I just ate morcilla and I feel good. It is our first, beautiful, joyous rest day. It is a day of rebirth, restart, knowledge, information, blood sausage and wine. The last 9 days have been excellent, and the joy of riding bicycles several days in a row is alive and doing well and pushing us across this continent.
We landed in Porto in March 2, and took off the next day. Portugal was very nice. On our second day we received some great advice: For lunch, order uma diaria. This was good, because the first meal we had was francesinha, which is a sandwich of 2 small slices of white bread, 5 hot dogs, roast beef, ham, and a big piece of cheese melted on top swimming in some tomatoey sauce. It was okay, and was €6.50 at player price. Back to the diara. The diaria was explained to us as the ''worker's lunch'', and when you walk into a Portuguese hall you just order it, don't ask what it is. It ends up being at least 3 courses, with a bottle of wine per person, soup, salad, dessert if you want it and coffee. It's €6, always player price. Needless to say, we ridiculed the francesinha and the person who recommended that, we even ridicule it to this day. I had the best sausage of my life there, right on the banks on the Douro River, where Port and nothing but Port wine is produced. That's not true. They make olives there too.
The riding has been harder than expected. There have been many climbs, and many descents. There are many thorns, and we've already had 3 flats. But from flats come repaired flats, and we ride on. After crossing into Spain it has flattened out quite a bit, and our pacelines cut through the Spanish head winds like a falcon diving for its prey.
We create quite the confusion in the villages we go through. We attract many stares and many thumbs ups. Now we are in Spain, where we'll be for the next week or two, and the riding is about to get nasty and steep again. Apparently there are storms on the horizon as well, whose names are not Nate and Jaco. But we're in León now with our great friend Adrian who has met us from France who will be riding with us for a couple days.
The sidra is nice, the cheese is nice, morcilla holy mole, no calimochos yet.
No pictures yet either. I haven't taken any. Sike! I've taken several, but I forgot my camera and I'm in the library. The best picture yet was of an old, old, old flying buttress in a church in a deserted town in Spain. Had to be one of the first flying buttresses ever, which I'm all about.