I’m back on the move after a good week of Rubgy and drinkin….Minus the the fact I lost my phone and have bloody elbows and knees! I am absolutely stoked to be heading to the Mecca of surf towns Nazare!
I chose this town because of its location to the beach and the history of its 100ft waves! AAAAHOOO! This is the first term found in a book on “surfspeak.” it was reported, as the sound made by a surfer when riding a wave. When watching another surfer catch a hot ride, or when signaling others that an outside wave or set of waves is approaching.
It was pretty uneventful as it was not the “high surf” season. So I wandered, enjoyed some indian food and took a much needed 8 hour night of sleep. Hotel Cubata! I spent the night here for only $50 euros.
Wandering around Nazere reminded me of san diego/LA and the old school surfers. As a matter of fact I met some americans who moved there for the surfing. They said not only is the surfing better but that its a much more relaxed town. They take pride in their beaches and the cleanliness of the town. No homeless and almost no garbage laying around. An all around cleaner more laid back place to be.
As relaxed as the town was, I personally was having issues with my motorcycle pants and jacket. In the last game we played rugby, we played on turf! My knees and my forearms were so tore up the gortex material was sticking to my wounds. If you know what it feels like to tear a bandaid off when your wounds are not healed you could understand the pain I had, when, the slightest movement felt like someone was stabbing me. I consider myself tough but no amount of bandage helped, as I was sweating and the bandages would not stick…. the riding was becoming unbearable!
Either way next up is Porto….
After leaving Nazare I realized I couldn’t go ‘commando’ on my bike but I still had to wear some clothes. Instead of my gear I rode with, jeans and a sweater. The weather was perfect for it. Honestly when I ride my harley, I ride with less. It helped keep my sweat down and my bandages in place.
I arrived into porto city centre and immedietley felt like I was in midieval times. It has an old world feel. The buildings and the design/architecture just felt old. There was a gothic feeling to the structures just like in parts of Edinburgh and barcelona.
I had a place to stay but I wasnt sure about the mortorcycle yet. I knew Joao a fellow motorycle traveler that I met at a motorcycle rally in england, he had an apartment in porto, and he was part of the reason I chose this destination. He was able to set up a place for my motorcycle to stay. He said either at his apartment or his parents in a small village a couple hours inland from Porto. Joao was not there, he lives in Mozambique. A fellow and accomplished world traveler himself. Here is his link below.
After discussing with him what he thinks the best place for the camel is, we decided his parents would be best. It has a fully covered area. His apartment was to small and the roof on his garage leaked. That means I have one more leg before I park the bike.
After spending a couple of days in Porto, a beautiful city with plenty to do, I’m heading to a small village Outeiro de gatos. When I say small, I mean small. It has an inhabitant of of 347 as of 2011.
This route would take me along the douro river
The morning I woke up to ride, I realized after looking at the route the view above would be my view for most of the 2 1/2 hour ride. Along some of the best roads and among some of the most dramatic hillsides of wine and port destinations in the world. I couldn’t have picked a better route to end my trip. After riding so many miles from Finland,Germany, Czech, Austria, Italy, France, Spain, amongst so many different cultures, topography and roads. Followed by the coast of portugal and then finally to be surprised with this stunning scenery and smooth twisties, I had achieved biker bliss!
The town I was able to find, the address, not so easy! After wandering around the small town of Outeiro de gatos and asking a local if they know the family name. I found there home.
I geek out on old houses and this one did not dissapoint!
The journey from Finland to get here was a uniqiue experience. Just like all rides are. Upon arriving, all I could think about was how fortunate I was to make it unscathed. I know for many riders we try to minimize risk, but to go through what you go through traveling alone on a bike and make to your final destination it always feels like a great accomplishment.
Although the ride was over the most unique and grateful part is meeting the locals and being treated like family. Too often on the road your just another random face, so its nice to be fed a home cooked meal and welcomed into Joao’s family home.
They had little house (Casinha in portuguese) that they set up for me in their quintessential home. Perfect for weary biker to have his own space to relax in. As a matter fact it seemed like the place to be for mulitple bikers they had plenty of room.
From the home cooked meals from Joao’s mom, to his dad who set me up to keep the bike there, to the rest of the family and even a local Scotsman I met, their neighbor, I couldn’t of asked for a better end to a journey that filled me with frustration, rugby scars, true friends, new friends and unparalelled excitment.
But with putting myself out into the world there is no better accelaration to life then on two wheels!
As for the map below polarsteps has been a great way to save pictures on the road.
To mark the location of each shot will help bring back memories much faster. There is too much ADD happening for me to keep track of it all.
Next desination is unkown….all I really know is the camel is with a great family and it will need a new home next year!