It feels slightly ridiculous, but I’m actually having a rest day today. Only a few hours on the European Divide, and I’m already taking it easy.
It’s not as if I have been pressing myself these last 3 days, but I have promised myself to take it very easy the first couple of weeks and ease myself into bikepacking again.
It’s been brilliant cycling along the coast, with great views and plenty of hotels available at good prices. It’s not going to be like that when I start heading a little bit more off the tourist trail, so I might as well enjoy it while I can.
I stayed at a nice resort on the second night and as I was there reasonably early due to not wanting to do too many kilometres for the day, I got to relax by the pool with a beer. But there was no way I was going for a swim, the water was too cold for me!
I found a Decathlon store and bought some camping gas for my stove, which will make me a bit more independent. I no longer HAVE to stop for coffee in cafes…
These last few days I have started to meet some other cyclists, both local, tourists that are here and on hire bikes and the odd long-distance traveller. And the hills have started to get a bit steeper as well. 20% grades are not what I am well prepared for, especially with a fully loaded bike!
I eventually made it to Farol do Cabo de São Vicente, the lighthouse that marks the start (or end) of the European Divide. It was quite windy and I wasn’t sure that it was a good idea to try to fly my drone as I was expecting it to get blown away.
I moved a little bit away from the lighthouse so that the wind was blowing inland. That way, if it was too strong, at least the drone would be blown onto land rather than out to sea. Surprisingly, my Mini 2 actually managed to fly and film despite the heavy wind.
After a pretty poor fish and chips for lunch outside the lighthouse, I finally set off along the European Divide. At least I have now started on the route I came here to do!
But it was only a short start and I soon found a rural hide a way where I could stay for the night.
I was only intending to stay for one night but looking at the map and considering the number of possible resupply points in the coming week, I decided to stay 2 nights and have a rest/resupply day. I have had to cycle to the nearest town today to do some shopping, getting both water and food for a couple of days on the road. That way I will be completely self-sufficient and can camp out as much as I want, without having to plan around reaching a town every night.
It feels like the real tour will start tomorrow!