Day 31 - Ferry

12 January 2022

The temperature drops. Everything outside the tents is wet. At 1.30 am I need to use the toilet. I lay there trying to convince myself I don’t need to. I have slept poorly. The sleeping pads make a racket when you move. I wake myself up. Shell wakes me up. I don’t fit on them.

I get up. Unzip the tent and then unzip the vestibule. Water pours over me. I try and drag my thongs close. If you swing your legs around you can slip them on from outside. I mess it up. Everything is now wet in the vestibule.

Half an hour later the wind picks up. Positive, the tent will be dry. Negative, I am sleeping in a spinnaker and it is thirty knots. Not sleeping.

I wake up at 6.10 am. No one sleeps well in a tent.

‘Oh my God, I slept so well. Look at all the deep sleep I got on my iPhone app!’ - Rachelle Griffin.

Breakfast. Break camp and roll into São Jacinto for the ferry. It is blowing. 18 km/h ENE. 25 km gusts. We make the ferry. Short wait and we are on board. I have no idea why I am excited about the ferry. I am a child.

“I am longing to be with you, and by the sea, where we can talk together freely and build our castles in the air.” ― Bram Stoker

Off the ferry and follow the coast. The head wind slows us down but we make good time. Coffee break. Portuguese tarts. Move on. We are not on the coast. Following a peninsula and the estuary just off. Great riding.

Komoot is having all sorts of issues. We switch to Google maps and cruise inland. A cycleway through some stunning wetlands. It is easy going in the sunshine. The headwind is bearable. No one else is around so we can ride side by side. We chat. Joke. Talk about life.

We hit the main road and think about lunch. The first place we come across has a packed car park. Good sign. Shell sends me in to organise food. She later tells me that I do not realise, but the helmet makes me look like I have a perm. It is her little joke that I walk into these places with gloriously wavy hair.

I love the food here. Menu. Soup. Main, meat dish or fish dish? One of each. Wine? Vinto tinto and vino blanco, just a glass. The wine comes out in jugs. The food is delicious. Suckling pig and fish with potato. I love the lack of choice. This is what we have. I try and imagine a picky eater at a place like this. Asking for the vegan option. The gluten-free. Lactose intolerant?

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonalds? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” ― Anthony Bourdain

We head out after lunch. I am not entirely sober. We have 30 km to go and there is a hill somewhere. We cruise along. Shell puts some music on. The wind drops. It is idyllic. The distance fades. We hit ​​Serra da Boa Viagem and the hill. It is tough. We conquer.

Roll into Figueira da Foz and the ride is done. We are staying in a stunning, restored building. We shower and our host makes us a cheese and charcuterie board for an early dinner. Wine included.

We retire to the reading room. Yes, the reading room. I am typing up the blog and Shell is planning tomorrow’s trip. A stunning day. I am sunburnt and happy. I can’t wait to hit the road tomorrow.

‘Is that port over there complimentary?’ - Rachelle Griffin

Tonight's wine -

2017 Ampulheta Mágica Bairrada Vinil

Today's ride -



  1. Can't agree more, tent sleeping is the worst 🤣. trip looks beautiful

    1. The sleeping pads are comfortable but very noisy. shocking to sleep on.

  2. The deep sleep and perm are so funny. Please include more Rachelle humour.

    1. Mate, she edits her best work out. The great material never goes to print.


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