Luís Simões, travel sketcher around the world
Bike and Sketch Foz do Arelho, Portugal
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It took us less than 24 hours to decide to go by bike to camp in Foz do Arelho. But the excitement was great! Do you remember the feeling when you were a kid to know that you will go for a picnic the next day? That what I felt. The confusion about what to bring or simply check the balance of panniers. Oh.., I’ve missed it. I’m sure some of you can relate to what I feel…
However, Luís and I haven’t overcome the pandemic. We know that the virus still there, but we feel safer to travel by bicycle, cook our own food, and stay in our own tent. And the fact that we also do physical activity along the way, we burning the toxic inside us as well.
This short trip also a way to know Portugal better, the center of Portugal especially.
Day 1 - Moleanos to Foz do Arelho
Chilly breeze mixing eucalyptus smell was our first impression once we getting out of home and rolling down the hill. We cycled through small villages to avoid traffics. The villages we wouldn’t pass through if we travel by car. It was interesting to see Luís also didn’t know the area yet still familiar with the vibe.
However, the road was quite hilly. We had to roll down 100 meters to pedaled up another 100 meters in one kilometer! Considering that we are becoming two sacks of potato in these 8 months, 20% of inclination definitely too harsh!
We saw a few windmills along the way. Luís seems eager to sketch it but I have schedule to run. It took us 3 hours to arrive at Foz do Arelho’s camping site. But since I had to teach an Indonesian class right after we arrive, Luís and I didn’t do much. After we had really-early dinner (5.30 pm), we crashed and slept until the next day. LOL!
Day 2 – Foz Do Arelho
A familiar feeling when I woke up was comforting. The smell of sleeping bag, the tent’s condensation that started to drip on the floor, and hearing Luís preparing breakfast for both of us. Those were our normal when we were traveling.
Anyway, after we had breakfast, we went around this coastal town. We spent the whole day wandering around. Here, people can do many watersports. In the morning, while on the beach I saw lots of people catching the waves, the lagoon – known as Lagoa de Óbidos – was full of kite surfers. And in the afternoon when the water and wind get calmer, people come for fishing and stand up paddling.
Luís also eternalized the view as you can see from the sketch below
Day 3 – Foz Do Arelho to Moleanos
On our way back to Moleanos, we took different roads. We cycled through the main road to Caldas de Rainha. After we passed Caldas da Rainha, we turned left to Benedita through smaller roads. The roads were less hilly compared to the roads on the first day. It was an easier road. The only downside was it has more traffics and more buildings. Yet, since Portugal has old-cute houses, it was interesting for me to look around.
When we were approaching Benedita, we saw another windmill. Since Luís has been thinking of sketch one of them, we agreed to come closer, and eventually have some rest. Fun fact, this windmill was built in 1946. But the owner rebuilt it to preserve the culture and show it to future generations. They also keep some original parts to keep the authentically.
The neglected travel bugs inside us are satisfied! Although it was a quick trip – 3D2N – both of us know that it affected bigger than it seems. It reminds us that life isn’t about the goal. It is the journey that we cherish more. Feels like our sanity revive!