Michnus & Elsebie Piki-Piki Around the World.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by michnus, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Our first stop next to the French coastline was at Mont-Saint-Michel, an 11th century abbey on a rocky island. The farmland landscape around Mont-Saint-Michel makes for interesting venues and great local eats and shopping. We stayed at a campsite on a farm and were quickly offered the use of an open barn to protect us against most of the rain and wind. The view over to Mont-Saint Michel reminds of late middle ages and really takes you back to those times.

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    Camping next to a farm shed.

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    Nothing cramped about the French countryside.

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    Espresso and a shot of whiskey to keep warm.

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    Nothing like wild camping, just do not pack out the garden gnomes. :biggrin:

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  2. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    We end up at La Rochelle to celebrate Michnus’ birthday with freshly caught oysters and copious amounts of local beer. La Rochelle is a must stop – we just loved the old harbour, all the seafood restaurants and the little shopping streets. La Rochelle although a bit touristy seems to attract a lot of the snooty nose in the air yacht owners. Well how else they are the pillars of society and need to show their importance. It’s all quite fun walking around with our rags rubbing shoulders at larny cafe’s with the blue and white stripe sailors.

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    Wibien, the Dutch dentist we met in Africa with the 1972 VW pick up flew to Bordeaux and she spend a week with us hanging around La Rochelle.

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    Don't know this brand but you sure act like a monkey when consuming too much of it.
    :lol8:
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  3. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    As you know you are not allowed to see nudity. If you feel you are adult enough then click the link. :deal:D

    http://www.pikipiki.co.za/discover-fabuleux-france/2/


    Okay, it may seems a like a bit of perving. More like a 13 year old who sees a steal boob for the first time. *:lol8:
    But to South Africans the top-less and nudity beaches are an unknown attraction. We however loved the freedom that embraced the people on the topless beaches – no uncomfortable staring and shy bodies. We loved it.

    https://www.smugmug.com/photos/i-JSr2JRk/0/M/i-JSr2JRk-M.jpg https://www.smugmug.com/photos/i-bM2g3dB/0/M/i-bM2g3dB-M.jpg

    http://www.pikipiki.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/france-2013-101-e1421236852166.jpg
    South of France beaches topless tanning is still very much loved by most women. It is refreshing to see women enjoy their freedom.

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    Picked up a friend from the airport in Bordeaux – yes, picked her up with our bikes! We moved some luggage around and there you have it – two bikes, two tents, three people and an adventure ahead!

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  4. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    The biggest & highest dune in Europe – Dune de Pilat

    Back in Bordeaux we quickly learned that camping in France is actually more an activity of ‘parking’ a caravan or RV. We camped at LeVillage DuLac and it felt a little bit like being in the Addo Elephant Park … us in our small tent surrounded by giants. Now, we love to mingle with all kinds of people, getting to know the cultures and differences between countries.

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    Had to steal this photo. That patty is bloody raw! I mean slaughtered few hours before and a Vet can still make it moan. :lol3

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    Cheese, wine, fresh figs, and warm bread late afternoon on the Bordeaux river flowing past the city.

    In France we found it generally difficult – yes, the language barrier did not help but it felt a little bit as if we were irritating the local community. *:lol3 We normally avoid restaurants due to our budget but on the one occasion we did wander into one, it was difficult to order and even worse when the meat turned out tough and we got solidly ignored when we tried to return the dish. *

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    Having our friend and her ‘school French’ did not help at all and at the Chateau Dillon we were told straight out ‘No’ we do not speak English and once more ignored. Anyway this is generalising – all in all this country is beautiful with stunning wine and cuisine. Look the French is known not to be fond of English or the Brits. *Generally France is a very nice country to travel and especially on motorcycle it’s great when on a tight budget.

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    Bordeaux has a groovy vibe and there’s an energetic feel about the city. It’s old buildings really drives home the rich history while strolling around the narrow streets. Even the older people go about like they are still in their late 20’s. Wearing stylish hip clothing sitting outside cafe sipping on their espresso.

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    Wibiens tent is a tad to small and not waterproof :lol3
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  5. Olirider

    Olirider Been here awhile

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    Location:
    The country of stinky cheeses
    That bloody raw patty is called "Steak Tartare" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steak_tartare



    In France, we have a problem with the level of customer service.
    I always find the service to be much better in English speaking countries.
    So the bad service would have been also bad for French customers.
    Of course you can find restaurants with excellent service but not often in touristic areas.

    That is surprising : In a Bordeaux chateau, people are supposed to be used to foreign customers and to speak at least basic English.

    Some French love the Brits : my sister married a Brit and has been living there for 25 years ! :D
  6. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Many people told us the Steak Tartare is actually quite tasting. Will go and try it at some stage. :huh:D

    The service and friendliness of the French overall was really cool. We had these 2 incidents that was out of the ordinary. Maybe it is just an age old thing between the French and the Brits? :wink::lol3

    I love the French they are upfront and talk straight and the language is just beautiful.
  7. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

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    Steak tartare is actually quite good. I gave it a crack when I was in france last as a bit of a "when in Rome" type thing to experience and quite enjoyed it. Not sure I'd order it again, it's was very rich and the texture is, well, raw, but it was worth a shot.

    Also, I found the issue some french take with English speakers is actually more an issue with the English, whom some French people don't like so much. So when id sit down at a restaurant I learnt to say "I'm sorry I dont speak French I am from Australia" and it made a massive difference over just apologising for not speaking French, because they hear an English language accent and assume your English. This might have been the same for you.
  8. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Make sense, we did not do that. We tried to learn a few French words like "beer" and "may I have more beer" but then when we turned to English things went South :D
  9. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    We had to spend some time in Bordeaux exploring before Wibien left. In the end it was a bit of serendipity. The French culture and way of life is something one can quickly get accustomed to.

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    Old geezer nearly took his own head off watching the booty going past. *:lol8:

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    All kinds of people makes the world go round. *:)

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  10. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Buy from Supermarkets and food is on average a bit more expensive than in SA but I guess about the same as in the USA.
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  11. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Wild camping in France is so easy. Just buy some wine, cheese and bread and go look for a place to camp.

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    Laurant, aka Asian Rider. He circumnavigated Africa the same time as us and we met him at Jungle Jungle in Nairobi. We have stayed in touch ever since and was cool to stay with him and his fiancee for a few days. He showed us around Provence.

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    French country side in Provence region reminds you of the Western Cape.

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    Provence France, some of the grooviest mountain passes to enjoy on a bike! Not to mention the breathtaking views, cool villages and cafe’s to spent the days sipping on red wine.

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    La Ciotat harbor Provence France. We had way too much wine to drink sitting outside a small cafe.

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  12. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/115042282" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe>​
  13. Pawlie

    Pawlie Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Vancouver, B.C.
    Michnus,

    I recently discovered this report and I'm only about 15 pages into your adventure......

    Terrific ride report. I like your pace..... Lots of photos loafing around drinking ale and cooking over a fire. This just seems like the right way to do things.

    Thanks for your efforts in writing up your adventures and allowing us to ride along in spirit.

    Cheers,
    Pawlie
  14. bigdon

    bigdon Long timer

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    Michnus , how many miles/km do the Dakars have on them?
  15. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Thanks for the feedback Pawlie we really appreciate it big time. :thumb

    I was thinking of giving it up as a bad job. Have posted nekkid chicks, cars, bikes, off road stuff, different countries but not much response. I thought I might be in a different universe, most men i know would want to see such stuff. :lol3

    But it is good to know there's still people that's reading our ramblings. :D
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  16. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    Bigdon they are on 85000km each. But to be fair what they had to endure with us most probably aged them to 160000km. :lol3

    We let them hibernate now in Germany until we get back from our Americas trip in a few years.
  17. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    4 reasons not to visit portugal 2013
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    For a tiny country 900 years old and only measuring 1200km coastline by about 200km, Portugal packs a massive punch; for mind altering overland experience, a colourful crazy history, and house music loud extrovert fun people. Our initial plan - to rip up this country in a short 2 weeks travelling the coastline - ended up very close to a month crisscrossing the entire country.

    But beware; all is not as it seems in Portugal. You should take note of the following!

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    If you are geographically challenged, this is where Portugal is in the world. Portugal is that tiny piece of green.

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    At last we made it to Portugal!
    It is almost impossible to leave such an incredible contrastingly beautiful country.
    You will forever want to go back for the striking sunsets over Douro valley, the sunny warm days on the beaches in the Algarve and old cities like Porto and Lisbon. Portugal is an incredible diverse country of deep valleys and rolling hills. For generations, families have eked out a living from the steeply terraced vineyards of the mountainous north, and from the cork oak plantations.

    The coolest thing about Portugal is that you do not have to cross continents and travel mega miles to see interesting stuff. There are new things to experience around every turn. It's a compact country which offers an intense travel experience.

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    Douro Valley Portugal. Not just stunning views but also some of the best wines and Port in Europe

    The Douro River winds it's way through winelands and olive farms. Picture perfect, a wonderful mix of old farming methods meeting the new modern.* Now mix in some Port tasting stops and you have a fresh new heaven!

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    Porto harbour, one of the must visit places in Portugal

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    Algarve Portugal.
    Portugal will even leave those who maintain the highest appreciation for the wonders of nature speechless. Storybook picturesque mountains lay to the north. Everywhere you turn gives you a post-card like view.

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    Alvor or Lagos fisherman Portugal
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    Stunning views. The Peneda-Gerês National Park, also known simply as Gerês, is the only national park in Portugal.
    The Algarve region in the far-south features mostly rolling plains. Its coastline is notable for limestone caves, grottoes and mind-blowing beaches. If you enjoy being surrounded by large-scale natural beauty, golden beaches and a surfers paradise you will love the experience of being in Portugal.

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    Train station in the Douro valley with their authentic blue painted

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    Sesimbra coastline, Portugal Vila do Bispo. The Portuguese have a big love affair for colourful pottery and tiles.

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    Vila do Bispo- Portugal love affair with pottery and tiles

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    Alcoutim Portugal
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  18. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    2) The food will kill you!
    This is serious stuff!* You eat knowing the goodness is going to kill you sooner than later but you can't stop yourself. Portuguese food is that good. I do not think there is a place in the world where seafood is more loved than on the coasts of Portugal. Grilling most seafood from Sardines to Octopus you'll taste the sea like never before.
    Portuguese cuisine is rich, fresh and full of flavours that have been perfected over generations. The Portuguese will change your impression of cooking 3 different meats in one pot. And then there’s .

    http://www.porcopreto.iwork.pt/uk/produto/2/barrancos-pdo-ham
    Something you must eat before you die!
    Sagre and Super bock is Portugal local beers.

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    Francesinha - Grilled cheese steak sandwich in a beer sauce.

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    Francesinha - Grilled cheese steak sandwich in a beer sauce. Sagres and Super Bock are local prefered beers.

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    Grilled Sardines!

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    The treats to death continue with diabetes induced desserts. They know how to turn sweets into heart attacks. Specialty desserts also include queijadas, a decadent pastry that you will have to experience yourself to understand! Espresso is a right like having water and every meal finish with an espresso and Pastel De nata. They also do that as a nice snack throughout the day.

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    Super Bock - Popular local Portugal beer.

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    Faro motorcycle club. They also have one of the coolest bars.

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    Motorcycle Clube de Faro beer tap. Clube de Faro beer tap.

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    Portuguese egg tart pastry and espresso. Pastel de Nata

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    Modest entrance to Adega Velha restaurant.

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    Restaurante Adega Velha in Mourao Portugal.

    This is no fast food joint. Traditional music & camp; singing, while enjoying wine poured directly from the huge clay pots. Then the restaurant owner who talks like you are a local and long time friend. The food is some of the best on offer in Portugal.

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    View over the fairytale town of Sintra

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    Beautiful blue and white tiles used on many old buildings.

    After a jovial reunion with Pedro, while gorging on the famous local Porto Francesinha sandwich and beers, we were 'instructed' to turn back and appreciate the inland of Portugal too!* Well, was he right!! Porto is such an interesting city, old and new mingles with tradition and if you wander a bit off the touristy track you find gems.* The historical water front along the Rio Douro is packed with restaurants and architecture.* The historical part of Porto is today an UNESCO World Heritage Site and well worth spending time in.

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    Porto Portugal.

    One of Portugal's internationally famous exports, Port wine, is named after Porto.* If you are not going to travel up the Douro River to the wineries, do try the varieties available here - it is sweet but not much can beat it for taste. If the food does not kill you the Port and wine will!

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    Blue and white tiles of Portugal

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    Blue and white tiles of Portugal
    We visited the Azulejo National Tile Museum.* Established in 1965 and located in the former Convent of Madre Deus.


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    Porto harbour

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    Painted against the wall of a small cafe. Algarve painted murals.

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    Portugal life. Life is good even the dogs are chillin in Portugal
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  19. michnus

    michnus Lucky bastard

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    3) The Portuguese will wear you out!

    That is if you are an introvert and not much of a social soul. If however, you love mixing with people and making new connections, Portugal is for you. The Portuguese are loud, social, lively, warm and adventurous, with a romance language with Latin roots. This is one of the first countries both of us agreed we could quite easily make our home.
    And this is the problem; it is easy to get comfortable with local folk.

    It is not easy to say no-thank you for an invite to eat and drink anytime of the day. We received invites from complete strangers insisting we share lunch or dinner with them. *We loved the bold personalities that can be very entertaining and fun! You will not want to leave; it just feels like leaving old friends and family behind.

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    Saul and Isabel crazy bike lovers

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    The coolest biker at the coolest bike club in Portugal - Braza Tavares - Moto clube Faro

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    Meeting old friends again. We first met Pedro, Helder and Paulo in Angola when they shipped their bikes from Portugal to Mozambique and rode across Africa to Angola.

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    Daniel &quot;why be normal&quot; with his super cool family.

    The folklore is vibrant and there is often traditional music played, home-made items for sharing, and elegant artwork. The signature of Portuguese art is beautiful blue paintings on white tile. With that the religious history of Portugal has inspired some really beautiful structures and arts.

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    Some cool tracks to ride in and around The Peneda-Gerês National Park. Also known simply as Gerês, it's the only national park in Portugal.

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    View over Geres Portugal

    We came in from Spain at the top of Portugal, on directions from our old friend Pedro (friend we previously met in Angola on his and our travels in 2010), we headed back North towards Braga and then the
    https://www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/porto-e-norte/73747
    Our first day already gave us the most fascinating experience.* We entered a small town and found a 'shop' selling old motorbikes - wrecks are a better description.

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    Cork trees Alentejo area

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    It's damn cold and wet.

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    One can't even enjoy some fresh mountain water in peace.

    No one could speak English, but the mutual admirations we showed toward the bikes were enough.** A visitor started telling Michnus in VERY broken English about more priceless 'motos' that could be found in a private collection consisting of around 1000 motorcycles between Cabreiros and Ferreiros.* A few hours later, with no address and very vague directions, we headed in that way, anyway...

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    Quail eggs, cheap red wine, Chorizo sausage, bread and some greens. Just love travel food!

    On entering a circle at the first town, we saw a bike shop on the one side and Michnus stopped to ask if anyone had an idea where the collector might be found. *The shop owner did not understand English very well, a visiting customer in the shop immediately took us under his wing.* He also knew about the collector but himself never made it to a viewing.* He got on the phone, then in his car and told us to follow him ...

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    Narrow streets of Evora.

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    Beautiful tiles on buildings in Portugal. Short of the long, we did not find the collector, but ended up spending a memorable day with this family - enjoying the first of many hospitable Portuguese days.* We were treated to a traditional lunch of oven baked chicken, beef and potatoes with rice. It reminded me so much of our South African 'boerekos' (fresh home made food).

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    Medieval town of Monsaraz is a civil parish. Town centre. We spend two nights at a very neat and affordable hotel, http://www.hotelcarvalhoaraujo.com as it was raining constantly.* We walked the streets, observing the tourist and locals alike, took outrides with our bikes into the park and even got a glimpse at how a funeral was held in a small town. The stunning scenic views at https://www.visitportugal.com/en/destinos/porto-e-norte/73747Gerês and Parque Natural Peneda/Gerês are unbelievable.* The park borders Spain and has some of the highest peaks in Portugal.

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    Portugal back country roads on our way to the small town of Alcoutim.

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    No magic could turn any of the pumpkins into new bikes.

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    View from Alcoutim over the river to Spain.
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  20. milknosugar

    milknosugar Adventurer

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    22
    Really enjoy your report nice easy style. Feel bad that I haven't said so when I read that you feel no one was reading it. Keep up great work ,with you vicariously from kiwi land


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