Day 14, Ponteareas – Valença do Minho (Sunday); 30km, 2 cars
Of course we got up at around noon the next day. The girls went swimming and before we wanted to depart we wanted to make some pasta. But the water was just about to boil when the camping gas went empty, so we ate some Gaspacho and baguette with cheese and tomatoes.
The girls then left me at hotel where I sent some Couchsurfing request for Lisbon and continued towards Portugal. But I only got to Tui, the Spanish border town. But foot I continued over a bridge to Portugal. I didn’t have any luck there as well, maybe because already dark. Anyway when I left the spot to go to a possible place to pitch my tent I realised, that there was a pilgrim’s hostel just opposite of my hitchhiking spot. Although it was late, someone opened the door and I was able to sleep in a bed that night.
Day 15, Valença – Mafra via Cabo da Roca; 510km, 4 cars, not so much waiting time
The next morning I went to the spot again and it didn’t take much time, since the first car stopped. I also replaced my “Lisboa” sign with a “Porto” sign. At the service area I ate breakfast and was then picked up by an engineer who first thought I was a girl… He drove a brand new Audi A8. It had a lane departure warning system (so in theory it could keep the lane automatically). But when I showed me, we nearly crashed into the beam barrier. At noon he invited me for lunch.
When I was close to Cabo da Roca (the westernmost point of Europe), an old lady, Linda, stopped. She spoke French and, because nobody was waiting for her at home as she said, drove me around. In the end she even let me crash at her place.
Apart from regular speed radar controls, there are cameras on the traffic lights that register speeding and turn the lights to red. That’s a pretty nice concept, I guess.
Day 16, Mafra – Lisbon I; 55km, 1 car, some minutes waiting time
Before I went to Lisbon, Linda showed me the cosy surfer village of Ericeira and then brought me to the highway entrance. From there I got to Campo Grande, in the north of Lisbon. I haven’t had any reply from a CS host yet, so I sat down in the cool park, read and apparently ate too much chocolate and peanuts – but I’ll come to this later on.
In the early afternoon I decided I waited enough and walked zigzag towards the centre. So I got a good first impression of the city.
But somehow my stomach started to hurt and the hostels I asked for room had prices starting 20€ per night. So I decided to go to the 10km far away camping site although I felt weaker and weaker and made multiple stops on the way. I already had the feeling, but then I reached a point, where my stomach couldn’t reach it any more. I spare the details, but was “happy” to find a quite hidden place to let it happen….damn low quality but cheap peanuts.
I felt a little better and trailed myself further. I didn’t reach the camping site, but a place next to the highway that somehow part of a park but separated by some building. But I couldn’t care less in that situation, pitched my tent and had a horrible night and drank all 3 litres of my water.