Well, I’ve now got plane tickets for RDU > Lisbon > RDU for May/June.
I worked really hard to devise a plan that included both Lisbon and Ireland in the same trip, but five weeks now seems really short. I’ve got friends coming along with me for the first 10 days. That’s great (it really is), but then doesn’t leave me enough time to not have to rush my way about to get to Ireland, and I’m quite tired of doing that in Ireland. Starting in Ireland seemed like a lousy plan anyway, because the weather in Ireland can be problematic in the spring – not the best choice for novice cyclists.
Instead, we’ll cycle the southern coast of Portugal, then I’ll (theoretically) head north along the Atlantic, cycle the Camino del Norte (the northern route of the Camino del Santiago), then loop back around and cycle the Camino in the correct pilgrimage direction (yeah, I know, me going in the direction I’m supposed to be going – hard to believe), and then return to Lisbon for my flight home.
I’ve wanted to cycle the Camino ever since I saw The Way with Martin Sheen. I ended up on part of that overall pilgrimage trail in Jasne Gora, Poland, and have inadvertently followed parts of it over the years. The northern Atlantic shore of Portugal and Spain is mountainous, so the jury is still out on the brilliance of that plan.
An extension of the plan for this tour is not using our phones for communication during the day as a group (what fun is touring with friends when we’re all heads-down on our phones), but I’ll still (likely) blog at night while everyone is asleep, so hopefully you have that to look forward to.
On a related note, I’m very close to completing the editing of my (first?) book from the Istanbul to Ireland tour. I have a publisher at least willing to look at the manuscript, and there’s always self-publishing. People have always told me I should write a book. Now at least I’ll be able to say I have, regardless of how that turns out.