Friday, November 2, 2018

1st November (sunny and warm) 46 km

At 7.30am I was wide awake and making a cuppa. Outside there was no sign of the miserable weather that we’ve been having, instead the sun was shining with just the odd light cloud breaking up the blue sky. After a delicious breakfast of Mushroom, courgette, onion and cheese omelette with salad, we packed our gear and by 10am we were headed out.
Armacao de Pero beach
Armacao de Pero town

Cruisey cycling to the flamingoes - before we hit the wet,
boggy sand.
Julia had targeted a lagoon, where Pink Flamingos gather. The cycling was cruisy and we reached our destination quickly. Came off the tar seal and onto wet sandy track. Tried to get around the lagoon as MapsMe had shown, but with the rain we had yesterday, it was pretty messy. The sandy tracks really mess with our chains and we have to keep cleaning and lubing them. Not today, I wasn’t interested in more bloody birds, we’d already seen the white flamingos, I didn’t need a different shade.
Into Salgados, a coastal town and with a few tourists already out and about, before reaching Gale, where we once again went exploring the seaside rocks. Not much to write home about, so we pushed on to Albufeira, funnily enough, a place where my uncle Terry goes on his holidays. Now, you can always tell when the tourist demographic has changed from German to English when every café and bar you pass is advertising Full English Breakfasts and selling Guinness. And you know for sure when you see the Bingo signs on the noticeboards. Cycling through the tourist laden streets, I was having fun listening to the different English accents and trying to place them.

Gale coastline with surfers and Armacao de Pero in background

Gale was a popular surfing spot with some sheltered little places.

Apartments everywhere of varying styles.  A lot seem to have come to a grinding halt in their construction and it makes
you wonder what has happened.

Rode down to the beach and as we pulled up, another couple of bikepackers waved from the far side of the promenade. We got changed into out swim gear at the toilet block. It was being cleaned by a little Portuguese lady.  Julia changed first and as I only had a few coppers left, I asked her if she thought I would be able to use them. She figured it would be ok, so I put them in as I walked in and nothing was said. I had nearly reached my bike after changing, when I heard the lady call after me “My friend, my friend.”  Deciding that she had caught me just putting in the merest amount, I put on my smiliest face.
“You have come far”? she says. When I told her she was amazed and then said “You must be careful out on the road my friend, it is very dangerous out there.” She then proceeds to give me a big hug. I thanked her for her concern and hit the beach with Julia, firstly to sun ourselves and warm up as it wasn’t that warm, with a slight cool breeze blowing. After a while it was time to go in for a dip and a bodysurf. This would be the first time that we’ve been able to, as the Atlantic has very fierce shore breaks. Caught a few waves, but you still had to choose wisely or pay the price. After exiting the water, we walked along the beach, back toward where we had come in and sheltered in front of the prom wall, which gave us protection from the breeze.
Albufeira - they really lay it on for the tourists here with not only a lift down to the beach, but also an escalator!!
Back on the bikes and heading out toward our campsite for the night at Quarteira about 20kms away. At a supermarket not far away, we met the two bikepackers. Santiago and Ebana are from Argentina and are cycling for two weeks. It is Ebanas first time and from her reactions, may be her last. Santiago spent four years in NZ working in the vineyards in Blenheim. After he and Ebana spend a month in India, he is coming back to Europe to cycle to Russia, although it did get a bit confused in translation.
They took off and we met them later at another supermarket. They had decided to freecamp, but by now we were in the last stages of light and they still had some kms to cover. We, on the other hand had a campground picked out, which we reached at 5.45pm. Settled in with a quick pitch of the tent, ate our dinner and then blogged in the common room before taking off for some sleep

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