Hours in the saddle: 3hrs 30min
Today was a very 'meh' day. It was never going to be a great day as the route was functional and no offence to Zamora but it wasn't somewhere I had a specific interest in going. Add to that that I woke up and for the first time didn't want to move on to somewhere new..my bed here was quite fine thank you! But no rest for the wicked and I managed to get myself up and out before I had time to think about it too much.
It was an annoying kind of undulating route when I just couldn't get any rhythm going. Pretty soon into the ride I decided I would stop when I turned north at Ledesma and get some much needed extra coffee. It was only 40km from Salamanca ..but it was a long old 40k. For some reason my brain latched onto the Hearsay some 'pure and simple' and wouldn't let it go. Distraction was definitely needed..
When I did eventually reach Ledesma, it all looked quite promising..a couple of pretty old bridges over a meandering river..I got my hopes up thinking about a nice coffee looking at the view as I made my way up into the town. But it was a ghost town. Everything was shut up and looked all closed down, no sign of a cafe or even people. Well there were a couple of old men but they get everywhere. I cycled around for a bit then gave up..maybe in the next town..but no, it was the same situation. completely deserted. The towns got smaller and more rural and I began to give up hope for my coffee. I saw more birds of prey than I did people..unless it was the same birds following me waiting for me to die of boredom.
The problems of being bored on your bike are very similar to being bored off it..you start noticing the little things..a little twinge in the ankle, the saddle, hunger. Except of course on the bike there is very little you can do about it. There are a few 'games' to play to pass the time for example - 'guess the car', on the rare occasion that a car could be heard approaching, you guess what type of car it is. Sadly 9 times out of 10 it's a Citroen Berlingo. Today also had the downside that you heard them so far away that by the time they actually overtook, you had forgotten you were playing. The other is kilometer signs..oh the amount of fun you can have with these signs..especially when you have a tendency to zone out and miss them. (The other day I managed about 20km down a road which was reliably signposting each km, before I realised I had no idea if the kms were going up or down). So km predicting, or if you are a little more alert, just counting down (or up) the k's.
Yup yup, so much fun you can have on a bike...but if these were entertaining me you can get an idea of how bored I was. Thank god it was a short day that's all I can say.
So what felt like an eternity later, I reached Zamora. Heading to the town centre things looked up, as I approached the river..a couple of nice bridges and on the other side a small hill with the old town on it. But again when I cycled into the old town there was no one there! An odd person but otherwise it was deserted.
When I braved the streets on foot later, it was exactly the same. The old town was empty save a few other brave souls. The new town was a bit more lively. I wonder if they don't actually have that much tourism here, or whether the season just hasn't started yet. I saw a sign for the obligatory tourist train so they must expect some people to come. Just not today. There was a wee castle and cathedral, both shut. It really just is one of those days.
Giving up slightly I wondered into the new town and found a supermarket for supplies for breakie. Then retired back to the hostal for a sleep and to clean the bike a little.
Yup tomorrow is another day...a couple more days and I will be back near the mountains