ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-05-2013, 12:55 PM   #16
jbar28 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
jbar28's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Oddometer: 160
Hey, Tye Sr.

Tye, I see you are local to me, so what are you doing in Kaiserslautern? And any chance you want to ride to Istanbul and back this July? Got 3 weeks vacation time?
jbar28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 01:00 PM   #17
jbar28 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
jbar28's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Oddometer: 160
Yeah, you bet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don T View Post


I can't remember a spring as cold as this one.

To escape the cold I'll be heading south to Morocco the 16th, which makes reading your RR extra interesting for me.

I really hope the weather gets warmer in the next 10 days...
I was here in Spain / Portugal in mid June two years ago and eating cherries off the trees along the road by the handful. That's ten weeks from now, and there aren't even the faintest sign of blossoms or leaves on these same trees.

Hey, I'm heading over to Morocco on the 16th, headed to Fes area to see a friend, but might be headed for Marakesh and areas further south. PM me if your plans are similar and you're interested in a travel buddy for that part of your trip.
jbar28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 01:01 PM   #18
jbar28 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
jbar28's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Oddometer: 160
But...

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmacaulay View Post
As for cutting down poplars.... They aren't too healthy to have in a forest. They are prone to disease, will just fall, and make a mess out of things.... Best to get rid of them. They are used to make pallets in Canada I think.

But there are so many of them, in so many places, these are grown intentionally this way as a crop. But for fire wood or something more... interesting?
jbar28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 01:16 PM   #19
jbar28 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
jbar28's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Oddometer: 160
Tapas for one?

One of the most interesting things about Spain, for people who really like food, is the tapas culture. It isn't dinner, it isn't lunch, as it often is in America. People stop at bars for a quick drink or two with friends on the way home from work, and tapas developed as a snacky thing to munch on with a glass of wine. Today many of us think nothing of making dinner out of tapas, it's my wife's favorite way to eat! So I ventured out last night in Logrono to see what I could find, and was overwhelmed with choices. I finally chose a bar that was less crowded, where my lack of Spanish might be met with less resistance. This worked out, and I had four good tapas and two small glasses of Rioja Crianza. Total bill less than 10 Euro.

But I need one one more little snack before heading in for the night. Then I saw the Angel Bar. They seem to have only one tapas, or at least only one that anyone orders. It's a towers of mushroom caps grilled in butter sauce that may contain crack cocaine it's so addictive, and topped with a salad shrimp, all skewered to a slice og baguette with a giant toothpick. For 1.20 each, they can't make them fast enough to keep up with demand.





As much as I enjoyed the food part of it, tapas seems to really be about socializing. Not speaking the language and being alone kind of puts a kink in this part of it. Too bad, it looks like lots of fun.





Photos coming later

jbar28 screwed with this post 04-05-2013 at 02:30 PM
jbar28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 02:09 PM   #20
jbar28 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
jbar28's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Oddometer: 160
Cold !

I didn't pack warm enough clothes. And I didn't pack enough warm clothes. My one pair of heavy wool socks have been washed out and reused three times already in only four days. Wish I had more. Why is it so cold here now? I've been told this isn't normal, and certainly not what I was expecting. Oh well, you order what you want, and eat what they bring you.

I left Logrono in clear sunshine at about 10am after a tapas bar breakfast or a coffee with milk and a little egg sandwhich. My hearing isn't so good, after too many years of loud toys, so when the bartender asked if I wanted the coffee 'solo' or 'con leche' I just made a motion for big, which I hoped was like a double coffee is in France. Nope, here it means with milk. Well, that's what i get for not hearing 'con leche' and knowing what it meant. I figured it all out after it happened.

Overall I really like Logrono and would happily go back. The Rioja Valley surprised me in being kind of.. plain looking. I'm used to something more like Piesport, Germany, where the line of where vines grow and where other things grow is laser clear. In Rioja it seems more hop and skip, with vines here and there mixed with other things. Maybe a more natural way to grow grapes, not such a monoculture. Anyway, it was cold and windy and I didn't stop for many pictures.

Eventually I got kind of up on a plain, and was amazed at how green things were. Lots of rain this year, I guess. That's the thing about Spain, it constantly surprises me at what I find, not at all like my preconceived notions. One reason for actually going.



I stopped in Burgos to find something wam to drink and dig some warmer clothes out of my luggage.



What I found was a churro cart, with hot chocolate sauce for dipping. As Garrison Keillor says: "the brown bag with the dark stains that indicate freshness."



I sat on a bench with a friendly homeless guy who spoke a few words of English, knew I didn't understand his Spanish, but wanted to talk with me anyway, and didn't want any of my churros. He indicated they would make a person fat. He told me I should go see the cathedral, and indicated by pointing at his eye and the bike that he would watch over it while I was gone. I locked up my helmet anyway, which was a good idea as he was gone by the time I came back.

Then I continued on to La Olmeda, the remains of a Roman villa found by accident in 1968 outside of Soldana, near Leon. They've built an aircraft hanger sized building to cover it and are still discovering more stuff.



The presentation is well done, in multiple languages. I like that they have one section of dirt at ground level to show how close this was all this time. They claim to have one of the largest areas of Roman mosaics anywhere in the world, and I guess that's true by the meter stick. But I've seen quite a few that were more impressive. Or maybe I've just seen so many now. Or maybe I was too cold to enjoy them like I should have.


They only look like this in pictures, or if you spray water on them, which you aren't supposed to do.

Yeah, pretty incredible that this is made from chips of rock.


Under floor heating, Roman style. Fire pit on one side of the room below ground level, chimney on the other side of the room, smoke travels under the floor and warms the room. Called a hypocaust system, found throughout the Roman world.



Anyway, if you're in the area of Leon, stop on over and see. Funny to think this sat unknown under 12" of dirt for 1500 years. Kind of makes you want to go dig up your whole back yard to see what's under there, doesn't it?

Another thing you see a lot here are storks nesting in towers. Most are in churches like this one.



But some are more humble. THis one was by the side of a busy road on an old electrical substation. Not sure if these are the poor country cousins or just a starter house like young human couples get.




While I was stopped today I took a picture of the 'cockpit', such as it is.



Tank bag is magnetic, and holds the iPod, phone, chargers for both connected via the two pin connector with red and white wire. I thought of doing this two nights before I left and with stores closed for the Easter holiday, I used what I had laying around. This works well enough that I'll get a better system, maybe one of those BMW-style waterproof connectors permanently mounted.

On the left side of the handlebars is a RAM mount I sometimes use for a camera, with the heated grips controller mounted on that. Works OK, but the adhesive pad has failed already and the 'optional' screw is holding it on. And I need to rewire these to turn off with the key. Again, didn't have time before I left. GPS is on another RAM mount, plugged into a standard power outlet.

I had been keeping my eye on some rapidly approaching mountains with obvious snow and rain, fearing that was my route. But at the last minute the GPS turned me south, on a GREAT road, Spain ZA-925 / Portugal N103-7. So much fun after hours on the freeway I almost thought about turning around and doing it again, despite shivering in the cold. I would call it a 90% road, because you use about 90% of the tread area of your tire riding it.



I stopped at the border for a picture.



Last time I was in Portugal I stopped for a similar picture and in the process of getting back on the road, dropped the bike in front of oncoming traffic in both directions. So now that demon is rightly and completely exorcised.

From the border the road descends into a very nice river valley. For the one Ohio guy reading this, it reminded me of Route 247 where it runs along Buck Run about 10 miles south of Hillsboro. And I kid you not, I went by a guy trout fishing in shirtsleeves.





Twenty miles of roads like this and I saw four or five other vehicles the whole time. And it was 'rush hour'!



I was very happy to get to Braganca and a hot bath. Dinner was take-out of half a rack of ribs grilled over real charcoal, a huge order of fries, a bottle of Duoro red wine that was pretty decent, and four cookies and two pastries from the bakery down the street. Total cost under 10 Euros. Yeah, try THAT in Switzerland!



So now I'm sitting in the lobby of the Ibis in Braganca as the internet doesn't reach my room, in spite of what the people here say. Oh well, it's cheap. And inexpensive. Tomorrow it's on to Lisbon for the Ultimate Souvenir!

jbar28 screwed with this post 04-05-2013 at 02:20 PM
jbar28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 06:26 PM   #21
drmacaulay
letsrun.com
 
drmacaulay's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Goderich, Ontario
Oddometer: 78
I find this website interesting for a number of reasons.... Really enjoying reading about your ride report......

I just commented on a ride report written by an American, and I felt he fostered or emphasized (in my mind) many stereotypes and cultural norms about criss-crossing much of America and a bit of Canada. I noticed themes of obesity & unhealthly (sp?) food consumption, totally ignorant Homeland Security guards (border patrol), religion, mostly urban landscapes, and the like... I felt I was a bit harsh though to the guy.... I don't know the guy, and I didn't want to come across as crass or an ass. But as a cultural or sociological observation - it was what it was in my mind.

And I read yours - which I enjoy, but bottles of wine, language barriers, poor European weather, more rural landscape as compared to urban.... It all promotes many more European stereotypes and norms for this observer.

Kind of my point = you've probably crossed three or four borders by now - why is it that you haven't written about a border patrol officer who asks ignorant and untimely questions about your travels? Or why haven't you written about some passer-by who wanted to tell you that God has a message for you in their heart to have a great day? Certainly you've crossed an international border. Certainly you've met travelers as well. Why is it that there are just more norms that are written about and more prevalent in some countries/regions rather than others?

I know I should be just enjoying everyone's postings for the excitement and adventure that they represent. Mostly I do. But I can't stop myself from thinking critically and wondering why and how these stereotypes come about.

At any rate - know that my message(s) are with respect to both the American and the German writing their reports - please keep them coming. Go get them wives of yours! That is the only similarity between the posts.

These ideas/thoughts have just been on my mind lately. That's all.
__________________
Drew Macaulay
2007 KTM 990

www.drmexploits.blogspot.com
drmacaulay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 08:14 PM   #22
tt100
Gnarly Adventurer
 
tt100's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: SW Ohio
Oddometer: 249
So.... The rain in Spain really does fall mainly on the Plain.... I can't believe you missed that!

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
tt100 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 11:38 PM   #23
jbar28 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
jbar28's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Oddometer: 160
Quote:
Originally Posted by drmacaulay View Post
I find this website interesting for a number of reasons.... Really enjoying reading about your ride report......

I just commented on a ride report written by an American, and I felt he fostered or emphasized (in my mind) many stereotypes and cultural norms about criss-crossing much of America and a bit of Canada. I noticed themes of obesity & unhealthly (sp?) food consumption, totally ignorant Homeland Security guards (border patrol), religion, mostly urban landscapes, and the like... I felt I was a bit harsh though to the guy.... I don't know the guy, and I didn't want to come across as crass or an ass. But as a cultural or sociological observation - it was what it was in my mind.

And I read yours - which I enjoy, but bottles of wine, language barriers, poor European weather, more rural landscape as compared to urban.... It all promotes many more European stereotypes and norms for this observer.

Kind of my point = you've probably crossed three or four borders by now - why is it that you haven't written about a border patrol officer who asks ignorant and untimely questions about your travels? Or why haven't you written about some passer-by who wanted to tell you that God has a message for you in their heart to have a great day? Certainly you've crossed an international border. Certainly you've met travelers as well. Why is it that there are just more norms that are written about and more prevalent in some countries/regions rather than others?

I know I should be just enjoying everyone's postings for the excitement and adventure that they represent. Mostly I do. But I can't stop myself from thinking critically and wondering why and how these stereotypes come about.


These ideas/thoughts have just been on my mind lately. That's all.
All I want to do is write about stuff that actually happens. I haven't met any border guards because there are none in between EU countries. That happened in 1995-97. Crossing from Spain to Portugal is no more difficult than going from Ohio to Indiana.

And I didn't write about the drunk guy in the Portugese bar who taught me to count to ten in English, French, Spanish, and Portugese, because I didn't think it was worth talking about. I generally avoid large urban areas on my bike because I don't enjoy traffic coming at me in multiple directions. I like rural areas with smooth twisty roads and think perhaps some other motorcyclists might, so I mention those, hoping someone will find this information the same way I found it from another rider. If you look at bestbikingroads.com you'll see it seems there are several of us out here.

As for why I talk about the same things others have talked about, perhaps we're noticing the same things? Maybe it makes me shallow to be happy at finding a wine I like for $3 rather than $12. Maybe everyone else that notices this is shallow, too? Generally I try not to post comments criticizing others, only criticizing myself. Being a border guard would be a long, thankless job, not something I'd want to do, so even if I met one and had a difficult interaction with them, I probably wouldn't write about it here. That person's life has enough problems without me piling on.

What I do not undertand is why you are asking me to comment on the same things you criticized EvanADV about. Are you just looking for ammo and opportunities to shoot people down? You seem to think it's OK to tell him not to eat pork rinds because he's already fat, but it's not OK to talk about heaven and hell? I think that reflects poorly placed priorities. And when you said to him "I am not religious. I believe in things I can see, touch, feel, taste - science." to him... I have to wonder how it happens that some people can look at this world we're out here exploring and don't even wonder about it's creator. Because you asked me to talk about this, I'm going to say this to you: You are blind.

I think this is plenty for this forum. If you wish to PM me I'll reply to you personally. That's what private messages are for. I don't want to turn a ride report into a personal discussion on something else between two people, and I hope you'll do the same.

jbar28 screwed with this post 04-05-2013 at 11:44 PM
jbar28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 01:25 AM   #24
Tye Sr.
The Peripatetic
 
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Kaiserslautern, Germany
Oddometer: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbar28 View Post
Tye, I see you are local to me, so what are you doing in Kaiserslautern? And any chance you want to ride to Istanbul and back this July? Got 3 weeks vacation time?
Yes, I am here in Kaiserslautern working. I enjoy every moment off when I get to ride. Wow! Now, that sounds great and there just might be a chance... I will PM you. Definitely peeked my interest.
Tye Sr. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 07:59 AM   #25
Air Force Vet
Adventurer
 
Air Force Vet's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: New Mexico
Oddometer: 62
Rr

Great RR! Thanks for posting and really looking forward to the next few days. Luckily for me, you're capturing all the things that I find interesting
Air Force Vet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 11:23 AM   #26
faded_Glory
Adventurer
 
faded_Glory's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: UK, wet and windy
Oddometer: 67
Just wanted to say that I enjoy your RR very much. You are a very good photographer and I like your commentary. I also can't fault you for your choice of bike

One small tip, in case you ever come to the UK, never park your bike on the pavement like you do on the continent. You're guaranteed to get a ticket as I found out the hard way the first time I did that.

Good luck with the rest of your trip, I'm looking forward to it!

fG
__________________
2014 Suzuki Vstrom 1000
1986 Yamaha SRX-6

faded_Glory screwed with this post 04-06-2013 at 11:29 AM
faded_Glory is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 02:31 PM   #27
Grouik
Bike & Beer
 
Grouik's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Belgium
Oddometer: 81
I love the way you are telling us your adv., Thanks
__________________

commute every day on a 1150 GSA, and plan adventurous trip every night
Grouik is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 04:18 PM   #28
jbar28 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
jbar28's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Oddometer: 160
Missed it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tt100 View Post
So.... The rain in Spain really does fall mainly on the Plain.... I can't believe you missed that!

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

You're going to comment on the rain on the plain and not even acknowledge the Pamplona comment? I call bull on that!
jbar28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 05:17 PM   #29
jbar28 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
jbar28's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Dayton, Ohio
Oddometer: 160
All of Portugal

I started the day with a bright sunrise, sign sof good things to come, and I packed away the rain gear. Still colder than heck, and the guy at the hotel said it was much colder than normal this year. Great.



I headed south from Braganca on some smaller roads, some of which were good, some not. Here's a few pics of the area.





Sorry about the ones that are through the windscreen, best I could do.




Including one town called Sobreira where they dump their trash in the revine just outside of town. Way to take care of your little piece of the world, folks.



Pretty soon it started to look and feel a lot like spring!



Riding through the Duoro valley was really cool. I often ride up and down the Mosel river wine area in Germany, and expected the Duoro to be about the same. Not true. The Duoro is HUGE HUGE compared to the Rhine or Mosel. Not quite Grand Canyon, but as my brother the physics professor would say, it's orders of magnitude larger, deeper, and just amazing.



See that white building in the middle? That's a 12 or 14 room building!



This place is just really BIG!

Along the way I passed by this town and this is at the bus stop. One of the nicer ways to tell people where they are, isn't it?



Song on the iPod was "Fields of Gold", sung by Eva Cassidy, whose version I much prefer over the original.


I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I've broken
But I swear in the days still left
We'll walk in fields of gold



After three hours of fooling around on twisty roads I figured I better get headed where I was going. And that was Lisbon. I said earlier that I usually try to avoid urban areas when on the bike, but iIm on a special quest to find a long-lost souveneir for a very good friend, and it can only be found in Lisbon. So I got on the tollway. Compare this service station picture her to what you've seen of the mobs in France on the way home from the beaches in the south after holiday.


Saturday afternoon at the service station, Portugal.

On the highway and I'm wondering about things. Every exit I go by, there's a sign telling me the "tax amount" for that exit. But there's never a toll booth. Hmm.. Then I notice the complex radar and camera systems I've been riding under just before each exit. Are they counting license plates and taking tolls that way? Really? Will it ever get to me in the form of a bill? Check out the sign on the far left. What else could that mean? Taxes by sonar ?! What a... great invention?



After two hours on the highway I need some twisty roads, so I pick a random exit, take the first turn that looks like smooth road, ride a few kilometers, and then tell the GPS to take me back to Lisbon. Hey, you gotta have a plan, and that was my plan. The next thing I know, I'm coming into Belvar, and here's what I see. No kidding, you can't make this stuff up.


Castel, coble stone streets, orange trees with fruit, white washed buildings... yep, got all that

For a kid from Ohio off travelling the world, castles still rate pretty high. Not as many in Ohio as over here.


Seconds before the camera tumbled off the fence post and landed on a big rock. Now with a new dent and fewer functions!

But on the way to Lisbon I want to make another stop. Cabo da Roca, the easternmost tip of land in Europe. As far back as the Romans this was pretty much the end of the world, they called it "Promontorium Magnum". I doubt I need to translate that for you!





A nice guy hanging out with his girl in a van offered to take my picture. We chatted in German, nice because it obviously wasn't a first language for either of us, so we btoh spoke slowly and with small words. Kind of nice, and we understood each other. : He aks how many hous riding from my home in Germany and I tell him about 36 (according to Garmin).



After a long and frustrating trip into the center of Lisbon, the way these things often go in big cities, I made it to my hotel and went searching for the elusive souvenier. I got thrown off the trail by the hotel receptionist, bought the wrong transit ticket, got on the wrong tram (15 is not 15E), got left half way to nowhere when the 15E stopped, walked 6 kilometers, passed by while standing at the tram stop twice, and still nothing. I finally walked into a nice looking bar, "light and bright" as the realtor who sold my house in 1996 called it.

I looked in the show case of food and saw potato chips and odd but not interesting pastries, and was just about to leave when the guy behind the bar asked me something. I still haven't bothered to find out of I should say 'para' or 'habla' when I tell someone I can't speak Portugese. (No habla is Spanish, no para is Italian). I guess either one works, being right or wrong, it gets the point across. Anyway, I mumble one of these and he switches to English with a smile and asks if I want to eat or to have a drink. I haven't had anything except a granola bar in thirteen hours but I say I want a dark beer. In less than 10 seconds I have one, and boy it hits the spot. Pretty soon I see a chalkboard menu and read "Gambas", which I know in Spanish is shrimp, usually in spicy olive oil. OK, lets call off the hunt and eat. Soon there are shrimp, sauteed pork, bread, and a glass (well, two) of FANTASTIC Duoro wine on my table. And while this is happening, people are streaming into this place.


Estado da Alma, one of the most enjoyable meals I've had.



The waiter who is helping me reminds me of my best friend's son-in-law Jeff, and he's great. He asks if he can pick the wine for me, since I order one that I think is red but turns out is white, so he knows I need some help. He comes back with a whole bottle, and starts telling me all about why this is such a good wine. I tell him I only want a glass, not a whole bottle, and he says yes, this is OK, but it is 7 Euros a glass, not the normal 2 or 3, but it is so good, I must try it.

OK, whatever, I was in a rotten mood when I came in and now I have great food in front of me, I'll go along with it. But MAN, was that wine good. Both glasses of it. So if you're ever in Lisbon, go see Victor at Estado d'Alma. Tell him the guy on the moto that hated Lisbon sent you. And tell him I changed my mind.

All of which explains why I'm writing this at 1:15 AM. Now I'm going to sleep, like the evil trams that don't stop for me.



Tomorrow I resume the hunt, finish the kill, and head for some Roman ruins in Merida, Spain. If the bike is still there on the street where I parked it. I left it in the care of St. Pedro and St. Paulus.


jbar28 screwed with this post 04-06-2013 at 09:07 PM
jbar28 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 06:31 PM   #30
beema69
n00b
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Western Australia
Oddometer: 1
Great reading and pics. Thanks. Portugal is now on the "must go to" list!
beema69 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 06:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014