After we passed the Spanish border and we obviously survived the big dramatic Fire, we understood that nothing could stop us and that our goal was already reached. Even though we hadn't gotten to the festival yet, we were in Portugal, so we made it.
But the challenge was not over yet, oh no, many more hills and very hot, sunny days were to follow - but the sun was not a problem any more, our skins had already gotten burnt a few times and felt all that there was to feel of the nature around us. At this moment our skins were strong, our bodies were fit, our relationship was growing stronger, fruit trees everywhere... And most importantly, the wine was very cheap!
On the map, everything looks bigger for some reason, but in reality Portugal is quite small and it doesn't take much time to get from one place to the other. The only thing is that it's very hilly, specially in the north. For bikers, Portugal is not easy at all. Not only are there no bike roads, the roads are dangerously bad and the drivers are crazy or just ignorant to cyclists. They drive fast and really close to you, complaining about you being on the road. The only thing to do here is to be as tough as you can and show them you are a part of the road too!
If you're a wine drinking person, like Asbjørn, then we recommend that you get your butt to Portugal. Here you got some amazing valleys producing port, white port, vinho verde (green whine) and red wine just about everywhere (did I mention the red wine is very very cheap?). At Provesende, a very small and very old village in the heart of port wine producing Douro Valley, we stopped to rest for two nights and got to try some amazing 15-30 year old porto that were not for sale, unfortunately, but tasted so heavenly! We also bought sourdough bread at one of the oldest and most traditional bakeries of the region.
Oh the sweats and the pain, but all so worth it, because now my legs look fantastic, even though I haven't shaved them in like two months, and my knees are more tanned than any other part of my body, I don't think I ever loved my legs as much as I do now. This is freedom.
We got to our destination area very early, so we decided to stay in Monsanto, which is a place very near to Boomland (where the festival is). We stayed two nights there at an Airbnb that had small cute yurts, with a very nice British guy who is now our friend and we can't wait to see him again. What an amazing place, we recommend this place wholehearteadly! Waking up under orange trees, relaxing on hammocks, walking barefoot and eating only but the best local and seasonal food, I think you would love it too!
5000 and something kilometers done, phew! We were there, at the festival area, our tummies full of butterflies with excitement and fulfillment, and our faces full of dust. Our mission was done, we made it all the way from Norway to Portugal... Which was hard to believe at first, but after telling our story to many curious people; we realised our achievement: "woah" is all I have to say to that. We could now sit, relax, do some yoga, walk around, swim at the lake and NOT bike for some days. It felt amazing to beguin with, but after one day we felt kind of weird without our bikes. We've been siting on them for so long, they had become a part of us, like an extended part of our bodies. Walking felt strange, as if the only thing our legs wanted to do was to bike. Admittedly, we did bike around the festival area a few times; we could not help ourselves.
We didn't really bother taking many pictures of the festival area. If you want to see more pictures, visit this page.
So there you go, we did it! The festival was over and so was our bike journey. It was time to head back home...Which brought some more challenges, but I'll tell you more about it on the next blog post.