76.37km – 9H44’
Since yesterday we are in the region of the Beira Coast, and today we enter the region of Estremadura. Portugal is divided in several regions and each region has several districts which are the same as French departments. The country has 18 districts.
After km9, at Carriço, we turn onto a road surrounded by pine trees. The surface leaves a lot to be desired, with many of potholes so the vehicles go dead slow but it’s so tranquil that it doesn’t bother: we are not in a hurry. The big sand dunes, covered in pines, prevent us from getting a look at the sea until we reach Praia de Vieira, where we see the surging Atlantic in spite of beautiful weather and little wind.
Sergio, his nickname when he is happy, is glad to find the calm but very quickly demands rain upon us: I don’t eat madeleines with my rice pudding, do you have a friend who works for Total because the motor is running. I would like my camera, no, I no longer want it, I would like my music. In short, as long as Serge talks and has demands it means his morale is high and we prefer to see him like that than with his head lowered and not saying anything.
Brigitte and Roger went to the supermarket to shop and then they went for a walk on the beach at Figueira Da Foz before joining us at km48 and offering us toast and pancakes with ham. The site is grandiose at San Pedro de Muel, without any doubt the most beautiful seaside scenery that we will see because tomorrow we leave the coast. At this time of year the route that follows the coast is deserted and what is more, Serge has the comfort of a cyclist’s path that allows him to relax his attention.
Brigitte and Roger each take a turn at refueling, always in a good mood.
At km 70 we enter Nazaré where there was a surfing championship last weekend.
At km 76.37 we stop the vehicles, because it wasn’t feasible to stop earlier to be at the exact spot of km 76.02 (smile!!!). More seriously, Serge clocked 4000km at the end of the stage, the fastest 1000 km since he began.
Fair wind! It’s an expression that I often read in the e-mails.
This evening we stop at a camping site which was easy to find, even in the off season. At the reception desk the personnel speak fluent French, Spanish; naturally Portuguese and they claim to speak a little English. Portugal is undeniably a European country where languages are important and we understand better that in previous times, this small country, which represents only 15% of the Iberian peninsula, set out to conquer the new world. From Africa to South America, from India to China (Macao was returned to the Chinese in 2001 but before that it was a Portuguese territory), the Portuguese navigators sailed the seas to discover all the continents, thereby opening navigation lanes no one had previously dared to take.
In another area, culinary, supermarkets are full of salt cod, stacked in piles on the shelves. Roger has taken a picture of it today.
Tomorrow: San Martinho do Porto – Caldas da Rainha – Bombarral – Torres Vedras – Mafra - Terrugem
Town : Quinta Nova (district de Leira)
GPS : N°39.56776° W009.06863°