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Thread: Round 6: 2013 Ramble 1

  1. #33
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    Awesome Rob

  2. #34
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    mick - shaddup

    rob - ya barstard

    On one of the many damns on the river..
    damn as in ya must come here or damn cos you gotta go ??

    and im never shopping with you - you phail at cake shop

    yer on

    if yer hustling that thing down tiny stuff then youll lose a few kcals innit bruv

    próximo relatório logo por favor

  3. #35
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    This is a short video of me yesterday on the N18-1 in the Sera da Estrela park.

    Yep, I know, videos are a bit of a snore but you can get a sense of just how nice this road is



    Quote Originally Posted by Hairnet600 View Post
    ..if yer hustling that thing down tiny stuff then youll lose a few kcals innit bruv
    I do hope so buddy

  4. #36
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    Mmmmm..

    You need to smile more on them videos ya varmit...
    More Long Island Ice teas please.

  5. #37
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    Day 5 - Manteigas to Tomar

    My plan is to continue to work my way South, but I head off North seeking out the road over from Manteigas to Gouveia. A couple of minutes in to the riding and I'm climbing up into the hills on a single track road, up and up it winds. It's good right from the get go. I'm being spoiled rotten.



    Terrific rugged landscape. Erm, I don't think I'd like to be there if that one rolls down. Eek.



    An old abandoned building for something or other up at the top, it's hard to work out what it did though. Did they ever have a window tax in Portugal, sure looks that way.





    I continue over the top and meet these chaps..



    A jolly bunch they are too.



    The mountainous part of the landscape suddenly ends and we're treated to a great view of the 'flatlands' ahead. This taken at the top before working down to Gouveia.



    And the road is once again an absolute belter

    Course is changed back to South West after that very worthy diversion. Tea is taken in San Ramao. I love the buildings, the architecture.



    Smelling the flowers (again). It's already hot, 26 degrees before lunch, so I'm hiding in the foliage.



    The pace is picked up a little to have lunch in Coimbra.



    A nice vibe there in Coimbra, I liked it.



    And a nice acqueduct - the São Sebastião Aqueduct, a Kilometer long national heritige site (which they've smashed through just up on the main road to run the Dual Carriageway through).



    Continuing on after lunch. I turn off the N road for some small road action. I fancy some quieter roads. The driving standard here isn't the best, and I just saw someone who'd parked his very nice 3 series BMW into a tree, so that made my mind up to go a bit further off the beaten track.



    Eventually I navigate to a town called Tomar, and I stop for a Coffee by the river. It's a canny enough place so I decide to pitch up. I find a hotel, which turns out to be in a Park on an Island. As you do. In the park though, there's a festival. The festival of.. Wait for it.. Soup. Seriously. Soup. Very busy though. They're packing up as we're late on so I don't get a chance for a proper look. Shame, but I want a proper dinner tonight, No proper meal in Iberia yet, I mean I had a pizza but there's nothing local about that.

    The view from my balcony of the said Soup Festival..



    A great little hotel actually with an eccentric and charming little man in charge.



    Out for a stroll, explore the town and some dinner, me thinks.

    A nice place to be.



    Tomar castle, from the Island Park..



    Love the buildings, love the tiles up there..



    A little more of Tomar.



    A little bit tatty round the edges in places, but it has charm





    Yep, I definitely bock a feeling







    There's a Knights Templar Festival thing going on soon, but I got Soup. You can't have it all.



    A restaurant is located, called the 'Typical Portuguese' Restaurant. That I like the idea of. Olives and rustic bread are delivered with haste, as is a small beer..



    So in the Typical Portuguese Restaurant I order Portuguese Steak. It's this little beauty- They are crispy chips on the outside, with a fried egg on top of smoked ham, underneath is a steak in a broth. It was out of this world.



    I asked for a side salad and I got a salad for a five-a-side team..



    A few beers and a coffee later and that'll be 18.50 please sir. Really nice service, too. Great place.



    Stroll back across the park, a couple of beers with the very friendly eccentric hotel bloke and then bed.




  6. #38
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    Brill report
    Must finish our's of sometime!

  7. #39
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    fess up you were on security for that bock truck

    hope you got one of the bock feeling stickers

    *writes another place to eat abroad in the book*

    nice one

  8. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hairnet600 View Post
    fess up you were on security for that bock truck

    hope you got one of the bock feeling stickers

    *writes another place to eat abroad in the book*

    nice one
    Man, the sticker is just a bit too big, even for my bike

    A note on Super Bock though: What a fine, fine beer- and the stout is rather good, too. How nice to see the national beer is a front runner, rather than them trying to tip Heineken down your neck for a fortune and convince you that it is a sophisticated imported brew..

  9. #41
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    Day 6 - Tomar to Setubal

    Diet day today. Sigh. Breakfast is included in the room rate, so I go downstairs, look longingly at the breakfast items and have a yoghurt. After last night though I should have sufficient means on board to make it through the day

    Packing the bike and there's some sort of race going on in the park; maybe a triathlon or something, they're all the fit mob. I run into the racers again on the edge of town. Obviously not a very forgiving race, they make you climb over the castle walls.



    Taking care of any cheats by scribbling on them by the looks of things..



    Heading west now. I've been being spoiled with great riding from the moment I set off ever since Spain. No filtering on the by-pass, no roadworks by the Corn Exchange.. But today is a bit different. There are villages everywhere and as soon as you start to pick up there's another one. Bother.
    It takes me the best part of an hour to do under thirty miles. I mean, the sun is out and all, I guess sir has just become used to the best.

    More towns and pretty buildings..



    I am a Saab fan and this is a bit of a gem. Someone has to be, I suppose.



    I cross into the Torres Novas Park (or the 'Natural des Pegadas de Dinossaurious de Ourem'). The pace is still fairly slow and for no particular reason I'm a bit frustrated with that.

    Another pretty church in the village of Monsanto..



    I continue South West into the Serra de Montejunto. Riding getting a bit better..



    Finally we hit the coast and the Atlantic. A beautiful sunny day and a feeling of achievement having got to the sea. Don't know why, after all haven't come that far.



    There are liberal sprinklings of surfing crumpet, of which I do not manage to photograph a single one.



    Making my way along the coast now, going South, and its very busy. Eating out on Sunday in Portugal must be compuslory. The roads are incredibly busy. I make my way towards Sintra.

    Even the bus stops can be pretty little buildings..



    We approach Sintra and you can see the Castle from a long way off..



    A bit closer, now.



    The Sintra world war one monument. Around 7,000 Portuguese died in WW1, although in Portugal 82,000 people died due to food shortages and 138,000 were killed by Spanish flu. Yikes.



    Central Sintra. Just gorgeous buidings..



    And not a bad place to approach on a bike. You can ride right up here.



    Just a flying visit; I liked it, a very good couples city break destination I'd think. All being well I'll come back one day.

    Being so close to Estoril I'm tempted to take a look at the GP Circuit. When I get there there's nothing going on and not a soul around..



    I manage to grab a look at the start finish and the paddock area on tippy toes..



    OK well on we go. I steel myself for the ride into Lisbon. In any event it wasn't too bad, the main road network can be a bit winding in the City on Seven hills as it is known, but no problem. We cross the Tagus on the suspension bridge. I've been under it on a boat a few times, so now its time to see it from up here. A couple of the lanes are not tarmac, they're metal mesh, so the bridge makes an interesting buzzing noise, like a swarm of bees as the cars cross over.



    As a bonus a great view of the Rio Cristo Statue, the monument put up which gave thanks for Portugal not being part of WWII.



    I avoid the toll part of the Motorway and head back to the 'N' roads. There isn't a rush but I wished I'd shelled out a couple of quid. The road to Setubal is busy and displays a lot of the bad side of Portugal's driving. The locals shape up to be overtaking, even though there's a convoy of traffic at 70kmh and there's nowhere to go. I patiently pass along the traffic to find a place to nestle where the driver is a little more relaxed and not tailgating to the extreme, it makes for a much easier experience.

    After tea time I hit Setubal. I pick a place to stop in the shade and look for a hotel courtesy of good old booking.com. Hmmm. There doesn't seem a lot of decent choice, we have either pretty cheap or bloody expensive. I take a chance on one place, the Hotel Arangues. It's local and midtown set amongst apartment complexes, but sometimes you can't judge a book by the cover. ballistic and I found that last year with a very nice surprise in Spain. And it helps that the price is right. Just a few minutes and I'm there. At reception, they're really friendly and speak English- I can put the bike in the underground garage. "Go and put it there and come up in the lift, OK?" OK. This place is working for me

    A big bed and a big bath. Yippee. I'm tired and my face feels glowing from the sunshine. Up to factor 30 tomorrow as I'm starting my red nose day celebrations particularly early.

    With today being a diet day I just sit in the bar with a bottle of water and an apple to unwind and update a bit of this stuff. I turn in relatively early, have a bath and read some of my book.

    Rock 'n' Roll people, Rock 'n' roll.

  10. #42
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    Good to see that you're sticking to the fasting days Rob. I'm fasting tomorrow, as its been a weekend of indulgence.

  11. #43
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    nice keep it coming Rob
    Dont Bogart that joint my friend, pass it over to me

  12. #44
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    Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by The Nutty GSER View Post
    Good to see that you're sticking to the fasting days Rob. I'm fasting tomorrow, as its been a weekend of indulgence.
    Enjoy

    Actually I've been surprised how easy it has been. That said the drinking is scheduled to pick up later this week so time will tell

  13. #45
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    Day 7 - Setubal to Lagos

    A most excellent night of zzzzz's

    I didn't bother opening the curtains last night. Morning reveals that there's a very shall we say 'gritty local' scene outside (It reminds me that an old pal would term anywhere that looks to be a bit of a dump as 'No.1 Sh*t Street'). But it is a great hotel and it isn't like I paid for a view of the Taj Mahal, or a herd of Wildebeest streaming majestically across the Masai plain now is it..



    After my heavy dinner last night, I'm caught by the woman in what I think is the empty breakfast room strolling up and down and clapping and wringing my hands at the buffet layout. You'd think I'd just been on hunger strike. It is a budget hotel so the brekky spread really is very good for what it is. She has a smile. She's very friendly and another English speaker so we have a little chat, she's very keen to know if I slept well and if everything is comfortable, which it is. I tell her that I don't have any Portuguese, for some reason the words just keep falling out of my head. She has a laugh and says not to worry about it. I tend to go quiet because my default is Spanish, and I think if you want to offend a Portuguese speak to them in Spanish, so I tend to keep quiet instead.

    I'm still going South so consider where to head via today. I can see there's a ferry from Setubal to Troia across the wide Rio Sado, so that's where to go.



    I really like these little ferry rides for some reason. The sum of 8.50 sees me in the queue. As in any sunshine port I've been to there are peddlers, bizarrely even on a twenty minute ferry like this. These blokes selling sunglasses, they don't seem at all bothered when I say no, nor when does anyone else. They seem happy with their lot and clearly enjoy singing to themselves.



    Ticket holder. The ideal accessory. 50p from Sports Direct.



    Enjoying the slower pace of Portuguese life..



    Time to board..



    'Tis pleasant out..



    Me having a relax with a few tunes..



    A short run across the bay and then down the beach a little. There are some curious sights, such as these. I wonder when these places last stood?



    On the other side I'm delighted with my choice. All of the other traffic seems to be going in to Troia, leaving me on my long pilgrimage South. It is a straight-ish cruise of a road down the peninsular and very easy going. I'm chuffed because I didn't fancy another busy navigation of a major town road, with the local driving, pulling out on you, tailgating etc.. I got a bit cheesed off with of it by close of play yesterday.



    "Volociodade Controlada". If you're motoring down this way, you'll get used to this around the towns. It works like this- if you do more than 50kmh in the towns then the traffic lights will change to stop you. Quite amazing how many locals just can't comply and get stopped by the lights. Strange indeed



    A run through the trees, the scent of pine. Lovely



    So south we are going, and into the town of Grandola, but it isn't particularly grand, so I head south on a small road to the town of Santiago do Cacem. Things rapidly pick up, with a tricky little road which was oodles of fun.

    A break is taken up at the castle. Pretty.











    Back to the roads with it just lunchtime.



    The road down to Tanganheira is another big GS treat, twisty and bumpy with some very interesting undulations mid corner.. Boing/crunch.. there goes the centre stand.. Oops. But much fun and I stop for a coffee with a smile. Of course, doing this in Portugal needs care. You never know when a local might appear in the middle of the road, so there's a little erring on the side of caution, but not enough to spoil the fun that's for sure.

    Another thirty miles south and its coffee time in a little village. Write up a bit of the day. Great.



    I have a wee chat with this guy before setting off, friendly chappie he is too..



    And then onwards, very South.



    The Algarve coast in the distance on the road down to Sagres..



    And we're very South West. As far South West as you can possibly go actually in Europe- Cape St. Vincent and the lighthouse.



    Plenty of lighthouse related Eurotat available. Actually some of it was really rather nice. Ooh, I must be getting old..



    Yes, you can ride right up to the edge of Europe (and off of it too .. Careful with yer' Cruise Control Wasserheaders )





    Well worth a visit



    A short cruise down the coast to Lagos where I pitch up at the Ocean View apartments and meet with Miguel. He's another very friendly sort and a laid back chappy. Cheap as chips and really a great little place. I can even bring the bike in, bit of a squeeze but he's happy for me to do that. Good man!

    More convenient parking you will not get



    A cosy and comfortable room for the night.



    Town is strolled to, Lamb Chops procured as is Super Bock stout. They're eaten outside the restaurant and a pretty English surf girl with a violin appears and plays for a while, very pleasant indeed. Definitely worth a few coins. Post departure she's replaced by an old bloke with a Casio organ powered by a battery on a trolley. He plays some random notes along to those standard Casio backing tracks like the rumba and suchlike. Not so pleasant. But eventually he is driven away and the natural balance of a fine evening is restored.



    A brisk stroll back to the Ocean View Hotel. A late bottle of beer from the bar which is an extremely reasonable 0.80 Eurocents. I'm just sampling the night air when I catch sight of a scorpion (!) wandering by my foot. Obviously I move my foot



    I'm fascinated by it and take some photos and watch curiously. A hotel guest, a dutch guy wanders out on to the terrace. I point out said scorpion to him and he says "Wow, I've got to get my camera" and disappears back off to his room. Meantime Miguel, the owner appears for a cigarette. "I didn't know you had scorpions in Portugal" I said to him. Now Miguel is one of those laid back, cool surfy types. I suspect he has an honours degree in cool from the local university, and now possibly lectures on the subject of cool there one night a week. I was expecting a "Yeah man, they're fascinating little creatures" and a sort of a nature type conversation. Instead he says "Well I've never seen one" his eyes widen like saucers and he comes back with a broom and starts chasing the thing round thwacking at it. He's got one of those old fashioned, long straw ended brooms and therefore it isn't very effective. It takes an age to finish the thing off. In the middle of all this the Dutch bloke reappears to find Miguel going bonkers at this thing, his jaw just drops. I'm ill with the laughter

    I choose that point to retire for the evening with one of those strained 'trying not to laugh' faces. Priceless.

    Nighty night.

  14. #46
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    You're living the dream Rob, and I'm sat at work.

  15. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Nutty GSER View Post
    You're living the dream Rob, and I'm sat at work.
    Sorry

  16. #48
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    Click here to find out how to remove these ads

    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto View Post
    Sorry
    No your not

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