Vilas Boas – Vila Real
I don’t have the words to describe the beauty of this land. It’s like being in the mountains without actual mountains anywhere. It’s a constant up and down. Steep roads, with very little traffic, leading through many villages and towns going west towards Vila Real. I suppose if you come to this region by car, you’ll take one of the bigger roads—like the IC5—towards Porto, and you’ll still see the beautiful landscape but from a drastically different vantage point. I think it’s one of the best things about riding a bike. I go to places and down streets and road, I otherwise never would.
In the countryside, there is not a single level road. It’s either going up or down. And as I said before, it’s steep. There was a long descent into Vila Real—my destination for the day—and suddenly, I found myself on a racetrack, with painted curbs and racing guard railing. For a brief moment, I thought I had taken a wrong turn somewhere. It is, in fact, a permanent-temporary racetrack going around and through the city of Vila Real.