In which an ageing climber comes to terms with life closer to the ground.


Another attack by a dog

Filed under: — Mike Chapman @ 10:52 pm


Lumpy country

75 Km 4 hours 17 min

The photographs

Yesterday was predominantly uphill today was downhill. I had a later start as breakfast was at 8:30 am. It was a little cold on the descent and I gave in and put on my long sleeved shirt. I visited Alferce a pretty village with an interesting ceramic fresco that was empty apart from a small dog that followed me around barking. It would be tempting to kill such a small animal!

I chose a smaller road to descend than the recommended scenic route. At first it was Eucalyptus trees with the smell of wood smoke as it was a cool morning with no wind. As I got further down the mountain/hill the smell changed to orange blossom. There were some wonderful views of what you can only describe as lumpy country and would be my afternoon ride. I then joined the Ribeira de Odelouca a river valley with more citrus fruit than you could shake a stick at – or an expression of that sort.


More citrus trees than you can through a stick at

Dogs have been everywhere this holiday, big brutish things usually on chains. Today they were without the chains but I was prepared. The stones were out of my cycling shirt before my brain had registered that the dog was going for me. It was on the flat so I tried the quick acceleration before it got close to my legs. The problem was it was young, big and fit. I am now none of these things. When it got close the legs went up on to the crossbar and the first stone was thrown. It missed and to be honest it made the dog angrier and more aggressive. The second stone hit, I shouted at it and it slowed down and I could resume the pedalling – estimated heart rate 174 beats per minute I have been using a heart rate monitor on the static bike and have an idea what the situation was doing to me.

bike and palm.jpg

Silves Castle

The citrus garden continued passed the castle at Silves. Afterwards I made a short stop for fruit, It felt good paying for it when I had the opportunity to steal it for the last few days! I made an excursion to the Barragem do Arradale – a reservoir that was full and supplied the vast quantities of orchards in the region. I returned to the hotel in Alte I had used the day before yesterday. The sunset was as good as it had been the day before yesterday.

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