Chaves to Peso De Regua

At the start in ChavesOk we’re ready for our first day, a day to iron out the wrinkles and test the lads fitness.

First things first though, as the lads have to set their bikes up. All goes well and we take a few photos outside the castle 100 yards from our hotel.

This isn’t the actual start of the N2 route though, that’s a roundabout in the town centre so the lads head there for a photo op and I follow.

Of course the satnav takes me to a roundabout further on and I miss them completely! Not a good omen. I push on up the first climb and wait for the lads to catch up.

Coxy gets to me first but not by his usual margin, those new brake pads need further adjustment which he sorts and continues the ride with Spenna.

Marty is next up followed by Gibbo and Ade with John bringing up the rear.

The weather is fairly good, overcast and warm but not too warm but we do start to get the odd shower but nothing heavy.

The lads agree to meet at Pouca de Aguier for lunch but when I get there the satnav takes me around the town rather than through it so I miss them again!

One of the problems I’m going to have on this trip is that the N2 is a very old road and has now been bypassed by various A roads and motorways. Of course the satnav want to put me on the fastest route all the time.

I try to pick small towns or even cafes that are on the N2 to add as stop points but it’s not foolproof.

After the lads have lunch, they catch me up on the far side of town and refuel with water, etc and we now push on to Vila Real.

This is a big town and the intersection of a few major roads. We need to thread our way through and stay on the N2.

The lads manage it fine but I’m already on the wrong track coming out of town on the N313. Doh!

Easily fixed surely. I have the hotel that we’re staying in tonight as a final destination so I’ll just add a stop point that is on the N2. Sorted.

Except the good lady that is the voice of Google Maps for me has other ideas…

The next turning she advises me to take is on to and M road. Great, except an M road in Portugal doesn’t stand for motorway. I now know it stands for minor… very minor!

Off I go into the countryside through tiny villages with barely a couple of inches on the either side of the van between the buildings.

I then get told to take a dirt path, heading who knows where, so I have no option but to double back to the N313.

I make it to the hotel eventually and I am just ahead of the lads who arrive 20 minutes later.

All enjoyed the brilliant downhill sections into town. Maybe not so much Gibbo, who has a saddle problem and had to ride the last sections standing up!

A trip to the bike shop tomorrow will hopefully get him sorted.

With the Dom Chaves

Coxy climbs towards Pouca da Aguier

The lads climb towards Pouca da Aguier