Avila was pencilled in as a possible shortcut point that we could jump on a train and skip a day ahead. Looking at our itinerary and the days we had left it was our only option unless we wanted to do some really long days.
We had found a perfect train which would drop us in Medina Del Campo, which we would have ridden to, the train was due to depart at 7:13am so we arrived at 6:30 to allow enough time to get tickets and figure out whe we needed to be. We arrived to find the ticked office close, and later found out they are on strike, but using the ticket machine we then found out the train was already sold out, and so was the next one. Our only option was to wait for the 10:15am train! So we had a 3hour wait, which we spent riding back to the old town and having coffees and breakfast.
Arriving in Medina Del Campo in 47mins on a train going 155kph to whole way was a strange feeling, it would have taken us all day to do the same trip.
The town was nice, although we were keen to get going since we were over 3hours behind for the day already with at least 60k in front of us.
Riding out of town, it was strange to be back on the dirt. Back to the open grain fields. We were entering another major wine region the "Ribera del Duero" probably second only to the Rioja area for red wine in Spain.
Before too long we expected to be arriving in the next village and we approached a brand new motorway under construction. Great, the only option was to turn left when we should be turning right, looking confused a local approached in his car on the dirt road and yelled out "Nava del Rey" which was the town we were headed for, we said yes and he just pointed left, so we went that way. About 5k further than we expected to take, we arrived in a village, pretty sure it was the wrong one because we hadnt followed the map directions at all, google maps told us we where in the next village 5k south of where needed to be, so 5mins on the autopista and we arrived in the correct town.
Nava Del Rey looked nice and we were already hungry for lunch, However we were now running pretty late behind we're we wanted to be, so we powered through after a quick look around hoping to get lunch in the next town.
Arriving in the next town, it was like a ghost town. Everything closed and no one on the streets.
Somewhere in transit my brake pads have gotten contaminated, by now they are squealing like a pig anytime I use my brakes. Coming through these smaller towns, usually built into steep hills I come squealing down with the sound of dogs howling and barking. Today a little "booter" dog took a great interest in my squealing brakes and decided to chas after me, seeing he was only a little fella I took off letting him chase me, he eventually gave up after about 500m!
After a few circles of the town, and finding about 3 bars closed, we decided we had to push on to the next town.
Back I the grain fields, but much more rolling now. After the last two days of climbing through the mountains, it was hard work chugging up the loose gravel dirt roads.
We wolfed down two Boccadillos and a coke and headed back out. 20k left and it was now almost 3pm
20k on the dirt roads we had been taking today would take at least 2hrs, signage had been terrible all day so 2hrs would be if we didn't get a detour or get lost. At this stage we just wanted to arrive, so we decided to just power down the road to Toro.
The road pretty much cut through the hills, and looking over at the trails rolling over the hills we were glad to be sitting on 30kph on the road. The slight headwind slowly increased as we slowly climbed out of the valley. After the last few days on the road Rishi is getting good on the train, but she is still not ready to roll turns on the front, as much as I shake my elbow at her!
Across the old roman bridge, and now all we had to do was climb into town
Arriving at the base of the hill on the river we came across a little bar for the fisherman. So we has to stop for a quick beer.
Another day done, the rerouting is starting to add up. Today was meant to be 54k and we ended up doing 75k