Yesterday (Weds 19th) was spent sight-seeing round Lagos, probably the nicest town on the Algarve coast.
Today Dave and I rode up to the summit of the first cat 3 KOM, near Marmelete on the road to Monchique. Three in the breakaway, rapidly being caught by the Peloton, which was being driven hard by Tinkoff. Cav struggling back in the cars, not looking happy
I had a couple more great rides around Torre Del Mar (near Malaga), up into the hills behind the coast where there are beautiful mountain roads and scenery. The Muro de Almachar climb went up to 620m and had the names of several pros painted on the road, so I guess it must have been used in the Vuelta at some time.
After 5 days of great weather in Torre Del Mar, we went to Seville for three days of sightseeing around the city, which has the largest cathedral in Europe (and it is truly massive).
We then finally made it to Portugal and visited a number of places along the Algarve coast: Olhao, Faro, Albufeira, and Silves. On Saturday 15th we came to Lagos and met up with Dave Shaw who is staying at the same site.
Went for a great ride with Dave on Sunday which took in most of the SW tip of Portugal. Well I say ride it was more of a mountain time trial really, Dave never just cruises! Wall to wall sunshine and with temp up to 17C it was shorts for the first time this year.
Monday was spent touring round the local and very beautiful Lagos area with Pat, me on my mountain bike and she on her E-bike.
We changed our departure date to Sunday 2 Feb and then on Thursday 30 Jan received a text to say that the sailing had been cancelled due to bad weather! We were offered a sailing on Friday night 31 Jan and grabbed it.
It was a rather bouncy crossing especially rounding Ushant into the Bay of Biscay. But then it calmed down a bit and we had quite a relaxing cruise across the Bay, finishing up in Santander on Saturday evening. We blasted south on the motorway for a couple of hours encountering temperatures down to -2C in the Cerredo mountains. We spent the night in a free Aire de Campingcar in the village of Carrion de Los Condes.
Our plan has been to head into Northern Portugal and gradually work our way down South to the Algarve. But it seems as though some nasty weather is going to hit Northwest Europe from Monday. Hail and snow in Northern Spain, and a week of rain forecast for Northern Portugal. So we changed our plans completely and decided to head South as fast as possible. Tonight (Sun 2 Feb) we are in Carceres, Spain, hopefully far enough South to avoid the worst weather. We are planning to explore the town tomorrow and then head further South to Seville on Tuesday.
We're off in the van to do a tour of Portugal for 5 weeks and hopefully I'll fit in a bit of cycling in slightly warmer weather. I thought I'd have a go at blogging the trip.
We are catching the ferry down to Santander on 24 Jan. From there the loose plan is to visit a few places on the West coast such as Porto, Aveiro, Cascais and Lisbon, and then finally make it down to the Algarve for a couple of weeks. The Volta ao Algarve runs from 19-23 February, so will try to catch a couple of the stages. Then it will be back to the UK on the 27 Feb.