Monday, June 29, 2015

Going to Sagres, by Denis-Claude Roy

Going to Sagres, the end of the world!

What a wonderful day! For some it was just impeccable, a demonstration of strength and determination! While for others it could have turned into a disaster...

The early risers left Lagos in the direction of Sagres at 8h30 sharp, hoping to do some mileage before the sun and heat would hit at full strength. The others left a little later, determined to make it through the intense heat, although less intense than yesterday, as it was only 32°C! Soon after departure, my daughter Marie-Eve tried a difficult maneuver and fell on the road, her left side smashing  into the asphalt. Fortunately, there were no cars coming by. Wes immediately rushed to her side, securing the area.  It took her some time to recover but a bruised elbow, hip and ego were not going to stop Marie-Eve. She jumped back on the bike and continued to ride until the first stop, the fortress of Almadena. A wonderful scene, on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Impressive what humans have built in hard to reach places! Smartly constructed, the heavy stone walls and ceilings of the fort (or what is left of it) preserves low temperatures even in the intense heat!

Views from the Fort

After the fortress was the beach of Boca do Rio, the perfect spot for a swim! But that was only the prelude of the big event of the day! The steepest hill of the trip was ahead of us. A 20% uphill path under noon sunshine was the challenge. Only the most experienced and trained could get to the top without stopping. A few of us stopped only a few meters from the top, in the steepest section but totally exhausted! Nevertheless our bikers were not only biking to raise funds for leukemia research. Two of the few who stopped before the top displayed exceptional determination as they decided to make it all the way in a single run! So Marie-Eve and Wes came back down the hill! Immediately after having climbed the monster, exhausted, they decided that they were going to do it again, this time in a single climb!  And they did! Under the brutal sun and without any rest period! Wes and Marie-Eve, you clearly deserve our admiration! And a great meal at Concha in Salema! Indeed fresh fish was a most welcome prize to our warriors! Sergio and his wife served us a wonderful meal, including very interesting and tasty minuscule snails. Sergio also showed us his incredible pictures inside waves in the ocean, which can be found on his website.

My son Phil climbing the 20% grade (note the sign!)
Marie-Eve at the top

Proud cyclists!

The sun was now hitting hard, stomachs were full, too full, yet it was the call of the road... and our cyclists completed the run to Sagres. This time without any mishaps!

The lighthouse at Sagres

The end of the World

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