Portugal 2005

 
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Portugal 23.09-3.10. 2005
IMG_1070.jpg (97255 byte) We were picked up by a good friend and taken to the airport at 4:45 in the morning. Hans Arne is a former cyclist, and had a desire to go together with us on future trips.
This unfortunately didnít happen. He passed away in 2009 after a year's illness.
Lisboa
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After 2 months of rain in northern Norway, it was great to get to Lisbon. 27 degrees and sunny. We cycled from the airport and chose to follow the promenade down to the south end of  the town. The plan was to cycle over the bridge that goes to the south, but we were stopped close to the bridge. We were misinformed that it was allowed to ride there. We had to return down to the harbor again to take the ferry over to the other side. The ferry took about 10 minutes over. We arrived at 20:30 Setubal. (Delayed).

IMG_1076.jpg (146231 byte) The First one in Portugal
Setubal
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From Setubal, we took a ferry over to Troy. Cycling conditions were very good, with good roads and little traffic. The area south of Lisbon is almost flat. We rode about 80 km down to Sines.

Sines
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Sines was a quiet town, with a good beach. Being Saturday, we canít exactly say that the parting factor was impressive!

IMG_1111.jpg (52834 byte)  Low traffic
Lagos
IMG_1116.jpg (59375 byte) In Lagos, we got us a nice apartment with roof terrace.
mat.jpg (90606 byte) Portuguese food is good, and along the coast, it was a lot of fresh fish.
sykling-strand.jpg (25226 byte) On the way out of Lagos, we thought for a moment we had got lost .... , but it turned out to be the right way. We use GPS, but the quality of the maps determines how easily navigation will be. We used the Portugal section of Garmin's Map of Europe, and it is not detailed enough for safe navigation with GPS. (2005)

 

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Albuferia
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Seafront in Albufeira

pils-albufeira.jpg (50068 byte) Fluid control.
harald-sykkel2.jpg (163459 byte) From Faro, we went straight north into the country. The terrain rose up to about 680 meters. Inland, the temperature rose to about 30 degrees so it was a sweaty experience in all up hills. After a few km we reached the top and we got a lot of nice downhill towards Beja.
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DSC01908.jpg (25710 byte) Beautiful, tailwind and almost no hills!   DSC01910.jpg (100932 byte)

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GÝran enjoying the Portuguese countryside

 

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Beja
Beja was another beautiful town with old architecture
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Roundabouts in Portugal is in an extraordinary category. Art are placed in almost everyone. Tasty, but it would surely have been banned in Norway, because it could distract for drivers!

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Puncture
IMG_1078.jpg (144457 byte) No1  IMG_1084.jpg (151496 byte) No2 pungtering.jpg (163204 byte) No 3
IMG_1156.jpg (100254 byte) Mostly riding went without problems, apart from three punctures that I stood for. The last was more violent, and I probably should be happy that I stayed on the wheels. In Portugal, it may be prohibited from riding on certain routes, even if it is just one file in each direction. Cyclists are forced to use the old road, and I mean really old roads. The problem is that they are not maintained, and often with big surprises (read holes). I ended up in one of them, after the Swede (a law-abiding people) requested that we had to follow the rules. The wheel wasnít damaged, but it did not take long before we were back on the road again.
IMG_1144.jpg (129661 byte) The architecture in Portugal is tasteful
politi.jpg (162481 byte) Drinking break (beer) with the police in the background. 
Evora
Romersk_ruin.jpg (28795 byte) From Beja we took a trip to Evora. Evora was one of the few cities which werenít destroyed by the earthquake in 1755. Beautiful city with Roman temple ruins in the center.

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Santarem
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Drink Break not far from Santarem

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The section from Santarem to Sintra was anything but easy cycling. We chose to ride through the wine region north of Lisbon. It offered many long hills, but the area was still worth a visit.

Sintra
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Instead of staying in Lisbon, we rented an apartment in Sintra. The area is considered to be the most beautiful in Portugal.

Goran-Sintra.jpg (104272 byte) There are several castles and monasteries in the area, and water supply must be good. While the rest of Portugal was completely dry because of drought, the Sintra area was extremely fertile.
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A few km from Sintra, there are several beaches, and iyou can get there by train.

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 but we cycled ...

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We cycled to Cascais and Estoril on our tour around the Sintra area

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On the departure day, we cycled to the airport via Cascais and Estoril.

Casino.jpg (238741 byte) Outside the Casino in Estoril.
We searched the web before we left for Portugal, but couldnít find a lot of travelogues from the area. I donít know why, but Portugal has perhaps had a bad reputation, because of poor roads and dangers traffic.
For us, Portugal was a good experience as a cycling country, and we will certainly be back. We still havenít seen the northern part.

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