Last night ended later than planned as we couldn’t get a taxi anywhere. By the time we did it was 1am. Far too late for the ride ahead of us.
It was an uneventful start as we pushed down the coast. There was a coolness to the air though and before long it clouded over. The coast line got more and more dramatic as we approached an area branded “world surf resort” or something similar. By the time we stopped for a bite to eat at about 1pm we had to sit inside – it just wasn’t that warm but strangely away from the coastal breeze if was still humid. The restaurant didn’t do snacks so no food there
To the south we could see the hills of the Sinta and Cascais national park. Our route took us up there so we needed food before the climb. Pizza! Great find just at the right time. We rode through sea fog to the pizza place – when we came out the fog had cleared and we were right by the beach and it’s crashing waves.
We pushed on up the climb. It’s the highest point around are you get great view from a point on the coast – unfortunately the sea fog had returned so you couldn’t see anything. But we were only about 25 miles from Lisbon at this point. Almost there. We started the descent and then it hit us. The worst wind ever. At one point our speed reduced to just walking pace and we were descending. There were drainage ditches at the side of the road. Gusts pushed me towards them and then towards the middle of the road. It’s the most unsafe that I have felt on the trip so far. I’ll admit to being scared and vulnerable. I stopped – I’d had enough of that. We concluded that it would be worse by the coast – which was to be our route in.
We decided to enter the hotel address in central Lisbon and ride what the Garmin put in front of us – just 20 miles. By now we were in greater Lisbons rush hour. Traffic everywhere. The Garmin routed us up every hill and through every suburb centre some of which you wouldn’t have wanted to stop in a car let alone on a bike. We came through Benfica and could see the football stadium. We picked up speed on a few of the cycle tracks but it was dangerous. You had to have eyes everywhere. Eventually though we arrived at the hotel which is in a great area of town and on one of Lisbons main streets.
As well fell off our bikes at check in, Pedro arrived. We quickly showered and went out. We had a really good night, chatting about everything, his business Live. Love. Ride and all that they do – which is far more than just bike tours. It was great to see his passion for his business, his country and all that Portugal has to offer. Pedro is in England in September so we will hopefully meet up again. He’s done so much to help me – I really can’t thank him enough.
So first thing today is to get my Garmin sorted out. It was too late by the time we arrived last night – we are then going to jump in the train to the edge of the city and ride from there. Safety first – it’s just not worth the hassle. We’ll soon be in the open countryside again!