Is it the Ride You’re After?

Is it the Ride You're After?

Is it the Ride You’re After?


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It seemed straightforward enough; buy two bikes and one tent, get to Lisbon, Portugal and cycle the Mediterranean Coast all the way to Athens, Greece.  We already had a 350km trip under our belt, had we not?  Perhaps we should have reflected more deeply on what we were signing up for ~ Lisbon to Greece, over 6000km in an European summer was not the best idea we’d came up with in a while!!!

Biking Adventures….

 

There was adventure involved, of course; in all bike touring there are always tales of adventure.  In this case the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and pride as we made our way into Athens, Greece is what spurred us on and made our decision final.

After 7 days we finally made it onto Spanish Soil.  It was a tough week full of up’s and down, but mostly glorious scenery, breathtaking views, beautiful beaches and friendly locals greeting us at every port.  We hit a PB of over 400kms!  Snails pace, it might have been but “It’s not about the miles, it’s about the journey”…or so I kept telling Janice every 20km as she hollered at me to “hurry up”!!!!

Is It The Ride Yer After?


Is it the Ride You’re After?


Eurovelo 1 ~Portugal to Spain!


Day 1 ~ Estoril – Alfarim (70km)

It was a late start as Janice forgot to set an alarm and as usual I get the blame! Lucky for both we woke up just in time to fill our faces with the free breakfast offered at The Blue Boutique Hostel.  Shoving a few extra bananas and oranges into our bags and asking the girl to take our photo we were soon on our way at 10:30am.  Better late than never!

This was the first time we’d ever used a road bike before loaded with 40 litres of panniers.  A few practice laps of the car park later and we were off.  It was smooth riding for the first 20km to the port of Belem, passing the packed beaches that lined the coast.

We caught the ferry to Trafaria for around 1.30 Euro each. The transport, especially the ferries are super cheap in Portugal.  We followed the crowds that led us to the infamous beach of Costa da Caparica. The tummies were grumbling at this point so we found a small mini mart, loaded our panniers with our picnic and made our way to the beach.

Is It The Ride Yer After?

Today we made it as far as Alfarim, found a campsite and proceeded to erect our 2 man, ultralight tent.  It’s a good thing the sun shines until around 9pm in Portugal, the pair of us trying to put together this tent would have made for a great comedy sketch.

I actually think the Portuguese in the next tent were laughing and calling us stupid in Portuguese. We had it upside down, back to front, inside out.  I think it took around an hour to finally get it resembling what looked like a tent.

Is It The Ride Yer After?

We didn’t care at this point, it was past 10pm, we’d just cycled over 70km on our first day with no prior training and we were well and truly ready to drop.

Lights out!


Is It The Ride Yer After?

Day 2 & 3~ Alfarim – Comporta (60km)

We woke reasonably early today by our standards and still only managed to leave the camp site around 9:30am.  As soon as we turned the corner we were greeted by the first hill of the day.  Five minutes later I was begging for a coffee (no luck with Janice around)!

We pushed on even though our legs were pretty sore from the previous days workout.  We followed the directions I had made using maps.me & bikemap.net apps, taking us through Arrabida National Park (the scenic route).  What felt like five days later, hundreds of rapid inclines & lack of food and water, we reached the top of the mountain.  We never thought we were ever going to make it, having to actually push the bike at least half way!

Is It The Ride Yer After?

The views were most definitely worth it!  We sailed down hill for around 10km reeling in the fact that we didn’t make the choice to do the reverse route, which would have killed me for sure. With dry mouths desperate for iced cold water, there was nothing else for it only to strip to our undies and dive right into the glistening blue sea that greeted us at the bottom…..no shame, but we just didn’t care! Needs must!

We followed the coastal road on to Setubal where we sat back and relaxed on another ferry to Troia.  From the port we pushed on for another 20km through baron land until we reached the quaint little fishing village of Comporta.

Cute Comporta ~ Home away from home!

 

With cute little coffee shops, boutiques and vintage furniture shops this weird but wonderful little village would become our home for two nights as we rested up before continuing our journey.

We found a large patch of land mostly occupied by rv’s and Camper Vans, where we managed to squeeze our tent between a tree and an English guys van.  He greeted us with two cold beers to celebrate our journey so far and became our security guard for the next two days!

Is It The Ride Yer After?


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The only thing for Saturday night date night, was Pizza & Beer!


Is it the Ride You’re After?

Follow on onward journey here!

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Janine & Janice | Irish Travel Bloggers | Portugal Based
Work Smart | Travel Often | Explore More
Two Ladies on a mission to life an Unconventional Life, full of Love & Adventure.

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