We’ve reached our destination!

You thought we had two years to go, huh?! Well actually, we still do, sorry if the title mislead you. But in the end, this trip is not our physical destination.

As we cycled out of the small town of Seixal and towards Setúbal, we were riding through beautiful countryside in perfect sunny cool weather with a stiff tailwind, and I was suddenly filled with an intense feeling of joy. I yelled out a few “Yahoo”‘s and may have even done a fist pump (sorry). The wind and sun on my face, the beautiful scenery, the smell of freshly tilled farms, the light but satisfying burning in my legs, the salty taste of my sweat (and OMG, Kinder Bueno tastes so much better over here – I told Steve they are what Kit Kats want to be when they grow up), the mostly-courteous light traffic, the sometimes-smooth roads, even the 5km of dirt roads that made our bikes filthy. It all added up and reminded me exactly why we are doing this. It’s not about the planning or the routes or the gear or the destination, though those things give us something specific to do and experience and people to meet. It’s about prolonging this moment of happiness and sharing it with others around us.

Finally, today we are now on tour, the tour of our lives. And it feels amazing.

I asked Steve whether this day was particularly different from our days on our last tour, and he said no, you’ve just forgotten what it feels like.

We met four other cycling tourists today. Two were a couple from my home of New England (they are from Maine), and they have toured all around the world. They also started in Lisbon on their current tour, on the same day we did, and are headed to Milan, Italy. We happened to catch the same two ferry rides we took today, one at 8:30 and the next at 2:30, a happy coincidence. Really enjoyed speaking with them! The other two were towing a trailer that seemed to have a child in it. We didn’t get a chance to chat, just exchange Oí’s.

We rode through the Parque Natural da Arrábida over the hills and along the coast.

We went through quite a bit of farmland. The Setúbal region is known for its wines. I didn’t realize grapes could grow in farms in beach sand, but we saw it.

The campground is unlike campgrounds in the US. There is a huge open area where you can park camper vans or setup tents, no reservation needed. This time of year it’s almost completely empty. The bathrooms are very clean with free hot showers, but all the toilets are squat toilets, time to practice another skill, I guess, now that I’ve mastered the bidet. No toilet paper either, but we’re prepared and have some.

 We’re right on a lagoon off the Atlantic ocean, so it’s very pretty, but we haven’t gotten down to see the water yet.

Dinner was crackers, cheese, cookies, and fruit from the convenience store. We didn’t feel like getting a sit down dinner tonight. We will make it up at breakfast tomorrow.

The language barrier is a lot different in the country side. Many people don’t speak English, so we’re getting a chance to practice our Portuguese and have figured a lot out, but some encounters are weird. At the restaurant, I asked how much, and she responded so quickly I couldn’t catch the numbers. I scribbled on my hand to ask her to write it down, but she thought I meant I wanted to use a credit card. She put her hands up exasperated because it was just for €5.50 but then brought out a machine and I gave her the card because it was easier. Stuff like that. But, I can order a beer no problem. Hehe!

Speaking of money, finally we have our first day below our budget, including camping, ferry tolls, breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Not sure I can continue to write this much detail every day but will try to update when I can. Ciao!

8 Replies to “We’ve reached our destination!”

  1. Tim and Steve, Awesome, just awesome!! Love all the details! Thanks for sharing and ride on… Lisa xoxoxox

  2. Love the pictures! But I think you should remove your bike helmet to eat fancy kit Katz.

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