After an amazing four days of rest in Barcelona we were thinking clearly again. Knowing that we had to be in Lisbon in just over two weeks to catch our flights back to the USA, we decided to scrape together the last little bits of money we had, rent a car and cruise across Spain to the border town of Badajoz. From there we could bike the remaining 250 Kilometers or, if needed, catch a train from Évora (about half-way across Portugal).
We were able to break the drive up in two days. We spent the first night pulled over in a quiet construction site, right next to all the machinery. The second night we met up with some of my old friends in Madrid, rested well and made it to Badajoz by around 4:00 pm the next day. Lauren started coming down with a nasty cold. So we took it easy and hoped for the best.
The next day, after dropping off the rental car, we were back on our bikes and headed west. We crossed the border into Portugal about an hour before a massive rain downpour caught us coming in off the Atlantic. Soaked to the bone, Lauren was brave enough to admit this sort of riding was not ideal for her health. We got lucky and found a bus that would take us to Évora for 7 euros and let us squeeze our bikes and all our gear in the underneath compartments.
From Évora we made it to Lisbon the next day and spent the last two weeks of our excursion soaking in the last bits of vagabond travel with lots of little day trips and explorations around Sintra, Cascais, and some of my old stomping grounds. We spent a lot of time reconnecting with my friends from high school, went to a lot of concerts and started dreaming about bringing my songs back to Portugal and touring sometime in the next few years.
We were very grateful for our time in Lisbon. It was important that we ended our trip with the time and space to reflect on the last three months of adventure and misadventure.