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Old 10-15-2013, 03:28 PM   #16
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Before Matt muddles the report with stories from his so-called Book of Truth, I'd rather get a more realistic account in...

Said Matthew arrived duly in Oxford on Sunday morning, squeezed his bike, belongings and good self into our van and off we set towards the port of Plymouth

Gives a whole new meaning to the lyrics: every body's gone surfin...

Keep going, please, keep going...

Our snug home for the next 19 hours

... which could have been sensibly spent on refreshing our basic vocabulary

Unless there's something better to do

Such as watching good old England disappear in the distance

Adeus, Inglaterra!

GFJ and Jimmy joined the mob

... and together we went to enjoy the simple things in life

The night was surprisingly quiet, but then we had only taken Matt with us on condition of best behaviour, i.e. no snoring, farting or singing inside the cabin...

In all fairness, Brittany Ferries' catering isn't too bad or that expensive, considering that they serve a captive audience

I would probably die of boredom if you forced me on a cruise - but finally, the long awaited call: Spain, ho!

... and while the others were still looking for Blighty on the horizon...

... I relished the sight of beautiful Santander getting closer

Good to know that the Air Ambulance would be able to rescue us even here...

May I draw your attention to what Matt considers his little overnight bag?

The boys making themselves useful and mixing drinks for the journey

Not without quality control, of course!

The first café con leche, tortilla and bocadillo de queso on Spanish soil - what a treat!

Decisions, decisions...

How many bikes are in this picture?

Mmm, the wheel bearings seem to have a little bit of play...

And then - the promised land!

We are not heading for the dark sky, are we?

Welcoming committee Timpo at the Cepo Verde campsite

We made it so far!

Did you notice GFJ's sophisticated luggage support?

Bikes got unpacked and prepared

RickA, who had driven over from France with Timpo after doing the 'Rallye des Pionniers de l'histoire' joined in - sort of...

Surely, the next morning would shine bright and sunny on us, our bikes and our first experience of the Portuguese trails?

Our first experience of the local cuisine certainly promised further culinary indulgences during the days to come...

However, a big fly in the ointment was that on the way down we had learnt that Famous's van had been broken into, the bikes and all equipment stolen and that he and Daithi wouldn't be able to join us after all...

Or would they?

Don't miss the next episode!
. - Four months through South America on a DRZ - Ride Report: One day... you have to live your dream
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:51 PM   #17
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. I love ride reports of the mother land.
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:51 AM   #18
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Old 10-16-2013, 05:06 AM   #19
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C'mon Pumpy, the suspense is killin' me, what happened next ?

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Old 10-16-2013, 05:30 AM   #20
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You could pick up the baton and tell us what happened to the Oirish contingent of the Anthill Mob in the meantime, couldn't you?
. - Four months through South America on a DRZ - Ride Report: One day... you have to live your dream
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:06 AM   #21
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Oh don't encourage him

We'd be here for ever and at least Matt has the "Book of Truth" to fall back on Daithi relies on GoPro moments and "memory"

And that's one Hard disk that has a few files missing
And miles to go before I sleep
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Old 10-16-2013, 06:33 AM   #22
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You could limit yourselves to the days before Freixo de Espada à Cinta...
. - Four months through South America on a DRZ - Ride Report: One day... you have to live your dream
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Old 10-16-2013, 08:17 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Pumpy View Post
Have you ever contemplated going to Portugal for some trail riding? Don't. It's awful.

Timpo 'Clyde' Thompson - the Great Organiser

I must warn you: the tales we are going to tell will probably be as boring as our chosen destination - so after this trailer don't hold your breath for the next episode...
I want to know what the world famous Book of Truth says about this... I really do...

Too bad I couldn't join you I was waiting for this ride but we'll always have Portugal! And I'm happy you enjoyed another PT trip.

Glad to see some of you tried the roman road... pretty neat! Hopefully next April I'll join you and share a couple (or dozens) of Bocks and CRFs and other assorted drinks... I might get some new tracks till then

For now, waiting for the rest of pics and reports (calling Saint Matthew!!)


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Old 10-16-2013, 09:47 AM   #24
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Great lookin' ride report. Waiting for more pics.
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:59 AM   #25
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Just settled down with a glass of the old vinho verde to start transcribing the book of truth onto the internet. Whilst some might challenge the accuracy I can assure you that the gospel according to muddymatt is is a truthful account of the trip.

Sun 29th Sept

From my home in Nottingham I had travelled down to my long suffering folks in Worcester on Sat morning where a quick check over of the 690 found some loose stand bolts which were loctited followed by a 50 mile round trip with my dad to see my Auntie and get the wheels rolling. My mother was especially interested in me getting my kit spread out in the back garden ready for a final repack. My small overnight bag also caused some consternation as I slung it over my shoulder up to my old bedroom. (Happy Memories )

Sunday dawned and I was up early to get to Pumpy and Possu's for 9. My dad was up as well as he was officiating on the Levis Cup so no lie in for mum.

Arriving at Steve and Ela's I unloaded my bike and kit. A sizeable pile but after loading our 690's we tried the DRZ but it wouldn't fit. No panic a strip down of the DRZ pannier rails and side panels. I think secretly Possu like getting his hands dirty at any opportunity. Soon we were all packed and ready to go.

I must add Ela kept me in a good supply of tea and Steve had got some great croissants to eat.

As we got into the van I noticed Ela sat on a throne arrangement on the middle seat with a piece of foam and a tartan blanket. A shame I took no photos but please believe me it exists.

An uneventful good journey to Plymouth with livened up with Ela asking why there were no old buildings left in Plymouth. It got me chuckling for the rest of the holiday.

Meeting up with GFJ and Neil (Jimmy) and Neil in Timpo's van on the quayside after a long queue before customs behind the hearse. They both looked a little fraught and when I questioned them it was due to the fact that Timpo has a stuck CD in his van playing on a loop of "Ferry across the Mersey" !

For those who have never heard the melody a link is below:

Upon loading imagine my panic when due to Steve disappearing for a call of nature Ela got behind the wheel. Notice I also vacated the van but Ela informs me she is a very good van driver. Having seen the German lady go round the Nurburgring in a transit on Top Gear I didn't dare argue.

Off course any rumour that the melodic muddymatt can also sing a good version is untrue. Or at least until after a bottle of vinho tinto.

After loading we met up for a view of Plymouth as we departed on the Pont Aven for foreign shores. After a brief siesta we met for food and a few Guinness before heading to our cabins, but not before I had been told off by an old lady for talking too loudly so she couldn't hear the cabaret.

Day 1 was over.

muddymatt screwed with this post 10-17-2013 at 07:51 AM
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:21 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by GFJ View Post
and whilst we're on obscure biblical references, would the Pizza girl with the nice toppings, be considered St Matthew's Passion

(I need to get these in now as I feel I am in for soooo much stick in the not too distant!)
Now what goes on holiday stays on holiday, but even a gentleman like myself was shocked when I saw the low cut of the waitress's top.

Notice Daithi and Seamus's glazed look as they had already been served their Pizzas.

The French know how to train waitresses.

A great evening.

Don't worry GFJ there is nothing incriminating in the "Book of Truth" as I can't read my own writing as we get to the second bottle.

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Old 10-16-2013, 01:31 PM   #27
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I'll leave the main telling of the trip to those who knew where we were, I didn't as I lacked a GPS and merely followed those in the know.

I neglected to bring waterproof trousers as we were heading to Portugal with its 30 degrees and if it did rain, it would only be a short shower and I'd be dry in no time - wrong! The first two days were very wet which meant I was soaked at the end of each day. At the end of day two my rear end was in some discomfort to say the least. Spreading of the cheeks and looking in the bathroom mirror revealed a bad case of Nappy Rash which led to me visiting the local Pharmacy and buying a suitable cream in my non-existent Portuguese. Successful in my purchase, it took 3 days of liberal twice daily applications to ease the pain. No pics exist despite several requests.

I have to admit to a few low speed falls, mainly on rocks in the first two days but day 3 took us to the Roman Road which I'd heard so much about. The route down was tricky but relatively easy, with all of our bashplates taking a battering on the rock steps. At the bottom there's a small bridge crossing the gorge which then leads on to the shorter but harder uphill section. I have to admit (before Matt's Book of Truth distorts things) that it's here that my legendary riding ability deserted me. The reasons were discussed at length afterwards with everyone agreeing that a combination of the wrong power setting on the 690 and slipping on a discarded contact lens were the main factors. I did video the whole road and below is the first half down to the bridge, the second half will be ready soon.

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Old 10-16-2013, 02:22 PM   #28
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Thanks for getting your gossip, erm, gospel started, Matt, a great read! Let's see if I can still squeeze day 3 in before your next instalment...


The next morning was cold, grey and wet...

... which was particularly unfortunate for Possu who had left his waterproof Klim trousers back in Oxford, trusting the assurances of my Portuguese colleagues that the weather would be fantastic and that we could have well up to 30 ºC until the end of October in the country's north...

Maybe it'll clear up during breakfast...

... which was great value for money, by the way

Alas, the rain hadn't stopped when we finally dragged ourselves out of the camp-site's restaurant, in fact it kept falling until late afternoon and so the camera stayed in the dry-bag for most of the day, sorry. I'm sure some of the others will have photographic evidence of our shenanigans - I can think of one or two pics taken by the Great Organiser...

After filling up in Bragança, we headed north from Gimonde towards the Spanish border and then wiggled our way through forests, over steep climbs and descents, slippery terrain and tiny cobblestone roads in equally diminutive villages to our overnight stop in Miranda do Douro.

I remember zero views of the allegedly gorgeous countryside, plenty of trees, often in the middle of the lane, terra not so firma, scary slopes and a lot of screaming, as I tried to keep up with the boys. At some point I'd had enough, I was hungry and absolutely knackered. You know what it's like (or maybe not) when you are the slowest in a group: everyone has to wait for you, which makes you feel guilty and under pressure, and when you have finally managed to catch up, the others, who have had their break meanwhile, set off immediately...

And thus I left the lads to their own devices (and pace) in the afternoon

... and continued on tarmac to Miranda do Douro. It's worth mentioning that we didn't meet any humans on the trails and that I saw only one car until I joined the main road.

Thanks to an accurate description of the preferred location and a print-out of Miranda's hotels - well researched and prepared by Matt - I quickly found us suitable alojamento in the Residencial Planalto: central location, a bar next door, secure parking, a super-friendly and helpful receptionist (it certainly helped that Branco spoke perfect Spanish as well...), simple but comfortable en-suite rooms, including breakfast for €13.33 (triple) to €15.00 (double) per person - what more could you possibly ask for?

Before I even had the chance to text the details to the rest of the group, they had already arrived after spotting my bike in front of the hotel, and together we rode to the secluded back of the 3-storey building, set straight into the rock

Rooms were quickly plastered with our wet gear...

... and after showering, shaving (well, some...) and savouring the first drink next door, we set off to one of the best restaurants in town, O Moinho, where Possu without further ado decided to abandon our vegetarian lifestyle for the rest of the holiday

To be fair, it is quite difficult to find dishes without any meat traces on Portuguese menus and so I followed his example in due course.

Rick adventurously went for Chouriço ao inferno - the sausage from hell

... which was, nota bene, only a starter...

We dined and wined in perfect style and great spirits, ran back to our hotel in the pouring rain and settled for some further drinks in the bar. Not sure what happened after that, as I went to bed early, but the Book of Truth may have more secrets to reveal...

. - Four months through South America on a DRZ - Ride Report: One day... you have to live your dream
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:24 PM   #29
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Wink brill

Great stuff guys...

one seem to have small fuel tanks and huge tanks on various bikes..or did the smaller fueled bikes carry extra fuel or ....Syphon the "tankers"..

How available is fuel in the rustic charms of Portugal..would a 120mls+ 30ml reserve be

Thanks for the links to the sleep and food stations.nice to know what stuff costs approx.
ccm644 solo adventurer....who needs a ktm
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:27 PM   #30
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Lovin this Pumpy, looking forward to the rest I must get down there sometime ,it's allbut on my door step

Cheers Phil
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