It was nice to have breakfast out the front of the bar, espressos were giving the locals a heart starter for the morning before work or just to meet up for some gossip. I hope we weren’t at somebody’s table.
Out of town on back roads, cattle and sheep farming, cork, pines and gums. Our focus is on cork trees; some freshly harvested with No 22 painted on them.
Lots of little villages close together … we are centre of attention as we ride through the town, almost as if there are motion cameras in the street, little old ladies just pop out of their doors. We stop for a coffee, it’s hard to find someone to serve us at this very old cafe. The water fountain in the square, seems to be a popular daily chore as the old folk fill up their water bottles, I join in to fill my water bottle, lovely fresh cool water.
To finish our ride we pass a cork company Amorim Florestal, looking like a timber mill, but instead cork in piles. This company has been trading in the cork business since 1870.
A late check-in so we relax and have a tradional lunch; we learn later that it is one of the best restaurants in town … and we arrive in our cycling gear … eek. Lovely food and service. You just have to love the Portugese … ‘2 starters and 1 main should be plenty for you both’ … so it was, mushrooms and croquettes followed by orange duck, vegetables and fries and lovely white wine.
A must see … the culture centre … a mural of 400,000 cork stoppers. A Guiness Book of Records certificate.