March 19, 2024

Day 82: Olhăo (Cycle)

The good news: The bike performed well today.

The bad news: A tooth broke today!

It never was my plan to be cycling in Portugal for long. This was primarily based on my belief that the good cycling was up and around Monchique, which we completed with 4 cycle rides from Lagos.

However, having found the Visit Portugal's website of cycle routes, I was keen to find out what I might have missed had I driven directly to Spain from Lagos.

I have now completed 3 of their routes. The first got a 3/10 and the second, I was very much enjoying until the bike suffered a mechanical and, I gave a score of 10/10.

Today's ride gets a score of 3/10, not because it was bad but, simply because it was a fairly easy ride out: I did modify the ending so that I passed through Faro and could visit a "Specialist Coffee" (their words, not mine!) establishment there.

Here's the thing, it seems to me that if you want consistency in your coffee then the likes of Starbucks, Costa Coffee and the like will give you that. However, the coffee they serve is crap! Also, it could be that the little independent coffee shop just around the corner may serve the best coffee in Christendom! So why not give it a try? Especially as you'll be contributing to the local economy - not sending profits to Seattle! However, you do run the risk of accidentally finding yourself in a crap independent or, perhaps, even worse! I'm willing to take the risk and go with independent, rather than the bland.

Typically I've found the independent, or specialist, coffee to be far superior. Until today that is!

Yellow Bourbon, a type of coffee bean and the name of Faro's "Speciality Coffee" shop, served me a Cappuccino that tasted just like the coffee my Grandmother used to make: weak instant coffee made with milk heated in a saucepan! At the time, I new no different and was happy to drink it.

Now that I do know differently, I was not expecting to drink "Grandma's coffee", especially as I was being charged €4 for a speciality coffee! Unless, unwittingly, they specialise in Grandma's coffee! - p.s. €4 for a coffee is extortionate: especially in Portugal!

Now, 1) even though the cup of coffee I was given was not what I'd expect from a quality coffee shop, I was pleased to have visited the establishment because the taste experience brought to mind fond childhood memories and 2) this will not deter me from seeking out good coffee, because the very occasional dud is, from my experience, rare if you know what you are looking for and 3) I still bought some of their beans because I wanted to find out if the beans were at fault in some way: they were not, I made a coffee on my return to the van and, enjoyed it very much. So they do sell good coffee beans and, if you like Grandma style coffee drinks, Yellow Bourbon Specialist Coffee Cafe in Faro is the place to go!
Who serves "speciality coffee" in a plastic beaker?! Philistines!

An the way from Faro to Olhão I again encountered EuroVelo 1:

  • Distance driven: 19 miles
  • Distance cycled: 73 kilometres
  • Weather: Cloudy and mid twenties C temperatures.

Today's route: