Winter Reflections

December 26, 2014

Our bicycle travels in Portugal had been filled with stunning scenery, great food and wine, and wonderful people. But the vibrant colors of fall slowly turned into the dull greys of the approaching winter. We kept cycling south, with dreams of warm, sunny beaches.

Our tent and gear were soaked, so we decided to splurge on a room in a beach town resort. The temperature kept dropping, and wave after wave of rain swept in from the coast. This was supposed to be our "vacation" after many miles of pedaling — sand, sun, a good book, and a cold beverage.

It was one of those nights where everyone in town decided to stay inside and hunker down. Maybe the morning would bring a change in the weather. We probably would not have ventured out of our room, except that we were hungry, and out of food.

We walked out in to the deserted streets, and were stunned by the beauty. The town's holiday light displays were burning bright. What, during the day, had been depressingly wet and grimy streets, were now mirrors reflecting stars and palm trees.

Our moods brightened as we walked the empty streets, discovering gems in the grimy pools of rain water.

Sometimes it just takes a bit of reflection, to discover the beauty in every day.


Photos by Willie Weir

SIGHTS AND SOUNDS is posted every other Friday. Willie Weir is a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine. His books, Travels with Willie and Spokesongs, will inspire you to hit the road, and might change the way you approach bicycle travel. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kat. You can read about their adventures at


mary rosner December 26, 2014, 11:49 AM

Beautiful! Isn't it wonderful how a seemingly depressing moment can really turn out to be splendid! Thank you for sharing the world through your words and photos.

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