Vila Franca - Santarém = Lezírias do Ribatejo.
After lunch in the nice Vila Franca de Xira garden, in front of one small marina and the Tagus River, which was important to regain strength, we left immediately for the 2nd stage of our tour to Fátima, the longest of this trip.
After the 1st stage, made this morning, we had about 60 km ahead, passing through Vila Nova da Rainha, Azambuja and Valada.
Although the distance was long, with the exception of the last km, in which there is a very steep climb, the entire route will be made on flat terrain, in the middle of huge agricultural fields, which are known as the Lezírias do Tejo.
At this point everyone already knew each other better, everyone was relaxed and fun. The relationship between all the members of the group was fantastic, it seemed that everyone had known each other for many years.
Everyone contributed in a very positive way to this wonderful environment, but Eduardo, who is a professional photographer and who on this tour was our paparazzo, with his friendliness and permanent smile, was very important.
The light caused by the sun, the huge plains, the cultivated fields and the great amount of water that exists in this region (Lezírias) contribute for this whole area to have a very particular beauty.
Quietly, at a moderate pace, we pedaled through these fields, always enjoying the extraordinary landscapes, everything we saw, the good air and the group - WE FELT FREE!
At the end of about 40 km, we arrived in Valada, a small village, located by the Tagus River and stopped. Valada, it is an absolutely incredible place and for that reason we took advantage of it, took a break, rested our legs for a while, ate a few bifanas and drank a few beers - we felt very good, we were happy.
Adriana, a Brazilian girl, was particularly happy, she took advantage of the photos taken by Eduardo, posted them on Instagram and challenged her friends who were in Brazil to travel to Portugal to take this tour.
After this nice stop, we had 20 km ahead of us. The tiredness caused by the whole day of cycling and being seated on the bicycle was already noticeable.
There were still 20 km to Santarém and at this moment everyone was looking forward to reaching the goal set for this day.
These last kilometers, once again made on flat ground, at sunset time, we passed through more agricultural land and beautiful farms, were made in a more accelerated way and in an instant, we arrived in Santarém and at the hotel.
We parked the bicycles, we took a shower and went to eat a well-deserved barbecue.