As with all decisions in life, there is always a compromise. We chose the economic range of folding bikes to try out touring with them on a short trip to Portugal. To be honest, after two days, and 80km, we are not enamoured. To be fair, they are well made and lightish for travel, but the lack of gears and 20″ wheels make for hard cycling. Yet then again, we’ve had some deceptive climbs, strong headwinds and driving rain, which never praises your gear.
So after a pleasant rest day on Friday, we set off early this morning knowing that there was going to be a 100% chance of rain and 20mph headwinds at best. Luckily, the 11km to Setubal was mainly dry, but very dull. Up down, up down to the ferry port. Setubal does not seem to be a city to linger in.
We discovered that the short trip cataraman to Troia does not take bicycles, which was just as well for us, as the vehicle ferry (€6.90 for two) docks 6km further south down the sandbank spit. After disembarking, we discovered a Eurovelo 1 Atlantic Coast Route sign. Very new. Is this the beginning of Portugal’s realisation of the iconic cycle trip? We hope so. Mind you, if one is cycling from the south, is there a sign to board the ferry? Otherwise, riders will be faced with a 12km round trip once turned away from the Troia – Setubal cataraman.
Heading for our stop for the night at Carvalho, we were faced, once again, with driving wind and rain. A lunch stop in Comporto replenished our energy in a welcoming café. 8km down the road we arrived at our guesthouse (€30) thoroughly soaked to the skin and looking like the proverbial drowned rats. Nevertheless, a friendly welcome was in order from our host, and the attached café/restaurant boosted our spirits, even though our room resembles a swimming pool!
Today was hardly a day for photographs and tomorrow we know will be just as wet and windy, but hey ho, onwards and upwards.