submitted by Tilly Jensen
In February, four EBTCers left the freezing Edmonton temperatures and headed to Portugal to join a 10-person cycling group doing the Algarve region of Portugal. We had one day of light rain during the 12 day trip with temperatures of about 18-25C in the afternoons; mornings were a bit chilly at 12-15C but way better than the temperatures we heard Edmonton was having at the time!!!
The colourful spring flowers were blooming in great abundance along with forests of almond trees in their pink brilliance; it was stunning. We rode through seemingly endless orange groves that were laden with fruit not quite ready for picking.
After finishing our ride one day we had a special afternoon treat. Our hotel that night was right on the route of the Volta ao Algarve, Portugal’s equivalent of the Tour de France. From our rooftop vantage point, I was surprised at how exciting it was to watch all the police motorcycles come through to clear the streets, then the team support vehicles, the breakaway group, and then the massive peloton … WOW!!! Couldn’t believe the speed at which they took the corner around our hotel shoulder to shoulder over those cobbled streets.
In keeping with EBTC protocol, we had daily coffee stops along the way that often involved luscious pastries.
We had some days riding by the Atlantic Ocean along spectacular cliffs and gorgeous beaches. It was a memorable trip.
Six EBTCers are doing the Heartland Tour with Pedal Portugal in May 2020 which this cyclist is looking forward to. Maybe after that we’ll do Pedal Portugal’s Border Castles Tour which is supposed to be another great adventure. For those of you who haven’t been to Portugal, don’t wait too long … Portuguese prices are ‘Canadian friendly’ unlike other European countries. The shoulder seasons are the perfect time to not only cycle, visit some of the amazing historical sites that abound in Portugal, and escape our cruel Alberta winters!