I start this diary by saying that this was the worst and hardest day of this trip, everything, or almost everything that could go wrong, actually went.
It began upon waking up. As the journey was 240 km, I put the alarm clock for 5 but only managed to get out of bed at 6.30. I do not know why, but this day was the most complicated to get out of bed, I actually woke up more tired than when I went to bed. Then, we were ready to leave but we saw that Patrick´s GPS was saying that the route would be 307 km instead of the 240 initially thought, at that point I had a feeling that this problem was just the beginning as I feared there would be no roads I could ride on.
We left at 7:20. I started to follow Patrick for an alleged national road that we had studied the night before. 10 minutes after we left, I lose track of Patrick, he had mistakenly entered a highway. The directions were so bad and confusing that even I went to a motorway and still cycled about 2 km before realizing that I was wrong and turned back. Then I went into another motorway by mistake and was completely lost, at this point I decided to stop at a gas station that was in the highway. The worst of it all is that my phone hasn´t charged overnight and was therefore charging in the car, at this point I was without any contact with Patrick. We were about 45 minutes without any contact with each other. While Patrick was looking for me I hoped that some of the Portuguese trucker drivers who were parked there would wake up and let me make a call, it did not happen. After 30 minutes a Portuguese truck parked at the gas station and kindly let me make some calls. Patrick found me eventually. The day was starting really bad and had already lost a lot of time. After talking to the truck driver we concluded that there was NO road linking Burgos to Valladolid, unless the highway. The driver told me that in principle there was no problem for me to ride on the highway since, according to him, it is normal to see the professional cyclists training there. So I went on the highway towards Valladolid. The highway was not very busy but still got buzzed a bit, it was clear that I should not be there (and could not actually). Thus, I cycled full gas so I could make the most of kilometers until someone would stop me, it eventually happened. About 60 km after entering the highway, a maintenance vehicle told me to leave the highway, otherwise I could get a heavy fine, I had no choice.
After that, Patrick had to come back to find me and from there on things got even worse. There were NO roads I could use. I cycled in mountain bike paths and that are not even in the maps. It was terrible. Then we found some good roads but they were all alternatives and they were in the middle of the Spanish desert. Where we were was so remote that in 1 hour we would see one car at most.
Allied to all this, I was unfortunate enough to be blown with wind all day. Seriously, it was something that I had never experienced before. But even worse than this was the fact that there were MANY climbs, ups and downs, ups and downs. Just for you to have an idea how windy it was, I had to go through a wind farm which contained more than 100 wind blades, so there was wind in the region! Then the sun did not help at all, it was really hot. So let´s see what we have: very strong wind, climbs, no roads and extreme heat.
All these conditions have made me mentally weak, which made me lose a lot of time. At one point, we realized that we would get to Salamanca at 2 am and at this time I decided to stay in Valladolid. There we found a hotel and we stayed there. This meant that the next day would have to do 250 km and also meant that I had missed the goal of the day.
Best of the Day:
There is always something positive and in this day was the chance to drive 60 kms on the highway.
Worst of the day:
Almost everything was depressing. Not sure which was worse.
Distance traveled: 167 km
Cumulative ascent: 2’200 meters
Time: 10:00 Hours
Average: 16.7 km / h