(Croatia to Portugal) Cycle back to Portugal with him

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These days I’ve been asked many times “Why did you go back to Portugal? Why didn’t you go up to north Hungary, Czech?
Yeah.. Why did I give up cycling to a new country? Why did I go back to countries I’ve been?
Because.. I am not smart when I fall in love.

 

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The guy I loved had a dream to go to Portugal with a bicycle. Why Portugal? Why not to Germany or Scandinavia? I have to go to the North to see Northern Lights in this year.
Hm..
Ah.. whatever..
I decided to spend more time with him. Let’s go to Portugal.

 

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We arranged to start from Croatia. I had to hitchhike to start together. I’ve never had a ride or done hitchhiking in Europe. Cycling without any help from the car around 10,000 km (6,250 mi) was my new record. But I had to give up that record as well.
Yeah… it was okay… I could give up my record for him.
But it was extremely hard to get a ride in Europe. I waited over 4 to 6 hours.
I got a ride very easily about waiting just 10 minutes to 30 minutes in Americas and Africa when I had the problem with my bicycle. But in Europe, it was almost impossible.
After a few hours later, a truck driver on the picture saved me from the road.

 

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After that, it was too hard to get a ride to my destination. I was really frustrated.
Late night, a kind driver gave me a ride. But the problem was he drove crazily. I didn’t feel comfortable at all.
Unfortunately, he made a big accident. It was the biggest accident I’ve ever had. I saw flame and some white flour after airbag popped out.
The car looked horrible. I felt sorry to him, so I gave him 50 Euros all I had on my wallet. He was moved and hugged me. I just wish he drive carefully at the next time for his dear life.
I didn’t get any injured and I didn’t feel any pain.
Maybe thanks to my love, I got over quickly? hahaha

 

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My Italian friend gave me a new helmet! It would be so great to cycle with a nice helmet.

 

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He got a five weeks holiday in this summer. We had to ride over 3,000 km (1,875 mi) for four weeks.
When I was in Americas, I rode only 700 km (437.5 mi) per a month. I was really not good at cycling in Americas.
When I was in Africa, I rode around 1,000 km (625 mi) per a month. I was getting better.
Now in Europe, these days I have ridden around 1,200 km (750 mi) per a month. Totally I am better at cycling these days than before.
Recently I cycled over 2,000 km (1,250 mi) in Balkan.
But I was not sure I could make 3,000 km for a month with all my luggage.
To cycle to Portugal was not only because of him, but also because of challenging. I like to do some challenging things.
But if I cycled with all my luggage with him, I would have made our way too slow. So, I sent 21 kg (740 oz) of my luggage which I really didn’t need for a month such as books, tripod, and so on to Portugal. To send a box of 21 kg was really expensive.. oh..
But I felt so good at the first day to Slovenia. It was super better to have only two bags at rear.

 

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Although it was middle of July, the morning was a bit chilly. It was really good to have a coffee in chilly morning.

 

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Already he made all route. I was just following his route. The route he made was similar to mine I’ve already done, so I didn’t care about the way much. I was just happy to be with him. That’s all.

 

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One spoke was broken. So, I bought 32 spokes in case. When I saw again, actually there were four broken spokes!! Oh… I changed all spokes in Albania. Cheap one really didn’t work.
I paid 32 spokes for 7 Euros. I believed that this spoke would be much stronger.

 

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He was really good at mechanic. Even he brought a cassette remover. He changed all my spokes. He always fixed my bike when I had problem. Many parts of my bicycle were touched by him.
At least I knew how to fix a flat tire. But when I got a flat tire one time, he even fixed it for me.
Thanks…

 

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It was Sirmione. I’ve never heard the name of city before. It was really beautiful place.

 

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Thanks to sunny day, we could see beautiful color of lake.

 

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There was a castle around the lake.

 

30,000 km

Congratulation picture of 30,000 km.
At the beginning of this year, my wish about the trip in 2014 was to cycle over 30,000km.
It was just around July, but I already made it!!
Could I make 40,000 km picture at this year????? Hahahaha

 

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Thanks to the trip of 3,000 km for a month, I made some record!
The longest distance for a day was 168km (105 mi) which I made in Balkan. But I made a new record, 180 km (112.5 mi) at this trip!
Now the longest distance for a day is 180 km!

The longest cycling days without dayoff was 12 days in Africa.
But I cycled 18 days without dayoff at this trip!!
New record!!hahaha

He was just a normal guy who had to work for the life. So, he already bought a round trip ticket long time ago. We must arrive in Portugal before that date. So, we kept cycling.

 

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Quick-chain made problem a few times. Even it broke a part of rear derailleur while breaking itself. When I had this problem in Africa, I changed all of chain, crank set, and cassette.
I was very nervous, but a bicycle shop said I could change only broken part. The owner changed it, and surprisingly I didn’t have any problem with a new part and an old chain.

 

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At the beginning of trip, there was endless flat road. He didn’t like much flat road. He loved the mount. Okay, then let’s go to the mount!

 

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Let’s cycle in Pyrenees Mountain!

 

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It was cold around the top. We stopped to have energy of 100% orange juice he loved.

 

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We started cycling from 200 m (656 ft) and we cycled up to 2040m (6,692 ft). What a good day!!!
We had a ceremony in front of French border and the bus passing honked horn at us to congratulate together.

 

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After crossing the mount, we passed a lake. But the weather was horribly bad. There was too windy. Late afternoon we faced thunder storm which made us totally wet and cold.
He really didn’t like cycling with raining at the beginning. I had also hated cycling with raining. But these days I don’t care much about it. I felt pity at him as thinking how much he didn’t like it.

 

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At the next day the weather got much better.

 

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The sky showed a beautiful blue color.

 

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The cloud was at the middle of the mount. What a beautiful view we got.

 

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It was August, but the weather was extremely cold. My feet and hands were totally frozen. At the afternoon the weather started warming up. While having some grocery, we dried our stuff under the beautiful sun.

 

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He was not much interested about city tour, but he liked more nature. I’ve been Carcassonne before and I wanted to show him this beautiful castle. It was on our way, so I recommended him to stop just for half an hour.
Yeah, lucky that he liked it.

 

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He also loved the sea. One of his dreams was to swim at the Mediterranean. And he made his dream real! Yeah!

 

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He had also dream to swim at the Atlantic. Unfortunately, it was too windy to swim at that day. We just stood on the ocean. Hahaha.
He wanted to teach me swimming before, but it was too cold to teach. In this trip, the weather was so good to learn. So, I’ve learned swimming from him for a few times during the trip. Later he was happy to see me swimming a little bit. He had said to me to swim in the sea would be easier. But unlucky that there was too strong windy! Haha

(I don’t think that I can swim again. I forgot already.)

 

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Let’s go to Mount again!

 

31,000 km

Where? the Alps!
Congratulations picture for 31,000 km.. haha

 

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When we started cycling in the Alps, it started raining again which he really didn’t like. But it seemed he was used to see raining these days.

 

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At the day we headed to the top, the weather was fantastic.

 

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Andorra!!! Wow!! I’ve never thought I would come here. I saw Andorra before on the map, and I said to myself, I would never go there.
But here I came!! haha

 

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Thanks to him, I came to 2,408 m (7900 ft) above the sea level. It was the highest altitude I’ve been in Europe.

 

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Personally I liked more the Alps than Pyrenees Mountain, because the Alps have a wide view.

 

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The capital of Andorra

 

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Actually I was disappointed of the capital of Andorra. It didn’t look different from other city. Andorra has beautiful mount view, but city was really nothing. Andorra is famous for free tax and ski.

 

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Finally I came to Spain which is my favorite country. We passed valley.

 

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There were endless hills and headwind every day. The worst part was disgusting smell from the pig farm. We had to smell stinky smell all day. He really didn’t like Spain. It was pity to see my favorite country was his disliking country. But the smell was really bad that even I understood why he disliked. I really didn’t know that central part of Spain is stinky.

 

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I felt always nervous around the sunset, but I didn’t feel scared when I was with him. I realized that cycling as a solo woman is too difficult.

 

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It looked endless road at the beginning, but our journey was on the half of the way here.

 

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Nice view

 

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Here was a good chance to tell him “Spain is beautiful place”. There was full of lovely herb smell.

 

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From the beginning, we cycled with a beautiful smell. The road was flat and there was no wind.

 

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He really liked here, so I was happier.
There were only few cars, so we could have a chat as cycling next to next.
One of the peaceful place we’ve been.

 

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After that, the road looked the same.

 

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We cycled really old road where no any car came. It was really hard uphill, but I really liked lonely road and quiet road. The view from the top was another gift to me. It was my favorite place.

 

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Small town where we tried to get water and buy some bread for dinner

 

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Spain was really complicating country for traveling with a bicycle because there was no small road except highway to the next city. So, we cycled on the highway most of times. One time we were kicked out by a police officer. We had to cycle on too dirty and bumpy road for 10 km. It was too difficult to cycle so we came back to highway again. But if there was a national road, we could see the sign of forbidden bicycle. Then definitely we cycled on the second road.

 

32,000 km

Congratulation picture for 32,000 km
It was my first time to take many congratulation photos in one month.

 

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Finally we came to Portugal!! Yeah~! We were here!
I should be happy? Right?… But when we reached to our destination, we had to separate again….
Oh.. whatever… lets enjoy our journey!
I doubted how I could cycle 3,000 km (1,864 mi) for a month
But it seemed it was possible story!

 

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Actually his dream was not to go to Portugal.
His real dream was to reach to Cabo da Roca.
What? What is Cabo da..what?????
I realized this one at the last week of our journey.
The name of the destination was too difficult and unfamiliar to remember for me.
Okay, lets go there together

 

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Gypsy around Portugal border.

 

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We passed some famous touristic place.

 

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We passed some historic city as well.

 

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We stopped at some small village to buy things to eat and his favorite 100% orange juice.
Portugal village was something special. Their houses were painted by yellow and blue.

 

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I was his navigation. I meant we used my iPhone’s offline map very usefully. Thanks to Galileo (The best free offline map application), we found so quiet lake.

 

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The trip was almost finished. We were closer and closer to Cabo da Roca.
I started remembering his dream place’s name. “Cabo da Roca”
There were many farms as well in Portugal. But the smell was not bad. It was not like Central Spain.
I could see so many tomato farms.

 

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Finally it was our D-day! Today we would see Cabo da Roca. Today was the day he would see his dream real.
And actually it became my dream as well. I wanted to see Cabo da Roca as well.

 

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It was sunny morning and we could cycle faster.

 

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We passed Lisbon.

 

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There was some beautiful music on the street which made stop us. We had a small cup of wine to enjoy our beautiful morning.

 

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We would have city tour later. It was time to go to Cabo da Roca.

 

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At the afternoon, it was a bit cloudy. I could see a bit of Cabo da Roca from far away. I was wondering why that place was important to him. Yeah, maybe it would be the same as to him that he could not understand very well about my dream which is to go to North to see northern light.
The one’s dream is just for one’s desire with personal reason.

 

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After a flat road along the ocean, we started to cycle on a steep hill.

 

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Finally we reached to Cabo da Roca TOGETHER. It was memorable trip to me. We cycled 3,000 km in 28 days! It was my new record as well.

 

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It was Cabo da Roca.

 

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It is said Cabo da Roca is the place which forms the westernmost extent of mainland in Europe.

 

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It was time to celebrate for us.
This trip was totally different way from my trip, so sometimes it was a bit hard to me.
But I really thanked to him for sharing special trip.

 

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We had time for a few days to enjoy touring and ocean after reaching Cabo da Roca. I also got lest of my luggage which I sent to Portugal. It seemed our trip was going to finish.

We promised to each other to see on September as if we met again.
But on September, with some reason I or we decided not to see anymore.

If it’s meant to be, we’ll meet again. If it is not, we will go separate way. That’s life.

Sorry..

Bye..

[14/07/04~8/15 (D+1080)]


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