Day 5 Ilhavo – Figueira da Foz

I got up at 9.15am, Carlos had allowed me to sleep in. I quickly got ready and met him in kitchen, where he was eating breakfast. He made me coffee and supplied two pieces of toast. The jam was on the table, one red and one yellow. One of each I thought, that’ll do me nicely. I asked Carlos what flavours the jams were, just before taking my first bite. Tomato and pumpkin he said. Shit! Now I have to eat this stupid breakfast without showing any displeasure. Surprisingly, they both tasted great.

We had a minor repair to do before I could leave. The previous day had seen the handlebar mount for the phone break. Carlos was rushed and a little panicky I thought. It didn’t stop him though. He drilled the mount, fixed it with cable ties and fixed it to the crossbar of the bike. Job done, I was on my way.

Carlos's repair

Carlos’s repair

The rest of the day I didn’t like. It was uneventful and didn’t provide the excitement of previous days. Carlos informed me the journey to Figueira da Foz would be about twenty miles. I was to take a ride along the cycle paths from his house to find my first trail. It was supposed to be a couple of miles extra.

Thinking I only had about twenty miles to cover, I kept riding, expecting to see the end. The scenery was great in places, but I was tired, I wanted to get to the hostel.





I just kept going. Eventually I decided to stop, I’d been on the bike four hours and only covered thirty miles maximum. I sopped for coffee at Toches. The only hotel in this drive by town was very run down. They wanted 35e, I offered 20e, it didn’t work. Ten more miles and I’d be at my destination. I got straight to my accommodation. From the outside it looked a dump, that’s just something you get used to. I wheeled my bike inside the foyer to be met with an intruder alarm. A surly looking guy with a bald head who was unshaven and wore glasses, peered over the banister from the top of the stairs. He just groaned, yes? I have a reservation. He stumbled down the stairs and told me they didn’t accept bikes and pulled a face at me. What a wanker, now I was annoyed. I told him, I’d never heard of a hostel that didn’t take a bike! He could tell I was angry. Let me help then, he commented. He said he would get a lock to extend my lock, so that the bike could be locked to the heavy post at the bottom of the stairs. It was about 4pm. I showered and got into bed. My stomach was churning, it felt like I’d eaten something not too clever. This continued through the night and I still have the pain now. It’s 11.21am.





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