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Old 01-05-2014, 07:30 AM   #124
Pumpy OP
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Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Oxford, UK
Oddometer: 1,099
Wednesday 9th October

The long way home...

Before hitting the road to Spain we briefly stopped in the industrial area of Bragança to stock up on the Portuguese delicacies we'd grown so fond of during our trip.

Tremoços (Lupin Beans) - Jimmy's favourite


Vinho - of course, everyone's favourite


Timpo's van was notably sagging...


Then it was a long unspectacular drive to the ferry port in Santander - without any navigational slips this time, as the sign-posting is a lot better the other way round.


Having still plenty of time before departure, we explored a small part of the city, went shopping...


... and examined the bikes on display - do you notice anything strange? Look at photo - then at thread title - then at photo again...


Exactly! No wonder this country is going to the dogs when even the eye of the law doesn't follow the rules...


Piss-taking, chatting and watching life go by we passed the time - a seaport is never boring


... and when the sun set it was finally time for boarding


Camp-style dinner


And here we have the age-old question again: do mobile phones improve or actually worsen interpersonal relations?


These are the fellows you can meet during the journey - if you're lucky!


After 20 hours Plymouth appeared on the horizon


Cabin with a view - not ours though. One day when I'm grown-up and rich maybe...


The next pictures are especially for Snafu2...


... to show that we are well aware of the sights and delights of Plymouth






I hope the brake pads are not worn out yet...


Men at work


I was so busy taking photographs that I completely missed the announcement that all drivers should return to their vehicles. It can be a bit scary when - being in a hurry and not reading the sign posts properly - you end up between trucks parked so tightly that you can't squeeze through any further while it slowly dawns on you that your deck is somewhere above you and cannot be accessed from your current location...

But finally I found my breath, the correct staircase to Deck 2 and my team again!


Even for the likes of me and Matt head-space was scarce and running out


Disembarkation went quick and painless after the vintage Volkswagen van in front of us managed to get going on the steep ramp. Not for long though, as we passed them later on the A38, stranded in a lay-by with lots of smoke coming out of the engine... Otherwise the motorway journey was pretty uneventful and just when Matt was about to run out of jokes and anecdotes, we arrived back in Oxford. Luggage and bikes were unpacked and partially relocated to Matt's van, and off he went on his onward journey north.

Possu and I were left with plenty to do on our bikes' maintenance list...


... fond memories and a collection of souvenirs that will help us reminisce about this truly remarkable trip for a long time...


And the moral of the story? Well, reading the whole report again it seems that Portugal wasn't so bad after all. Would we go back? Possibly - if only to check if things have improved...

Here's to all the trails waiting to be ridden in 2014 -

Happy New Year Everyone!

Ela
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