TransPortugal – Day 5

I’m starting to feel like a broken record. The stage was long, rainy, muddy and slow. It was quite cold at the beginning of the stage towards the top of the ridge. The leading American, Jane Marshall, found it impossible to maintain her body temperature as she was also struggling with some knee pain that would not allow her to pedal hard enough to get her internal furnace firing. As a result she was unable to finish the stage. This put Tom in the leading American position.

While Tom was pushing hard to improve his position in GC, I was running about Castelo de Vida enjoying the sites come exploring the 14th century buildings and ruins. The castle keep is accessible to the public and well worth a visit. It even comes complete with a creepy torture chamber, demonstrating methods used by the Spanish Inquisition. The views from the tower are spectacular. The town by itself is a beautiful example of typical Portuguese Village with narrow cobbled roads, steep hills, white walls and tiled roofs.

(Imagine some photos here. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get the ones I want set up).

Then I drove to Evora and tromped around the old parts of town with a primary goal of being able to see the temple of Diana, a Roman ruin at the highest point of the old city. It was as impressive as I remembered.

Temple of Diana.
Temple of Diana.

I decided to head back to my car from the temple and chose to take a slightly different route. Now if you’ve ever been in an old European city you understand that the streets are not grid like. I ended up exiting the old city left of where I expected to be and turned left to get back to my car. I happened to completely miss my vehicle and ended up back on the opposite side of the old city. Now I was running short on time to get to the hotel to see Tom finish and I was in a bit of a panic. I had to run back up the hill and through the center of the city, past the temple again and head back out of town via my original path. As this was happening the skies opened up and I got completely soaked. I made it to the hotel just in time for Tom’s finish but somehow I missed him anyway.

The routine has been that I have used my 30 to 60 minutes of spare time before beginning massage to help Tom with his cleaning, either his bike or his clothing. This time it was his clothing and I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve seen bathtub water dirtier. Everything about this race is so much harder with the wet and the mud, washing clothing and bikes takes so much longer not to mention all the maintenance that has to happen. Tom does his bike maintenance while I’m doing massage. There’s just no time for rest during the day. I’m exhausted and I’m not even the one riding. I fell sound asleep after dinner while Tom was at the rider briefing, so much so that he couldn’t wake me knocking on the door and had to get a new key to get in. Then he had to help me get undressed and into bed. If that’s not a great partnership, I don’t know what is.