BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Look out Lisbon, here we come.

Saturday 6/4/13

Well, it happened this morning. I crashed! I wasn't even on the bike, I tripped over a small step and fell over hitting the ground like like a sack of spuds. I took a bit of skin off my hands and hurt a few fingers, but at my age I'm lucky I didn't break a hip.

When I did get to the bike, guess what I found. A bloody rubber chicken. Allan and Lorraine had struck and left us a little gift on the bike. We decided to call the chook Alan, with one "L" to save any confusion.

Alan will finish our trip with us riding up front and keeping a look out for errant car drivers. He's a bit cheeky.

Alan, in position and ready to go.

Just as we were about ready to go Allan and Lorraine showed up. They'd been out and visited the church at Montemor and told us how good it was. We were pretty much riding past, so we thought we'd drop in for a look. The weather was perfect, so after saying good buy to Allan and Lorraine, we set off.

Chance encounters with great people are the highlight of this trip. I have a feeing that somewhere, sometime, we will see Allan and Lorraine again.

We arrived at the village where the church was and weaved our way through the little cobblestone roads.

They were small...

...and getting smaller. I was glad this woman backed up and let me through..

We took the road up the hill to the Church of Montemor. Suzanne and I are constantly amazed how we can be riding on flat ground, then turn onto a road that goes up a hill, and within seconds we have a brilliant view over where we have just been. It's like taking off in a plane, you're instantly up in the air. Freaky.

Montemor dates back to 14th century and parts of it are still in pretty good order.

I think this sign meant no entry, but I can't read Portuguese.
So we rode in.

We had a nice ride around.

Some of it hasn't lasted as well as the rest.

Tourist shot.

Nice bike mister.

Bloody Alan. Photo bombing. I had a feeling he'd be naughty, just like his namesake probably is.

Once we left Montemor we stuck to the back roads. It takes longer, but it's much more fun that way. We rode til we were hungry and stopped at a little village cafe. Two toasted sandwiches two freshly squeezed orange juice, and one large coffee set us back six euros. I love this country.

Further down the road we found more cork trees, and some very new goats. I wanted to take one...but...that would be...kid-napping. Oh, I crack me up.

They're not really cute at all, are they?

He needed us to take him home. He looked lonely.

Sometimes the back roads can be a little rough.

As we rode past one paddock there was a large herd of cows running along the fence line. It was a stampede like women at a shoe sale. I've never seen a whole herd running like this, and it was kind of funny.

It doesn't look like it but they were running.

It was about here that the battery in the camera went flat. I was pretty disappointed because not much later we were crossing the Vasco de Gama bridge, a bridge that runs for about six kilometres over water. The parts where the ships go under are pretty high, but luckily there wasn't much wind around.

As we crossed the bridge we could see Lisbon. It's HUGE! Bloody huge, and FULL of traffic. After so many miles on the open road I don't cope well with stop start traffic. In fact I never have. Bikes are meant to be ridden fast, not trundled around behind cars. Poo! It took us ages to get through it and down to Estoril where we were staying. 

We rolled into the Sao Mamede Hotel which was another bargain. Thirty five euros on line, gave us a nice room, and I stole the boss's parking spot in his garage right out the front. In typical Portuguese fashion, no one batted an eyelid.

Estoril beach from our room.

After asking at reception about a good place for a feed, we were directed to the Italian restaurant about thirty metres down the road. A couple of plates of pasta were quickly dispatched, along with Suzanne's new favourite, Green wine.

I'm very kind and am letting Suzanne have tomorrow morning off. I'll head up to Cabo da Roca for a look. One of my Moto Clube Faro mates Mario told me this is where motorcyclist's meet up every Sunday morning for coffee and a chat. Then after that I'll head into Lisbon to see the Lisbon Motorcycle Show. What a coincidence it's on while we are in town. 

Once that's out of the way I'll head back to the hotel, pick Suzanne up, and continue northwards.

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