The Road is Long… and Straight

Not much of a story to tell today. Left Palencia later than usual after a nice little breakfast at the same cafe we had beers the night before. 11am we were on the road towards Avila. Same old same old with long straight country roads. Yet I still enjoyed the golden yellow of the fields interspersed with a bright red from the many poppies and deep dark green from the trees mostly planted very picturesque in rows. And then the small little villages and towns, each one of them with a massive old church in the middle and little brown houses clustered tightly around it.

An hour later we arrived into Valladolid. Thought it might be a good stop. But navigating in the traffic wasn’t much fun really. Trying to understand where we were supposed to be going whilst still keeping an eye on what all the other road users are doing, who has to give way to whom etc. Thanks to Google Street View we had made out a central spacious motorbike parking area and sure enough found a spot.

Had coffee and a snack at a cafe/charcuterie which was lovely, but to be honest, Valladolid disappointed a little. It as one massive shopping area really. I’m sure it has its charme and nice bits worth visiting, just not for us when we were just passing through.

Back on the bikes we decided to leg it to Avila now. The chosen N-road was long… and straight. Bang on straight for miles. But first we rode for probably twenty minutes to a large pine (?) forest. It as massive. And trees spaced quite nicely with a sandy ground between them and many footpaths. What a change of scenery!

Stopped once more for a few minutes at a service station before jumping back into the saddle for the last half hour. Arrived in Avila around half four and even tired and weary after all this straight road riding, couldn’t help but grin when we saw the massive city wall that surrounded the inner Avila. Wow! Just wow!

Turned out our hotel was just inside it. Checked in, parked the bikes on their car park, showers and out for a wander.

Reminded us a bit of Carcassonne, just not quite as touristy. The lovely young lady at reception had recommended a Heladeria to us, so that’s were we went first for some great ice cream. Then walked along the city ramparts with great views all around all the way to the next mountainous national park in the distance.

Got us a couple of cold drinks and started looking for food place again. The general theme was typical castilla y leon cuisine with lots of meat and grilled stuff. Fine by us. However, we once more ran into the problems of finding places that still existed and were open. Gave a couple a pass as they were closed, others didn’t open before 20:30 or even 22:00. Crazy. Definitely not for me this late eating, haha. I’m normally in bed by 21:30.

Yet we found in Soul Kitchen a very cosy little restaurant which was open at 19:30, but we had to entertain ourselves with a great mojito each and a wine/beer until 20:30 when they started serving food. Rich decided to go with a burger which was indeed very good! With pumpkin chutney amongst other unusual things on it. I quickly found in chargrilled octopus my choice.

Pretty much perfect mojito

Both dishes excellent and we just finished as people literally started piling in. As if some flood gate had opened. We have experienced this in all the places we’ve been to so far.

Not overly full we decided to call it a day with a big breakfast coming up early next morning. Really liking Ávila so far. It’s very pretty yet not as overcrowded as the likes of Carcassonne, yet it is UNESCO World Heritage. Amazing.

Long day in the saddle ahead tomorrow as we’re heading out into the mountains once more on what looks like the best weather day yet.

114 miles from Palencia to Ávila.

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