Saturday, August 24, 2013

Biking from Cascais to Guincho Beach

I love riding bicycles.  I talked Bobby into renting bicycles in Lisbon through a company that had child bike trailers available.  My plan was to bike from Lisbon to Belem (Alges train stop), take the train from Alges to Cascais, and then bike from Cascais to Guincho.
We rode under the 25 de Abril Bridge Bridge.  
You can see that the side walk is beautiful, but it is slippery smooth and bumpy.
Lisbon has wonderful bicycle trails that are fairly well marked.  The bicycle rental company that we used was located very near the trailhead that runs from Lisbon to Belem.  However, we had to bike a couple of blocks into the city to withdraw some cash.  It was a stressful way to start our day as I may like biking, but I am not the most confident biker. Being around lots of cars/buses/trams, as well as crossing tram tracks, and you have a recipe for disaster.  I did almost fall a couple of times and wanted to just walk through the city.  After a pep talk from Bobby, I finally made it to the bicycle trail and we were off on a fun adventure!

The bicycle trail from Lisbon to Belem was flat but bumpy, as most the trail traversed the famous Portuguese stone sidewalks.  We were able to pass by a lot of the things that we have already seen in Belem, including the Monument to the Discoverers and Belem Tower.
Picture taken today in front of the Tower of Belem.
An interjection to the fun was getting the bikes and trailer (with the kids in it) on and off of the train (2 times as we had a transfer to make).  We received lots of strange/annoyed looks, but also lots of laughs at our silliness too.  Every once in a while we have to do the things that scream "TOURIST!", and this was definitely one of those times.

The bicycle trail from Cascais to Guincho beach was smooth and very easy to follow.  It was mostly uphill going, and we had to fight an incredible headwind (winds around 25 mph with gusts traveling faster).  The views were spectacular and included lots of laughs.  Have you ever tried biking in extreme winds?  As we were pedaling with all of our might and not moving very far, I couldn't help but laugh hysterically.  Poor Bobby had to also pull the trailer with 100+ pounds of extra weight!  The wind turned the trailer in to a hundred pound kite that wanted to pull Bobby back down the hill. The wind was so incredible that while laughing hard my mouth was a little open and the wind made my cheeks and face flap...kind of like when you are sticking your head out of a very fast moving car.  This made me laugh even harder. This is one of those experiences when you think about it in the future, you can't help but laugh.

The kids both took naps for most of our ride from Cascais to Guincho.
The trip towards Cascais was much easier with the wind to our backs and mostly downhill.  We stopped more often to enjoy the views since the kiddos had woke from their naps and needed chances to stretch their legs.  One of the stops along the way was the Boca do Inferno.  It is a famous, sea-eroded hole in the cliffs that sprays plumes of water hundreds of feet high on days with rough seas.  Today we were there during low tide and witnessed a much tamer Boca do Inferno.  We enjoyed eating ice-cream while taking in the caves, local fisherman, and ocean.
Near Guincho Beach.  The waves were crashing on the rocks and causing lots of spray.
Because of the strong winds there were puddles of salt left over from the sea water evaporating.
Yes, Bobby tasted to make sure our hypothesis was true.

One of our stops had what we thought were ruins of a building wall remaining.
Upon closer inspection we found that it was a fence to keep people from falling through to deep caves down to the ocean. 
Breaking to eat oranges and while looking at the beautiful coastline.
Throwing rocks off the edge and watching them splash in the water.

A fisherman on a nice perch.
At Boca do Inferno having just eaten our ice-cream.
Amelie watching the fisherman and climbing on the rocks.
Once back to Cascais, we played on the beach to let the kids get their legs wet in the ocean.  Looking over the beach while noshing on hotdogs was the perfect rest stop before making the train ride back to our Alges stop.  The bikes made for a quick trip back home off our train stop.
The beach on which we played once back in Cascais.  Also our view while we ate our hotdogs. 
During our dinner there was a local beach festival with vendors selling food and live music playing.
This is the seawall on which we sat while eating.
This morning we had to return the bikes, so we rode on the bike trails from Belem back to Lisbon.  It was fun being out in the cool temperatures of the morning.  We ate lunch at a cafe near the bike shop and then traveled on the train back home in time for a proper nap in the bed.

Liam playing with smurfs while waiting for our lunch.
The kids were sad to see the bikes and trailer go as they really did have fun being together.  They would squeal and talk and laugh with each other.  It was really cute.  I enjoyed the gawking that occurred constantly at the sight of kids being pulled in a bike trailer.  Overall, I think this was one of my favorite experiences while in Lisbon!

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