As I mentioned yesterday, we were convinced to take the electric bicycles to Sintra. They aren’t really electric bicycles, the motor assists you in pedaling, but you have to be in the correct gears for going uphill or downhill for the motor to help at all. Mostly we had the motors off (going downhill of course) and very rarely used them going uphill so even though we rode for about 3 hours and did quite a bit of uphill, we only used 1/4 of the battery power. It would have been an incredibly difficult hike if I had had to carry our pack. The hills led to mountains, up and up, no bike paths, but tons of bikers out on a warm autumn Saturday. We passed beautiful boulder fields, amazing estates, and in under 3 hours we arrived in Sintra.
There is a festival of mannequins occurring, the town is jammed shoulder to shoulder with tourists, tuk-tuks flying around and yet we happened to walk into a group of five pilgrims from China! They were wearing Spanish Camino shirts, and we said “Bom Caminho” as we passed. They stopped us and said we were the first people they encountered who recognized the meaning of their shirts. They had already completed the French Way and were from a travel company in China who are hoping to encourage more Chinese to travel the different Caminos.
We did a little video interview for them and took a bunch of photos.
We toured one of the four major castle/palaces and then went out for dinner. Our total walking was 10 miles and 177 flights of stairs (I told you it’s hilly here) and about 16 miles of mountain biking.