I'll just say it: this was a rough tour. As we rode into week 6 and edged up to our 30th or so show, we were definitely showing signs of wear. In an attempt to avoid horrifyingly long bus rides, we decided to rent a car in Porto and drive the rest of way ourselves.
Things started well enough as we rode from Port to Bragança. We took a night walk with our host Solange (I probably just slaughtered her name, apologies) up to the town's castle. Unlike most European cities, people still live within the old walls. Here's a visual transcript:
Sadly things didn't stay all neato and photogenic.
Spain is a beautiful country and is best experienced very, very slowly. Everyone's on the same clock and if you're in hurry, running on touring time, you'll end up running against the grain and having a near breakdown in Madrid's city centre.
Once we left Bragança we drove the wrong direction in the mountains just north of the city for nearly 2 hours. I don't think I'll go into great detail about each date and show. I will say that we met some amazingly sweet people along the way - including Nacho in Aviles, the women of Utopia in Sevilla, Edu in Madrid, Artur in Bilbao, and the super nice couple that walked us to our venue in Bilbao.
Here's what we saw as we criss-crossed Spain almost 3 times.
Lots of this:
in warm Sevilla this,
but mostly this,