4th story: Santiago to Sagres/Portugal (02.10.04 - 28.10.04)

After having arrived in Santiago de Compostela on September 28th, we took a few days to explore the city and relax a little bit. We started the next leg of this trip on October 2nd towards the portuguese coast which we reached two days later .We simply loved Portugal-as long as it wasn’t raining. But riding through endless pinewoods and along endless beaches were quite a compensation for some rather wet days. Since Portugal was new to both of us we really digged into the culture. And of course the wonderful small villages and the lovely bakeries were always a reason for a stop along the road. Portugal really seems to be one long beach and every Potuguese must own at least one apartment at the beach.

We liked Porto better then Lisboa (maybe due to the rain in Lisboa).

We also visited the Cabo da Roca, the most western point of mainland Europe. What a day ! This was more a fight with the elements ! Going down the coastal road coming from Sintra was no problem, though we were sort of annoyed since we had to go down every single meter we had just climbed the day before.Having arrived at sea level, we were alreadw scencing a storm coming towards us just as we had to go up again a 15% ascending slope. Well, at least we didn’t get cold ! Having arrived at the top the rain started, not just a little bit, no, it was more like a waterfall. After waiting for about 15 minutes at a busstop we realized that busstops are not made for horizontally falling rain. So we went further up the road, and of course the rain stopped falling-probably just to take a deep breath. And there it was right in the fog, the lighthouse of our desire- unfortunately not at the same height we were at the moment. There was a sign telling us that we would have to go down about 3km in serpentines.
Going down means of course going up again as well. At least it wasn’t raining any more and who knows if we will ever come back here again ? Usually going done is a lot of fun, but this was more like a tornado trying to push us off the road. In the summer or at least if the weather is better there are probably quite some people ; now there were only a few. The last few meters we decided to push the bikes – we didn’t really feel like being pushed over the cliffs by the wind.

Just a few minutes later the rain started again. At least we had some time to take pictures with faces like being in a wind tunnel. We also helped a Japanese girl to take a picture without her being pushed away by the wind (sometimes it pays well to weigh a bit more…).At least the rain stopped when we started up again. But the wind forced us to push our bikes more or less up the hill. Even 3km must come finally to an end, but just for us to realize that the road will go down again. And of course the rain hit us again and forced us to put on some goggles. It finally started to get a bit uncomfortuable. Having arrived at sealevel again, there was a nice surprise : a bikepath. That was no big help because the wind and rain were really bothering us. After almost 6 hours in rain and storm we arrived in Cascais, a town ca. 30km before Lisboa.
Of course it was not even worth a thought to consider camping. We found a nice private room and converted it into a wet cloth camp.

On October 25th we arrived in Sagres/Portugal, the most western point of the Algarve, just when it strted to get unpleasant again. Here we spent some time reading and washing clothes before continuing to Lagos.

One last comment : We knew really well that our bikes would draw a lot of attention, part of it we really wanted in order to get in contact with people, but once in a while it really gets simply too much. If the 200th car is driving pust you at a speed of 100km/h beeping his horn like crazy, this is simply too much ! Are they mad ? We are not deaf, but might be soon….

>> 5th story: Sagres to Tangier