After a great sleep, I woke up early in the morning and took a refreshing shower. Afterwards, I headed to the breakfast room where the owner delivered another feast, again a set menu delivered directly to your table.
After saying my goodbyes, I was welcomed by blue skies and the warm morning sun. And as predicted, the first hour of the day was a long climb out of the Douro valley
Climbing higher and higher out of the valley, i reached Mirador de la Puerta de las Arribes where I took a well deserved rest while admiring the fabulous vista.
Next destination was the city of Cuidad Rodrigo, a sleepy medieval walled city off the beaten track away from the popular tourist routes.
So far, day# 6 was turning into my favorite day of the trip, the legs were in great shape, the sun was beaming down and i had for the first time wind pushing me along rather than the headwind I got accustomed to during the first few days.
Cycling towards Cuidad Rodrigo, i could see the mountain range of Las Batuecas - Sierra de Francia Natural Park which would be my playground for the afternoon.
The roads were in brilliant condition, and before I knew it I had reached Cuidad Rodrigo which I left soon afterwards. My plan was to push along knowing that the toughest climbs of the entire route were ahead of me. And I also wanted to arrive early enough at my destination as I had booked dinner.
The meals were really important for me during this cycle, this as they were key to replace the 1000s of calories I burned during this cycle. During the cycle itself, I just tend to snack as I find it difficult to eat lunch and then carry on the cycle. So my preference is to snack and then replenish calories during dinner and breakfast.
The barren landscape soon made way for evergreen forests, lizards running right in front of my wheels oblivious about my presence , the scent of pine trees filling the warm summer air.
The road gradually climbed higher and higher into the mountains, and my water ration was fast depleting. I always carried about 5 liters of liquid with me, and believe me, staying dehydrated was a task in itself.
When I reached the village of Serradilla del Llano, it was time to replenish my water supply which i did in one of the local shops. This rural shop didn't have any till, the owner just calculated the overall price on the countertop. In the village, I got in conversation with a local man who explained to me that the next 10km would be tough climbing non-stop out of the village. And he was right, under a blistering sun, i made steady progress and entered an undiscovered part of Spain off the beaten path.
When I turned onto the EX366, a desolate road which brought me through miles and miles of pine forests, I knew this was one of my favourite parts of Spain. When I reached the almost deserted village of Riomalo de Arriba, I was surprised to find an elderly couple seated along the road enjoying a quiet life.
Following the river towards Las Mestas, I reached this pretty village with it's river swimming pool. This would be the place where I would stay for the night, and I must say that I didn't expect to find a fabulous hotel like Hospederia Hurdes reales in these remote parts.