Castello Branco, Portugal - May 15, 2012
Sitting in the tent waiting for it to get dark enough to go to bed. Interesting phenomenon in this hemisphere. Picnic tables are unheard of in campsites here. You're supposed to bring your own table and chairs. It's amazing how useful a picnic table is for sorting and packing a bike load of gear in the morning and how irritating it is not to have one.
Towards Castello Branco, Portugal
Anyway, I got out of Lisbon with no incidents and the brakes thankfully held off with their squealing until I was out of the city. That was so nice. I hadn't realized what an irritant that has become. It makes me ride differently... and brake differently. Backtracked my route though Lisbon for a while then headed east. The plan was to camp tonight and then go to Toledo tomorrow for two nights. Looking forward to an internet connection. The guy at the camp-ground office here said that there was an internet cafe in town and gave good directions, which I followed I thought. There was a cafe there just as he said... but no internet. Some places say free wi-fi on the door. Just as long as you don't mind giving your login passwords away. So no internet tonight.
Anyway, I was thinking today that if I were to ever finish the around-the-world thing, then today would have been a good day to officially start this final phase. The original plan back a few years ago, was to motorcycle from Anchorage to Istanbul, but that idea didn't last long. It quickly turned into an around-the-world trip. So for North America it then became going from Prudhoe Bay to St. Johns (done) followed by Lisbon to Vladivostok. So I did get to Lisbon. Cool. Now I just have to get to Vladivostok and the whole thing will have been done. Easy to say. Not so easy to do. We'll see. I'm starting to fall apart so quickly now that I feel that time is running out. Actually Vladivostok was not in the plans for this year, but if I did make it to Mongolia, then going on to Vlad would be a heck of a lot shorter than returning to London. Even Mongolia seems like a very long way away. I'm just bushed by what are really pretty short days. I'm usually on the road by 9 and am stopped by 4 or 5 in the afternoon. No real breaks in the day. 7 hours on the bike might seem like a long time but I was putting in much longer days on the North America trip. Also, I'm taking lots more days off. On the NA trip I would ride 5 days and take a day off. Now I ride 2 or 3 and take 2 or 3 off. No wonder I'm not getting anywhere. Oh well, it is what it is and it will be what it will be. But who wants to blast through some of these spectacular areas?
Nice ride here today through the hills on roads that are not on my map. I'm always nervous about that a bit. I mean if the GPS network goes down because of a big sunspot or something... I'm screwed. No not really. Roads go somewhere and eventually something will be on the map. Besides, I'm not lost, I'm in Portugal!
OK... will send this off from the hotel tomorrow. The hotel description say "some rooms have wireless internet". What are my chances?