90 Days on the road - India To UK in a rush

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Indirider, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
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    Segovia was a special place to me,even though i have been here before.I wanted to come back and revisit some of the most beautiful memories i had in past.And it does not takes a genius to guess,that i was here with my girlfriend.Well, once upon a time i was stupid enough to be deeply in love.Happens more often with a emotional imbecile bloke like me.But,i won't bore you with my rants and bring in the pictures and places i visited next morning.

    If not for the memories, 'aqueduct of segovia' alone is worth a trip to Segovia :D.
    It was marvelous to stand next to this structure, which has been in place for 20 centuries, and think about the engineers and workers who created it so long ago.
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    This 13th century church was bit away from the main city center,looked deserted but beautiful from the outside.It is known as "Church of vera cruz".I did not go inside as the entry fees was 2 euros.
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    Alcazar of Segovia in the background.
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    Arco de la Fuencisla
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    Cheers
    Biru
  2. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
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    I admired and enjoyed the classic touch and creativity in the structures and monuments which Segovia has to offer,I personally believe that the modern day structures has lost that charm and attraction. Avila was next in the order and as you approach towards Avila,you cannot miss to notice the historic walls of Avila.

    Walls of Avila are quite magnificent and encompass the whole of ancient Avila. Construction of these walls started at the end of 11th century and they are 2.5 kms long, 14 meters high and around 3 meters thick. They are still in pretty good nick or i would like say 'very well maintained'. Alfonso VI ordered their construction after his conquest of Avila in 1090. Moorish prisoners were allegedly employed to build the wall.

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    Unique and beautiful piece of Castilian Romanesque church. Don't forget to visit the interior. You will be delighted by the shades of yellow and red of the stones and the cleanness of the stone arches and vaults.
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    Cathedral Of Avila,An absolutely stunning cathedral that boasts many hundreds of years history.There is entry fees 7 or 8 euros if i remember correctly,but it is totally worth it.
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    Thai TukTuk here in Avila :O :D
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    Not so far away from Avila town,there is a view point.Which gives you better perspective/panoramic views of the old town.This point is popularly known as Cuatro Postes (Four posts).There is a cafe opposite to this,it serves some delicious food,i picked it up from google reviews and the food was pretty good.
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    And a popular stop for the guided tours :)
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    Cheers
    Biru
  3. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
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    From here i was confused between Toledo and Salamanca.One thing was clear that i wanted to head South towards Malaga.I contacted my friend Antonio with whom i met on the ferry crossing from Turkey to Greece.He advised me to visit Salamanca and Toledo both :D
    Well,that didn't solved my problem.So i resorted on flipping a coin for better opinion and Salamanca won :D

    I parked my bike at a safe place and walked around the Salamanca old town.

    Convent Of St Stepehn - This is an unbelievable place. The extend and magnitude of the different elements is unique and breathtaking.After a while i was tired admiring the details spread around entire structure :)
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    La casa das conchas - Impressive building with 300 seashells on the exterior walls.Go inside to see the interior courtyard and see the old well still there. Climb the stairs to the upper balcony and look across the way to the bell towers of the beautiful La Clerecia.
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    La clerecia - Very beautiful baroque church. This was closed when i visited.There is a tower where you can climb to admire the aerial views of the town,costs couple of bucks though.
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    Around Old town.
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    Salamanca Cathedral
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    Palacio de Anaya
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    The new cathedral of Slamanca,this should be be visited with it's neighbor, the old cathedral. They had the brilliant idea not to demolish the old one. But build the new one just next to it. Do take an audio tour, it heightens the experience.As far as i remember,entrance fee is 5 Euro.
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    Cheers
    Biru
  4. DC950

    DC950 Microadventurer

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    wow, Salamanca is amazing!
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  5. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
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    Last night was all about beer.
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    Ride to Seville was smooth and tarmac only.As i arrived in town,I begin with the regular tourist escapades which interests me.

    Plaza De Espana was quite majestic and regal. An absolute treat,Spanish architecture at its best. It's so elegant that it could have been a royal palace easily. And the crowning glory, the coats of arms and maps of its various cities in sumptuous colors is a rare treat. Nothing compares.I was expecting a free flamenco show delight,but i arrived during wrong hours i guess :)

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    Next up was Seville cathedral,which was slightly far from the plaza.I dropped the idea of walking all the way and carried my fully loaded bike to the closest point i can reach and navigate with the lame offline maps i have been using.

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    Alcazar of Seville,this palace is fabulous. I enjoyed the visit, it is very impressive. The Moorish architecture is interesting and beautiful, the gardens are a pleasure to wander through.Make sure you don't visit this place on weekend or be ready for a long queue for buying tickets.
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    From historical perspective,Seville Cathedral is one of the top most cathedrals in Europe which should not be missed.Christopher Columbus was buried here,you can see his magnificent monument once you are inside the Cathedral.This place was originally the location of a mosque and echoes of the same can be felt in the architecture. Sheer size of the cathedral is spectacular.
    Moreover, there are many beautiful doors and chapels in the cathedral that are worth inspecting closely, as well as an amazingly detailed alterpiece.And try to get to the top of the cathedral - there's not much stairs (more of a steady incline). Views along the way towards the top are beautiful too

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    And just outside the cathedral,A talented bloke trying to impress people with his skilla.Much better than begging for money.

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    Cheers
    Biru
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  6. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
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    I moved to Cordoba from Seville for more Moorish architectural dope.As i arrived in Cordoba,I booked myself in a hostel,dumped all luggage and went out to soak myself in beer.While the weather was getting hotter everyday,it was a much necessary move and part of diet to keep myself hydrated :D

    The other day,i had to deal with a nasty hangover.Went slightly overboard with the tequila.But atleast i was sane enough to roam around the town and take pictures.


    This is a historic Tower in Cordoba that has been converted into a museum of sorts.I skipped going inside,cannot take history lessons anymore.Already overdosed with heaps of information :)
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    Very next to above tower is this bridge.Pretty old,built by Romans.It seems that Romans were one of the finest civil engineers.Great example for architects and civil engineers of current generation on how things have to be built and stand for thousands of years.
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    Arco del Triunfo is one of the three entrances of the old city,well preserved but quite busy.
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    Mosque Cathedral of cordoba - Without a doubt,One of the most extraordinary monuments to visit in Spain and Europe. It shows how Muslim and Christian architectural styles can live in harmony.This used to be an mosque on which was built a Gothic and Baroque cathedral.Entry fees was 10 Euro and there was separate fees for entering a tower,which gives you aerial views of Cordoba.i didn't go ahead with the tower,there was a huge queue :D
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    I took my time to walk around the city center and i have to admit,i was awestruck by the beauty of it.I have not been to many other places in Andalusia,but i had started to believe that this has to be the most beautiful city in Andalusia.I maybe wrong though :)
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    Cheers
    Biru
  7. BansheeBiker

    BansheeBiker Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Japan
    Ride Reports like this are the new Lonely Planet!
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  8. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
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    I know it can get slightly boring :)
  9. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

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    I thought i would stay in Cordoba for rest of the day,but change of plans and i packed my stuff and started towards Granada.Plan was to head South,visit Sierra Nevada in between.Follow the Spanish coast and visit Gibraltar and move on to Portugal.While planning all this,i was pretty sure that i am going to end up following some different route.But anyway,it is essential to plan because "Failing to plan is planning to fail".

    I looked up over internet on what not to miss,while you are in Granada.Alhambra pops up in the top of the list.Weather today was extremely hot,so i decided not to include too many places in the agenda.This kind of hot weather makes me sweat like a goat and smell like a donkey.Not that i am complaining,such talent comes in handy in crowded places where you don't have to 'excuse me' everyone,that smell does all the talking for you :D

    I arrived at Alhambra,confused where to park my bike.Most of the parking lots were occupied and place was full with people and i was bit skeptical about leaving the luggage unattended.But,i had little choice in that front.I went to the ticket counter and they told me that,i can't visit Nasrid palace as they have limited ticket for it on daily basis.I took the ticket for the rest of the areas which were available for access during that time.

    As you enter the area you won't fail to notice that, this entire place is just magical and brimming with history. To be honest, it's big enough to spend hours there and you'd likely still end up feeling like you've not seen it all, especially if you're a history buff. I skipped the tour guide or audio guide mumbo jumbo as i had limited time. Word of advice though: don't go middle of the day during the summer - it gets very hot up there.
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    I was in no mood of visiting any other place in Granada,weather was very unkind.
    40 kms of deserted landscapes and i arrived at Sierra Nevada which houses the highest peaks of Andalusia. Entire town was empty and deserted.Further ahead of this was the end of the road,there were some cafe's and wild horses around and some lost tourists like me.There was a walking trail beyond this point,but i chose to keep my image of being lazy unharmed.
    As i have some fries and coffee,this horse tries to eat my tent.Damn it,not again :)
    I had to lure the horse away from my bike by offering some fries as advised by shop owner,But it seems the horse was not ready to settle down without a burger.Looks like the horses and cafe owners are working together :D

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    From here i went to Malaga,I wanted to stay in Malaga but all the hotels were pretty costly.I continued along the coast in expectation that the smaller cities along the coast might have some cheap options.But i was wrong,as i reached Marbella it was already dark.I did quick analysis over booking.com and hostelworld and the cheapest place i could find was a hostel in Ronda.And while i write this,Ronda was never there in the plan and i had seriously no idea how beautiful Ronda will be.I just went there to stay for the night and it turned out be a pretty awesome decision.

    Cheers
    Biru
  10. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
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    Hostel Los Molinos is where i stayed in Ronda for the night,This used to be a flour mill and later turned into a hostel.Loved this place,cozy,comfy and plenty of space for motorcycle parking.Best thing about this hostel was its location,slightly away from the town but the views of Puente Nuevo/Arch bridge were mesmerizing from here.

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    I clicked some photos of the place with my DSLR,but later during the day i realized that there is no memory card in the camera.Luckily there was a panorama from phone :)

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    Quite an early start today,went to the town but did not took much effort to explore the area.But this place was right next to the coffee shop.
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    With yesterday's experience on riding on the Southern Spanish coast,i gave up the idea of going to Gibraltar and headed back to Seville and towards Portugal.As i entered from the Southern side of Portugal,i hit the first toll road A22.There were lot of attendants at the toll booth who were providing helping hands for tourists like me,they advised me to register my credit card for the remaining journey in Portugal..if i wish to use the motorways further and i don't want to go through the hassle of stopping at the toll booths and paying it manually.That's a pretty good facility but i decided to take the regular roads,i was desperate to save some bucks.I don't know if i mentioned this earlier or not,roads in Spain were spectacular.I never felt the need of taking the toll roads in Spain.

    While you are in Portugal,You do not want to miss the pristine beaches in South.To cure myself from the hot and humid day,i took a quick break and bath here at Paria Da Marinha.Lot of people,lot of cars and a small hike to the beach from the cliffs.I was slightly worried about my luggage in the parking lot,but luckily nothing happened.This place reminded me of 12 Apostles in Australia and the landscapes along the Great Ocean road.

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    My original plan was to go all the way south until Sagres and then take the N120 towards Lisbon.But i spent quite some time on the beach and i had to skip my plan and head directly towards Lisbon.I have been missing Indian food from quite some while and on my way towards Lisbon,found this Indian Restaurant right next to the highway.I helped my urge to settle down by having this appetizing food.That's Butter Chapati and Mutter-Paneer curry.

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    Ride to Lisbon was a quick affair without much stops,i arrived there by the evening.I planned to stay there for couple of days.However the road condition of the local highways were not so good as compared to the European standards.Maybe it is something to do with the economy of the country or may be the government wants everybody to use the motorways :)

    Cheers
    Biru
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  11. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

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    With two days to spare,i made sure that i have enough rest and enough beers.I did a bit of walking too,which made me judge and conclude that Lisbon is the most beautiful capital in Europe.At least from the list of capitals which i have seen so far.Here is a small account of places which i ticked off my list in Lisbon.

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    Rossio Square - Busy, historic oval-shaped square. Beautiful fountains and statues. Lots of shops and restaurants all around

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    Not so far away from the Rossi square is Praca de figueira.Surrounded by old traditional buildings, some are being refurbished at the time
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    Santa Justa Lift,i chose to watch it from a distance rather than going up at the top.You have to pay (5+ Euro) to get to the top plus there was a long queue and i did not wanted to be a part of it.
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    Iconic trams of Lisbon,old,classy,rustic and beautiful.
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    Beautiful landmark of Lisbon. It is nice to admire it from the floor and observing its uncountable details. Also, it is possible to pay an amount of Euros and go up to this place and observe Lisbon’s surroundings from the top.I chose to stay put on the ground :)
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    As you cross this arc,it opens up to a huge square.Popularly known as Comercio square.Lisbon's largest and most scenic square - it's definitely worth a visit, but is naturally surrounded by high-priced restaurants and cafes.There is a lifetime equestrian monument to the King Jose 1 at the center of the square.
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    Tagus river and the bridge in the distance almost looks like Golden Gate,must be inspired by it i guess.
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    Lisbon Cathedral - A beautiful and old church. Although not entirely in par with the architecture of churches belonging to the same era in Europe, it's still a worthwhile place to visit.
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    On my way to the old castle,ran into some nice looking view points. The view of the city and the river were great from here..do not fail to notice the graffiti's , the mosaic tiles and artists performing during the day time. It really attracts you and invites for a break from your walk.
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    Best thing about visiting the Castle in Lisbon is that it sits at the topmost point of the city.The views from this locale at the top of Lisbon are just stunning. The area at the top is splendidly cobbled with big trees shielding visitors from the heat. I really enjoyed walking up and down different vantage points. It has something for those usually more interested in castle structure itself, and for pure viewing pleasure as well.
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    National Sanctuary of Christ the King is a must visit if you are in Lisbon. This is an imposing statue of Jesus Christ. The surrounding area is peaceful and provides great views of Lisbon. The views get even better if you pay 5 euros to go up to the viewing platform near the top of the statue. I wish i could have taken that ride to the top.

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    Belem Tower
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    Cheers
    Biru
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  12. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

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    Enjoying your report immensely! Awesome photos! If my memory serves, the Albi cathedral was designed to look like a fortress because it was built after the Albigensian Heresy was forcibly "extinquished" by France. The cathedral reminds the people of who is really in power.
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  13. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

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    Hey,Thanks for sharing the info :)
  14. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

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    From Lisbon,i started moving further North.But before that,a quick visit to Sintra was in cards.

    Palace of Sintra
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    Sunny day,lot bikers on prowl :)

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    Sintra has a very colorful looking palace named as Pena palace,this wasn't there in the plan but google helped me to not miss this place.It was worth spending some time and euros here.Don't know much history about this palace,i just went there to admire the color spread around the castle and surrounding views.However,walk from the parking lot till the castle isn't pretty for lazy bums like me unless you pay 3 euros for a bus which moves you around quickly from the entry point to the palace.One day,if i decide to have my own palace,i am going to paint it like this :D

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    Cheers
    Biru
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  15. Duanob

    Duanob Adventurer

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    I agree! Lisbon is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. People are friendly, the ethnic food is good. I developed a love of port. Going into the port shops and checking out the old dusty bottles that haven't been opened in 80 some years. Of course at 1800 euros we couldn't even afford a night cap! Have safe travels! Check out Sintra if you have the time, pretty cool mountain town with a castle fortress.
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  16. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    I wonder if you went to Cabo da Roca - the westernmost point of mainland Europe. Another place I went through was a village called Chaos, just to take a photo - https://goo.gl/maps/DHNsXgHmuRs - since I hadn't taken a photo of Hell in Norway.
  17. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

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    No i didn't.Just checked over maps and it looks gorgeous.Will include in the plan if i head there again and I would love to see that photo from Chaos,if you can share it here :)

    Cheers
    Biru
  18. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
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    I did went to Sintra and visited Pena palace.It was gorgeous,unique,over painted :)
    I wasn't able to go to the other fortress as i arrived late there and it was closed by that time.
    Wow,Aged for 80 years.1800 euros is a lot though :D

    Cheers
    Biru
  19. DavidM1

    DavidM1 Unicorn hunting

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    Just a photo of the village sign (pronounced something like Chowsh):
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    August '96
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  20. Shivanshu

    Shivanshu Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    New Delhi, India
    good to see you here Biru, what an amazing journey so far loved it buddy. Excellent writeup with some amazing clicks....
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