|05-06-2013, 09:00 AM||#16|
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Benson, Oxfordshire
Just put him in his Plaice
Onwards and upwards
|05-06-2013, 02:16 PM||#17|
Joined: Feb 2009
After a couple of days trail riding in Wales I had better get back to the serious matter of the Three Stooges Tour as the pressure is on to finish it before I head to France next weekend.
We awoke fresh as daisies due to the lack of alcohol and an early night a nice breakfast and we loaded the bikes and headed off. The first lane was wet and rocky but we soon climbed up high into the mountains using the firebreaks. It felt as if we were in the middle of nowhere.
Early on in the rocky section one egg head meets another.
The scenery was great.
The fire breaks were great to ride you could see for miles.
A funny moment was miles from nowhere we saw a couple of pickup truck and some guys with strimmers cutting back the vegetation, what was that all about. It was very windy up here and we got buffeted about quite a bit.
After descending down to a river we came to a wide ford. It looked OK but having drowned my DRZ twice this winter I was understandably nervous (funnily enough both times were with Uncle Eddie).
Timpo was keen so after a quick recce the X Challenge started its journey across.
Just as it got deeper it looked to get a little trickier but Timpo made it across with no problems.
With those long legs Dicky Dakar made it look easy.
With my riding skills I made it across standing on the seat popping a little wheelie at the end.
Before Timpo chokes on his beer I should add one of Ricks photos
My Dakar pants were great until the water got to the vents.
After I had filled my boots we carried on through trails that went the eucalyptus groves still following the river great riding with only the lingering smell of deer as the trails had not been used for some time.
The scenery was rubbish.
The trail went somewhere up the green bit.
We saw a few deer and I had the shock of my life as a brown fox jumped through a fence and across the trail in front of me.
We came across another ford that I pushed across although it was pretty easy with a sandy base. Rick and Timpo had no problem.
We were now in stork country and I could see Kermit looked a bit worried as the circled overhead. Although by now his corak was gradually back to his normal roar.
We were going well but nowhere where we had arranged to meet the Portuguese lads that night. After needing a soft drink and crisp lunch (staple diet) we head off the track straight into some sort of Police action with guys with guns including automatic rifles.
Timpo had been doing a good job hiding the flat screen telly from earlier in the trip in his Rally jacket which he kept zipped up at all times. I thought that he shoulders had suddenly looked much wider.
We found a cafe and after the standard fare we headed off in the scorching weather using a trail to avoid the road block.
We carried on for as long as we dared before slabbing it to get to Rodao. On the way in a peculiar smell pervaded the air which turned out to be a paper mill.
We went looking for somewhere to stay which was tricky as it was already 19:30. After a few wrong turns we ended up at someones private house. Luckily the guy spoke good English so with his directions we headed up the hill to the hotel whilst Timpo carried chatting about paper mills.
After checking in and saying that some of our friends would be arriving soon we showered and met for a few cold ones. We had a lovely meal followed by the odd bottle of wine or 3.
Rick and I were shattered so headed for bed leaving Timpo to greet the Portuguese lads who arrived at around 23:00.
|05-07-2013, 03:40 AM||#19|
Fat Old Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Preston, England
Great memories Matt,
as it was only 2 weeks ago I can still remember most of it!
Get the feckin' Orange Strap!
|05-07-2013, 04:07 AM||#20|
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: Market Deeping, Lincs UK
3 Stooges do Portugal--again!
Great write up and phots---submit to TBM?, become professional etc.
Look forward to the Dordogne and similar coverage!
|05-07-2013, 01:22 PM||#21|
Joined: Feb 2009
20th April Saturday
Following a good nights sleep we all joined up for breakfast. The Three Stooges, Paulo, Rami & Hugo from Portugal and Rob from Ireland.
To save money I set my tent up in the kiddies playing area. Not sure how waterproof it would be though.
Rob was on a GS1200 and Rami on a 990 so we had some heavy metal with us.
A good selection of bikes outside the hotel.
Paulo who has a reputation for always being the last to get ready was busy packing before all of us and to be fair he was the first ready to go.
We head up to the top of a nearby hill to admire the view and see both vultures and golden eagles circling above us.
We carried on along some flowing fast tracks along meadows dust was a bit of a problem and Hugo learnt never to follow a bike with a CO2 on too closely through rocky sections as they spit them backwards like bullets which resulted in a broken headlight.
We went through one ford which turned the GS into a 600 single but eventually it cleared itself.
We headed into a town for lunch and in the roasting heat chose to shelter under the sun shades. Timpo chose to give himself a few more rays out in the thick of it. "Mad Dogs and Scousemen go out in the midday sun" you decide which he is.
Lovely tapas style food and plenty of craic we jumped back on the bikes and headed off again. We encountered a few locked gates which we navigated around but that is part of the fun in finding your way. We ended the day dusty hot but satisfied with our fill of trail riding. Monsanto was a spectacular rock outcrop a real tourist attraction.
At one point the track lead us down to this dam which was the only way across the river but with a crane in the middle of it that we would have to lift the bikes over it was a no go so we had to make our way around.
Despite the heat there were still some muddy puddles around which Rob managed to find. It was a multi person job to get the GS out of this hole.
A classic ford which led through some Roman ruins which we all made it through unscathed.
Its always a worry that you will over pay or be ripped off when looking for digs but we had our secret weapon in Rami who is very good at chatting and negotiating the best deal. Whilst doing a deal Rami came out and asked if anyone had a cork screw. As if by chance muddymatt had one in his rucksack and it made short work of opening the bottle of Port that the landlady wanted us all to have a glass out of.
The ladies name "Stella" !
Rick Timpo and myself stayed with a lovely eccentric jewish lady in quite some luxury. Like a little prince I had my own luxury double bed.
We thought we might need this to get Dicky dakar to the top of the hill where the bar was the thought of a cold beer helped him through the pain barrier.
Superb views out across the plain a really fitting end to a great day.
The houses in amongst the rock were really quaint.
Seeing some for sale we wondered how you would get the raw materials up through the narrow streets. We then thought of a craftsman mate of hours and realised that 690 side panniers line with fertiliser bags would be the way forward for transporting materials such as sand, cement and bricks.
After a few beers we headed to a local restaurant for a really nice meal. We sent a runner back to the bar to ensure it remained open for us.
The fun then really started. Mead shots all round I think we did a couple of bottles of that. Hugo crashed into the jewellry display case causing it all to fall down. This bloke then started ridiculing my phrasebook we has got me around wonderful Portugal for 6 weeks over the last few years.
As I was recording this in the book Timpo then snapped the pen of truth in half. Luckily another was procured and I carried on. Boys will be boy and the book started to fill with playground swearwords and sayings. The only one that I could remotely repeat is by an unknown person.
"Everyone's a *!*! except Paulo he's a proper bloke.
Rob's words of wisdom were "All ferry companies are a shower of tits"
Anyway more of this continued and eventually we all stumbled back to our sleeping quarters.
|05-08-2013, 12:15 AM||#22|
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: I live in Hope
Great report and photos. hope you dont mind I have saved a couple
Huh eh woo
Hew screwed with this post 05-08-2013 at 12:21 AM
|05-08-2013, 01:51 PM||#23|
Joined: Feb 2009
Always reliable staying with "Stella" meant we had slightly fuzzy heads in the morning.
She made a breakfast that we ate and slowly got ready. Before she headed off she asked for her picture to be taken with us.
What I had forgotten as I wrote up the tale last night was how much Stella had taken a fancy to Uncle Rick. She grabbed him and said she wanted him to be her bodyguard. She came through a back door into their bedroom with the breakfast tray luckily Timpo and I were there but she had obviously wanted to catched Rick flexing in the morning.
Suprise suprise as Cilla would say Paulo was the last to get ready proving that the first day was just a one off.
Rob had to head off to Porto to go to work so we said our goodbyes and he headed off on the GS leaving a cylinder head guard as a momento.
WE headed off in great weather yet again on some lovely trails although I think it is fair to say we were all a little detuned.
Paulo the numpty managed to fall of his bike trying to put it on its side stand. We carried on through some woods and along an irrigation dyke. The riding was fast with some steep sections so out fuzzy heads were soon a distant memory and we were all buzzing.
We needed to stop for lunch then the Portuguese lads would be heading for home. The first restaurant we went to was full so we went further afield and found a celtic restaurant to dine in.
A fine KTM Enduro R lowrider.
After dining we said our goodbyes and the Three Stooges were once again alone relying on the wit and charm of muddymatt to keep themselves fed and watered or at least amused. The trails were great including some old roman roads and an old toll bridge. At one point we were trapped in a barbed wire enclosure and it was like the great escape untangling it all to get through all great fun.
A confident approach paid off on this bridge.
As usual every day seemed too short and the afternoon had been a full one with tricky rocky climbs and nadgery trails between stone walls. We arrived in the citadel town of Almeida at 18:45 parking near some sort of monument Timpo and Rick sent I the cultural attache over to a bar to sort out some digs. The man told me to go through the gap in the wall and then well to be honest I thought I would make it up or at least follow my nose.
The outer wall and entrance.
Anyway after heading through the gap it was a sizeable maze of streets inside the citadel and I headed upwards looking for any evidence of a suitable place to stay. An old man sat enjoying the last of the sun and I rode up to him asking if he knew of any suitable residences with ensuites and pretty receptionists and bar staff. Sadly on look at me and all he wanted to do was direct me in the direction of a bar and kept saying beer. Despite being a specialist subject of mine beer was not at the front of my mind so I rode onward with my two colleagues behind me. Another chap understood me enough to indicate we needed to go round a corner and there it was a hotel.
It being late and we were tired seeing a pretty lady outside who spoke English was enough.
Timpo's words will be immortal "Matthew sometimes you amaze me"
Checking was done until Rick shook a bee out of his jacket. Timpo and I went back out to lock the bikes up suddenly he became rather agitated and proceeded to remove his boots and also his trousers outside the front of the hotel. The bee had flicked from Ricks jacket into Timpo's trousers. The nice old lady I had been chatting to earlier looked rather bemused as she came out to find a semi naked man outside.
As always I soon made any nice clean room look like a tip.
It was nice to have a religious man man looking over me as I slept, normally I am fearful of a man in a fleece, ron hills and sandals who doesn't look so pious.
We headed out looking around the citadel it was an impressive fortification. Like moths to a lamp we soon found the bar we had stopped at and headed inside for a few cold ones. It was a real locals bar and a football match was in full flow on the telly. Rick and I ordered snacks and we were not to be disappointed. A bottle of wine and we watched the footy until we decided to head for home. As usual for 3 experienced bar flys we headed towards some loud music and went straight into a local bar full of football fans. The bar was smoky but worst of all the barman gave us small bottles of sagres ! One sip and they were gone.
Deciding the hotel was the way forward we left and headed back. Arriving back we had a 50/50 moment bed or bar ? I would have been more than happy to retire but the other two twisted my arm and frogmarched me to the hotel bar where the receptionist appeared after I called out.
Hmm CRF seemed the order of the day the receptionist told us off as she had only had 2 diners in the restaurant all night and claimed she had been waiting for us. Anyway after getting a wax encrusted bottle of reserve CRF down we helped her crack it open, she then ask us how much to put in the goldfish bowl glasses we had.
We sat down and had a good chat and banter bolstered by another CRF.
All too soon it was 00:30 and time for bed.
|05-09-2013, 09:00 AM||#24|
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: South West France
Fantastic, just what a great ride report should be, plenty of good pictures. I am liking the look of those Portuguese fire breaks.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans........John Lennon
|05-09-2013, 12:16 PM||#25|
Joined: Feb 2009
I have a comment in my book no in my handwriting saying"The lovely Emma and Jason arrived" but more of that later.
We awoke and had a nice breakfast in the hotel. By now getting ready was a pretty slick affair. We carried on retracing our steps along the Spanish border doing some trails that we had done on the way down by the scenery was stunning so it didn't matter at all.
We went through the beautiful vineyards heading back towards the Roman Road.
The trails were great as usual with a mixture of surfaces and scenery.
We had enjoyed a good day and Rick decided that he fancied a shower and beer at the campsite at around 17:00 hrs. We sorted out routes and Timpo and I headed off for another hour or so of riding first along the border trails then going down to a river. There was clearly a ford but the river was wide fast and deep. Timpo actually walked across the weir looking for a way across but the risk of failure at this late stage was too high so we retraced our steps.
As ever all was not lost as we enjoyed some al fresco trails off route just riding our bikes and heading in the right direction.
A quick down the new road to Braganca not on any sat navs which was fun and then some more off route riding out in the hills saw us back at the campsite Cepo Verde.
Rick was there with a cold beer in his hand and also Emma and jason who were staying there on a trail riding holiday.
A great night followed with wine, port and some nice steaks.
After a rather late start the jaded 3 Stooges emerged into the sunlight. Rick decided a day in the campsite was in order whilst Matt and Timpo headed off to do some of the WYOA 2011 last day in reverse. Great weather we headed up into the forest and took various trails and making our own way about. It was amazing how many trail were on the mapping Lusitania that we were using. At around lunch time we stopped at a lakeside beach for a sandwich unheard of on other days. Rick will be jealous I thought.
We waited for the ladies beach volleyball teams to arrive but we were on the wrong day.
Lovely place though I had ridden past it twice before.
We headed back to the campsite for another good meal with wine and beer before retiring.
We got up breakfasted and said our goodbyes at the campsite. We first headed for a cash and carry to stock up on some booze. Suitably loaded it was on the new road into Spain and then the pretty mundane drive up. To make the journey more interesting we played the game of spot the house of ill repute and we headed North. There are quite a few it seems.
Into Santander we left the port and went for a walk and a meal in a cafe. Before heading back and twiddling our thumbs. There were quite a few vans with traveller type people in so we thought customs could be interesting.
The ferry was loaded and after dropping our things off we headed to the bar for a few beers, watched the entertainment and hit the sack.
Starting the day with a commodores breakfast we then killed time until the ferry docked at Plymouth. The weather was not quite what we were used to.
Due the customs shed being full of the crusties vans we exited the port quickly and started on the long drive back to Timpo's punctuated with a quick stop for a Burger King.
I knew we were nearly there because Timpo burst into song singing "Ferry across the Mersey"
After a rapid unload and reload we said our goodbyes and Rick and I headed home. Getting home late I crawled into bed ready for work the next day.
Many thanks to Timpo for driving us there and back, Uncle Rick for his company and the Portuguese lads for a great couple of days.
Portugal is a great place for trail riding the people friendly and the changing scenery makes for a great experience.
Just got to finish loading the van ready for France on Sat.
Trail riding you can't beat it.
|05-09-2013, 02:41 PM||#26|
Joined: Mar 2007
Great report Matt! It was a shame we didn't manage to ride with you guys for a couple more days... at least during those days Rick thanked us for getting Timpo to stop for lunch as you weren't used... Timpo's Riding Diet so they say! (useful in any riders bookshelf side by side with the KTM Book of Lame Excuses)
Eagerly waiting for a next ride...
8? Honda QR50 (my kids bike)
91 Aprilia RX50 (first bike)
93 Honda AfricaTwin
98 Husaberg FE400
05 Honda Zoomer
ex-88 Honda Dominator (2008-2009)
72 Lancia Fulvia 1.3S
79 Ford Capri 2.0S
00 Land Rover Defender 110SW (sadly missed)
|05-09-2013, 03:13 PM||#27|
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Porto, Portugal
great report Matt, ?ve love to read it.
Hey, after all you do write very well ;)
I also share Paulo's sorrow for not riding some more time with you.
|05-09-2013, 03:49 PM||#28|
Joined: May 2008
Location: Accross the pond
GReat report and great pics!
Funny enough by looking at them many places we been there already in VaP 2011 & 2012
Growing old is mandatory... growing up is optional!
Raid de L'Amitié 2011 RR (link)
|05-10-2013, 01:27 AM||#29|
NORTH WALES TRF.
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Downtown Wombatislava, England.
True. We used VAP3 from Braganca to VVdRodao, then PaP2003 and a new track from Paulo to head back North.
Paulo's track was......interesting! Large rocky hill climbs and some vegetation...... the bushes had me pinned at one point, but a few expletives were whispered and I broke free.....
So, we have done VAP2 and VAP3, I guess we owe Quim a few beers....
The Rave Generator......
|05-10-2013, 01:44 AM||#30|
Fat Old Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2004
Location: Preston, England
Another Great Report!
Well done Matt,
Captured the ride a treat!
Can't wait until the next one!
Er, that will be tomorrow then................
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