department OF ANESTHESIA
southern portugal
MAY 14 - 20, 2017






Van Support

The role of our trip van is to provide support and security. Although you'll feel like you are alone in the quiet countryside, we won't ever be far away and we will always be reachable on our portable phones. Despite the fact that we feel the best way to get the most out of the beautiful scenery we’re travelling through is by bike or on foot, we will never hesitate to give a lift upon request. Needless to say the van will always be stocked with fresh bottled water, soft drinks and snacks.

Getting Ready

Southern Portugal offers great biking and walking for every level of fitness. Nonetheless, if you haven't been doing any exercise for quite awhile, please remember that biking and walking are forms of physical activity. You should start thinking about preparing for the trip. Activities that involve aerobic conditioning such as swimming, biking, jogging, squash, and tennis are great overall conditioners. Stationary exercise machines are good also. One hour of aerobic activity four times a week is a good benchmark. Go out for some hikes or walks, work out at the club, take a bike ride, play some tennis, whatever suits your fancy. The better your fitness level the more you’ll get out of the active part of the trip.

Walking Attire

In general terms, choose light-weight clothing that breathes well and can be layered. Shorts are generally preferable to pants because they don't bind the knees. Some people prefer loose shorts while others enjoy the feel of spandex. It’s entirely up to you. Rain gear is important too.

For walking shoes, it can be your trusty pair of runners or you may decide to treat yourself to a pair of light-weight ultra-comfortable walking shoes or boot. Brooks, Nike, Reebok, Rockport, Avia, Asahi, and Mephisto are just a few of the brand names. If you are keen walkers and are going to be walking hard and fast, then make sure you’ve got a good pair of boots that can give you adequate ankle support. The most important thing is to make sure that whatever you have on your feet is WELL BROKEN IN!!

The Biking

For some, biking clothes will mean a chance to haul out the old shorts and T-shirts, while for others, it will mean an opportunity to model the vast array of flashy (yet practical) clothing that now exists in the bicycle industry. The choice is yours. Frankly, the price and selection of biking accessories is much better in North America than in Europe so take a trip to your local store and ask for advice.


Let's start with the most important piece of equipment in any cyclist's wardrobe - a good helmet. Our routes will avoid traffic but this is no reason not to have a helmet. There are a million reasons to temporarily lose your balance on a bike and, as a friend of ours says, “When you really need that protection, there just doesn't seem to be the time to put it on”. Bottom line - please wear a helmet. There are many different styles now available, so visit a bike shop to check out the selection. It should fit well and comfortably so that you'll wear it and it must carry the ANSI/SNELL approved sticker.

We will have extra on hand for those that choose not to bring their own helmets.


Cycling shorts come in two basic styles. The first looks and wears very much like a regular walking/hiking short. The best are made from cotton or cotton blends and have a padded seat, plenty of pockets and allow for a good range of movement. The second style of short is the spandex short which has caught on as a fashion item both on and off the saddle. Although originally worn only by cycling aficionados, they are practical for all types of cyclists. Look for shorts that are well padded, well sewn and fit snugly but not too tight. There is an endless range of colours and designs to choose from.

It's probably also a good idea to bring a pair of spandex tights, sweat pants or warm-up pants along. They'll be handy on a cool day or for the mornings before things warm up. Again, if you want to go flashy, there are all kinds of good stretchy cycling tights that come in a variety of weights for different weather.

Don’t hesitate to bring along a colourful cycling jersey or two. Layering is the way to go with the upper body. We also recommend bringing short and long sleeve T-shirts and at least one sweatshirt, turtleneck or light jacket.


A good stiff sole is important to spread the pedal pressure out over your whole foot. Your footwear should be light-weight and breathe well. If you don’t have cycling shoes, a good pair of hard-soled tennis shoes will work well. If you're a more serious cyclist then you may own a pair of biking shoes (or may want to purchase a pair). The touring/mountain bike shoe is very practical because you can bike efficiently and walk comfortably when off the bike. If you have a pair of click-in pedals (Shimano, Look, Time, etc) then make sure to bring them along with you. We can install the pedals on your bike without any problem.

Rain Gear

If it rains, let's hope it is a light shower rather than an entire day of rain. They are rare. Still, you'll be more comfortable if you stay dry. New technology windproof and waterproof rain gear made of materials such as GoreTex are your best bet. A jacket or shell is the most important item to keep your torso warm and dry. You can bring along pants but they are not strictly necessary. Do not buy a poncho unless you just plan on using it for walking.


Biking gloves (actually half-gloves) are padded to protect your hands from vibration, thus eliminating that "numbing" sensation that some riders experience in their palms and fingers. Very useful.

Bike Accessories

Your bike will be fully equipped and ready to ride when you begin your trip. It will have a lock, rear carrier, your own personal water bottle, pump, repair kit, and front handlebar bag. Very useful.


There are so many great places to eat in Lisbon, and these sites list most of them. Enjoy choosing.

The Guardian - 10 of the best restaurants and cafes in Lisbon

Elite Traveler - The 9 Best Restaurants in Lisbon

USA Today - Best Lisbon Restaurants

Time Out - Things to do in Lisbon · Restaurants and cafés.

Nelson Carvalheiro - Where to Eat Out in Lisbon.

Like A Local - Eating in Lisbon

The Telegraph - Lisbon Restaurants

Uniplaces - 15 Restaurants in Lisbon you haven't lived until you tried


We know that life is busy for all of you. For that reason, we have selected, out of the countless thousands possible, only a few. If you want to read more, it might be worth tapping in your reading preference with Amazon to see what they suggest.

The Eyewitness Travel Guide to Lisbon
If you are going to buy just one guide book for Lisbon, make it this one.  The fully updated guide includes unique cutaways, floor plans and reconstructions of the must-see sights, plus street-by-street maps of the most popular neighborhoods.  It will help you to discover everything area-by-area, from local festivals and markets to the best restaurants, bars, and shops.

 Time Out Guide for Lisbon
Time Out Lisbon offers a different approach than the Eyewitness Guides.  It’s hipper, cooler, more out there re. coffeehouses, the bars, restaurants and clubs. 

Eyewitness Travel Guide to Portugal
And if you are going to buy just one guide book for Portugal generally, then this is the one for you.  You'll find in-depth detail on all the important sights with maps, photos, and illustrated 3-D cutaways for major sights.

Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945.  By Neill Lochery. 
Lisbon had a pivotal role in the history of World War II, though not a gun was fired there. The only European city in which both the Allies and the Axis power operated openly, it was temporary home to much of Europe’s exiled royalty, over one million refugees seeking passage to the U.S., and a host of spies, secret police, captains of industry, bankers, prominent Jews, writers and artists, escaped POWs, and black marketeers. An operations officer writing in 1944 described the daily scene at Lisbon’s airport as being like the movie “Casablanca” X 20.  In this riveting narrative, historian Neill Lochery draws on his relationships with high-level Portuguese contacts, access to records recently uncovered from Portuguese secret police and banking archives, and other unpublished documents to offer a revelatory portrait of the War’s back stage. And he tells the story of how Portugal, a relatively poor European country trying frantically to remain neutral amidst extraordinary pressures, survived the war not only physically intact but significantly wealthier.

Portugal:  A Companion History.  By Jose Hermano Saraiva. 
Professor Saraiva's one-volume concise history proved a run-away best seller in Portugal and the television series that went with it became a chart-topper. This book is a history of his country, brief, acute and illuminating, written with scholarly insight and with non-specialist foreign readers specifically in mind.

The Portuguese:  A Modern History.  By Barry Hatton. 
Portugal is an established member of the European Union, one of the founders of the euro currency and a founding member of NATO. Yet it is an inconspicuous and largely overlooked country on the continent's south-west rim.  Barry Hatton shines a light on this enigmatic corner of Europe by blending historical analysis with entertaining personal anecdotes. He describes the idiosyncrasies that make the Portuguese unique and surveys the eventful path that brought them to where they are today.

A History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire.  From Beginnings to 1807.  Volume 1.  By A. R. Disney.
The Kingdom of Portugal was created as a by-product of the Christian Reconquest of Hispania. With no geographical raison d'être and no obvious political roots in its Roman, Germanic, or Islamic pasts, it for long remained a small, struggling realm on Europe's outer fringe. Then, in the early fifteenth century, this unlikely springboard for Western expansion suddenly began to accumulate an empire of its own, eventually extending more than halfway around the globe. The History of Portugal and the Portuguese Empire offers readers a comprehensive overview and