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J58 - Sunday, December 13: Lisbon: Tower of Belèm – In the middle of nowhere or almost = +1 km from the traffic circle of Infantado = intersection of N10/N119

73.8km – 9H31’
Altitude 68m
There are four French people and a Canadian at the start this morning, as well as a journalist from a Portuguese sports magazine who came for an interview:  Florence, her husband and their two children, who attend the French high school of Lisbon, and Pedro.  They accompanied Serge to km 20, taking our runner into the old quarters of the city.  René and Joël are waiting for Serge at precise places.  After the military museum, the docks, with containers piled up for several hundred meters, we enter the new quarter of the casino and the Park of Nations.  The modern architecture here is in strong contrast to the charming old fashioned buildings.  This quarter, as well as the Vasco de Gama Bridge was built in 1998 for the World Exhibition.
At the terminus of this quarter, we head to route N10 and cross the Transao River which flows into the Tage.  Going north the climb is not easy for Serge because there is a head wind, his gluteal muscles hurt and he can’t move forward.  The N10 is an industrial road and the factories and warehouses block our view of the Tage, which is on our right side.
At km 56 Serge is at Villa Franca de Xira.  There is an arena for bull fights and there are statues of toreadors on several squares.
Leaving town, we cross the Tage and here it is not too wide.  The bridge is 1km long and there is a double lane for pedestrians.  As much as the right bank of the Tage is hilly with 1000 and 1 hills, the left bank is a vast flat plain… almost as far as the eye can see.  Night has fallen when Serge finishes the stage, a rare but normal phenomenon because he only started after 8:20 AM from the Tower of Belèm.  He seems to find his energy at the end of the stage.  The wind has dropped and blows from one side.  It’s a chill north wind but we don’t complain because the weather is beautiful and all the balconies we have seen today have lines with laundry hanging to dry.  This is something we don’t see anymore where we come from.
Tomorrow, Vendas Novas – Montemor O Novo and don’t hesitate to follow Serge with his gprs beacon.

Town : Infantado (lieu dit)

GPS : N°38.83227° W008.72546°