first lunch in a bus shelter by the roadside, had cheese sandwiches and some banter, which seemed to lift Dave’s mood.  After food, we had to put our soggy gloves and hats back on before setting off – elch!

Cheery bus stop lunch

Cheery bus stop lunch

Then we were riding along the coast, and I think the views were nice…

Good view?

Good view?

Then there was more up and down, more rain, more rain and more rain until we arrived in O Porrino and found the hostel there… which didn’t open for another 3 hours.  Stupid early start.  But we decided to make good use of our time and had second lunch before heading off in search of a launderette.

We asked a local lady for directions.  She didn’t know, but she asked someone else, before walking with us as far as she knew, then asked someone else for us and walking with us a bit more, then offering to walk us the rest of the way!  But we just asked to be pointed in the right direction and thanked her for her trouble.  How nice!  Definitely wouldn’t get that sort of service in London!  Of course, having denied her further help, we then had to ask two more people on the next street for further direction, but we did find it!  Oh, and it was a glorious launderette.  We’ve been doing laundry by hand when it’s sunny and suffering when it isn’t.  Even the hostels that have washing machines tend to have ones that make your clothes smell worse than if they hadn’t been washed!  So we stuck everything in except what we had on and waited for it all to be washed and dried.

Hurrah!  Clean clothes!

Hurrah! Clean clothes!

Whilst we were in the launderette, the sun had the cheek to come out from behind the clouds!  Thankfully it stayed out long enough for us to get back to the hostel, where we checked in, showered, had third lunch and cleaned the bikes.  Then it was time to find a bar for drinks and some wifi – what an afternoon of luxury post-ride!  Ahh.

Drinks and free tapas (3 cheers for the Spanish ways)

Drinks and free tapas (3 cheers for the Spanish ways)

Tomorrow we head east and enter Portugal!  Then it’s into the mountains we go…. here’s to some better weather….

– Anna

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