From Malaga to Porto by TET and ACT

Day 16

Breakfast at this apartment accommodation will undoubtedly enter our memories. Not in a positive way. It is not very rich, I am quite fine, Peter for the second time supplements with instant cereals from Decathlon.

We leave a little later than planned and the delays increase after we take a wrong turn and drive about 15km on the motorway.

The first 170km is on the motorway. We choose a moderate pace to save our earbuds. We get off at Estremoz, fill up with gas, wash the visors and continue on the byways. Not much at first, then beautiful curves in gently undulating terrain that blooms with all colours. Herds of cows, horses, sheep and goats grazed around. Nice scenery. Except for the dead coffee that was lying just off the road and smelled good.

A detour into the field finally came . Very easy terrain, I’m turning my nose up at ACT a bit. However, after about 5km we got a break – we came to a ford we didn’t dare cross (long, deep to at least knee deep, rather more, and worst of all – the bottom was made of deep soft sand). Our exploration of the terrain did not leave the elderly native, who was grazing a herd of goats and sheep nearby, cold. He advises us which way and gives us a mighty cheer. We must have disappointed him quite a bit to turn around. He would have had a story to tell in the pub…

We returned to the tarmac and detoured further to shorten the route. The road was then easy with a minimum of offroading to the finish of ACT Stage 2. 

We did a battle briefing during the quick departure and since it was only 1:00pm, we decided to bite the next ACT leg and make it to the town of Proenca-a-Nova.

We’ve had a bit of an off-road absence, and on the other hand, the weather is about to get worse, so we want to get some “footy” riding in. So we continue with the 3rd leg of ACT. As the previous one ended, so the next one begins – on asphalt. 

The ACT crosses the TET a few times at these points, so we turned onto the TET once more and did well. The roads were a bit more challenging in places, but it was manageable and we visited some beautiful areas (a hill with wind turbines, a view of a dam, a small lake with a waterfall). We got back to ACT at the right time – just before the turn from asphalt to gravel. It went practically all the way to the end of today’s trip, so we ended up experiencing quite a bit of off-roading as well.

We didn’t even put our bikes away today, unless you count the unexpected dropping off of mine  while parking in front of the hotel. I narrowly missed Peter. 

Today we picked a beautiful hotel. We have some professional cycling team staying with us, so we are looking forward to breakfast and everything else being fine.

We head into town for dinner, having pizza for the first time in a long time, as the rest of the kitchen doesn’t open for another 30 minutes (and God knows if it will). 

(361 km, Hotel Amoras Country House / Proenca-a-Nova)

Route of Day 16.
Route of Day 16. I’m not providing a GPX download because ACT routes are only available to members

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