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TDP2021: Day6 – Pueblo de Sanabria – Porto – Hello Portugal!

Another sunny day greets us. We slept very well since our Hotel was far from any road or any other source of noise and the night’s temperatures allowed us to sleep with an open window and enjoy a cool breeze.

We’re really looking forward to our drive to Porto today – we’re just 30km from the border and the road I chose for today, coupled with the topography should be interesting.

Northern Portugal is an endless mix of hills and valleys – there is virtually no flat road except around and in towns and cities.

Hilly northern Portugal

Hilly northern Portugal

 

Our TWIKE awaits us with a full battery and a sun rising just behind the trees.

Sunrise TWIKE

Sunrise TWIKE

 

My trusted extension cord that’s been traveling with TW560 since the very beginning and has been to India and Russia has yet again allowed us to charge the TWIKE without getting in the way – can you find it?

This is what creative cabling looks like

This is what creative cabling looks like

 

We take off the canopy and off we go! We are happy that the first 30 km are a climb up to 1180m and allow us to be ready for some recuperation later on.

The last views on Spanish territory promise a day of cornering, climbing, recuperation and coasting. At this altitude temperatures are rather nippy this early.

Northern Portugal awaits

Northern Portugal awaits

 

Finally, we’ve made it! Both my wife and I are very happy to have undertaken this trip and now, TDP2021 can start for real! We both love Portugal and have been coming back to this country for many years – lucky me to work for a company that has most of their employees here and has a fully virtual setup allowing me to just work from another location without any changes to any setup required!

Also, I’m able to mark another country as visited on my TW560 vs. world map.

We made it!

We made it!

 

See me driving into Portugal!

 

Just a few km down the road we stopped for breakfast – Portugal is famous for its pastries and I’m a huge fan of them 🙂

Today I ‘only’ had a Bola de Berlim and the unavoidable, drug-like Pasteis de Nata with some freshly pressed orange juice and some coffee. This should keep me going until tonight …

Endless visibility, 250km to go

Endless visibility, 250km to go

 

Our day indeed consists of driving up and down hills, marveling at the views and enjoying the nice weather. The temperatures remain very moderate and make our drive even more enjoyable.

Big skies, TWIKE action pic

Big skies, TWIKE action pic

 

Eventually, our kids get up and tell us how much they liked Porto the evening before and that they were heading out for some more discovering of the old town and some more ‘awesome’ food.

This is when we decided to change to the motorway and drive to Porto a little faster than we had planned initially. This, however, didn’t change the views or our enjoying the drive as the motorway was virtually empty.

1000m > 400m

1000m > 400m

Leaving the hills behind us

Leaving the hills behind us

 

Stopping at one of the motorway service stations we saw the construction site for a fast charging ‘park’ with (probably, as the chargers themselves weren’t there yet and I had to go by the feeder lines from the electrical substation that were being put into the ground when we were there) 2 super-fast chargers >150kW and another 2 ~150kW.

This is definitely a good initiative, but…have you seen the sheer amount of charging stalls now typically being installed at every Tesla Supercharger location? 4 stalls will be full in no time if the current Portuguese – rather good in comparison to many other European countries – electric car saturation seen in cities spills over to everywhere.

Good initiative but not thinking far enough

Good initiative but not thinking ahead far enough

 

Two super-quick and two quick chargers will, ViaVerde, be very probably in need of an upgrade quickly – especially, given that more than 50% of the chargers currently show an ‘a definir’ (TBD) date for activation.

Lots of TBD here

Lots of TBD here

 

Granted, the substation seemed dimensioned a tad over the power it would have to deliver with just these 4 chargers – let’s hope this is just corporate cash-burn limiting until more users require the service.

Onwards we go – Porto is waiting!

What is always a treat is to drive up to a toll booth with a TWIKE and see the incredulous look on the face of the booth operator: priceless. Also, attempting to negotiate the price for an electric bicycle LOL.

Portuguese motorway toll booth

Portuguese motorway toll booth

 

Eventually, we hit Porto’s afternoon traffic and make it to our place – we have booked one with protected parking and a plug which works perfectly. Our TWIKE now will stay here and charge super-slow for 3 nights until we leave again for Lisbon.

Protected parking in Porto...with plugs

Protected parking in Porto…with plugs

 

We check into our place and head out to the town immediately for some port wine and – later on – sea food. Yum!

Traveling light...

Traveling light…

 

With this – here are the stats for today:

Day 6 - stats

Day 6 – stats

Day 6 GPS track

Day 6 GPS track