BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Sight seeing day around Lisbon today.

Sunday 14/4/13

We lucked out with a perfect day weather wise again today.

First stop was Cabo da Roca, again. This is the place where motorcyclists go for a coffee on a Sunday morning, and the place I met Werner last weekend. Suzanne hadn't been, so I though it would be a good idea to go there today.

Once again the back roads on the way provided some great sights. Like this old disused church.

What a great house this would make...

With a nice big side gate to access a large shed full of bikes. 

The road to cabo de Roca is fun.

At Cabo it was packed. So packed we had trouble finding somewhere to park, and that's a first for us in Europe.

Um, where do I park?

We looked at lots of bikes and peered over the cliff out to the ocean for a while, then had an ice cream.

People often tell me that motorcycling is dangerous, but then again, so is fishing...

Take a look on the rocks in the centre of this photo and you'll find...

...this guy fishing off them. One big wave.

Flying is also a dangerous pastime. This guy was doing some serious banked turns going past the light house, sometimes below the top of the cliff.

Yup, that's low...

...very low.

That's something I love about Portugal. Fun is legal here. If you want to do something that's a little bit dangerous, go ahead and do it. As long as you're not putting other people at risk, no one cares. Try either one of these activities in Australia and you'd be arrested. Can you say "Nanny State"?

We left Cabo and rode on via a National Park on the way.

Not bad scenery, but it got better.

Sensational riding.

Next stop was Sintra and the Hotel Prestana Beloura. Why? Well a Moto Club Faro member makes jewellery and has a display in the hotel and I thought Suzanne needed to take a look. The jewellery was really nice, and like most things in Portugal, very reasonable priced.

You can view the jewellery here:

We met some girls in Morocco who said we had to go to Cascais, and a few other friends have said the same thing, so it was off to Cascais. Wow! What a brilliant place. Good beaches, leafy streets, interesting shops, neat art galleries, great restaurants, cool people, lots of motorcyclists, and the best buskers. Cascais has it all.

We found a busker playing the hand pans. He had a sign that read "CDs - five euros". I'm in, I'll buy a few to give away as well. He was great, so great in fact that he'd sold out of CDs. Oh well, good for him. He told us we could listen to him on YouTube. Kabecao Rodrigeus. Check him out, he's pretty cool. Unfortunately the YouTube recordings don't capture the true sound he was making. I loved it.

The sounds this guy was getting out of these was sublimely relaxing. 

There was a nice little beach to splash around. It was the first warm day of spring, so everyone was making the most of it, even though it was only eighteen degrees.

Some of the houses around here were pretty impressive.

Lunch time! We found a cafe on the main strip and sat down for a feed. T bone steak isn't on the menu much these days and I love them, so when I saw one here I immediately knew what I was going to have.

Now that's a T bone!

With lunch done it was time to continue ticking off places on our itinerary list.

Next stop was the Belem Tower, then the Berardo Museum which housed a lot of modern "art". That's another couple of excruciating hours of my life wasted when I could have been cleaning my toenails. Seriously, it's not art. Have a look at these...



A visit to the old part of Lisbon town completed the day for us.

Two of my favourites together. Cobble stones and tram tracks. At least they were dry.

We rocked up at the Design and Fashion Museum, but we were too late as it was closed. That was a bit disappointing so we sat down and had a drink at a cafe, and this guy tried to sell us some recreational chemicals.

Medication dispensary.

He was one of about six that we spotted hanging around the area. My understanding is that drugs for personal use are legal in Portugal, but how does a dealer get by carrying enough for who knows how many people. I didn't buy any, I'm silly enough as it is and I don't think it would be a good idea.

We finished our drinks and were presented with the bill. OK, earlier in the blog I told you how cheap this part of the world is. There are exceptions. Some places will rip you off til you bleed. Fifteen euros for a beer and a glass of wine! They're Perth prices. Here's a tip people, if you are in a tourist area, always ask how much the drinks are. 

 After that shock it was time to go home, but no day would be complete without a spot of dog bothering.

Happy dog. Happy Simon.

Of course I couldn't write a blog without bagging Tom Tom. We missed out on three or four places we wanted to visit today because the Tom Tom couldn't manage to get us there. Honestly, I'd rather spend a week in the Berardo Museum than own a Tom Tom product.

Then on the way home our wonderful Tom Tom ended up sending us across the 25 de Abril bridge. Now I'm no fan of heights, and this bridge is high. We'd also been told that it was metal mesh, so the bike would track all over the place if we rode across it. I was in a cold sweat as we approached the bridge but there was no way of turning back once you are on the approach.

Here we go...
You can see the mesh in the left lane.

To give you an idea of the size of the bridges here, here are some dimentions:

Sydney Harbour Bridge - 59 metres above water - 1149 meters across.

25 de Abril Bridge - 70 metres above water - 2278 meters across.

Vaso da Gama Bridge - 47 metres above water - 17,000 metres across

It turned out OK as it wasn't windy, and I didn't look over the side. The big bonus was only one lane was mesh, the other two were sealed. Of course the down side was we had to cross it again to get back home. On top of that we had to pay the toll as well. Grrrrrr!

By the time we got home we decided eating out was the best option. We found a Chinese restaurant close to home and settled in. We haven't eaten Chinese for ages and it was an exceptionally good meal.

All in all the good far outweighed the bad and we had a great day. I'm sure there are plenty more to come.

SIDE NOTE: If you're an Aussie thinking about a really good holiday, take a look at Portugal and Spain. It really is heaven on earth. Everything is good quality and the pricing is really easy on the wallet. Accommodation, food, and drinks, are all cheap...and the people are FANTASTIC!

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