Day 2 of our cycle trip – Setabul to (via Troia ferry) Santiago 63km
Although it was only day 2, we were getting slick at sorting out our gear, preparing the maps and planning our next day. So it came as a bit of a surprise that we had cycled to the wrong ferry! Not to worry, the ferry that took bikes wasn’t too far away. Phew! As we approached our ferry, we noticed a large group of cyclists already waiting. As it turned out, we would get to know them a bit better as the day progressed. We were all heading to the same hotel but they were part of a guided tour so we didn’t want to intrude too much but there were several stops along the way to chat. The group was from America. Friends and acquaintances who decided to get together and enjoy a cycle in Portugal. This day was going to be a long cycle and as it turned out, it was also mostly on busy roads. Long and monotonous with no interesting viewpoints or quaint villages. Except for a well-needed pit stop at Praia de Comporta a beautiful white sand beach.
We’re pretty sure that we must have taken the wrong route at some point as there was no sign of the Americans for the last 15 km’s yet we all arrived at our hotel, Dom Nuno, roughly about the same time. We were able to secure our bikes in the bowels of the hotel, next to the laundry and we headed to our room. We entered our room and our initial reaction was a concern. It was a small room with a couch. Was this our bed? We inspected it to see if it folded out but then we noticed a door to another room, which we had initially thought was a door to a cupboard. We opened the door to reveal a huge bedroom and a large bed. It turned out that we had been given a small apartment. We decided not to question it just in case they had got it wrong. We then headed to the pool as soon as we could and met up with our Americans friends, who invited us to ‘happy hour’. This turned out to be their regular drinking session after a hard day’s cycle and they were very generous with their wine. It was nice to sit around with fellow cyclists and have a friendly chat. Rightly or wrongly, we had assumed that this would be the norm during our trip but as it turned out, this was the only day that we had company.
Later that evening, Aileen and I went for a stroll around the town looking for a restaurant. Unfortunately, most were either full or specialised in fish (which became a common theme over the next few nights). Eventually, after getting lost and getting nowhere in our search for a restaurant, we ended up walking past our hotel towards some supermarkets.
The next morning, at breakfast, the Americans informed us that they had had a lovely meal in a nice restaurant nearby.
‘’Where did you two end up?’’ they asked.
‘’LIDL’s and back to our posh apartment with a salad and milkshake!’’ we replied rather sheepishly.