Cruising up the coast of Portugal has been a fantastic experience, we have taken our time enjoying the fishing villages and deserted beaches. Our bellys have not been deprived on this trip, with roadside stands providing enough fuel for our legs... from dried figs to marinated olives we have profited from this country’s specialities.
Delayed to start due to tent related problems we rode up the sweet town of Odexiece, only 20km from Aljezur. The day the tent arrived - we were supposed to leave, but upon assembling the tent we saw that there was a considerable hole in the stitching. Realising it would be unwise to start a trip with a faulty tent, we chose to return the tent and so the two of us subsequently jumped into Miriam’s tent. She had a two person tent – enough room for herself and her luggage. So sleeping was a little snug.. !
We have taken our time exploring the quiet roads, discovering weather beaten cliffs and ancient ruins. With this being our first trip touring a country by bicycle and tent, we have had new challenges facing us. One of these being – where to shower.. ! About three days in we came across an oasis – on the beach where three showers – cold, but refreshing.
We have been throwing the tent out in quiet spots outside of towns and cities. But on occasions when we have struggled to find a ‘remote' spot, we improvised; one night we slept in a fire station – where we had a warm shower and soft bed! Another time we slept on the village green to the approval of the police – who also looked after our bikes and luggage for the night.
So where are we now
With a bad forecast predicted we chose to put our tour on hold and stay in a farm until the weather improved. It’s a beautiful place with views of the palaces and castles of Sintra to the South and the Ocean to our west. We are working for our food and accommodation, learning a few tips on permaculture and preparing for the next leg of our trip.
We will be leaving on the weekend (unless the weather holds us back again) and heading north to the city of Coimbra. Keep an eye out for photos of us exploring Portugals oldest city !