Today was a really great first day. Blue sky, sunshine, perfect temperatures and gentle winds. What more can you ask for?
In the morning I took the ferry to Almada and waved good bye to Lisboa. I will come back with my family one day to explore this great place more thoroughly and with more time.
Then I turned south. As the miles passed by, rather ugly satellite towns and industrial areas slowly turned into pretty small towns and eventually into farmland. Finally I arrived at Setúbal, an ancient coastal port town, to take yet another ferry to Tróia. This is a finger-shaped peninsula covered with dunes. I had hoped for a lunch break but nobody is actually living there.
Finally, I arrived at Comporta and sat down in front of a little bar at the tiny market place together with some local aging men who were hanging out there. Having a yummy toast and a Coke in the sun on such a day can be better than an expensive 5 course meal! Especially, when after a while you realize that this place is full of storks.
During the entire day, I spoke maybe 20 words. If you deduct “obrigado” which means “thank you”, my only Portuguese word, it was even way less.
The afternoon was hard. I went through long stretches of rolling hills with some head wind. I was getting tired but I still wanted to cover some distance. After a long debate with myself I choose to aim for 160km today because I would be running out of daylight otherwise.
The entire day I cycled through an amazing country site with stunning views on the Atlantic every now and then.
Right at sunset, I arrived in a simple hostel where Carlos, the host, was already waiting for me. I even got something to eat!
Rosinante, my bike, and I shared a room. She is named after the horse of Cervantes’ Don Quijote because she shares some key attributes with the novel figure. She is a bit old (14 years), is not the strongest nor fastest, but is very faithful and loyal. And extremely comfortable.
Insight of the day: The more we return to our true nature, the less we desire.