From Malaga to Porto by TET and ACT

Day 9

Day of many firsts.

We left Seville around 10:00 and returned to TET exactly where we left it yesterday. We had 210 km of the last stretch of the Spanish TET to the border with Portugal.

There are two TET routes through this part of Spain, TET 26 and TET 27. In this part of Spain, except for two points 8 km apart, they follow the same route.

The afternoon section started with a minor mishap – at a gas station I tried to beat a cage of propane-butane bombs with my trunk. The cage didn’t move, the trunk and I did ;-). A bit of a rough reminder of the width of suitcases, thankfully without consequences. The first “accident”.

The next event was more fun  – instead of a bridge, we had a ferry waiting for us. The first on our trip and hopefully not the last. While waiting, a large freighter came down the river and confirmed for us that the port of Seville, where Christopher Columbus started his voyages, was easily accessible for large ships.

The next sections were fairly fast sand and gravel, with short sections of slightly deeper sand, which were characterized by three things – huge olive groves/plantations, lots of people on horseback, and the odd horse-drawn carriage that brought people to a couple of picnic spots. It looked like a celebration of some sort, but we didn’t get to see what.

Before lunch, we drove through more muddy sections, one of which was unavoidable with deep mud puddles and surrounding mud. That’s how clean the bikes were that morning. We met other bikes for the first time, two Spanish dudes riding TET.  

We had tapas for lunch (traditionally there was nothing else) in the small village of Beas. There is a nice cafe right next to the church with tables in the shade of the trees. 

The afternoon section was more hilly and it started to get very dusty. Obviously we reached a drier part of the country again and crossed into Portugal around 3pm. We smoothly switched to the Portuguese TET, section number 5, and rode along it for the first 30 km or so. Then the route began to curve away from our hotel, so we turned onto the intersecting Portuguese ACT, which took us almost to our hotel near the town of Tavira. 

The muddy stretches increased our car wash bill again. In addition to the 2 Euros for each of the bikes, we had to throw in 1 Euro to clean our shoes and pants. Without that, we would definitely not have been allowed into the hotel.

In 7 hours we covered 266 km, most of it off-road. 

At our hotel near Tavira, we were greeted by an outdoor pool with 18 degree water and, thankfully, a warm indoor pool. I tried both ;-).

(266 km, Vila Gale Albacora, Tavira)

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