BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

People's kindness keeps ruining our plans.

How lucky are we?

Friday 15/3/13

Today's plan is to make a quick stop at the Faro Motorcycle Club, the largest motorcycle club in Portugal. Motorcycle clubs here are very different to back home. They aren't racing clubs, but a social club for motorcyclists. The biggest difference is that they wear colours (patches on the back of their jackets) but aren't outlaw motorcycle gangs like they are at home. It's weird to see a bunch of guys wearing colours wave to you as you ride past. Once we've been to the club we'll move on to start checking out the sights that our friend Hugo from Pinguinos told us about.

Well, that WAS the plan. We packed up and were in the process of checking out when the owner of the Best Western Hotel, Lisa, started talking to Suzanne. She had seen our bike and was keen to have a chat. Next thing I know, we're booked in for another night, going out for dinner with Lisa and her husband Frank, then going over the the Faro Moto Club for drinks afterwards. OK, I can work with that, we'll stay.

We checked our list of places to see and headed off via the back roads to Olhao which is quite near Faro and was very nice. Suzanne and I both said it reminded us of Mandurah, (just south of Perth) but without the high crime rate. 

Then we followed more winding back roads to Portimao which took about an hour and a half. 

The foreshore at Olhao.

Home designs were subtly different.

Some were quite large.

The riding was great. Nice flowing roads with lots of bends, no traffic, no wind, and lots of sunshine. Just how I like it.


We rode through quite a few little villages and came across this...

Front yard decorations anyone?

After lunch we jumped on the motorway and took the quick way back back to Faro.

In the evening Frank and Lisa picked us up and took us to their favourite chicken restaurant. It turns out that this old family restaurant in what Nando's is based on. The food was great, and the company was a lot of fun with the laughter (and the wine) flowing thick and fast.

Our partners in crime, Frank and Lisa. This was early in the night as there are only two empty bottles on the table.

We were told that this restaurant makes the best chicken in Portugal. All I can say is it was very, very tasty, so I can't disagree. Thanks a heap guys.

Then it was time to visit the Moto Clube Faro. Wow. These guys have recently built new clubrooms and they are awesome. I'll post photos of the outside when we come back tomorrow in daylight.

The main building is spread over three levels. It has a large bar area, and equally large outdoor area that is undercover. There are twelve (Yes, twelve) garages out the back, and three accommodation rooms upstairs with a large kitchen and bathroom. Upstairs can sleep fourteen easily.

But right now it was party time. We met so many people and enjoyed a few drinks. Lisa and Frank are bad business people. They teed up a room for us upstairs at no charge, so tomorrow we move out of their hotel and into the clubhouse. That's not how you run a hotel! We really appreciate it though. Thanks guys.

The clubrooms are amazing. Really well thought out and designed, and full of memorabilia. Let's have a look around:

Clubs swap items for display.

Riders from all over the world visit.

Not to sure about this one.

Suzuki GSX powered drag bike, in the library.

Club logo on the drag bike.

The bar area. The later it got, the more crowded it was.

More wall decoration.

I love this sign.

So that's where he's hiding.

One of the doors to the bedrooms upstairs.

More club memorabilia,

Ummmmm, I don't know.

There had to be one dog photo.

The club actually has it's own dog. He was dumped at the petrol station next door as a pup and the club adopted him. He runs the place and has a wonderful life with hundreds of friends. I'll get a photo of him later on.

It was a long and very full day. We finished off at about two thirty (I think) and headed back to the hotel. Thank you so much Frank and Lisa. We had an awesome night. I know we'll catch up again before we leave.

Tomorrow we move into our new accommodation at Moto Clube Faro. Look out, this could get messy!

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