While cycling in the immense heat, I had this fantasy of doing the cycle in a cooler month. Leaving Fuenterroble, I changed my mind. It was freezing. We stopped to add all our clothes we had, rain jackets, buffs covering our ears, t-shirts and even socks as gloves. After a half hour’s cycle we passed my 79 year old boyfriend. I had to stop and give him a huge hug, sad with the realisation that I would never see him again. As we rode off, he shouted “Vai piano” – Go Slow. Well, well, not long after that there was some commotion which involved my handle bar, a tree branch and the ground. I tried to break my fall with my hand and damaged my thumb. Eina! Going forward, was challenging in the breaking and gear changing department.
Salamanka is a beautiful town but boy, the approach is ugly. It is known as Spain’s “golden city,” it’s ornate sandstone architecture, the University of Salamanca and the Tormes river that runs through it. We booked at Soho Mercado, the receptionist reminded me of the staff who work at Telkom or the Council, who loves their new found “power”. She grumpily informed us, that we are only allowed to check in at 14:00. Obviously we couldn’t check in at 13:00 – when we arrived as it was not yet 14:00. Not fazed, we locked our bikes, threw our dirty panniers in a heap in reception and went off to find lunch. We had the best food since we arrived in Spain and sat back with full stomachs, watching the good-looking Spaniards walk past.