75.5km â€“ 9H13â€™
â€śFor a change, I started my day on foot running up a steep incline. All of a sudden I saw a sign â€śPortugal 1 km,â€ť which surprised me because I thought that the border was further away. In the first Portuguese village, Portelo, I heard French being spoken. â€śViens ici (come here)â€ť a lady said to her dog. Braganza is a big, modern city, and crossing it is unpleasant because of the hills. Wearing shorts I felt like I was a curiosity.
There were lots of ups and lots of downs. My buttocks hurt but I donâ€™t have any buttocks so I will have to think about doing an hour of exercises in the evening to build gluteal muscle, instead of playing card games with the team!
Come what may, I set out with the idea of doing 75 km every day. There are dogs running free in every Portuguese village. They donâ€™t seem to be vicious but I prefer to walk. A few old women speak to me but I donâ€™t understand what they are saying. Are they perhaps asking me if my legs are cold?
I pass our camp, which is set up at km 69. RenĂ© is responsible for picking me up at the 211 marker on national road 15, he understood 213 and thatâ€™s where he is waiting for me. He is in deep conversation, he in French and the man in front of him in Portuguese. They are talking about Joachim Agostinho, a very well know cycling champion. Interrupting this dialogue, which is going nowhere, I ask him to go 2 km further.I arrive at the finish at the same time as the team and I realize that the time is different. In Portugal it is 4:30 rather than 5:30 PM so we gain an hourâ€¦Tomorrowâ€™s departure will be at 7:00 AM Portuguese time or 8:00 AM French time â€śHave a nice evening Â»
Serge still has his sense of humor.
We are in the region of Tras-Os-Montes (Â«Beyond the Mountsâ€ť), which is mountainous, with some terrace cultivation and lots of sheep.
Tomorrowâ€™s course: Mirandela â€“ MurĂ§a â€“ Alijo - PinhĂŁo
Town : Quintela de LampaĂ§as
GPS : NÂ°41.36107Â° W006.54234Â°