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With a plan to leave at 9:00 am we left at … 9:00 am. Having discovered my rear wheel making crunching noises when rotating, I’m looking for a bicycle shop in my near future.

I’m not that proud. Ok, I am, but willing to fix things that aren’t working. I spent yesterday and today drafting behind Charlotte. She even coasts downhill faster than I, and tailing behind her I can get our base speeds to match.  She’s occasionally worried about her cycling, yet she’s now my support!

Although Sunday, we found a market in Cuba, and Charlotte and I purchased groceries for the day (Wayne having planned ahead and purchased groceries yesterday). We stopped in a small park in Vila Ruiva. As we ate lunch, Wayne brought us tart oranges growing on trees nearby. Shortly thereafter we found a castle in Alvito, continuing our trend of finding castles we can’t enter.

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After our brief respite, we continued on to Viana de Alentejo, where the castle (church included) was closed for a wedding. We walked around the grounds as the wedding closed out. The curator for the castle told us that because he had opened the castle for the wedding, the visit to the castle would be free, and he opened up the museum for us. While Wayne sketched another watercolor, Charlotte and I explored the museum and the castle walls. Charlotte found her way high onto the roof of the church.

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From there followed almost 30 km of almost perfectly straight road. While only an oblique tailwind, we made good time, arriving early in Evora. Making a last-minute decision, we decided on the hostel in the center of town. Making the reservation, I failed to check on their accommodation for cycles, leading to carrying the bikes up two flights of stairs and storing them in the lobby. Just making sure Wayne and Charlotte have the full cycle touring experience.

We wandered the city before dinner, determining things to look at tomorrow. The large fort at the edge of town is private, but discovering the aquaduct that runs through the fort and part of town made the hike worth it. Charlotte also identified a hardware store where I picked up a replacement for my stripped Allen key.

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Our first outside dinner foiled by the restaurant closing the kitchen, we readily found another restaurant nearby. Wayne headed back to the hostel, and I wandered the city with Charlotte, her taking photos of the city during the magical lighting time between dusk and dark.

Now with two days to complete the return to Lisbon, the rides for the next couple of days are moderately short. Tomorrow Wayne and Charlotte will spend more time exploring Evora, while I’ll go to a nearby bicycle shop and have them take a look at the rear wheel. We also still need to identify a place to stay at our next destination – Vendas Novas. The day after next Wayne and Charlotte will ride the final day to the ferry to Lisbon without me; I’ll  head north to parts unknown.

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