Caminho de Fátima: Lisbon - Vila Franca.
Along the Tagus River.
This month we did the “Caminhos de Fátima” for the 3rd time.
Instead of doing this route in 2 days, as was usual, this time we decided to do this trip in 3 days, in order to be less tiring and so that it was possible to have more time to enjoy each place.
We started our tour in Parque das Nações - Lisbon, on a Friday morning and we had the goal of reaching Fatima on Sunday at lunchtime.
For this trip we had a group of 7 people, me, Adriana, Helena, Rui, Domingos, Eduardo, Salvador, plus Francisca who would drive the support car.
The sky was painted a beautiful shade of blue, there were some clouds and the sun was shining with some intensity. The temperature was around 22º, there was little wind, it was a great day for cycling.
With these conditions and realizing in the initial moments that we had a great group, I quickly concluded that this trip was going to be in a good mood and without stress.
After the presentations, the usual photos, to make some smiles and bring people together, we started to pedal quietly along the Tagus, in a very easy terrain, so that everyone could adapt to the bikes and to warm up the muscles a little bit.
It was about 15/20 minutes until we left Parque das Nações and entered a small dirt road in Sacavém, next to the Trancão river.
Ahead, on this first day, we had about 90 km until we reached Santarém.
The first 12 km were covered, always at a moderate pace, by a dirt road, in the middle of small farms, where it was possible to see some cultivated fields and some cattle quietly grazing.
At the end of this first stretch we found once more the Tagus River, now in the small fishing port (Avieiros) of Póvoa de Santa Iria, an absolutely wonderful place from where you can observe the traditional artisanal fishing boats of the Tagus River, two islands (mouchões) and a huge amount of birds.
We made a short stop here to have a coffee and observe all the natural beauty of this place before entering the famous Tagus Route, to go to Vila Franca de Xira, place where we had planned to have lunch.