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.

Speeding along the lagoon

By Stuart Lowe on

Dawn is now earlier on clock time so I was able to see what I was doing as I had breakfast. It was still misty outside though and I couldn't leave until the campsite lady opened the gate for me at 9am. As I waited I heard gunshots from beyond the walls of the campsite. The mist and gunshots combined with the deserted, high-walled, compound with barbed wire added to the feeling I was in a post apocalyptic, zombie-infested, world.

On leaving I was wished "bon voyage" in French and I ventured onto the cobbled roads. I suspect someone high up in the Portugeuse government owns shares in a cobblestone company. So many of the roads are cobbled. It looks nice but vibrates my entire body and bike.

On the main road I noticed there were a lot of cyclists out riding.

landscape
Morning mist

My route took me more away from the coast than I'd have liked but the closer road to the coast was the motorway (or probably cobbled paths).

I arrived in Porto around lunchtime. I dodged the people asking tourists for money and met two Dutch people who are sailing from the Netherlands to New Zealand. They have Bromptons with them for exploring the land.

landscape
Porto

landscape
Se do Porto

landscape
Duoro river

landscape
Porto and Gaia

landscape
Boats on the Aveiro lagoon.

I cycled 28 kph flat out for an hour from Ovar to make a ferry that it turned out wouldn't take bicycles. There was a local older lady with a bicycle who was clearly even more annoyed than me about that. We had to wait an hour and a half for the next car ferry. My main concern was that it would mean I was cycling in the dark on the other side as the sun would be setting.

landscape
Taking the evening ferry over from São Jacinto

landscape
The sun was setting as I got off the ferry

Thanks to an old colleague from Manchester, Valério, for hosting me in Aveiro at short notice. We went to a fish restaurant and had some local cod-based dish which was very tasty. It was almost a whole day's budget but I should sample "the local seafood dishes that the Atlantic coast has to offer" at least once.