Travelsonabike2 Portugal This Day 11th-August-2009

This week’s Travelsonabike2, on this day post, comes from the 11th-August-2009, and I’m on the first day of my ride around Portugal. And, as I found out, August is not the best time to cycle in Portugal. It’s rather hot. I should have been here in June, but after fracturing my wrist (see, I’ve always been clumsy.) I had to delay my trip. Tonight’s campsite was interesting.

Tuesday, 11th August 2009 Loule to Figueira near Vila Do Bispo. 71 Miles.

I was up bright and early this morning, keen to get back on my bike. I had told Ann and Colin not to bother getting up to see me off, as I’d said my goodbyes last night. But Ann, being the lovely lady she is, insisted on getting up and cooking me breakfast. Once I’d finished my breakfast, I thanked Ann again for her and Colin’s hospitality. And for looking after my bike and gear for the past few months, I was then back on the road.

I’d only been on the road for about half an hour when I had a case of déjà vu. I got chased by a couple of dogs. Thankfully I was going downhill, so it wasn’t a problem. I do hope this isn’t going to be a regular occurrence again.

Dogs by bike
Defor, Ki and Pup, who guarded my bike while I was in England

Apart from being chased by dogs this morning, it’s been a quiet day and not too hilly. The only problem I’ve got is keeping hydrated. I don’t seem to be able to get enough fluids in me. I must have drunk at least 10 litres of water, plus countless bottles of fizzy drinks, yet I’ve not been to the toilet once all day. And what was a red T-shirt when I set off this morning is now white from my sweat and sun bleaching.

Time To Stop

In the end, the heat got a bit too much for me. And I stopped riding at the first opportunity when I came across a campsite at around three o’clock. Although I got a bit of a surprise when I checked in!

The girl at reception asked which area I wanted to stay in as the campsite was in two parts. The camp that I was at or could go down the hill to the “acampamento naturista” they cost the same, “the what?” I said “the acampamento naturista, the naturista, naturisten, FKK-campingplatz, naturist camping!” said the girl “oh no, just normal camping, please.” I replied quickly. Once I’d realised what she was talking about. “Are you sure?” she asked once more. “quite sure, thank you, just one night in the clothed area. I don’t think the world is ready for me to become a naturist!” I replied.

After finding a shady spot to pitch my tent, I went and had a nice cold shower. Although five minutes after the shower, I was back to square one, and the sweat was pouring off me again.

Later in the evening, curiosity got the better of me, and I went to investigate the other part of the campsite, the one down the hill! I started to walk nonchalantly down the hill, pretending I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t get very far; I lost my nerve and started feeling like a peeping Tom, and returned to my tent!

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