I’ve started swearing a lot!
Who knew Portugal had so many hills?
Who knew I was so unfit?
Who knew cycle compatriot AJ could be so patient?
So much for a quick pedal to the Netherlands…!!!
But despite the slow pace and the endless hills,
The scenery has kept us moving forward
before we knew it, we were out of the Algarve
And into the Alicante wine region.
[We celebrated with wine (of course)
And €4 lettuce (accidental).]
And as we continued through the rolling hills,
We found countless remarkable free camp spots.
And even more Good people!
And finally a shower!
And to prove AJ’s adamance that I need to work on my cycling technique,
I was pulled over by the police and breathalysed for the first time EVER!
Who knew you could be breathalysed on a bicycle?
After a few rest days, we continued north.
It turns out that it was a good thing that I was slower than expected,
Had we been on schedule,
we would have been in the heart of the hurricane!
When leaving Lisbon,
we fought strong winds as we watched the tsunamic waves collide with the earth.
The further we pedalled, the worse the devastation developed:
Destroyed houses, missing roofs, fallen trees everywhere!
With the rain, we deviated from the joys of free camping and began utilising travel networks.
And through Couchsurfing and Warmshowers
the quality of people that suddenly flooded our lives got even better!
[So did our diets]
After more than a week of following the coast,
We finally veered inland
The height of the hills was only justified by the views their crests provided
(and the joy of coasting down them)
And the jiggered valleys were paved with small villages and rivers
[Perfect camping grounds!]
After six days straight sat on our saddles,
we took a break in Penalvo Do Castelo,
And after all the home brewed wine,
Freshly gleaned foods,
And an influx of good vibes,
We were more than set for the final leg of Porrtugal!
Physically it hasn’t been the easiest start,
But the first 30ish km pedal generally leads us to coffee
And the last few kilometres [in the dark] are straight to well-deserved beers!
Throw in the good people,
And the untamed beauty of Portugal,
And I think you can start to imagine why we keep pedalling!
We have been so blessed on this trip so far!
(It’s not luck)
It’s been amazing, epically amazing!!!
So thank you to everyone who has helped us and fed us,
Housed us and encouraged us onwards!
Today, after four months in Portugal,
[and 13 days of pedalling]
We finally crossed the border
To a whole new chapter.
And even more adventure!
One country down, four to go!
You can follow our trip on facebook (Bearfoot Gypsy)
Or on Strava – when we remember to turn it on – AJ Arjan
Or better yet, grab a bicycle and come and join us!