Our plans had always included three days in Lisbon with family. We had thought we would cycle in and out of the city. After researching it we decided there was no point. We would not cycle in the city, so why fight our way in and out? We decided to let the train take the strain. Concession tickets first class from Évora to Lisbon return were 17 Euro. What happened to the bikes? We arranged to leave them in our hotel’s ballroom no less until we returned from Lisbon.
So, we became tourists again!
And in passing, celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary in some style with my sister and her husband with a meal arranged by our daughter.
I used to be a purist about bike touring meaning only touring by bike, but Jacqui and micro-touring have taught me life’s too short for such dogmas. Get on your bike for sure, but variety is indeed the spice of life.
Lisbon was wonderful and we hardly scratched the surface. We will need to return.
I am reading Dan Kieran‘s, “The Idle Traveller” at the moment. It’s got me thinking. This is from the introduction by Tom Hodgkinson
“We all apply sticking plasters to our lives in the forms of booze, drugs, affairs, card games, various addictions, holidays, luxury hotels and travel ‘experiences’ in our efforts simply to cope. But the idle traveller, for better or for worse, rejects the sticking plaster and goes on a journey into the soul. If he glimpses hell on the journey, so be it. He will glimpse heaven as well. And after the long and arduous climb, the view will be superb.”
So, as we get ready for our month cycling in Spain and Portugal, why are we going? At one point we used to say we hoped to follow Anne Mustoe’s example of doing 50 miles a day, five days a week. We have always believed that a month on the bike would change us physically – for the better. After Jacqui’s accident we are not sure that will be possible. We will have to cycle yourselves fit again and take it easy at the start.
While planning day routes I have been trying to take us places with something to see and the chance that we might get to them with time and energy left to explore the sights. Not always easy when you have a final destination in mind and a more or less set date for return.
Now, maybe finding “The Idle Traveller” has been lucky. Perhaps we should go for the joy of the cycling yes, but at a gentle pace that will give us time to wander, look about us and just be together. Sounds like a promising starting out point.
A poster called Meg offers this helpful route to Lisbon via Spain from France.
If you cross the border using one of the passes in Navarra and approach Pamplona and take a line roughly through Pamplona, Calahorra, Soria, Segovia, Avila, Plasencia, Caceres, cross the border at La Codosera/Marco. Then Monforte, Avis, Mora, Coruche and ferry across to Lisbon from Montijo (three bikes carried free) then you will have travelled well.
via CTC Forum • View topic – has anyone done London to Lisbon.