Bruno and Inez wave me goodbye and I leave downtown Setúbal with a bag full of Brazilian cakes and a heart overfilled with joy.
Meet Wolfgang while waiting for the ferry to Ilha da Tróia
He's an experienced backpacker and pedals at a fast rhythm, I manage to keep behind him only because it's early in the day and the tarmac is flat and nice.
We chat about life and he confesses to be scared of being too old to embark on these bike tours
In Melide, one of those Alentejo jewels of a village sparkling white houses with dashes of ocean blue, we are chatted up by a Canadian dude. He says he is a waiter on cruises and that he's on his off period, waiting until next cruise arrives. He seems drunk and asks me and Wolfgang if we can go buy him a drink at the store.
I try hard to stay behind Wolfgang's wheel but he's been biketouring for 10 years more than me and leaves me behind
I catch up with him only in the early afternoon in Santiago de Cacém, he invites me to a restaurant where we have bacalhau à Brás and beers.
He counts the kilometers we have been doing and the total is 60/65, about three times more than my yesterday mileage. I wonder if that's because I have been pedaling with an experienced biker, the flat terrain or eating a bit of brazilian cake from Inez and Bruno every hour to keep the glucose level high; probably a combination of all these.
We tell each other goodbye and as he leaves to do 40 more km I ask to the owner of the restaurant if he knows anyone around here with a farm where I could camp for free.
He writes down his number on a piece of paper and tells me to reach Santo André; I don't know why I'm so lucky lately.
I look for a farmácia where to buy suncream and I meet the cutest blonde pharmacist. I should have asked her out but I have an appointment with free hospitality and a much needed shower - c'est la vie.
Eating with my host Antonio some jabali cooked in wine, delicious cheese and homemade presunto, all while drinking tinto alentejano.
Crash in a nice bed and die there