Cycling the Atlantic coast of Europe from north to south during the summer of 2017. View the archive, the route so far, or donate to MSF.

Escaping Sines

By Stuart Lowe on

I. Am. So. Tired. Of. Navigating.

I just wanted to curl up by the side of the road and cry today. By midday I had only gone 31 km and some of that was going the wrong way. I had far more to cover this afternoon and this evening. It isn't really my legs that are the problem; it is my head. I'm so tired of everything. I'm at "mile 17" of a marathon. A marathon that has been 114 days long so far.

landscape
Ferry from Setúbal

landscape
Dunes north of Comporta

landscape
The first #eurovelo1 sign I've seen since, I think, France. Blink and you miss it.

Getting to Sines was going to be interesting. I'd been warned by Antonio yestrday.

The road started to look more serious. Then, about 15 kilometres out, it turned into a motorway with a "no pedestrians, bikes etc" sign. Why? There was no need for it. There were virtually no vehicles on it. Perhaps it gets busier in the summer. I found there was an un-signed road next to this empty motorway. I passed a couple of cyclists going in the opposite direction. On the outskirts of Sines there was more dodging motorways. I stopped at the Intermarche to get food for later.

landscape
Empty road by the almost empty motorway

Now I had to leave Sines. Easier said than done. I followed my GPS. But I was tired and I forgot to do the checking of what roads it had picked. They degraded into a track. Well, it shouldn't be for too long by the looks of it. The rough tracks were supposed to take me out of Sines but it turned out someone had blocked my road with another stupid motorway. There was much cursing of the people who did that. Why is Sines motorway obsessed? A man in a clapped out car stopped on the washboard track and told me to follow him to the roundabout. He sped off. I reached the roundabout. I couldn't go on the needless 1.5 km of motorway class road. On the other side I found a washboard track that wasn't on any of my maps. I followed it. It took me back to the point I'd got to 20 minutes ago but on the south side. The motorway had clearly sliced this road in two. Now I could escape though. So long Sines. I won't be back.

landscape
Trying to escape from Sines this evening

landscape
Racing to reach Porto Covo before the sun set.

I reached the youth hostel as the sun set. Again. It was more expensive than I would have liked but it saved putting a tent up in the dark. There were also some nice people staying there including Jana from Australia who hasn't really experienced winyer since 2014. She works the Australian summer then has the European summer to explore. I think that is great.