Obrigado Portugal

Obrigado (Thank You in Portuguese) is one of the few words I have learned to say and quite often in these past two weeks.  Another phrase Tim taught me was Bom Dia which means “good day” and typically used in the morning.  Besides those two sayings, I’ve relied on my smile and blue eyes to get me through my first two weeks in Europe.

Europe so far has been everything I imagined and more from the architecture and history to the pastries and overall food quality.  I believe every day should start with an espresso and Pasteis de Nata….Custard type staple dessert of Portugal that is similar to sugar cream pie.  

Lisbon was amazing with it’s beautiful colors and cobblestone streets, sidewalks, and public squares with fountains and outdoor seating. The tiles around a window or doorway, and sometimes the entire front of the building are stunning.  Every corner we turned reminded me of a stock photo you might see in a picture frame sold in a retail shop in the USA.  We enjoyed a free walking tour in the city and another tour of the Alfama district during our first five days in Portugal.  I’ve been trying to post a picture a day on my Instagram (scubastevecyclist) page that you might’ve seen already, and here are a few more of my favorites from Lisbon.

To get the legs moving before the official tour started we enjoyed a day trip through Belem and then to Sintra where we spotted our first of many jaw dropping castles I can’t wait to see all throughout Europe.  

As soon as we left Lisbon and departed from the ferry we both were smiling from ear to ear and reminded of why we enjoyed the pure joy and sense of freedom from our first tour we did together last summer from Vancouver BC back to San Diego and Tijuana (where there is already a wall).  It’s the excitement of the unknown roads and what lies ahead or around the corner to our next campground, warm showers host, or a cheap hotel.  We’ve enjoyed the countryside of Portugal and all the little towns we pass through to grab a quick and cheap lunch for two which usually consists of a Bifana (simple pork sandwiches) and a beer (mine in Sem Alcool…No Alcohol) for each of us and cost between 6 to 8 euros total.

While pedaling through the countryside I love to moo at the cows, bah at the sheep, and ney at the horses.  I need to learn how to call out at the many goats we’ve seen as well.  Evora was a great stop for our first rest day and to be the warm showers guests and experience the other side of this hospitality network for touring cyclists that we enjoyed being a host of in San Diego.  Our hosts live on a sustainable farm just 20km outside of Evora where we enjoyed being tourist for a day seeing beautiful churches and a chapel full of human bones…..See my picture on Instagram.

I understand Celcius from a little trick that Tim taught me as 0C=30F, 10C-50F, 20C-70F, 30C-90F.  It’s not completely accurate but very close.  My comfort zone is anything above 20 degrees Celsius and if it’s below 15C, I have my arm warmers or wind/rain jacket on while riding.  It’s 14C now in the tent and I have my long underwear on as it’s supposed to dip below 10C overnight.  I may have to reach for my gloves in the middle of the night.  This California boy of 17 years is a little spoiled.  We are just 54km (34 miles) away from Spain and will pedal our way there in the morning and have lunch across the border and be in Seville by Thursday.  

Thanks for all the love, support, and comments on the blog so far.  As we finish our days of pedaling, our CA and West Coast friends are just waking up and our Midwest and East Coast families are thinking about lunch.  

I’ll leave you with a few more of my favorite pictures from the past two weeks as I need to get some sleep for our 110km day tomorrow.  

Carpe Diem


PS…This sunset photo with our tent was shared on Instagram by the manufacturer Zpacks who makes lightweight adventure​ gear.  Needless to say I was very honored and inspired.  

11 Replies to “Obrigado Portugal”

  1. Awesome pics Steve, makes me wish I was there to see all of this…lol. Continue having a great journey exploring everything and be safe!

  2. Thanks for all the updates. The pics are amazing. How are the roads for riding ?

  3. Really wonderful, Steve, I love the pictures and your words – I am so grateful you’re bringing us with you along your journey. Let the winds be forever at your back and the sun warm to 20+ every day! <3 to you boys, what an amazing adventure! 🙂

    1. Thanks Peter. So excited that you signed up to be a warm showers host. You’ll love the experience and meeting people

  4. Wow!!! Great post and pictures!!! Good thing you have a great smile and beautiful blue eyes ;)! Keep posting! Love reading these!!!

  5. Steve, amazing wonderful pictures. You are on a trip of a lifetime.
    We are enjoying all of the descriptive words you both are using to
    make us feel like we’re also on your trip. Love, Aunt Danene
    and Uncle Ron

  6. Great photos, cousin!! I am so enjoying reading about your adventures and seeing it through your eyes. More food porn, please!

    Love you guys!!

  7. Steve your post is great I can’t wait to read more from you. Your trip is amazing I’m really happy for you guys

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