We were a little sad after leaving Bilbao, we didn’t want to leave, but our adventure had to continue.
Leaving the Basque country was kind of sad, because right after that we encounter Cantabria, a province which didn’t seem to have much personality...But I guess it is hard to compare it to places like Bilbao, with so much grace and dignity.
We pretty much just passed Cantabria as fast as we could and got inside another one that wowed us the whole way. That province is called Asturias and it is where my maternal grandmother’s mother was born. As soon as we got there we booked in a rural hotel that grew their own veggies and fruit. This place was lovely and the ladies running the hotel offered us dinner which after hours of biking through a very mountainous landscape we gladly accepted.
Feeding people for them seemed to be quite important. We realised this when we saw the amount of food they had served us and when they asked if we wanted more, or rather they served us more even though we were super stuffed, but they wouldn’t take no for an answer. This took me back to my childhood when visiting my grandma. Now I know where this tradition comes from. Breakfast was the same.
The architecture looks different in Asturias, the houses and their particular warehouses from back in the day, called: “horreos” and full of beautiful flowers everywhere. We noticed there's a lot of wilderness and less conventional fields of monoculture, this place was full of forests and amazing green lush landscapes. Also to our surprise, some very beautiful beaches.
After Asturias we made a little turn to face south and got inside the Galicia province. Again, everything changed. Some places were there less forests and more agriculture. We guess more Romans have been here. We turned facing south, getting inside the country, stopping at places like Lugo and Parada de SIl.
At this point, no one was telling us that we were cheating, when we told people we biked all the way from Norway with these incredibly heavy bikes, they were impressed. Thank you.
Getting closer to Portugal, we passed Ribeira Sacra, a beautiful tall river valley where monks used to make wine back in the early Middle Ages. It's full of old monasteries. What an amazing place. Although we did have to sweat our way up and down through the curvy valley with the strong hot days heating our way, plus we had our family worrying about us being killed by the forest fire that was happening at that same moment, very near to us. Yes, no longer by the coast; Inside the country it was hot, it was dry and it was challenging. But this was not going to stop us either.
See you next time Spain, next Portugal - our goal!