Monday will see us on a bus for Glasgow Airport, en route for Faro and a bike trip in Southern Portugal and possibly a little of Spain. We are not taking the Thorns this time for a couple of reasons: firstly, they are expensive to take on Easyjet and getting them to the airport is a bit of a hassle: secondly, this is going to be a relaxed micro-tour and we don’t think we need them. Instead, we will be using a couple of cheap Scotts we bought in Portugal a few years back and are able to keep in my sister’s loft in Algoz. They ought to do us well enough we think – and it’s time they earned their keep.
We will miss a few things from the Thorns. We will not be able to take our bar bars – they don’t fit the Scotts. At least we will take them, but they will be strapped to the rear racks – not ideal. More to the point we will miss our Rohloff gears – big time. Even more significantly we will miss the comfort and ride quality of the Thorns, but then, they cost a fraction as much and you are bound to get what you pay for to a degree at least.
We will start in Algoz and take two or three days to settle in and get the bikes ready. So, where are we headed? To be honest we are not sure and have three options at least.
We may head West to Sagres then North up the coast to Aljezur, a town we have visited before and like a lot. It has a nice left over hippy feel somehow. Then to Odemira and Aljustrel and somehow to Evora. All these latter runs would cover new ground for us.
Alternatively, we could head East and North from Algoz to Castro Verde and Aljustrel, some of which we have done many times.
Or, we could head East and then North to Alcoutim and then North further via a Western or Eastern route. All of this we have done before one way or another, but not for some years.
Lastly, we could head over the border into Spain to Huelva (a favourite of ours) then track North on the N435 – again new ground for us in the south of Spain. This would take us back into Portugal at Serpa (we are kinds bored with it) or Elvas, which we visited once and loved.
We could reverse and co-join the first and last options, but the problem is we started out thinking we might want to go to Lisbon this time and that might be delayed if we struck out for Spain first. Getting in and out of Lisbon kinda spooks me a bit.
So it’s complicated. We will have about three weeks or so. What to do? Any suggestions or advice will be very much welcomed.