06 Jun Creeping along…, nice people giving us directions, and finally in Portugal!
Days 83 – 85 (31 May- 2 June 2013) – Apparently, we are not very successful in avoiding big cities because to get from our campsite toward the Portugal border we have to ride all the way through Seville anyway.
Fortunately, the city has a wonderful bike-path system throughout town. Unfortunately it stops right at the border of town and leads us right onto an Autopista, where no bikes are allowed. After going in circles for about an hour, trying to find a way out of the city, we stop at the end of the trail again. Conveniently there is a Metro station located at the same spot and as we try to figure out where the Metro goes, a nice lady stops by on her bike and gives us advice on which Metro to take and which stop to get out of to continue on our route.
Although it takes us a little out of the way, we decide to take mostly back county roads today and are very happy with our decision.
We ride through some small villages and since the temperatures finally increased significantly, we take a break at a supermarket and eat an entire box of ice cream for lunch.
Eventually, we find ourselves riding through a nature preserve, where we spot a sign for another camping place. Once we make it to the front gate of the campsite we notice that the place is closed. For a moment we think about wild camping in the park, but then we remind ourselves of the steep fine we could get when free camping in a nature park in Spain. So we continue riding 10 more miles to the next campsite.
In the morning, we pack up early to avoid the summer heat, to continue our journey along the Atlantic coast toward Punta Umbria. Like the day before, we ride through some more nature parks, which mostly consist of dry pine forest and sandy areas. There are a few parking areas that allowed for you to hike over the sand dunes to the beach, where the locals enjoy hanging out.
As we get closer to our destination, we notice that there is only one way along an Autopista to reach our next campsite, which is located on a small peninsula at the Atlantic. We are on the bike path that is supposed to lead us to Punta Umbria, but we come to a fork and are not sure which route to take, we take the path to the right. Sadly after a couple miles the signage disappears and we lose the path to our destination! Fortunately, just as we are trying to figure out which way to go, Filipe, another bike rider goes by. When we ask him for directions, he simply says “I am going that way, you can just follow me, but this is my first time riding this way, so we may get lost!”. So off we go!
Soon he has us back on the right path and since we don’t want to slow him down too much, we go our separate ways. Thanks again Filipe for your help.
Shortly afterwards, we arrive at our last campground in Spain.
In the morning we get up excited, knowing that we will enter a new country today.
Off we go to Portugal! The ride to the border is fairly short, just barely over 30 miles (50Km). However, just a few miles away from the actual border we run into another Autopista, which seems to be the only roadway border-crossing in this area. The road signs are confusing, one moment the road is clearly marked as an Autopista and then just before the bridge that is crossing the border, the signs indicate the end of the Autopista. After contemplating, whether we are allowed on this road or not, we try to take a chance and ride up to the bridge.
The cars are still going fast and the nice shoulder we are riding on is completely disappearing over the bridge. Trying not to get killed, we stop and return back to the on ramp, where we decide to return back into town and take the ferry to Portugal.
Finally, after spending a total of 38 nights in Spain…we have arrived in another country on our tour!
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