Day 4: Carrapateria to Lagos via Cabo de S. Vicente, Portugal

The lighthouse at the End of the World

Today was the shortest and windiest day of this tour. It was the day I reached my first routing point: Cabo de Saint Vicente - the southwestern most place in Europe - and the first day of this tour that I rode with other tourists

This morning, at breakfast, I discover that not one, but two of the three couples staying at the pension in Carrapateria were bicycle tourists! I had noticed two pairs of bike in the courtyard, but assumed they belonged to the pension. They were not touring bikes, but older road bikes with racks and fenders. This morning I discovered that one pair belong to a Dutch touring couple and the other to a German couple. The remaining couple was British and on a round the world air - boat -car tour. He has pretty bad Parkinsons, so they can't bicycle tour. An impressive group of folks.

Getting ready to leave - the British man carrying stuff to the car an the Dutch woman running back to get something for her loaded bike

When we finished breakfast, the German couple rode off first, and I waited and rode off with the Dutch couple. They were concerned that they would slow me down, but their pace turned out to be well matched to mine. They only ride for a few hours a day, covering 30 or 40 km. I ride for perhaps three times as long, but at the same pace, so we had a very nice time riding together today.

My new friends at a cafe in Sagres where we stopped for coffee.

And riding up a long hill on the way to Sagres

Here we have caught up with the German couple just as we first see the ocean ahead of us

We rode to Vila do Bispo, which is on the way to Sagres, to get some cash at an ATM. We caught up with the German couple just before reach Vila do Bispo and they stayed there while we rode on to Sagres. At Vila do Bispo, N268 joins N125 which has great shoulders. The remaining five miles into Sagres were smooth and fast with a tail side/wind and a smooth shoulder wide enough for two bikes to ride abreast.

It looks peaceful, but this road has windsocks and they have all been shredded by the wind!

We stopped for coffee when we reached Sagres, then found a pension for my friends where they left their bags, then found a supermarket to buy bread, cheese and fruit for lunch. I also bought a yogurt drink since, by the time we got to shopping, I was starving! Finally, we rode to Cabo du S. Vicente.

Looking east at Sagres from the westernmost point

Looking north up the coast

After enjoying the view, we found a sheltered spot to eat. Then the wind got even stronger - there were white caps on the ocean - and changed direction a bit so that our shelter became windy and we were sprinkled with sand. After eating, we walked east from the light house to take some more photos. The wind was so strong we could not go near the cliffs for fear of getting blown over. It was a long way down to the water!

The ride back to Sagres was rough, with strong gusty head/cross winds. I said goodbye to my friends when we reached the roundabout where the east-west Sagres-S. Vicente meets the north-south in-out road. I headed north for Vila do Bispo where N125 turns east towards Lagos. They will be riding here tomorrow or the next day. I'll be in Spain in two days.

After an hour or two of riding into the wind on the excellent, if hilly, N125, I rode into Lagos. It is a long way down into town and some of the traffic reminded me of Lisbon, but I made it to the Turismo office and they directed me to a good pension in the old town. It is 25 Euro for a room with a nice bathroom. The only problem was that the 'garage' for my bike is down a steep set of stairs, so I had to take all of the bags off my bike and, my bad, I broke the rear fender getting it into its 'parking place.' I also broke my mirror today when I dropped my helmet in Sagres. I've already fixed both things with Goop.

After resting and cleaning up, I walked up the street to an internet cafe, but was unable to upload my web pages or ride reports. I did do some email, but, in the middle of that, I lost the connection to my university, so I gave up. Then I wandered around for a while and had a, very good, falafel for supper.

Lagos is supposed to be one of the hot spots in Portugal - a major party town - but I'd rather be in Lisbon . Of course, by the time the action starts around here, I'll be asleep...

The view out my window of The Gold Church, a Lagos landmark

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