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Peter Gostelow

Adventure cycling

Photo Story: Portugal

Following the coast south from Lisbon I had company on the road for a week in Portugal. As the owner of a cycle touring company I let him make the decisions about route-planning, which encompassed the best of southern Portugal’s regions. In late October the sea was at its warmest and the daytime temperatures pretty much perfect for touring. This picture was taken in the bustling port of Setubal, and looking back in my handwritten journal this is part of what I wrote on that day.

Setubal Port

Setubal Port by Peter Gostelow

South of Lisbon the fishing town of Setubal provides a lively atmosphere for the first time visitor

26/10/09 ‘Slow start to the day. Thick sea mist. Don’t leave till 10am. Sun burns through and for late October it’s very warm. Follow coastal road – quieter than expected – some small climbs uphill on rough terrain. Views over sea spectacular. End up beside beach for lunch; beautiful sandy cove – clear waters – practically nobody on the beach. Martin wildly excited. We swim before taking shower in nearby restaurant and then lunch. Ends up costing 22 Euro – quite annoying. Martin has poor control with money. I explain that it’s beyond my budget so we self-cater later. Don’t get back on road from this beach stop until mid-afternoon. Reach town of Setubal – lot of activity beside port. Buy pasta and tuna (tinned!) for dinner before taking ferry across Sado River. Already getting dark around 5pm. Road on other side follows narrow peninsula – coast on either side – flat – quiet. Plan is to wild camp beside beach, but difficult to follow track – too sandy. End up beside a bar/restaurant and set up camp on beach decking of a bar that’s closed. Head to bar/restaurant after eating – plan being to have 1 drink – ends up being 5, including food. It’s all paid for by slightly eccentric woman (mid 40s?) who is the owner. She’s Portuguese and seems to take to both of us – website and my journey helps as does Martin explaining what I’m doing. This would never happen if I rolled into a random pub/restaurant in England! Night doesn’t end till 1am. Waves crashing on beach very strong – still great place to sleep in front of ocean’

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