Thursday, December 05, 2019

Porto - Barcelona Day 5 Mira Portugal we are coming

Good bye Cool and Sea Beach House and Good bye Furaduoro !
Parque de Merendas do Carregal is a picnic park in the middle of a pine forest it is located near the roundabout with a fishing boat in it as seen in this picture. GPS : 40.865311, -8.656726
Yes, another 24km we will be at Sao Jacinto where we were expected to take a ferry to cross Aveiro Lagoon.
We stopped here to determine which one of the two roads to take, the bigger road R. Francisco Ramada or R. do Caminho do Norte at GPS : 40.818313, -8.669818. We then opted for the smaller road which is the secondary road hoping to see the inner of the surrounding.
Along the road we stopped by a house to admire at a windmill at the garden, the lady owner came out of the house proudly told us that it is a made in Portugal windmill. Photo credit : Anne Cheong.
Eventually the smaller road joined back to Francisco Ramada which is actually running along Aveido Lagoon.
Stopping at GPS : 40.785557, -8.683685 along R. Francisco Ramada.
Still on the main road N327 at GPS : 40.769634, -8.695228 we saw more fishing boats at the shore which I guess it's another fishing community.
In front of Estalagem Riabela Hotel
GPS : 40.768345, -8.695626
And gladly back into the red lane by a marina at Torreira (Cais da Torreira)
Everyone agreed to take a break for coffee and some snacks. Café Esplanada da Ria GPS : 40.760871, -8.700543
While our bikes and raincoats were left outside of the restaurant.
The coffee here was real "kaw" and satisfying, so was the pastry. Photo credit : Anne Cheong.
One at Café Esplanada da Ria Photo credit : Anne Cheong.
This place known as a shipyard museum called Porto de Abrigo da Torreira with neatly docked boats (colourful sampan).
Praia Do Monte Banco, Torreira one of the many beaches along the way.
The journey continued ... pedal by pedal we gained our mileage towards our destination, experiencing the scene of Aveiro Lagoon as much as we can.
The staff was kind enough to allow us to use the washroom at a Sao Jacinto Dunes Nature Reserve Centre at GPS : 40.670843, -8.724834
Happily we rode on with the continuous intermittent drizzle always keeping our faces moist as we cycle.
We have just missed the 12.25pm ferry at Sao Jacinto Ferry Terminal and had to wait for the next one which was scheduled at 2.15pm. Hence we ended up for an early lunch break at Padaria Pastelaria GPS : 40.661428, -8.729016
Local pastry was good and we just decided to go for a light lunch. Photo credit : Anne Cheong.
We had nearly 2 hours to kill let's chill out at this local joint and Padaria Pastelaria is only 80 metre to the jetty.
Aveiro Ferry appeared at the jetty and our plan to cross the lagoon has finally become possible.
The time was 2pm, more and more people appeared at the jetty and waiting to embark onto the ferry. So were a few cars in the queue waiting. Out of no where 8 Chinese people with small bicycles joining the crowd to get into the ferry.
The passage way to the ferry and it was the highlight of the day travelling on a boat for a change.
The ferry was packed, seated area was full, area for the cars was also full maybe a bit more space left for bikes.
At last all were relieved and happy for being able to embark on the ferry to continue our journey to Mira.
The other side of the lagoon is Barra de Aveiro Fort.
The white tower is part of the partially destroyed Fort of Barra (GPS : 40.645038, -8.732618) built in the 17th century. It has lost its strategic and defensive importance and contributing only to the orientation of the boats at the entrance. The German boy on roller skate was travelling alone, salute to this young man!
We lost and seek help from this super helpful man, first he was happy greeting us, gave us encouragement and promoted Portugal. Finally he advised us on the shorter route to Mira if we were rushing to reach our destination. 
We basically took the secondary route again going through the local community with houses sited very close to the road.
The road at R. da Boa Hora may not be wide but relatively it has not much of traffic on it, hence it was rather relax when riding along it.
Another rest stop at a typical bus stand.
What ever food we had in our bags were taken out for a food break, Fenn eating her hard boiled egg while the rest eating fruits at the road side of R. Principal, GPS : 40.558799, -8.753268
After 50 over kilometres we were at this stretch of empty farmland Rua Osso da Baleia where Oregon was telling me that destination is close by but we could only see only thick vegetation along the road. GPS : 40.464922, -8.795260
We found the place without much difficulty. Lius & Bruno came to open the hostel for us, it's Granny's Guest Hostel. A house that Lius & Bruno used to live in the younger days. Lius told us he was born in Room no:10 at first floor. Located at Praia de Mira, GPS : 40.455326, -8.798802
Our bikes were kept in the garage at the far end with a door in green colour.
We were recommended by the host to try the food at Salgaboca Restaurante, R. Furriel Meliciano António Henriques da Costa, GPS : 40.452381, -8.803402 Photo credit : Anne Cheong.
We walked about 750metres through the dark town to get to the place. The restaurant is cosy and spacious with lot of local wines displayed at every corner of the restaurant.

The seafood was fresh coming from the nearby sea and the dishes served were excellent, especially going together with the local wines. Photo credit : Anne Cheong.
Though the pricing might be slightly on the higher side but it was absolutely worth the try. I would recommend this restaurant to you if you happened to be in Mira. Photo credit : Anne Cheong.
Good night Granny's house and looking forward cycling again tomorrow.
The route we took for a distance of 55km inclusive of the ferry ride at Aveiro Lagoon to Mira from Ovar.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Porto - Barcelona Day 4 Let's cycle to Furaduoro, Ovar

Day 4 was a challenging day, the day we will take on the road for a long haul and was expected to take a longer time to reach our destination due to the raining condition. Nevertheless all of us were ready and set to go.
The rain didn't seem to be stopping anytime sooner, we just had to step out and start cycling.
Starting with Douro River by the side as we headed to Lius I Bridge for the turning towards the coastline.
The morning traffic was heavy with lot of vehicles crossing the narrow bridge at the lower tier. Fortunately there is a side pavement for us to cross the bridge.
Bye bye Porto and we have entered into the territory of Gaia for our journey to Ovar.
Our colourful raincoats and bag covers were striking and attractive.
Due to the narrow road condition we illegally used the timber boardway, cycling is not allowed, it is only meant for jogging or walking.
The red carpeted cycling lane started to appear and we were very happy seeing it.
The sound of North Atlantic Ocean was loud and clear as we reached the estuary of Douro. That was after 9km of ride. 
It was friendly all the way on the red bicycle lane the only complaint I had was it was still drizzling and making us wet all the way.
A toilet stop at GPS : 41.089174, -8.656295 , it was a cafe who was kind enough to allow us to use the washroom.
All were kind of soaked and a hot coffee with something to bite would be great. We saw an eatery and ventured into the shop for a pitstop after clocking only 19km from the start.
It was cold out there everyone agreed to have a bowl of hot soup.
The hot soup was indeed our favourite, it was hot and good especially on a cold wet day. Fortunately the portion of the soup was a big enough to ensure full satisfaction was achieved. The snacks and sandwiches were equally delicious.
Jo & Lynn decided to call for an Uber and happily both of them escaped the cold ride. Surprisingly it was not difficult to call for an e-hailing service. The cost of the Uber ride was RM128.00 (27€) for a distance of about 31km to our homestay at Ovar.
By the way the name of the shop is O Rei dos Croissants located at Av. Infante Sagres 783, Valadares, GPS : 41.084716, -8.655428
And the ride continued on the red path with 2 members less this time.
Praia da Granja GPS : 41.039354, -8.649562 at an extended space for car park and also a good viewing platform. The waves were strong hitting onto the steps at the wall. 
Breaking away from the monotonous ride at Praia da Granja. We stopped for a while for some photo shooting.
Then came the amazing long stretches of timber boardway, it starts immediately after a pizza shop called Ristorante Pizzeria S. Martino Granja
Av. República 2757, Vila Nova de Gaia, GPS : 41.033772, -8.646549
The boardway stretches for about 3km before we could see civilisation.
  Then we found ourselves out of the timber boardway back to some hard surfaces with a tall signage that shows "ESPINHO" at GPS : 41.014756, -8.643775. Apparently this place used to be a small fishing village which has turned into beach resort with its sandy golden beach with its other attraction.  
And back to the boardway after a short coverage of Espinho municipality.
A beautiful scenery of a small community of a fishing village with traditional timber boats that are colourful and sitting on the sandy shore.
After passing by a little unique chapel by the sea which I missed taking a picture of it instead we stopped for another photo shoot here.
Another popular beach resort coupled with a few buildings for food & beverages at Rua do Mar GPS : 40.977884, -8.648596
This time we reached another interesting nature reserve and the place is called Barrinha de Esmoriz. It is a huge lagoon with timber boardway crossing the lagoon and it has a different feeling cycling amidst the wetland.
It was totally quiet and serene and the only hope I had was that we can not afford to be at the wrong direction as we have already cycled endlessly on the boardway.
An arch suddenly became visible after a long monotonous timber board way. It is really a good eco-tourism with its flora and fauna found in the lagoon.
One for the album of this nature reserve of the Barrinha de Esmoriz, a place we will forever remember for its amazing scenery and character.
We finally came back and joined the road traffic, no more timber boardway as we pedaled on.
Next was a 9km of forest reserve ride and only seeing the dense timber trees in a quiet moist atmosphere. Photo credit : Anne Cheong.
I was wondering how soon will we be arriving at our destination it seemed to be a long ride.
Finally we completed the ride, it was a long 51km ride to Cool and Sea Beach House located at R. dos Arrais 7, Furadouro GPS : 40.870104, -8.675591. Furadouro is on the outskirt of Ovar. Lynn and Jo were already comfortably at home and we were told that the Uber driver was very kind and helpful locating for the place.
The town of Furadouro we visited was dead quiet during the evening (it was kind of a curfew time) we were told it was currently off season. We visited a convenience store and a shoe shop.
I bought this pair of made in Portugal rubber shoes (used for gardening) from the shoes shop. These shoes shall be my cycling shoes during this wet time. 
On the bright side we managed to locate Cantinho do Valente located at Av. da República GPS : 40.869535, -8.677174. We love the food here it was simply delicious and unique.
We started with some bread and pate before having a good range of seafood. Together with the local red wine everything just fitted finely for a wonderful dinner.
Nothing being undeniably satisfied with a wonderful meal which resulted Anne banging her table. Photo credit : Anne Cheong.
The route we took which was generally along the coastline of Portugal and it was flat and easy to ride on.