Monday 28 May 2012
This ride in southern Europe is so different from our previous European adventure. Gone are the castles and cathedrals, instead we enjoy the beauty of the countryside and the majesty of the mountains and the sea.
Another cool and beautiful morning; though the sun was warm the sea breeze kept the morning air near 60.As we biked out of our village this morning, so too did we bike away from the sea. When we turned south, we could see the ocean in the distance, either the blue from the sea or the cloud bank that was hovering off the coast. We were also bordered by mountains to our east, hopefully they would not get too close.With the exception of crazy Hans (did we mention he does the JFK 50 Miler, every year) & Anna that we met yesterday, the only bikers we’ve seen have been road/racing bikers. They always greet us with enthusiastic waves and the drivers with happy honks.
After one such climb that seemed to go on forever, we decided to take a lunch break and rest our legs. Immediately after lunch we were greeted with a five mile fly down, sounds great at the time, but we knew we would pay….and dearly. Sure enough the two mile climb to follow was steep with sharp hairpin turns.
At one rest during our climb, we were pushed with a nice breeze whipping up from the sea, so forging on was a little easier. Thankfully, at noon we had decided to stay in a town only 15-20 miles away, because the afternoon hills looked to be very challenging….INDEED!
Since arriving at our hotel, we have been smelling the delightful smells from the kitchen of the attached restaurant. So we knew we had to travel no further than down two flights of stairs for dinner. It was SO worth the trip! Oddly enough (to us, anyway) salmon has been on the menu every night since arriving in Portugal. Independently, we both decided to order it…….it was THE most incredible meal we’ve had so far….perfectly cooked and deliciously accompanied, I didn’t even long for ice cream!!
50+ miles today and steep hills in our very near future, time to turn in.