The day was most enjoyable especially as the first 16km were down hill! However it was at this stage that I discovered that the brakes were in need of adjustment as one needed an inordinate amount of squeezing to apply the brakes and even then the bike took a while to slow down! Disconcerting! So I descended like a nun and fiddled at the bottom in the valley. Still not happy.. It’s at times such as this that one appreciates that fiddler without peer.. Peter James Martin. Where is the WD40 when one needs it?
Sadly I resort to a cut and paste about Trancoso which is absolutely delightful!
A warren of cobbled lanes squeezed within Dom Dinis’ mighty 13th-century walls makes peaceful, hilltop Trancoso a delightful retreat from the modern world.
Although it’s predominantly a medieval creation, the town’s castle also features a rare, intact Moorish tower, while just outside the walls are what are believed to be Visigothic tombs.
Dinis underscored the importance of this border fortress by marrying the saintly Dona Isabel of Aragon here in 1282. But the town’s favourite son is Bandarra, a lowly 16th-century shoemaker and fortune-teller who put official noses out of joint by foretelling the end of the Portuguese monarchy.
Sure enough, shortly after Bandarra’s death, the young Dom Sebastião died, heirless, in the disastrous Battle of Alcácer-Quibir in 1558. Soon afterwards, Portugal fell under Spanish rule.
Whereas in Lecce and Salamanca the principal building material was sandstone/limestone, here in this part of mountainous Portugal it is granite with a capital G.