128km Zamora to Cubillas de Santa Marta
Eight months into this trip and you’d think we’d have it all figured out by now. Far from it. Today we got another reminder about pacing. After a night of wild camping, and with at least a few more in view given the rural terrain ahead, the idea of getting to a campground this evening for a hot shower was very appealing. The only problem was that the two sites marked on our map were over 100km away. We decided to throw ourselves into the day and try our best to get there. The first half of the day went well, cycling through beautiful fields of wheat and small towns, but by the afternoon we were getting frustrated, partly through fatigue and partly because we couldn’t stop to see sights like castles. The pressure was on to make the day’s goal. The last few kilometers were particularly tough – we struggled to make decisions and even small hills seemed like mountains – and in hindsight we should have just stopped for the night in a field or patch of woods. When we finally got to the campsite we were shocked at the price. Set beside a motorway, with all the noise that brings, it claims to be ranked among the top in Spain it didn’t take us long to figure out how laughable that was. It bragged of having a swimming pool but someone forgot to put the water in! Unfortunately we felt obliged to stay because the sun had already set. We had less than half an hour of quickly fading light to find something else and were too tired to cope with that challenge. Had we arrived the next day we undoubtedly would have carried on and found a better option. But a ray of light did appear as the light was fading. A Dutch man came over and said “would you like a coffee?” Our reply wasn’t long coming, “yes, of course!” So after quickly finishing setting up the tent we wander over to their trailer for a nice bit of coffee and few sweets. It’s always at these times, where we say we’ll need to do something to pay all these people back in the future, at least returning the kindness to others.