Aljezur; Zambujeira do Mar; Vila Nova de Milfontes.
From Sagres, we blitzed north through to three coastal villages. All brilliant white buildings with adobe roofs perched on hillsides overlooking a sandy beach. Big rolling waves crashing into most of these beaches. Surfing a big pastime.
Southern Portugal was ruled by the Moors for 500 years, so many names come from this time. There are Moorish castles in many of the cities. Any city beginning with "Al" was established (or at least named by the Moors). Amazingly, the wind was at our backs the entire time, making for some great riding. For the most part, we traveled on a level plateau. But every stream or river crossing to delta at the ocean meant a descent and yes, a hill. The boys are getting truly stronger, with less complaints, and less need for pushes from parents. The biking days follow a similar pattern:
1. Up for breakfast
2. Pack - Sol is always, always done first, then sits around bored while his fretting parents try not to forget anything and clean up the place
3. Hit the bikes
4. Coffee - I'm hesitant to use the word addiction, but well, it applies for each of us. We ALWAYS hit a cafe for an espresso prior to hitting the road
5. Ride! Morning snack is usually a pastry at one of the nearly ubiquitous cafes. Pastel de nata is the daily treat for Kiki, Lief and me. We forever will associate Portugal with this unique custard treat.
6. Late lunch, hoping to find something suited to our picky palate. Sol doesn't do dairy or meat or most fish. Kiki and I don't eat meat and the fish is super duper fishy, for the most part. Lief will eat most anything. God bless him. We usually have a complex negotiation in Portuguese and sign language to get an order in. Things like "omelet" and "batata frites" and "salada" help. We are.not starving.
7. More riding.
The original plan was to ride all the way up to Lisbon, but we had a deep fatigue set in and we wanted to stay put and prepare fully for the trip back. Many last minute details to look after. Emails to write, food delivery to arrange, notification of Haida Gwaii authorities of our trip back, ground transport to arrange, bikes to package, souvenirs to buy, Lisbon to explore, home schooling to continue, confirmation of all flight segments, isolation plan to create, last few bike rides to ride, last minute shopping, blogging, truck insurance to arrange. Fortunately, we were able to find a nice place near the Benfica soccer stadium (boys love that) for the week prior to our departure. All while avoiding COVID infection!! Next up, Lisbon...