I decided to take the mountainous route on day 1 of this bike packing trip to bring the hardest bit behind me. Based on Komoot’s planning, I was expecting an uphill on asphalt but despite that it was all day cobbles, hardest cobbles. I had to walk the bike for quite some kilometres and got an offer from a local to jump onto his car, which I declined. The following downhill was a different challenge. Despite being constantly on the brakes to go slow, I had one snakebite to fix on the final stretch at 200m above sea level. By that time I also felt muscles in my body I never knew about. Finally I got down into Ribeira Grande with another comfortable but cobbled 6km to Ponta do Sol, my cosy nest for the night. What a ride!
The reward for the pain was mother nature presenting herself in a way I have never seen in this density apart from the fact that the physical & mental training contributes to some euphoria and well-being.