Tuesday 14 July 2015

Day 1, Lisbon to Sintra

It was really hard to leave Lisbon, there is too much to see, so many picturesque corners, so many interesting alleyways taking you up to hidden lovely places, and incredible viewpoints.

After two days enjoying the city and meeting up with great friends, who treated us to an amazing local dinner at Cafe Lisboa we re-built the bicycles only to realise that Richard's seatpost bolt had snapped. It was already early evening and most shops had shut... Thanks to google smart technology we found the closest bicycle shops, all closing at 7:30. We ran towards 'Build my bike' and luckily it was still open, although the owner weighed us up to see if we were time-wasters or not. We showed him the post ring, with the snapped bolt still in it. Miguel looked at it and confirmed he did not have the exact one, he needed to see the bike. He opened again at 11:00. I think our looks of desperation worked some magic so he agreed to wait for Richard to run back the hotel to bring the bike and test the ring.
45 mins later we left the shop, seat post fixed. Miguel was sooo kind to wait, he told us some of his adventures as an underwater photographer and showed us the bike he bought from a tourist he'd completely rebuilt. As we walked the bike back to the hotel, a cyclist rode past, ringing his bell. Miguel finally on his way home!

Next day bright and early we left Lisbon, after cycling underneath the impressive bridge - a Portuguese 'Golden Gate'. We stopped at Belem to taste the best ever Paisteis de Belem, still warm from the oven: a sweet goodbye.

We took the N6 along the coast pretty much all the way to Estoril and stopped for lunch at the picturesque Cascais. We continued along the coast to Praia do Gincho, and stopped for a coffee and a windy dip in the wild Atlantic. Not really safe for swimming but a kite surfing paridise. Hard on the cyclist as the road near the beach has been taken over by the sand and the wind from the sea makes it even harder to go up the hill.

We followed the N247 around towards Sintra surrounded by the smell of pine and rosemary, a gradual climb up but nothing too difficult

Sintra main square

Sintra view from the square
praia Gincho
Paisteis de Belem

Sintra square detail

Lisbon Golden Gate

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