After a couple of days relaxing in Vila Nova de Milfontes, it was a hazy Thursday morning ride to Zambujeira do Mar, some 32km of uneventful riding. The scenery may not be so dramatic, but the final views over the beach in Zambujeira were pretty spectacular. Luckily, the cafés were open on this holiday Thursday so as to enable us to enjoy the afternoon sun. Casa Praia was a welcoming retreat at €27 with full kitchen and a log fire in their lounge to compensate for the cold bedroom.
Friday was a torrid day. It should only have been a modest 20km to Rogil. That’s when you don’t get lost and wander aimlessly along sandy, muddy tracks! It was very tough to start with. Up and down past isolated coves on unpaved roads. Beautiful, but slow going. Even the sight of bison, emus and llamas at a weird farm did little to lift our energy levels.
After a welcome picnic spot in the sun, we should have taken the N120 down to Odeceixe for a few kms. Instead, we followed the Eurovelo 1 signs across the fields. Big mistake. Having got lost, it was 8km and almost 2 hours later when we reached the bridge at Odeceixe!
Being in the Algarve was no consolation given the long hairpin climb out of town on a very busy road. The final 8km to Rogil was tough in the strong headwind, but there was a lovely welcome at the quaint Hotel Alcatruz (€38). After 30 gruelling kilometers we were well and truly shattered, but looking forward to a quieter days riding tomorrow.
So, Saturday proved to be just the case. A mere 9km to Aljezur along quiet back lanes. A very pleasant picnic spot. Then an early check in at Hotel Vicentina where we could enjoy our roadside balcony. It was even more pleasant watching hundreds of cyclists on some sort of organised day out.
Sunday was very relaxing indeed. Another warm, sunny day took us 22km to the charming town of Carrapateira. Once settled into our fabulous guesthouse Casa Estela (€30), we wined and dined ourselves in the pretty roadside square. We cannot believe how lucky we are with the weather here in the middle of December.
So we are staying here another day before heading to the coast on Tuesday. Mingling with the locals, tourists and old men transfixed with their crossword puzzle.