Day 1: Lisboa to Vila Nova de Milfontes (162 km)

Today was a really great first day. Blue sky, sunshine, perfect temperatures and gentle winds. What more can you ask for?

In the morning I took the ferry to Almada and waved good bye to Lisboa. I will come back with my family one day to explore this great place more thoroughly and with more time.

Then I turned south. As the miles passed by, rather ugly satellite towns and industrial areas slowly turned into pretty small towns and eventually into farmland. Finally I arrived at Setúbal, an ancient coastal port town, to take yet another ferry to Tróia. This is a finger-shaped peninsula covered with dunes. I had hoped for a lunch break but nobody is actually living there.

Finally, I arrived at Comporta and sat down in front of a little bar at the tiny market place together with some local aging men who were hanging out there. Having a yummy toast and a Coke in the sun on such a day can be better than an expensive 5 course meal! Especially, when after a while you realize that this place is full of storks.

During the entire day, I spoke maybe 20 words. If you deduct “obrigado” which means “thank you”, my only Portuguese word, it was even way less.

The afternoon was hard. I went through long stretches of rolling hills with some head wind. I was getting tired but I still wanted to cover some distance. After a long debate with myself I choose to aim for 160km today because I would be running out of daylight otherwise.

The entire day I cycled through an amazing country site with stunning views on the Atlantic every now and then.

Right at sunset, I arrived in a simple hostel where Carlos, the host, was already waiting for me. I even got something to eat!

Rosinante, my bike, and I shared a room. She is named after the horse of Cervantes’ Don Quijote because she shares some key attributes with the novel figure. She is a bit old (14 years), is not the strongest nor fastest, but is very faithful and loyal. And extremely comfortable.

Insight of the day: The more we return to our true nature, the less we desire.

Leave a Reply