March 27, 2019 - Old Town Faro and Some Last Moment Bike Adjustments - Some More Portugal: Not Just Kicking the Tires (Tour 18) - 2019 🇵🇹 - CycleBlaze

March 27, 2019 - Old Town Faro and Some Last Moment Bike Adjustments

Getting fed up and bikeworthy

Story Guest House, Faro €34.20, breakfast included

A great night's sleep, I already seem adjusted to the new time. A simple but decent breakfast was served so I ate it on the bright but cool terrace adjacent to the kitchen - bread, cheese, meat, yogourt and other stuff which I didn't have. Portuguese breakfast.

Beside the marina just down from my guest house and around the corner from MTB Algarve bicycle shop. -- Faro, Portugal
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My front brake was giving me a hard time and not reacting well, so thinking there must be a rusty or dirty cable, I went out in search of a nearby cycling shop. MTB Algarve was about a three minute walk away and as it turns out, I came right past it on my way in last evening. For a mere €5 they supplied me with a new cable and a housing which I quickly installed when I returned to the room. I also decided to work on the rear tire again as it just does not seem to be seated properly so has a warp to it. I deflated-twisted-inflated a few times until it seemed to be acceptable. Really, though, I won't know til I am rolling tomorrow.  It wouldn't hurt me or the bike but would be none too comfy for the 40 km or so to Albufeira.

Park and gate into the Old City. -- Faro, Portugal
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I wanted to enjoy the day while there was still the softer morning light so headed out and toward the seaside and the Old City castle, walls and Cathedral. Quite a beautiful area, again, many of the older buildings within the walls seemed abandoned. Hopefully they will become future guest houses as have many of Europe's old city centres. It was not particularly late and I was not particularly hungry but I kept seeing restaurants everywhere. I finally succumbed to temptation.

There are restaurants everywhere, so the first one near my Guest House that served some type of seafood as a daily special I stopped and walked in. My choice was Dois Irmãos, Praca Ferreira de Almeida no 15. I tried the local specialty dish of cuttlefish and potatoes in a tomato sauce (€8.50 plus 50 cl Super Bock Sabor Autentico lager €4). Dessert was half of a Milka double cocoa bar - now a tradition to my European visits.

Dois Irmãos restaurant for cuttle fish stew. -- Faro, Portugal
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Lunch is served. Cuttle fish stew and Super Bock. I asked about a microbrewed beer but there was none to be had. -- Faro, Portugal
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While snacking on my Milka down on a park bench by the marina, along came a touring cyclist. When I asked he said he spoke english (he is German) so I asked if he was touring along EV 1  - yes, he is, and told me that it is not well-marked, though, and I should have a GPS (which I do) but that to this point, it has been fabulous in Portugal. Most of the path is crushed limestone and meanders through beautiful terrain. He started in Gibraltar and to this point has experienced no rain. He is heading another 15 km west of Faro today and is camping, so I likely will not meet up with him again.

I wandered through the winding old streets again until I returned to my room for a wee rest. I have been excited to ride, but after seeing the other cycle tourist, I am even more anxious to get going. Time to get a steppin'!

This just donned on me. We all know how the olfactory part of the brain interacts with our oldest memories. This morning when I went outside, I could smell something vaguely familiar. It was a fragrance. A nice fragrance. A floral fragrance. A sweet fragrance. A fragrance that was touching some old pleasant memories, though I couldn't figure out when, where or what. Until I looked up into one of the trees that lined every street everywhere I walked. Then I clued in when I saw the oranges dangling from the upper branches. And then saw the trees filled with orange blossoms. The fragrance that was permeating everywhere was orange blossom. Whether this was a memory from my family's trip to Portugal in 1982, the trip to Spain with my sister in 2001, my life-changing cross-Europe cycle-trek in 2003 or more recent trips to Spain and Portugal... the fragrance made me happy. Plain, simple, unadulterated happiness.

I wasn't really hungry but I found that there was a small tapas place just up the street and it was highly rated on Tripadvisor, Mercearia São Pedro. It sounded like a pleasant family-run place. So I went.

I was very pleased. I asked the woman (owner and cook) what she suggested and she recommended something she had created herself - a combination of orange, sardine, tomato and caramelized onions on a slice of crusty bread. Weird, I know, but wow, it was really good. That and a wee glass of red Alentejo wine. This woman and her husband own and operate the place and their kids (17 and 15) help out as well. It has been operating for two years and has a rating of 5/5 on TA.

Still early, I headed down to the harbour to listen to a busker playing a guitar and singing, took a few evening photos, but I hadn't taken my coat and it was getting a bit cool outside, so I returned to my room. A last minute dash was to the grocery store for a bottle of electrolyte drink for tomorrow. I have a pile of MRE drinks, but no bottle in which to make them. I'm ready now.

So, tomorrow the riding starts. I have permission from the guest house staff to help myself to breakfast food, so if I am awake enough, I hope to hit the road as close to 6:30 am as I can which is about when the sun rises.

Today's ride: 2 km (1 miles)
Total: 8 km (5 miles)

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Steve Miller/GrampiesExcited with you to be starting your ride tomorrow. Hapoy trails.
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3 years ago
Brent IrvineTo Steve Miller/GrampiesThank you. Being back on the bike after this hiatus is a really big deal.
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3 years ago