Trip dist: 142 kms. Trip time: 8 hrs, 32 mins. Tot dist: 1212 kms.
Ha ha. Extraordinary circumstance. Ride was flat as a tortilla with no head wind for the first 72 kilometers, a little bit of headwind after Benavente, but still very flat. Nice and easy ride, perfect weather (not hot, not cold, no rain), and it was kind of neat, the contrast from the flat beautifully bright green wheat fields and the mountains I had been in throughout the month before.
I arrived with still hours of light left in Zamora, and happened to catch the people in the midst of their Sunday promenade. People young and old in their Sunday's best clothes (by the way, off topic, but did I ever tell you, I want to write a book entitled Sunday's Best one day? Not sure yet, what it should be about, but it has a nice ring to it, and a nice set of images brought to the imagination and memory...) parading about the downtown plazas and main alleyways, with the sounds of laughter and church bells and birds chirping, and what was even neater, there were these little puffy seeds from trees blowing in the air, that look a little bit like dust-bunnies but only prettier (I don´t know what they are called)? Not only did they give beautiful Zamora a very romantic, poetic feel, but as you can imagine, the toddlers and dogs chasing after them in the plazas, clambering on the statues in the parks as the parents laugh and take a picture....
Why this city is not a UNESCO World Heritage Site I can't imagine. It certainly looks pretty enough. And, they even have those signs, posted at every church and palace, explaining what they are and when they were built and everything! :)
Anyway, the culinary delights of the city deserve some mention. At one of the nearby bakeries, for instance, I discovered these very appealing-looking white bread buns--rebollos Zamoranos, it turns out, which were quite delicious and very nutricious-looking, caloriewise (they weigh quite a bit, they're like something between a thick bread and a cookie--less dry than a cookie, but denser than a bread, and sweet, of course, but not as sweet as a dessert)--I promptly bought two for the next few days' bike trips. And later, I enjoyed a delicious Arroz a la Zamorana (for recipe in English, go here). Yummy!
Anyway, people keep asking me (whenever I check into the hostels/hotels, at restaurants, when I stop with the bike somewhere), am I doing the Road to Santiago. Sheesh! What, is all of Spain the road to Santiago now? I thought I was far enough away, and south enough by now, for this to be a possibility to the casual observer. Will this Pilgrim business never end, or will it keep pursuing me until I cross the Pyrinees? Ha ha. It has though, no doubt, been a rather amusing and exciting assumption of identity. :)