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Es werden Posts vom Juni, 2017 angezeigt.

Lisboa. Final destination reached

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Hi About 50km to Lisbon, the traffic got heavy. Not much fun to drive, you always need to look for yourself not been driven over.

Another sign of the urban area are the higher density of supermercados.

In VilaFranca de Xira, I needed to stop for that old factory and abandoned dwelling.

I walked around in the savaged garden. The buildings were some kind of strange. It reminded me of the series LOST.

I crossed under the huge bride
into the 1998 World Exposition area.

In the end, after 700km (no beer ;-( - I made it to Lisbon.

Villages and sunflowers

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I see a lot of older villages with picturesque houses now. Mostly white with yellow.

Unfortunately they are often in bad shape.

Many places invite me to rest in a bar. Every village has a bar. If the men do not sit outside, you will find some beer or coffee drinker inside. I continue to stop here and there.

I had my apricots direct from the tree (drive-through-style), saw wineyards
and huge fields of sunflowers.


This cycling day in Portugal has come to an end. I drink the wine and eat frutos do mar

Nice ride to Abrantes

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Today, I met Sean from Devon, GB. He started in Faro, at the Southern coast of Portugal and will ride his pushbike home.

Following the river Tejo is not like following a river in Central Europe. The road is not always close to the stream. It is more that the river and I am following the same direction. And I know that only from looking at the maps. Today I say him once, at the end, when I crossed over to the northern bank. 
The very try landscape changes slowly, I see more green now. 
My place for the night is the Youth Hostel of Abrantes. It's not exactly in the town center, but I like to visit them at least once on a trip.  

Rio Tejo

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Today, I crossed the biggest river of Portugal: Tejo. Its source is deep in Spain. I will somehow follow this stream until I reach Lisbon.

I met my first traveling cyclists. Always a happening. We stop and talk about the road condition, the weather, where to stay and the gear. Two Portuguese cyclists and a Dutch couple who where doing a big  round  in Portugal where also suffering in the heat.

I have plenty of time for the remaining 250km, so I called it a day after 50km and sat with the locals at the main plaza. The Beere that is been served here is good. And cheap. In the pub, the small bottle is only 0,75 €.

I am going to take my time on the remaining way with relaxing almoço (lunch break) wherever I am at noon.

Portugal

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breakfast: café con leche, zumo de naranja and the Müsli (I brought myself and hatd to mix with my miss-buy Yogurt with 0% (taste I guess)). 
At 8:15 it was still not hot, so I hat a couple of comfortable hours. 


The region is sparsely inhabited. Lots of olive trees and many pigs.

The border crossing to Portugal was unspectacular. I crossed the very basic 'bridge' and missed the Portuguese Flags. Not even a sign. Actually I have not seen any sign of the new country till I reached my destination for tonight, and that was about 65km.

Climbing up from the border, I hit temperature high-score for this trip.

The Portuguese People were helpful and very friendly

Extremadura

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After a great breakfast, I was ready to hit the last peak: Tornavacas.

From where I came, it was an easy climb. The downhill afterwards was spectacular.

The Valle del Jerte, is known for their cherries. I ate plenty of them. The best places are the ones, where you do not have to get off the bike to pick them. I could even get some drive-through-style without stopping.

So this is Extremadura. It is hot, but a little wind helps to stay halfway cold (not overheated).

After 116km I called it a day in Coria.




Sierra del Gredos

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I slept well the first night back in my tent. It seems that I was the only guest on the camping, so beside the lawn sprinkler and some dogs barking it was quite. I continued in the mountains, ups and downs, but no problem today. I passed  2600m peaks with little snow on the top. 
I like the area. Tomorrow, there will be a little more climbing, then I am back to more or less flat Spain. 

a hard day

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Into the mountains.
I have to say, it was a day with great weather and landscape. But especially the latter comes with a price. And now, sitting at the table at the campground, after a good dinner - it was all not so hard ... ;-)


The first 20km, I followed mostly an old Railway track next to a (storage) lake. This was flat.

It did start to climb just after the local man told me, it is more or less little up and down. After a minor climb at the beginning. It seems like the beginning was about 30km and counting.

The last 10km were for me very exhausting. If I would have find a place with a bed, I would have taken it, regardless of the price.

In the end, I found a nice campground and the owner made me the special bicyclist dinner.

On tour! Finally - and with my lugguage

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Today at 1pm, my bag with all my cycling and camping gear came. A parcel company delivered it to my hostel. What a happy moment!

It took me only 30 minutes to bring all the stuff to the correct position, where I expect it. My routine after many trips.

What a feeling seeing my trustful Fahrrad Manufaktur T900 in its travelling dress. I remember very well the moment in Villarica, Chile, when I wrote my favorite towns, I visited by bike on my black backrollers. The white marker has been faded away by the sun, but with some fantasy you can guess the names.

At home, I figured out the route for that trip mostly with Google Maps and ridewithgps.com. It looks good on paper (screen) but in reality, theses beautiful lines often are bad roads. No pavement is one thing, but sand and big holes are another.
The weather is great in summer in central Spain. Beautiful blue skies and sun. Sun! Lots of it! It was up to 35’ C. The weather forecast tells me that it may touch the 40'. I donormally cope…

Still in Madrid - waiting for my luggage

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Iberia Airlines could not find my lost bag, which has all my cycling gear. So I had to wait and prepare for at least one more night in Madrid. Just this time, I wanted not to sleep at the ground again. My bike is not up to cycling, as I cannot fully assemble it without my tools, especially these skews with a security lock. So, I took a train into town.

Finding a place to stay was my next adventure. The prices for hotel rooms where not as crazy as yesterday when the cheapest room was 500€ per night (no joke). The first hostel, I found downtown, was good. 30€ with shared bathroom is ok. Just after I fetched the bike from the airport, the owner "I am the boss"  had rent the room to another person and pushed me harsh out of his place. My next try was via booking.com. A room for 30€. Ok - booked. Just on the confirmation mail it says: "bunkbed in women room".

Thank you! Cancelling was possible - just for the full price. These a these days... Ok, I am not 19 years anymor…

Night at Madrid Airport

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the flight was good. An hour late, which made it 11:30pm, but as I have planned for camping the first new gut at a nearby campground- no problem. If you have a tent. At 1am, it was still in Frankfurt. My bicycle was here, but that was all. No tent - no camping. So, I grabbed my transport box and brought it to an unintended usage.

Now at the restaurant with the golden arc having breakfast and hoping for the luggage to arrive.

preparing...

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Still at home. Still one way of work ahead of me. But I am preparing.
Today, I prepared my bicycle. I will use the Europe-bike, the Fahrradmanufaktur T900, my faithful companion since 16 years.

I took a vacation of 14 days from my client, a bank in Frankfurt to inhale some of the being-out-in-nature and camping fresh air on the Iberian Peninsula.

The planned trip of about 800 km with some up and downs: Madrid to Lisbon.
This is the plan: