BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

We finally head north. Sagres to Evora.

Friday 5/4/13

Really strong winds and overcast skies greeted us this morning. We did a quick ride around Sagres to see the beach and harbour before heading to the fortress for a look.

The waves were a little better today.

The harbour was picturesque...

...and full of fishing boats.

We didn't go into the fortress because the wind was so strong on top of he cliff that I was worried about the bike getting blown over. Seriously.

It was time to escape the wind and head back inland. We rode back toward Faro, and nearly got there, then turned off to the north on the N2. Our plan was to cross Serra Caldeir√£o towards Castro Verde, Beja, and our overnight stop √Čvora.

We were on our way.

Suzanne's (accidental) creative shot of the day. 
I really like it.

WOW! What a ride. For my Aussie mates, Imagine Mundaring Weir Road, or the Great Ocean Road, without the straight bits, then throw in lots of up and down bits, and ride it for two hours solid. Play time. It was amazing.

Here we go.

Exit stage right.

Suzanne noticed trees off the sides of the road that were missing the bark from their trunks from the ground up to about two metres high. I hadn't noticed (I tend to watch the road when it's serious playtime) so we stopped to take some photos. Suzanne said she thought they were cork trees. I had no idea. It turns out she was right. Check this out...

The bark is removed and the tree is marked so it's not touched again for nine years. This doesn't harm the tree at all.

Here are a couple we prepared earlier.

The whole process is quite interesting and you can see how it works here:

On the road I was having a problem and was suffering my own little conflict. The bike was pretty low on fuel, about six litres in the tank. This is good because it weighs less that way and when it weighs less, it's more fun to ride. The down side is when I play, I use more fuel. Six litres should be good for about sixty miles, usually, but the way we are going today, it could drop down to down to forty, or even thirty. We were hard on the gas in second and third most of the time. Should I buy fuel or not? Then we rode into a little village called Cortelha. Cortelha had a petrol station and a tavern, so fuel and food were taken care of.

MEAT! There's a steak under there somewhere.

As usual it was perfect, Tender and absolutely delicious.

After lunch we hit the track, um, I mean road, again.

Not a bad view from the top of the range.

But a better view on the road.

The flight deck.

We found our way to a little country town and I reckon the roundabouts were really different, and cool.

The first one had a creative tree sculpture surrounded by pigs.

The next one had a real tree surrounded by sheep.

The second roundabout also hosted a local neighbourhood watch meeting.

We finally rolled into Evora and found the Ibis hotel. Ibis always have clean rooms, and are normally pretty cheap, even if they're a bit out of the way. We met Allan and Lorraine from Canada in the car park and they were really nice people (as most Canadian are). When we went our separate ways Allan gave us a Canadian flag pin each. Little things like that are really special to us. It was great meeting these guys and hopefully we'll catch up for a drink in the bar later.

We checked in even though the rate was fifty euros per night. What? Ouch! That's not what we're used to, but it's still only about half to a third of what we pay for a flea bag hotel at home.

Once we were upstairs we unpacked and I found our new 250 gram container of salt had emptied 249 grams of salt into our tank bag and covered everything that was in there. D'oh!

249 grams of salt, in a tank bag.

We'd covered around three hundred and fifty kilometres today, with a lot of second and third gear stuff, so we felt pretty used. A long, hot shower was very welcome as was our first drink downstairs at the bar. Who should walk in but Allan and Lorraine? It was really nice to chat with them, but Allan kept trying to give us a bloody rubber squeaky chicken that he'd bought for his son back home. Thanks Allan, but we don't need a rubber chicken to add to the load on the bike.

Tomorrow we'll make the move to Lisbon, have a look around, then continue north in a few days time.

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