April 9, 2019 - Almada to Lisboa - Some More Portugal: Not Just Kicking the Tires (Tour 18) - 2019 🇵🇹 - CycleBlaze

April 9, 2019 - Almada to Lisboa

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Residence Metreo-Alameda, CAD$57, no breakfast

I would have to say that when I woke up this morning I was happy to be on my way. The staff had been nice here, the place was clean... but there was a shared bathroom for a number of people, and at one point I had to wait for some time to use it. Worse, the bed was saggy and old and was pretty uncomfortable all night. If they were just starting out with their business, I can give them a bit of slack. The place is in a neat spot and near the ferry. BUT, if they have been running for a while... they need to have much better beds than that.

Suffice to say, since there was no breakfast here, by 7:30am I was out the door and down the stairs and rolling on the cobblestone to the ferry dock, about two minutes away. Oh, no, I thought, as I rounded the corner and saw the dock area. The waiting area for the ferry was packed with people. And there were more streaming from buses and back streets to get into line, too.

I headed over to get into line, and just as I got there, I noticed people pouring out of the ferry, which meant it was just about to board. Well, wasn't that good timing! Though there were people everywhere, I just followed along. The ferry was packed, but happily, there was one empty slot left just inside the door so I slipped into it with my bike and we were away.

I am one who likes boats, and I like water. That being said, the boat was packed with people. They had slid all of the steel doors closed. It was really windy outside, thus the ride was really bouncy - kind of like a cork bobbing around a shaken glass of water. Thoughts of capsizing ferries in news stories danced in my head. If anything happens, I can see why so many people are in trouble. There would be chaos. Not a fun ride across.

Fortunately, I survived the crossing, waited for people to get out of my way, then rolled out of the boat to the Cais do Sodre ferry terminal. I initially hadn't been sure what I was going to do, but on arrival I decided on a little ride down along the estuary to Belém and the Monument to the Doscoveries. From there I was also close to the Tower of Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery. Though windy, it was a sunny and bright morning and there were some but not lots of walkers, joggers and cyclists out enjoying the weather. A super time for a ride here before it got too busy.

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I had come under the April 25th Bridge and knew the cycle tour company was there. I set my GPS to them and was happy I did. It was a really tricky and winding route, including having to walk my bike up several flights of stairs to cross the highway and tracks, then roll down the other side. Thankfully, there was a metal track for doing just this so you could roll the bike rather than bumping it up and down every step. Coming down was a bit tricky though since my tires just wanted to slide down the very slick track. I made it fine.

Finding the bike place was also a bit tricky, but find it I did. The staff were awesome. I arranged to have the bike box delivered to my guest house, told them a bit more of my tour, then set off for the guest house. Again, I had had a plan but changed it. Initially I was going to go back to the estuary bike path and roll to the Praça do Commercio then head up toward the Alameda Park area. As much as I love that, it is what I did the past two times I was here. Oh my goodness, was I about to try something new?

I wonder what would happen if... I just set the GPS to the guest house and set off. Totally new views of the city with a lot of climbing, it was beautiful. I made the climbs without having to dismount. The weather held out. There was plenty of traffic but it was fine and I was always given enough room. Since it was a totally different way, I was quite surprised to turn at an intersection only to realize that I had arrived at my guest house.

Lucky again, I buzzed in and was able to come inside with my gear. The room was not ready but they let me sit in the kitchen area to type and sort out the box and the airport. At 1:30 pm along came Miguel with my bike box. In no time at all the bike and some gear was in the box, I had it strapped onto my cart and set off for the Alameda metro stop. I took the Metro to the airport and left the box at the left luggage counter until I pick it up on Thursday before my flight.

After all that zipping around I was kind of tired so came back to my room. I was also hungry so checked in with TA but found the place that MA and I went to two years ago is not open until tomorrow. I did find that there is a Nepali Curry restaurant just on the other side of the Alameda. The staff were friendly and helpful, and helped me to choose a lamb and spinach dish, with rice and salad. It was delicious.

I wanted to come back to my room, rest a while before heading out to wander the city. Famous last words.

Today's ride: 22 km (14 miles)
Total: 435 km (270 miles)

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