April 2, 2019 - Zambujeira do Mar to Vila Nova de Milfontes - Some More Portugal: Not Just Kicking the Tires (Tour 18) - 2019 🇵🇹 - CycleBlaze

April 2, 2019 - Zambujeira do Mar to Vila Nova de Milfontes

Beaches, windmill and meeting an organized cycle tour group

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Soldavila, €33, no breakfast

Where in the world is this bicycle tour taking me? Once again, this was a day that was almost car-free. I could almost have cycled along with my eyes closed on the wrong side of the road and been ok. Other than going off at the next corner.

Today's breakfast was different than the norm, in that rather than gathering in a common breakfast room, the food was already in or on the fridge for the most part, and then the staff hung a little bread bag on the door with a couple of traditional Portuguese bread rolls.

When the bread arrived, I was almost fully packed. I ate what I wanted, packed the rest to bring, including a sandwich to have somewhere along the road if I got hungry at all. This being said, by around 8:20 am I was rolling along under partly cloudy skies and about 13 C. Perfect in my opinion.

Eurovelo 1 followed along endless greenhouses and orchards once again, and always away from the busier roads. A number of times it was even on limestone gravel with eucalyptus and/or pine trees hanging overtop like a big green canopy.

A stop along the road to remove my coat and re-hydrate with electrolytes. -- Near Almograve, Portugal
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Roadside stop to remove my jacket and re-hydrate with some juice and electrolyte drink. -- Near Almograve, Portugal
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I rolled into the village of Almograve when something started to kind of ring in the back of my mind. Sure enough when I got to the tiny centre, there were signs for the praia (beach) so I decided to swing off of my gps track. About a km or two straight west, up over huge sand dunes and there before me was yet another stunningly beautiful beach that stretched in both directions. I could see one person making his way back in to shore. I think this area is known for it surfing waves.

Under a gazebo overlooking the beach and cliffs was a couple from Netherlands. He had noticed my sunglass-mounted mirrors (he has one, too) and started to ask me about my tour. He and his wife had bikes strapped to their holiday motor home and he said he has done some little tours in the past, too.

Though this was a slight detour off my route, I had heard that this beach was worth a gander. -- Almograve, Portugal
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Moments after this photo was taken, along came an organized cycling tour of about 25 Americans. I chatted with them for a while - nice bunch. They were riding from Lisbon to the Algarve and to the Spanish border. - Near Almograve, Portugal
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I continued on my way, but stopped for a photo moment at one of the traditional windmills. Just after packing up my camera, I could see a cyclist arrive at the windmill, then another, then another, and all of a sudden there were about 25 of them. Their Portuguese leader waved and said hello and then many of the group did, too.

They are a group of Americans who are touring with a sag wagon. Very friendly, it was pleasant to chat with some other cyclists. They seemed to enjoy meeting a Canadian, too!

For the first time, now, a headwind started to pick up. It wasn't very strong, but it was there. But I was almost to my destination so it did not really matter.

I knew I was close as I crossed the river bridge just before town. There were beautiful views along the river to town and its sand dune beaches. A few moment later, and one roundabout turn and I was rolling into town on a main street. It was still kind of early, and since I had not eaten as much breakfast, I stopped for a little snack before continuing down the road to the accommodations.

The place is really nice, and the host showed me a safe place to store the bike in his own courtyard. There is a nice terrace with a lemon tree hanging over top. The room is large, clean and just what I need!

My destination in the distance as I crossed the river on a really long and high bridge. -- Vila Nova de Milfontes, Portugal
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I wanted to see what the Atlantic beaches here were like so once settled into my room I headed out to the point where the Mira River meets the ocean. Before reaching the point, a path through the very soft and squishy sand veers off of the sidewalk and meanders off into the sand dunes. It took energy to get through the sand, but the end result was magnificent... yet again. Big waves pounding up to the beach where in places it was pure golden sand, and in others was very black undulating rock much like yesterday. The beach was crescent-shaped and for such a great spot, I could only see one couple way down the beach at the other end. Otherwise deserted.

I climbed up the hill to walk along the cliff and eventually got to the river-ocean junction point where again there was sandy beach in spots, large rounded rocks in others and then other spots with volcanic rock that must have bubbled up from beneath zillions of years ago and has been gradually eroded by the pounding seas.

In the area with the smoothed stones, there were dozens of inukshuks. What better place to snap a picture of Pookie but with a bunch of Portuguese inukshuks along a beautiful beach? Sadly, it was done with my camera so I won't be able to post the shot for Alex to see while I am away.

I had to empty all of the sand from my shoes then wandered back to town alongside the river and past the castelo. I wanted a little snack, so stopped in a really busy little cafe called 18 e Piques where I had a glass of red wine and some type of pastry with raspberries. It was good but maybe I should have ordered a salad. People around me had done so and they looked really good. I didn't ask them for a bite!

After returning to the room for a snooze, I researched and found a little seafood restaurant just down the side street from here and right on the riverside, À Fateixa. The TA rating was pretty good, though there were a few comments about some staff being somewhat unfriendly.

Well, I got the unfriendly one. It was not that she was mean or especially rude, but she didn't look anyone in the eye, and kind of hurried through her work. It kind of set the wrong tone. I asked her if there were any specials and she said the squid cooked in onions. It came with boiled potatoes (kind of like Yukon Gold), a sweet potato, and the typical salad of lettuce, onion and tomatoes. Overall it was good, but certainly not the best meal I have had.

I wandered along the riverside for some evening photos as the sun was setting and casting an orange glow on everything. I used my digicam and not my tablet so I will post them once I am home. It was getting cold out, with a forecast low of 9 C, so I zipped back to the room and ended the day.

Today's ride: 32 km (20 miles)
Total: 207 km (129 miles)

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