Two Queen stages
In a bicycle race like the Tour de France, the Queen stage is the killer, the one that decides the winner.
I'm up about 7:30, have strawberries. fiber cereal and handle the email.
I went out Tuesday morning the same way I had gone Sunday and Monday on Huw Thomas's route. I carried the binocular today and stopped to do a lot of birding before lunch.
There are lots of palm trees. Note how the leaves are cut so only the top ones remain.
Also saw two groups of riders. One was 3 man and I was able to chase them for a few 100 meters but they turned off my route. Then as I was off the bike birding 2 old men my age road by going the wrong way, though one had a slower type bike.
I got to Sao Joao where I ate lunch about 11:30. Yesterday I had a grilled chicken. Today ham and cheese. Usually a wine and a beer. It was woman's day in Portugal so all my normal 60 year old women were at the taverna but also some new 30 year olds. One crazy one with incense and putting red dots on the women's forheads.
After lunch I repeated by path of Tuesday and Monday down to the N125 main road. This time, as yesterday, took a right but went all the way out to a town Villa de Bispo. I did ride with a couple and they talked to me but I could only hold their wheel for 1/4 mile as they went into Bispo. I was too tired and had to stop to regain breath and they were not to be found in the town.
I now turned around and headed back toward Lagos on the N125. After a few miles, I turned right and went down to the coast to explore the town of Salema.
Below are the actual streets. I walked most of them. Riding on the cobbles is too hard.
Now I am off to Boca Rio where I was yesterday,
Salema and Boca Rio are separated by a steep Hill. This is a picture of the sign warning of 20% grade. I had to walk down!!
Now I am down in Boca Rio and will have to climb out the other side, heading for Lagos.
I had just started riding again after walking the 17% big hill of yesterday out of Boca Rio when a man comes by huffing and puffing so I take off after him. I can't catch him but at least he is insight and then a woman and man pass me, I can hold onto them and they catch the guy in front. When they arrive he is telling them about a man he just passed who yelled "All Right" which is what I normally say when surprised by someone blowing by me. So I hear this and can say "I am that man".
I ride with them all the way back to Lagos. In the town of Luz, they head right down to the beach and sit down in a cafe for coffee. Some of the approach to this part of town is on cobbles where I get off and walk and fall behind out of sight. I finally find them and just have water. When we leave, they take me up a great short cut through a golf course. It is VERY steep and the one man encourages and guides me up. I make a lot of noise when I am climbing beyond my limits. He has to ask, " are you alright". Luckily, I usually recover pretty quickly.
There is yet another hill I can't get up without walking and they have to wait for me. I go to their apartment building in Lagos and take their picture. The woman is big time triatholon. Did Chicago tri this year and has done NY marathon. She and her husband have given up drinking as part of training so I have to be careful about my favorite topic of conversation. They are off to ride north from Bispo tomorrow. I won't ride with them but I will go to the same area.
I was later than usual getting home. Shower and out by 6pm? Belgium beer with Valentina then on to tapas bean dish,
At the Tapas place, the Paris couple I had dinner with the night before were just finishing up a wine so I talked to them. They were going back the same restaurant we had dinner in last night!
I tried a number of places after Tapas but nothing stuck. Tam had the night off and there was a man behind her bar so I just went back to Valentina for a drink. Baffi Bar has a branding with a mustache. Valentina says it comes from an Italian phrase that is in this collage in many languages on their wall,
But what exactly is the phrase? It is written in english on the inside circle of the above picture. I can read a lot of it and I got the rest from the facebook page. "So good to lick one's mustache. This Italian expression means that you are tasting something so good that you lick your lips to waste not even a little bit of it
In my photo, part of the words are covered up by the mustaches that are in a pitcher on the bar! As you see in the photo below, Valentina holds one up in front of her face as branding whenever she gets her picture taken.
The theme is all over the facebook page.
And then home to watch Hercule Poirot episode and bed.
Tuesday I started with the normal strawberries and cereal and email.
Got out at like 9:30? I Went the way the tri athletes from yesterday had shown me to get down to Boca Rio, through the golf course, staying south of N125.
One never knows what a route is like in reverse, but it was fine and I did not have to walk at all. I did follow a couple on bikes, pulled up along side and said it was colder today but they did not speak English so I stayed on my route as they pulled off. Too bad, in that they rode nice and slowly!
At Boca do Rio there is a bridge over a small stream where I have talked to birders. Got off, rested, watched birds there.
This is one of my favorite resting places. In the picture picture above, you can see a road heading up the hill. That is the 20% grade from Salema that I walked down yesterday.
A little further on, I started to see lots of riders. As I headed up to the N125 and onto my lunch at Villa do Bispo, I saw 30? riders, all individual, going fast. They were heading to the beach at Boca do rio. I did not bother to investigate.
As I road out of Boca Rio, I did take this picture and wondered what it was?
Along N125 I took a new parallel route on what had to have been the previous main road. Nice to be off the traffic for a mile or so. At Bispo, there was a tourist couple sitting at one of the tavernas with a dog so I got a wine and chatted them up. German in a camper. They do not pay to park. 4 days from Cologne, will stay a couple weeks and hope to come back in Oct for 6 months. He delivers buses in Africa and is just back from Mali where he made the money for this trip. They will move around in the Algarve during this stay.
Had octopus salad and a selfie in the restaurant next door and then off to the end of Portugal, Sagres. Fast trip down 8k with the wind at my back, 1.5Euro to get into the fort and take pictures of the light house and surfers,
On the way home I take a couple shots to document the old road that runs along the N125 and how to get on and off it.
And then one last stop at my bridge before the trudge home.
It is against the wind back to Bispo and a very slow trip home. I had to walk up the 3 hills. I wanted to be back at like 4pm as Tam was only working the noon-6 shift. As I laid out the return trip goals and missed them, it looked like I would get home as late as 5 but made it. Maybe 50 miles?
Shower and off to Tam's and learned a little more about how her bigger dog had to stay in a Kennel last year in Lisbon and had all kids of vet problems afterward. Tonight is Karaoke at the bar and Tam says the Russians (russian owner) will show up in force. On to a beer with Valintina, then check out the 2 Portuguese restaurants, second one has more people so go in to Restaurante D. Henrique, order, and the couple from Paris show up again and I eat with them. They feel they told me they were coming here and I am stalking them but it was not conscious!. It was very good, maybe the best so far. When I later got to Lighthouse, the Karaoke had not started so I had one drink and left, stopped with Valentina for a beer on the way home and then another PBS type mystery on the TV.