I’ve never ridden with a pure tail wind, not from the side, but pushing me down the road. I met my first touring cyclist yesterday, german (with Ortlieb bags). I guess the route I’m on is prime for Germans who want to tour early in the year, this is the sunniest part of Portugal. I was going to ride the bus to the Algarves (southern coast) but the riding has been spectacular and I see no reason to ride the bus yet. I’m just 2 or 3 days away.
Yesterday I left Serpa on a very country road, it ended at the national park where it turned to gravel. The road was so step i had to brake and walk down, When I got to the bottom, there was this weird looking bridge
I sat and had lunch contemplating my walk up the other side. I threw some bread in the water to see if there were any fish, yep, lots. Then to my amazement a turtle about 25 centimeters surfaced. I reached for my camera, but it disappeared, it came back a little later too. I’ve never seen a turtle in a river before. After eating, it was a long step walk to the top, still a gravel road, that finally became paved again. Not much climbing once on the pavement.
It is perfect biking weather, I’m told the summers are unbearable. Kinda like riding Death Valley in the winter, NICE.
A nice neighborhood bar & coffee house (with a little hashish thrown in).
Serpa hospitality to the max
It was the hardest day riding so far, I woke up sore oh so sore, I climbed a few hills. I’m trying to figure out how to put the route map on this blog, stay tuned. I’m learning to read the map and find very interesting routes, even whats marked as a main highway is just a country road, with a bigger shoulder.
As far as you could see in all directions, olive trees, vineyards even an olive tree nursery, for more olive trees. I can’t figure out who’s picking all the olives? by hand I was told!
I camped for free by the Grande Lago, thought I was doing so good. When I did a world tour in 94′ there was no internet & cell phones didn’t have google maps. When ever I’m a little lost I just whip out my phone & it pin points my location I choose my direction and off I go. It’s kinda of taken some of the “adventure” if you will, out of it. I like knowing where I am and all, but kinda big brother too? So I arrived in Serpa, Portugal about 6:30 pm and got out the phone and google maps type hotels, showed me three (with street views). Then I typed camping, and up pops a campground. I pedal over there and it’s $6 a night with hot shower and marble tiled kitchen to use. I’m thinking free camping is nice, but for $6 showers, kitchen? I remember reading about camping here and it being kinda of inexpensive. I was told 6 cyclist just left this morning, the closest I’ve come to seeing another touring cyclist.
I was here for less than an hour and met Darrell, from the UK. He’s holding a dead snake he caught and wanted to give it to the cat to play with, one problem the snake died before the cat could play with it. I just put on my last clean T-shirt “God doesn’t like me” from Lonnie Bruhn. So I’m thinking nice photo holding the snake?
I don’t think god liked the snake
I got my belt fixed today by the night time security guy. He worked all night went home and fixed the belt and brought it back this afternoon, new buckle, sewn on leather end and metal eyelets. He charged me only $6.50 I gave him $10 but the more I look at the belt, there’s more coming his way.
My only belt broke so I was going to hang around and get it fixed or buy a new one nope some kind of holiday, everything closed. The good part little traffic on the roads. I was told by my French friend Stanley that Portugal drivers are rude, that’s so not so true. Most drivers moved into the other lane even when I had a good meter and a half of shoulder. I saw maybe 40 lycra bike riders going in the other direction, cars are very good to cyclist here.
Their growing some wine & olives in Portugal that’s for sure, kilometers of them.
First, there is NO camping type food in the stores. I’ve searched every isle multiple times.
I bought elbow noodles, tuna (I only knew because it said “dolphin safe” in english),then what I thought was spaghetti sauce turned out to be ketchup. I was hungry after riding so it filled a need. Lunch is bread,cheese & salami with chocolate bar for desert. I brought my famous oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow, have no idea what i’m eating once it’s gone? I saw some baby hot cereal,maybe?
I,m camping by a lake, they said they had heavy rains this year, there are trees submerged in the water. I’m out in the middle of nowhere Portugal, how do I know? No cell service!
The fish have been jumping wish Mathew were here to catch dinner.
Sitting at the dam of the Gran Lake, after some riding this morning, eating lunch.
statue in front of bull ring
My friend in Rachel in Portland said I should go visit the Church of Bones She said it’s a little weird, I’m thinking how bad could it be? That was fucking spooky, the walls were lined with human skulls and arm & leg bones. I walked out of their just shaking me head and thinking WTF!
On The wall reads: “We bones that are here are waiting for your’s”
In Evora Portugal Sant Antao Hostel run by Nelson Veiga is a well run owner operator hostel. Nelson ran a local hotel for 24 years and decided to get his hospitality degree and open this clean and well managed hostel. I highly recommend staying here, only $20 a night, right in the center of town.
tele: 266 708 182
Every table I walked by had a plate of snails.
I asked to try just a couple, instead I got this! I ate them all antennas too. Taste like clams, kinda.
Finally the first Bike Tour. It took 1 week from Portland to finally get on my Bike and Ride! While riding I was thinking about why travel by bike? First I really like the exercise, the flock of huge cranes that flew up while I rode by, I can hear, see & smell what an area has to offer. I feel more connected to people when I approach on bike. If I drove a car or motorcycle or rode the bus I would feel I missed so much. I’m fortunate to have this much time to do this by with a bike.
Riding through the vineyards with very little traffic
Carpets of purple flowers under the trees. They said it was wet year, by summer this place is brown (so I’m told)
You can see several overpasses are built but no road yet, due to the economic crisis all road projects were halted. Maybe Oregon/Washington’s CRC bridge project will see the same fate before it bankrupts us all.
This was an amazing hole in the ground at least 12 stories deep. Estromoz was built on the mining of marble, 2nd only to Italy.
I can’t believe I’m really doing this! 2 Years of planning.
Took the bus to Estremoz today put the bike together & rode to the hotel
I have a translation app. I used it today at the hotel, she didn’t speak any English. We both laughed about it, but we did get our conversation understood. It was all good