Farewell Spain…

I’m about 5km from the Portuguese border this morning (closer in a straight line, but road builders rarely seem to use them). Another grey morning, which should mean easier cycling; we’ll see, as that nasty sun is bound to chase away the clouds. And there are a few hills about.

This is where I stayed last night. Best campsite setting by miles so far.

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The bendy roads mean I’ve already done almost the mileage I expected to reach Lisbon, meaning the schedule is really tight again. I really need to get across Portugal in two days, so that I have a day in Lisbon to get the bike packed up for the flight to Toronto on Wednesday. This is going to hurt…

Deadlines are a proper bugbear when you’re cycle touring, making you stress and maybe push too hard. I’ll be very glad to gain a bit of flexibility in North America. You may well see plans shift a little to reduce the relentlessness a touch. A grim sense of satisfaction from having finished another hard day is all very well, but this is supposed to be fun, too.

But first, there’s Portugal. Just a few miles up the road. Country number four, and one that I really liked the couple of times I’ve been (albeit only to Lisbon, with its faded grandeur and fantastic pavements).

So farewell to Spain, the beautiful but hard, and hóla to Portugal, with more unknowns around the corner…

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