Pedrogao Pequeno to Abrantes

Everyone was awoken by a violent thunderstorm last night so we decide to delay our set-off time until 11 o’clock when hopefully the weather will have improved.

We hope so, it’s tanking down now while we have breakfast.

While we’re waiting Coxy gives John’s bike the once over as he’s been complaining of noisy brakes. Turns out both sets were badly aligned and so Coxy adjusts them accordingly. Could be Johnny will go a bit faster from now on!

Although it is still raining as we pack the van it looks like it’s clearing so we set off on time.

The first section consists of a few small climbs then a long decent and I eventually catch Coxy at the bottom, pulled over in a small village.

A few hundred yards back he’d come across three dogs in the road, one of which went nuts and charged him! A quick unclipping of his left leg and a kick towards the dog and it backed off. Only to then have a go at Gibbo when he went past.

We often come across dogs lying by the side of the road in villages and it’s always wise to give then a wide berth. A bite on the leg could end someone’s trip and you’d have to go to hospital regardless for a tetanus jab.

After we regroup we push on towards Vila de Rei which will be our lunch stop.

There’s two big climbs in this section and although not steep are very long and tough going for the riders.

So, I’m ahead when I get to Vila de Rei and I park up and wait for the lads to arrive. It’s not long before Coxy arrives and he heads into town to find a suitable cafe.

So far I’ve seen the odd heavy shower but the lads behind are missing them, fortunately. However, when the sun does come out it’s feels very hot.

The rest of the lads arrive at Vila de Rei and make their way to the cafe for lunch.

The final section to Abrantes is a long downhill with a couple of bumps along the way and proves unremarkable. All we have to do now is get to the hotel.

We have it it the Satnavs so no bother, right? However, this is a very hilly town and our hotel turns out to be right up at the highest point. It’s like having two ‘Carlton banks’ at end of this ride!

I can’t see us wanting to go back down into town tonight for the dread of walking back up so we’ll probably just stay here. Like the previous hotels, it has all we need.