Friday, November 14, 2008


Day: 414
Odeceixe to Cercal
Time: 4:04
Distance: 54.8 km
Avg Speed: 13.2 kph
Terrain: Rolling
Location: N 37˚ 48’ 3.2”, W 08˚ 40’ 20.0”

In case you haven’t read it, or haven’t heard of it there is a great book called The Alchemist. It is about dreams, love, the world and the little signposts along the way pointing you where to go. I don’t know if I have mentioned it before or not, if I have forgive me.

Today we had our own little alchemy of the world. We both fell in love with our little lady at the Casa da Celeste pension. She treated us great, gave us the run of the place and gave us coffee until we were jittery with caffeinated tension. She also didn’t speak a word of English and I think the only Portuguese we spoke to her was good morning and thank you. It didn’t matter because we understood each other perfectly and carried on conversations as if we were speaking the same language. After rolling out (still in a haze of caffeine) we started our first climb of the day. The headwind had gone unnoticed until then and we both remarked that the terrain, the scenery and the wind was very reminiscent of New Zealand. We both agreed that New Zealand was hard for us, but that it being hard made the rest of our trip a lot easier. We fought the headwind for about 30 km (along with hills, hills and more hills) where we passed a couple of blokes from Brisbane, Australia heading the opposite direction. They were enjoying our headwind (for it was a strong tailwind for them) and were on their way down to the southern coast. The were 3 days into their 3 month tour and we laughed since we had about 3 days left in ours. They were planning on hugging the coast all the way to Eastern Italy where they were going to fly home. It sounded like an awesome trip, and we wished them good luck as they were whisked off. I didn’t know if we were looking for parallels with everything today, or they were just there for us. We finally got to our lunch spot in a little town just off the coast called Villa Nova de Milfontes. Not much there except for a bridge, some holiday homes and a gas station. It was on the side of this gas station that we decided to take a break. Right when we sat down a big rig pulled up with a Portuguese license plate that read Pokemon. For those people not in the know that is Leslie’s old manager’s nickname. What was even better was the guy that came strolling up 10 seconds later wearing a tourist sweatshirt that said Colorado Springs on it. I was pretty sure we weren’t looking for parallels anymore, the signs were there for us. We have no idea what they meant, but they were there.
We jumped back on the bikes with a smile/smirk on our faces and headed off to our destination for the night. The gas station attendant at our lunch stop said that there were a few places to stay the night in Cercal so we headed off up the hill. The climb was long, but easy and took us through some of the thickest cork oak groves yet. We knew that we had found a good town to stay in when there were tractors on the road and in the roundabout along with all the other traffic.
Making gold out of what we got.

1 comment:

Perry said...

Ahhhh, Paulo Coelho... ever read "The Tao of Pooh" by Hoff?