Day 38 - Setúbal

19 January 2022

I have woken up with a tight back. Soft mattress my guess. Not really an issue. Porridge. Packed. Roll out. An easy day. 40 km. Two big hills. 

A lazy few kilometers to the ferry. Cross to Cacilhas. Not much of a ferry ride. You can’t get outside. Shame. The harbor is stunning. What happens if the ferry sinks and you can’t get out? The ferry does not sink.

The first 10 km is on a busy road. It is flat. Industrial roads related to the port. Not pretty. Distance is distance. The sun is out. Beautiful day. We turn off to some dirt tracks. Nice to be out of the noise. Not nice to be pushing the bikes through soft sand.

Hit a village and find a sunny spot for coffee and an average pastry. Coffee is also average. In this weather, it does not matter. More gravel and soft sand before we hit Azeitão and the first climb. It is steep. Tough going. Church at the top and a coast down the hill.

“As though I had been going steadily downhill, imagining that I was going uphill. So it was in fact. In public opinion I was going uphill, and steadily as I got up it, life was ebbing away from me....And now the work's done, there's only death.” ― Leo Tolstoy

Back on a busy road but I hardly notice. Mountains to my left, vineyards on my right. Beautiful ride. The second hill just outside Setúbal is long but not taxing. Coast in and look for a place to eat near our accommodation.

Decor e Salteado overlooks a working harbor. A great view. It is so warm the umbrella goes up. We order some wine, 2020 Quinta de Soalheiro Vinho Verde Allo. It is the green wine we both love. Residual yeast in the bottle. It is slightly sparkling. Very drinkable. We order camarão fritos. Timbale de cavala com puré de grão. Risotto com cogumelos e aspargos. A great meal. A complimentary glass of Moscatel de Setúbal? If you insist.

“Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter-faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn.

To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living.

Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food. The body, these waterheads imagine, is a temple that should not be polluted by animal protein. It's healthier, they insist, though every vegetarian waiter I've worked with is brought down by any rumor of a cold.” ― Anthony Bourdain

Only 600 m to the accommodation. Hard going post lunch. Check in. The place is great. Bikes secure and Shell has the bags in the room. We have a bath in the room. No plug. It is hard to describe what happened next. I will do my best.

Rachelle - ‘I am going to call and get a plug for the bath’

Grant - ‘Good idea’

The phone rings.

Rachelle answers - ‘Yes everything is fine, thank you. I was just going to call. Can I get a plug for the bath?’

The man brings the plug up. A few minutes later, the phone rings.

Grant - ‘Hello?’

Front desk man - ‘Is everything ok?’ He seems concerned.

Grant - ‘Ummmm, yes. Thanks for asking’

Rachelle - ‘I think this cord in here is for emergencies’

Grant - ‘What do you mean?’

Rachelle - ‘Well that’s the second time I have pulled it and they have called and asked if we are ok both times’

Grant into the phone - ‘Thanks for calling’

We lay about for the afternoon. Talking about the trip tomorrow. Going through the photos. This has been a great trip and it has only just started. Another ferry tomorrow. Another short day.

Life is good. I hope Shell doesn’t pull the cord again.

Read. Bed.

Today’s ride -


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