Long Day’s Journey to the Algarve

Grabbed the 10 am express train from Braga to Lisbon Oriente and then got an Uber to the Sete Rios intermodal transit station to board the 3:30 Rede Espresso bus to Sagres, which was an estimated four-hour journey, which was actually 4.5 hours. The Mercedes coach was very comfortable, air-conditioned and had high-speed Wi-Fi. Best of all, there were only 8 people on board out of a possible 58!

After about 20 minutes we crossed the Vasco da Gama Bridge, at 17 km the longest in Europe.

About halfway through the trip I had an interesting conversation with a young Latvian guy who looked like a SoCal surfer. He was planning to hike from Sagres to Santiago de Compostela along the medieval pilgrimage route. He had his backpacking kit and just sleeps in his tent while traveling. Coincidentally he’s from a town near Sigulda, about an hour from Rīga, where I stayed in 2019 and where I ran the Stirnu Boks 10k, which he ran in 2021. These random coincidences never cease to intrigue me.

Traversing the length of Portugal was worth the ordeal. The scenery was great and the final destination, although dark and foggy, looks well worth the journey. Fortunately I was in Portugal, where 8:30 is a common dinner hour. I had a grilled sea bass at Gigi, a restaurant recommended by the hotel, which, by the way, overlooks the Atlantic and features a full suite with kitchen and balcony. I’m looking forward to an epic Algarve day tomorrow. I may rent a scooter!

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