Cycling 12,000 miles from Lisbon to Shanghai
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  • Miles cycled: 856
  • Feet climbed: 47,176
  • Cycling days: 18
  • Non-cycling days: 8

Rating (1-10) and comments:

  • Road – condition: 9
    (Almost without exception in very good condition)
  • Road – shoulders and cycle lanes: 9
    (A few cycle lanes (usually in the more touristy areas), virtually always a good shoulder)
  • Road signage: 9
    (Even the smallest junction is well signposted with each turn-off listing the villages in that direction)
  • Drivers: 9
    (Equally as polite and patient as the Portuguese)
  • Campsites – Availability: 7.5
    (Outwith touristy areas campsites can be scarce)
  • Campsites – Facilities/Value: 7.5
    (Sometimes a bit overpriced but generally pretty good)
  • Hotels: 8
    (Look for “Hostals” – these are cheaper hotels, not hostels)
  • Shops: 8
    (Most towns have a pretty good supermarket – remember the siesta though!)
  • Food: 8
    (Fantastic value for money menu del dia – 3 course meal with bread, wine and water for 8-12€)
  • People: 8
    (Probably helped by being able to speak some Spanish)
  • Cost: 7.5
    (Very good value for western europe. Menu del dias are excellent value.)
  • Scenery: 8
    (Very good, great veriaty of terain, something for everyone)
  • Cultural interest: 9.5
    (Fantastic moorish and medieval towns)

Overall: 8.3

General tips:

  • If you want to eat out cheaply ask for menu del dia (often you will just be handed the a la carte menu)
  • Get used to and work around the siesta
  • Spaniards tend to eat a big, late lunch (2pm to 5pm) as the main meal of the day
  • Don’t expect to eat out in the evenings before 9pm!
  • Before 9pm go to a bar with tapas on the counter and order a beer – you’ll be given a free tapas with it