Last day on the Madrid 2 Lisbon ride would see me riding fast flat roads all the way to Lisbon. The started with a dense mist in the air that delayed my start time, as I waited for the mist to clear. Dad agreed in riding the track from Lisbon, meeting me halfway and riding with me the last 100kms or so of this trip. I started 20 or 30min after he did, still in deep mist, feeling almost like rain. The flat roads allowed me to put the power down and get really good average speeds.
Just before I met dad on the road, the most brutal cobble stone section of road I've ever faced in my life. Riding through the town of Azervadinha was insanely hard with a 2km long section of cobbles the size of footballs and gaps wider than my tyres. I had to jump on the pavement and ride those 2kms away from the road.
(Photo from Google maps / street view / other)
Around the 70kms mark, on this isolated road, I saw another cyclist riding the opposite direction. Dad had found me. We stopped on the side of the road for a few minutes to say "Hi", hug it out and plan the next few kms to Lisbon.
The next 50kms saw us riding on quiet roads heading to Lisbon, we managed to ride side by side, chatting along and telling stories of the previous days on the bike. We were still averaging over 30kmph with a slight head wind. I'll blame it on my excitement levels being at an all time high, as I could nearly see the finish line.
Crossing the bridge to Vila Franca de Xira was not an enjoyable cycling moment as the road lacked in shoulder and cars insisted in driving fairly fast despite of the cyclists on the road. We stopped shortly after for lunch with my mate from the day before.
The final 40kms saw us diving deep into high traffic roads, multiple roundabouts and traffic lights. None of it mattered, I had done it. Madrid 2 Lisbon unsupported in 4 days, battling jetlag, extremely hot temperatures, moonson like rain and loneliness.
We finally arrived at Terreiro do Paco, the finish line for this ride. My family had been there for a few hours now waiting my arrival, with Portuguese flags and a poster welcoming me to Portugal.
I truly loved this bike packing trip and all I could think the moment it finished was "where do I want to go next?".