Cycling Europe 2019: Day 9, Riaño To León

Well this is rather nice… 100 km of cycling and I find myself in a little local bar in a small square close to my hostel – the Hospederia Rincon De Leon – which must surely be run by the world’s most friendly and useful hotelier. If Basil Fawlty is at one end, my friend at the Rincon is at the other. I only understood about 20% of what he told me but it seems to be the most useful stuff mainly involving tapas and where to find it but only pay for the beer. (And how the shower works.) Basically it’s from everywhere in his street and I’m happy to keep it local (despite the etiquette being repeated country wide…). I have now found one of the bars – the El Tizon (the first person to point out the tautology will be blocked!) – have had a beer and enjoyed some great tapas. Hard cheese. Lovely. Another beer will be here soon. Pity the barman is so miserable. I think it tends to be part of the act.

Anyway, on with the show. Here are the cycling stats for today… and here’s the video:

It would have been comical, if fruitless, to attempt that 24% climb near the mining villages. As for Google Maps… I think I mention them a few times in the video. Fear not; I’m not an addict, I just use them selectively but today they were a bit rubbish in suggesting tracks that were clearly not suitable. Never did they put me in a position where I was lost (how can one ever get lost nowadays?); I was just left shrugging my shoulders. More concerning (don’t worry, not to the point of me losing sleep) is the algorithm that Google uses to work out its cycling route profiles. I have found them all too often to be very inaccurate and they are best ignored.

So my evening in León. It appears to be a rough-and-ready kind-of place but I like that. I’ll head off for a wander in a few moments.

As for tomorrow… well, I’m quite wedded to this idea of making a straight route to Coimbra. It’s about 500 km so over 5/6 days I should be able to get there for next weekend, especially if I’m able to take a train or two to speed things up. Is anyone an expert on the Portuguese railway network? Someone must be…

Update: A bit less ‘rough and ready’ than I imagined. Some beautiful buildings and a lovely clam atmosphere this evening as I had a long stroll around the centre. Here are some pictures:

Categories: Adventure, Cycling, Travel, Video

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7 replies »

  1. Not experts but we know there is a good train/tram service between Braga, Porto and Coimbra. We also know a great campsite not far from Viseu but it’s well off the beaten track. If you are there on a Saturday, the whole village go out for barbecued piri-piri chicken in the square.

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