BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Wednesday, 27 March 2013


Down to the beach for a great lunch, then rockin' all night at Moto Clube Faro.

Saturday 23/3/13

The heavy rain that was forecast didn't show today. There was a bit of a thunderstorm during the night, but this morning is just overcast. Let's go for a ride and clear out the cobwebs.

We grabbed our gear to go downstairs, then realised that we'd left our helmets down there yesterday when we got back. They were locked up in the bar. Oh well. We grabbed a drink and some chips from the petrol station next door and played with Farense until the guys arrived and opened up.

With our compliment of safety gear complete we took off toward the beach. We got a bit wet in a light shower on the way but when we got there we found a great beach. Nice, clean, white sand, and it seemed to go forever in both directions. The surf was pretty choppy but I reckon on a good day it would be a great body surfing beach.

We rode across a long causeway that crossed the estuary and there were some very nice houses on the banks. 

That will do nicely thanks.

Or the top floor unit.

They like their boats around here. They're everywhere.

Moto Clube Faro is held in very high regard here, it's not surprising though. They hold an event that brings forty to fifty thousand people into the town every year. Imagine what that does to boost to the local economy that week. The club has a wall full of awards, certificates, and plaques from various tourism organisations and there are tributes all over town. Like this one from another Portuguese club.

Not what you'd find on the beach front in Australia. 

Not a bad little spot eh?

The fishing here is great.

Honest officer, it was this big. Across!

A little aside about the Police here. They actually have a presence out and about where people see them, and know they are around. They don't hide in cars behind bushes waiting to book motorists who are travelling at two kilometres per hour over the speed limit.

I made a sand angel.
It was about as successful as my snow angel.

The clouds were pretty impressive today.

After a bit of time at the beach we went in search of Gaspar's restaurant, Wax. We found it about a hundred metres from where we parked. It's a very cool beach themed restaurant and both Suzanne and I were taken by the way it was decorated. I was done really, really well. Gaspar walked in about twenty minutes later and we asked him who decorated the restaurant. It turns out that three designers were involved. I guess if you're going to do something, you might as well do it well and truly right. Even the wall paper was cool. It turns out the wall paper is a "one of" designed by one of the designers from Vans.

Wax has a very relaxed, beachy atmosphere. I think it would be packed in Summer.

Yes, but what about the food? I hear you ask.

Wax has a great menu with a wide range of dishes to choose from. I chose the Pad Thai which was excellent, and Suzanne had spaghetti carbonara which disappeared pretty quickly. The food was excellent, and Wax is definitely another good place to go if you're ever here.

I broke my self imposed rule and had a beer with lunch.

We were pretty contented when we left Wax to ride back to the club. The clouds put on a good display for us on the way across the causeway.

On the way back we came across another dedication to the club. This one is on one of the main roads in town.

So, motorcycles are actually OK.
Wow, did you hear that Australia?

Tonight was a fundraiser with the band Iris. We walked into the bar and a lot of people said "You're still here?" and smiled. Why wouldn't we be? It's such a great place.

I met Jimmy, a mad Irishman (Is there any other kind?) and we had a few beers. Actually more than a few. We started at about four pm and he was going home after "a couple". He was still there at two am. He came to the Faro bike meeting every year for fifteen years in a row and loves Portugal. One day he thought to himself "Stuff it, I'm staying here" and he has, for five years. I can very easily understand how this could happen...

Jimmy had a head start on me.

I bumped into Marco again and he gave me some more tips on good roads to take when we eventually go north. Thanks Marco.

Iris were great, they really rocked the place and kept it up til about two thirty. I now know why they were so popular. The crowd were singing along with most of the songs they sang. And what a crowd. The place was packed, upstairs and downstairs.

Great crowd.

The band at work...

...and ripping it.

One girl asked Suzanne if she would be doing any painting, so the paint came out and it was on. Suzanne had a steady stream of people to paint all night long. I tried to get Ruy to have his head painted but he wouldn't be in it.

A face painter and a GSX powered drag bike in the same photo. Not something you see very often.

Lisa and Frank rocked up at about midnight and joined that party. It was really good to see them. Then I found Marinho and Ruy. Oh oh!

I need to avoid these two. The are a bad influence.
(How cheeky does Ruy look?)

They had their local moonshine with them, again. On the plus side Marinho gave us a couple of tips on good restaurants in Olhao to go to and try the local speciality. We've also organised a ride for Monday, so that's good.

Then Gaspar reappeared.

Meanwhile the band took a couple of minutes break and left the drummer out there by himself. Poor guy.

Drum solo time.

it's OK, they came back...

...and really got into it.

Then the band started to wind things down.

If you ever meet these two, avoid that white bottle,
at all costs.

The crowd eventually started to thin out sometime after three (I think) so it was time to find my bed. The end to another very full, very long day in a great place with an awesome bunch of people. Again, thank you everyone.

I'm not sure just how we are going to get out of here. Even Suzanne has said she could live down by the beach.

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