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.

Back to Spain

By Stuart Lowe on

David and I were off by 9.15am. We kept a fast pace up for the next couple of hours before stopping to buy (and eat) some jicy oranges from a roadside stand. Then we rode to the border and caught the ferry over the river. I think David was happy to be back in Spain after 12 days. He had cycled 1142 km and the entire coast of Portugal.

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Riding into Vila Real de Santo António

The ferry was reasonable €3.50 (they charge for bicycles) and we saw big jellyfish in the river as we crossed.

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Leaving Portugal.

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Jellyfish in the river

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Ayamonte

Back on Spanish soil we headed on. We were immediately faced with a 20% gradient hill which was tough after a few days of gentle roads. We raced on to Lepe where David was meeting a friend who had driven down to give him a lift home. They were going to have a couple of days break first. We shared beers at a bar in the centre and then said our farewells. It has been really nice to share the last day or so with David. I think he is planning a much longer trip in the future. Perhaps we'll meet again on the road some day.

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Lepe

I lost an hour crossing the border. I prefer to think of it as giving back the hour I was given when entering Portugal. I updated one of my phones but forgot the other.

I was now riding on alone. At the next town I visited a Carrefour and then sat eating food for an hour. Eventually I realised my phone I'd been checking for the time was an hour out and I really needed to move on. Back into the fierce heat I cycled after applying more suncream.

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Love laught

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Arriving in Huelva

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The cycle lane into Huelva

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Imposing statue south of Huelva

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I crossed a bridge that Google maps didn't think I could (but there was no sign banning me) to ride by the port.

I reached the campsite in Mazagón just before sunset as has become the norm in the last week. It was €7 and was really popular. The first spot I tried to pitch my tent was awful. Just under a surface of loose sand was concrete. Tent pegs don't work in those conditions.