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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by michnus, Jun 11, 2011.
Thanks, will one day be in Kiwi land for a few beers and a visit.
FOUR: Abandon all logic and common sense for a life of a freeloader living on a beach in the Algarve.
Algarve region has a groovy laid back, old school, surfers feel to it. It's still sort of stuck in the past with authentic houses and architecture. Nothing happens fast - tomorrow is another day. Spending the days at cafe's drinking beer, surfing and grilling seafood is well worth walking away from corporate life. The beaches in Portugal are a bit more conservative than France, so not too many topless girls around, but immensely beautiful, with vast empty unspoilt stretches. The beaches of Portugal are among the most incredible in the world and are among the countrys greatest highlights.
Albufeira - Algarve. The church got your back. Just repent and do it all tomorrow again. Algarve at night.
Lagos is a busy hive at night with many bars and restaurants open till late- Algarve - Portugal
You want to look at the beach and commit it to memory. Some are tame and exquisite, offering pure white sands and calm clear blue waters; others have a greater intensity where surfers dare some of the biggest waves in the world. Whatever your preference, you will surely fall in love with the beaches of Portugal.
Our friends we met in Angola were waiting for us in Sesimbra, so we had a quick stop at a rainy, arty town -Sintra.* I will be returning to spend some time here for sure. The main road along the ocean towards Lisboa (Lisbon) was a first world pleasure. Most of the time 3 lanes, well organised and allowing quick access to areas.* We took the Ponte 25 de Abril bridge (at 17kms the longest in Europe) across the Tagus river to Sesimbra.
Ponte Sobre o Tejo, or its official name as Ponte 25 de Abril
Rio's Christ the Redeemer and the Ponte Sobre o Tejo bridge, or its official name as Ponte 25 de Abril. Ponte 25 de Abril bridge.Over 2km-long, this striking Golden Gate-style suspension bridge links Lisbon with Almada with a view to the Catholic statue dedicated to Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, inspired by Rio's Christ the Redeemer. Ponte Sobre o Tejo, or its official name as Ponte 25 de Abril (the 1974 revolution day or with the name of whom made it, Ponte Oliveira Salazar. Vasco da Gama is the other one up ahead Tejo river, its made of concrete and is around 12km long.
Catholic statue dedicated to Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, inspired by Rio's Christ the Redeemer. National Sanctuary of Christ the King - Lisboa Portugal.
Monastery Cape Espichel - Sesimbra Portugal.
Apparently there are 3 of these statues in the world. One here, one in Angola and the famous one in Rio. We have visited two of the three now. Not because we are religious but they were just just part of the route, maybe some magic?
Lisbon - Old, new and super modern all combined - a lively city.
Santa Justa Elevator.
Sesimbra gave us an insight into the daily coastal living for both the working class and the fishermen. *A mere 40 km from Lisbon, it makes for a peaceful lifestyle for those willing to commute. The harbour is quite busy with both professional and sport fishing, but there is unfortunately a big tourism foot here too.* The town is famous for its beaches, fish restaurants and nightlife, well in - season, we were a bit too early /late.
The original name of Celtic origin was Cemp Briga, meaning the Burg (Briga) of the Celtic tribe the Sesim.* Close by, on a mountaintop, 240 m above sea level, lays the Moorish castle, and it affords a beautiful panorama over Sesimbra, its harbour and the surrounding countryside.
Padrão dos Descobrimentos - Lisboa Portugal. Statue built in 1940 and made permanent in 1960 to mark 500 years since Henry the Navigator's death.
The Wild Dolphin statues of Setubal.
View over Setubal with the old war cannons.
Our friends took us on a day trip to the Arrabida National Park, east of Sesimbra, located on the northern shore of the Sado River estuary.The park covers the beautiful Arrábida Hills. Mediterranean-like vegetation and two of the popular beaches are 'guarded' by the Convento da Arrabida, which was established in the 16th century.
The Portinho da Arrábid beach is famous for being a regular feature on Portuguese TV commercials and the perfect stop over.* We also had a great view over Setubal and the now famous Praia de Comporta where some well-known stars own houses.
Camping - Pedro de Moel.
We left Sesimbra after a blissful week and went exploring inland again. Sesimbra, Setubal, Evora, Mourao, back via Monsaraz,* Alentejo and meeting our friend again at the coast, Vila Nova de Milfontes.
Vila Nova de Milfontes.
We will be back! Portugal turned out to be one of our all-time favourite countries to travel.
That was a great report on Portugal. Never did I imagine it had such diversity and interesting attractions
Back from 1 week vacation but still enjoying the report very much !
I'm finally caught up with this report. Once again I would like to say thanks for sharing this with all of us adventurers. A tale well lived and told through both words and pictures.
My wife and I recently visited Portugal and share your enthusiasm for this fabulous country with it's crazy mix of urban/rural gems. So much to explore in Portugal both old and new.
Bike freak bonus: Portugal is the only European country I have visited with dirtbike trails wandering off into the hills beyond villages and guys out there enjoying them! So much good in Portugal.
All the best to you both on your further journeys. Do get in touch if you are through Vancouver on your Canada leg. Beer, Bed ect. in exchange for tall tales from afar.
Thanks Pawlie for the invite, hopefully we can take you up on it next year or so when we ride back from South America.
Spain, bet you did not know this.
Queen: "Barcelona - It was the first time that we met" Passers by did not appreciate my performance of Queen's famous song.
After our memorable trip through Portugal, we were left with little time for Spain. We mostly toured along the coastal areas. Espana being such an unhurried relaxed and vibrant country, taught us lots of interesting bits. But before we tell you about the interesting things you might not know about Spain, this is why we will return for sure!
It is one of the few countries in Europe where you can still find good and bad offroad trails, wild camping and small villages with the most friendly laid back folke making some of the best tasting cured meats.
Spain windmills and some of Europe's best dirt roads. In search of Don Quixote.
-Glorious mountains, valleys and passes that still gives the feeling of discovery.
-Colourful fiestas and festivals. We came in very late in the season and will have to return for some of the following: The La Tomatino Festival in Bunol, The Valencia Fireworks Festival, The Moors and Christian Festival Alicante, Las Hogueras de San Juan, La Feria de Malaga.
-Spain has a huge artistic heritage and some beautiful old churches, palaces and buildings. Whether you like museums or not, there is something for everybody's taste. We unfortunately missed Salvador Dali museum.
-Barcelona so far one of our favourite cities.We loved the buildings and the Ramblas.
-It is affordable to travel in Spain, whether you want to low-budget camp or stay in a resort there is a place for all. If you do a bit of homework and link to a few information sites, you can get good bargains.
-Ibiza yeah, touristy but a have to go back and try.
-Valencia GP and Formula 1 races.
-Medieval towns and good stories
-The good wine and food everywhere. Tapas, paella, jamon de jabugo, sangria
Antoni Gaudí buildings - Casa Batlló in Barcelona.
Barcelona -Antoni Gaudí buildings - La Sagrada Familia.
Cudillero the small fishermen's village in the Principality of Asturias, Spain.
Small rural villages near the coast in Spain.
Spanish food are rich and best with wine.
Stunning old motorcycles at Museo de la Moto de Barcelona.
The Spanish loves motorcycles. I think they have the most bikes of all the countries in Europe.
Wait for the bar to open late afternoon.
this is an awesome ride report.
looking forward to the next instalment.
thanks for the update. loving your style.
savoring every pic.
What did we learn in Spain?
If you can't beat them join them
SIESTA time! Initially we found it a bit frustrating to find parts and gear for the bikes, but eventually we fitted in quite well! Shops close any time from 11am and re-open as late as 5pm again to stay open till late. There is a time to shop and a time to chill
Dont rush it, there is so much to see and do.Take your time and soak it all up.
Talk to the locals, they know all the good spots and great eateries and love hooking up for a chat.
The beret-style is alive and well!
The weather is great and at its worst not to bad at all! If the mountains are iced over, head to the coast, if the coast are too crowded for you, hello mountains!
Some of the most beautiful and scenic roads in Spain.
Beautiful white painted small villages in rural Spain.
The beaches are simply great! Again there are so many varieties, busy ones, secluded ones, scenic ones
even nude ones for the adventurous! *Almost 5000kms of coastline!
There is no laws against public nudity.
Mediterranean white painted villages. 5000km coastline with some of the nicest roads for motorcycles to rip up.
Nudist camps are all over the Spanish coastline in the Mediterranean. What they say about when in Rome?
There was a huge highway and building boom that just stopped, so half-build structures are visible in almost all the areas we visited. *Property can be obtained for dirt cheap.
Eating sunflower seeds are a national sport you see sunflower hulls everywhere.
Swearing is expressive but be careful where you use what Spanish word. Caliente' means hot for most things- food, water, etc.But using 'caliente' to describe a person will mean something totally else.
You learn to eat dinner as late as 9-10pm.
Spain loves our Rooibos products, and has some of their own combinations too.
Rooibos and Cannabis mix makes for a very nice drink.
Imposing Alhambra castle of Granada, Spain.
Granada, Spain - Alhambra castle a must see.
This side Spain. That side Africa Morocco.
The rock of Gibraltar. The UK stubbornly refuse to give it back to the spanish.
Spain, my country !!!!
Is this true?
It is claimed that Spain has the most bars of all the EU countries.
Dirty bar floors are a sign of a good busy bar
Spain makes up to 45% of the worlds olive oil
more than Italy.
Bull heads without an ear is mostly intentional and not by accident. It marks the sign of a good fight, traditionally, the victorious matador slices it off and offers it to a beautiful woman as a token of romance.
Spain name may be a derivation of the Phoenician I-Shpania, meaning "island of rabbits", "land of rabbits" or "edge"
There is no tooth fairy in Spain but rather a tooth mouse called Ratoncito Perez who leaves gifts.*
In Spain, you have two surnames. Traditionally, you would take the first surname from your father (their first surname) and the second from your mother (her first surname).* So Jesus Gonzalez Gonzalez is not a typo!
Personal consumption and home cultivation of cannabis are legal in Spain. As for cannabis possession, it has been decriminalized.
Lights and lanterns in Granada. Street side small shops.
Graffiti is big in Spain. And they are actually well done.
Views over the Mediterranean sea. Stunning dirt tracks to ride.
Stunning Spanish graffiti.
Desperado beer brand Spain. Not bad but needs to be icecold.
There are a variety of cultural practices in Spain. Some of the most commonly misinterpreted or misunderstood practices:
Conversations occur at a much closer distance, and it is considered rude to step back.
As with Africans, Spaniards do not put great emphasis on time. Things are laidback and relaxed and nothing is urgent.
Staring at people is not seen as automatically rude in Spain.
It's common for people to interrupt you while you're talking. *It's not to insult, it shows interest in what you say.
It is seen as bad manners to point with your finger.
Eyelid pull- Place your forefinger below the center of your eye and pulling your eye skin in a downward. This means, "Be watchful, that person is cunning."
Fingertips kiss- Put your thumb and the rest of your fingers together, raising them to your lips as if kissing it and tossing your hand into the air. This is a sign of approval or praise in Spain.
Cheek screw- done by making a fist, sticking out your forefinger and screwing it in the cheek. In Spain, this is used to describe a man as being womanish or effeminate.
Esto es muy dificil (It is very difficult)- Press your thumb and index finger together and shaking it.
Ese seÃtienne mucho dinero (That person has lots of money)- Rub your thumb with the rest of your fingers.
Granada, Spain - Alhambra palace and is part of the Nasrid dynasty.
Street Tango dancers are impressive performers.
Lively vibrant street artist in Barcelona doing their thing.
Barcelona - Spain
Spain looks amazing!
Awesome report, I know how hard they are to do, so thank you for sharing with us.
I have just started reading it, if you come to New Zealand give us a yell!
Thanks, much appreciated Mike. And we will someday get to NZ tha tis for damn sure.
How we ended in the USA was only due to our lovely SA passport allowing us 90days in the EU. The plan was to ride from Germany to Croatia and Bosnia, Turkey and on...you get the picture. But we need visas for Croatia, if, wanted to stay longer than the 7day transit...and so on and so on..
And then we decided to chuck Eu for now and do USA, Mexico and then down to South America and end in Ushuaia. And if all goes well back up again to Alaska. And seeing SA citizens need no visas for South America.
All good and fine but the bikes are farking tired. Africa took it's toll. So we left them in Germany for future use and made the decision to buy new'ish bikes in the USA. Low mileage and so on. In addition to ship bikes the world over is a very costly affair, that would already be the cost of half a bike. And then we can leave the bikes in the USA or South America.
No BMW's again, damn heavy, farking expensive to maintain if not in a 1st world country. The DR650's are bulletproof....damn I hope so. I know Murphy is such an asshole. And they are still sold in the USA new!! We bought and kitted both bikes for less than 13000$. The '11 with 2000miles and the '13 with 1500miles. Have some good advice and persuasion from Mick Earth's End to use the DR650's.
We spend a 3 weeks with Hank from www.motohank.com in a small town called Dilley Texas to prep the bikes. Even the fact that it is the USA parts takes time to arrive. And the shocks got build for our use. BTW, Hank is a super hero guru BMW mechanic and people come from damn far to have him service and work on their bikes. He owns a GS1100 with 500000miles on the odo, yip miles.
Might know him from this photo in Bolivia. His bike was there already on over 400000miles.
Hank from Motohank.
And so our 6 months visa we have 5 months left to go all the way up to Wyoming and back down the West coast to Baja in Mexico.
The next part of the adventure just started.
And we got the best shocks from Cogent. The best is they also send us a Round The World kit to fix the shocks if need be. Or get somebody to fix them. That is freaking amazing! From all the parts on a bike that will most likely cost you mega bucks on a trip it's the suspension.
One thing that makes me the happiest! Getting down from 13kg for the Dakar to 3kg for the DR650.
Ready to roll!
What a luck, we rolled into this little town between Albuquerque and Sante fe and stop at the diner, damn shop, which was build for the movie Wild Hogs.
Michelle a new friend gave us this damn fine Top Shelf tequila. SOAH....Source Of All Happiness. We carry it in our multi fuel bottle. No cop will try and drink that stuff if I tell him this is fuel for the stove.
The Source Of All Happiness. :
And today Sitting Bull Big chief gave my bike it's new name.
When you get to Atlanta, GA let me know if you need a place to stay - clean bed hot water and borewors.....or a potjie!!
Thanks so much Deon, when we get back up from South America we will do the East part of the USA. Will for sure come to visit.
Wow this is gonna be good, so looking forward to your take on the ole USA. Safe travels to you two!
Thanks Rick, we are going to give it our best.