Wrapping it up, Portuguese style

Europe!!   From Copenhagen,  Denmark to Lisbon,  Portugal in 83 days,  3000 miles on the bikes, and a train from Rotterdam,  Holland to Toulouse, France…..  Wraps up our journey with appreciation and gratitude for all we’ve seen and all those we’ve meet –  Europe is a big place with a heck of a lot of spunk!!  Before we get onto Peru,  our  current home away from home, we wanted to finish with Portugal – the land of super nice people.

We left you on our last post with us wondering down painfully long,  straight,  flat,  rural roads…. As expected, the very next day things changed and 4 days later we were pumping up 20% grades of polished cobblestone roads through the Sintra neighborhoods.. Nothing is static in this world..  Here’s a few shots between here and there…

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Surfing is HUGE in Portugal and we watched people carry their surfboards up and down these crazy stairs near  Ericeira, just to get a fix….

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Another one for you,  Cass … 

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We met up with this father and son outside of a grocery store.   Dad was the Portuguese translator for warmshowers.org and his son absolutely blew us away…  Just 8 years old this little guy pedaled 200 kilometers with full size rear panniers and 20 inch wheels.   He starts 3rd grade this year.   We ran into them again in Sintra and enjoyed lunch with this warm and motivating duo.   You go guy!!!

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Coming home with dinner..   We’ll really miss those 2 euro bottles of wine and great Portuguese bread!!!

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A close up of our usual kitchen-to-go… 🙂

Back to Sintra… Honestly,  it is one of the most beautiful villages we’ve ever seen…  No wonder Tracy and Doug Simon chose to get married there!!   It’s high on a hilltop,  full of palaces and ancient trails EVERYWHERE through pine forests..

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We hiked up to this Moorish Castle….

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Super amazing….

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Where someone took our picture.

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Inside the hostel we stayed at…. Nice to sleep in a bed!!

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And then this man,  Ricardo Pinto, came into our life like an angel making our entire transition out of Europe painless and enjoyable.   Ginormous thanks to Ricardo for his friendship,  his home,  his mother who cooked an amazing traditional meal for us and his brother,  Daniel,  who manages a bike shop.  Daniel rounded up hard to get 29er boxes,  did some repairs,  ordered  parts and loaned us the shop van so that Ricardo could take us to the airport.

Honestly,  we can’t even imagine how that would have all come together without these folks…  And  it was  all done with kindness … Portuguese style…. 🙂   You guys rock!!!

And with that said,  we say goodbye to Europe….  We leave with a lifetime of fond memories and an huge appreciation for the people we met along the way who made our experience as rich as it was…

PERU!!!!   you’re up next!!!!!

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Xoxo Patti and Gary

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