Onde está Portugal?

Today we had two choices for a route: follow the Eco Via do Algarve, a designated bike route along the coast, or ride inland away from the over-developed coast and through quiet villages, but with 6,000ft of climbing (if you’re not a cyclist: that’s a LOT!).

We chose the easier Eco Via route, and it was… interesting.

The route alternated rapidly from very quiet dirt and gravel roads to busy 4-lane highways with no shoulder. We rode through farmland, beach access trails, crazy over-developed planned coastal communities with 10-story high-rises hiding the sun, national parks, trash dumps, ridiculously posh golf courses, communities full of mansions empty except for workers, and run-down port cities. If it weren’t for having the whole route programmed into my GPS, it would have been impossible to follow the rarely-signed, meandering route. None of it we recognized as the Portugal we’ve grown to love. The Algarve region is quite a different place.

Steve’s bottom bracket has been creaking all day, one of the things we don’t know how to work on. It’s not an urgent problem but could eventually lead to a problem, so since we have some extra time today, we decided to stop at a bike shop 10km from our camp ground. They hope to have it fixed in enough time for us to arrive before dark, so we are sitting at a cafe next to the bike shop in Faro having coffee, pastries, and beer, planning our accommodations for the next week. We should be in Africa a week from today! Life is pretty good…

5 Replies to “Onde está Portugal?”

  1. My hubby Ron spent two years in Tunesia and one year in the Congo during the Vietnam war. He also was on planes that spread agent orange that have greatly affected his kidneys, contributed to diabetes etc.
    How are you traveling in Africa?

  2. Enjoy your day in Africa! Try and hit Gibraltar before it leaves the Eurozone – it’s an odd place but worth a momentary diversion.

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