11 Jun Municipal campgrounds and wild camping in Portugal
Day 86 – 87 ( 3/4 June 2013) – We arrive at the municipal campground in Monte Gordo,Portugal fairly early. Apparently, Portugal has several municipal campgrounds throughout, they may not have all the fancy facilities such as pools, supermarket, restaurants, etc… , but they have all the necessary facilities, such as showers and toilets (although they could just be squat toilets or may not have toilet seats). However, the campgrounds are usually clean, and the price is right!
Our campsite is located just across the street from the beach and the price is one of the best ones we have paid for camping so far. We like Portugal already!
To wind down from our ride, we go and get some beer and take a nice walk on the empty beach. This must be the best time of the year to enjoy the Portugal coast: the weather is good, the temperature is not too hot, the high season prices are not in effect yet, and we have the beach all to ourselves!
After a while of bumming around the beach we head back to our tent for the night.
The campground is pretty relaxing and we decide to stay for another night, so we can work on catching up with our blog before heading out.
After a down day, we break up camp and get some food supplies for the next few days. It looks like the next campground might be further away then anticipated, so we want to be prepared in case we need to wild camp somewhere.
From the coast we head straight north and into the plains of Portugal.
After several miles of riding, we figure, that somehow the name “plains” was missing something… maybe such as “plain-hot”, “plain-hilly”, “plain-windy”…but also “plain” beautiful.
The terrain has changed quite a bit: since it is very hot and dry in this area, we are surrounded by barren mountains, gold colored wheat fields with cork trees scattered all over.
Today must be one of the hottest days thus far. Since we are not accustomed to the heat anymore, we sweat a lot and fatigue fairly quickly. Also, the head wind is picking up more and more throughout the early afternoon, which does not help matters.
As we come across an abandoned old stone house, we get off the road to check it out and to have a bite to eat. Both of us feel tired and not really like riding anymore for the day, so we decide to hang out until dark and then set up camp close to the old house where nobody can spot us from the street, that is a few hundred feet away. We usually feel abandoned houses are a little creepy and do not think they make good wild camp spots because they seem to attract people to hang out. However, this one is so far out of town and there are no signs of anybody having been here recently, and the view from here is beautiful.
While waiting for sunset, the temperatures change drastically and the wind picks up significantly. After sweating all day, we need now extra clothing and have to put in more stakes for the tent to keep it secure. After a while we fall asleep anyway and do not hear the wind tearing on the tent anymore.
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