Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Festa de Bicicleta Linda-a-Velha

What a nice place it is, the Oficina Comunitaria Linda-a-Velha!


We arrived just on time, in the early afternoon, after a little detour over some hills. They really don't know how to do road signs here.... 

The man with the knife sharpening bicycle was already there and we got our knife sharpened with an audience of fascinated youngsters.

Senhor António, Amolador de bicicleta de Linda-a-Velha

So ups we set our pedal power sound system and off they went the youngsters giving out all that lovely energy and movement. a fascinated knife sharpener looks on !

O Tomás a dar energia ao sound system

And then offs we went to perform our show, ta da !!
.... lordy lordy we had forgotten how to do it, let alone to a Portuguese audience !
thankfully 'les poulets bicyclettes' from the chickens nest saved the day
'as Galinhas a soldarem a bicicleta do nosso herói!'

Yay! A happy audience, greatly appreciated our efforts and we was richly rewarded.
Thank you Goncalo, the Cicloficina and Linda-a-Velha em Transicao!

Cycling through Porto,

Before we got to Porto we had big discussions wether to go through it or go around it in a big, wide semi circle. Apparently the traffic in Porto is horrible and there is massive hills and a ginourmous gorge to cross.... how are we ever going to get through this place?
First the plan was to go round it, until we had a closer look and discovered that there was lots of hills, possibly even mountains and hundreds of motorways to cross.

So we braved it and went through - it was easy!
It was really nice, we just followed the seafront and then the river, crossed the river and its gorge on ground level across the Luis 1st Bridge and then turned right to follow the river and find the seafront again....

The only adventurous bit was when the bridge that takes you across the port in Matosinhos was closed and we had to take the motorway bridge, a little bit further on, to get across. But that was literally a couple of hundred meters.
Then there was quite a bit of nice red carpet style, portuguese seafront cyclepath until we got into Porto where the cyclepath turned into a kind of pavement with obstacles and we decided to go on the road, which was fine. There wasn't that much traffic and the drivers were quite good.

No major hills, no traffic chaos, lovely scenery and some very tasty Polvo - we will take that route again!

We did not get the chance to stop, stay and visit in Oporto, but if we had we would definitely have checked out
as from November 2013, quintas-feiras | 18h00 | entrada livre

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Festa da Bicicletta - Linda-a-Velha, Lisboa

We are looking forward to meeting everyone at the Festa da bicicleta tomorrow!
Lets party and set forth in search of Adventure!
Viva los aventureiros! 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Winners of the Portugal Chai Guava Award!

We survived a massive storm on our last day in Spain! What a down pour, cats and dogs, buckets and frogs and rain, rain rain all night combined with 40km/h winds from the south.
So as you can see, after a scary night like that, Kevin is happy to be on the little ferry to cross the river Minho into Portugal.
And so is Sylvie.

And we're even happier when we spotted this tallbike on the side of the road while we're cycling along in a tiny portuguese village.

It belongs to the Cafe Lampias, which is dedicated to the memory of Che Guevara.

One cup of coffe later and we have won an award!

The Chai Guava Award for entering Portugal succesfully!



Things are getting better and better - Pirate ice cream!

In the middle of October!? By the atlantic ocean!? 

Las setas de Ourense

We had a wonderful time in Ourense staying with Pedro and Menchu who welcomed us warmly. We relaxed, we fixed our tent, we at Orellas, we went for walks, we ate lots of yummy food, we went to the thermal baths - las pozas-, we cleaned our bikes, cooked apple crumble and we met the Ourense Alpinistas for a massive lunch of Enpanadas and a hunk of porc and we went mushroom picking with them. 
Our first mushroom lesson with Tonio! 
Pallasos setosos Kevin y Tonio

We promptly walked into a whole forest of mushrooms, all of a sudden they were everywhere! Tonio reckons we picked 300 Euros worth...

Happy hunter gatherers after a mushroom picking frenzy !


The chefs preparing a traditional mushroom cook up

E voila! Estupendo! Que rico!

Ciao Ourense, muchas gracias for these great days we spent with you!

The giant on the Utopia bicycle in Ulm was right!

We arrive in Spain on giant waves accross the Bay of Biscaya

It's all up and down in Asturias along the coast, just like the giant told us! We did get a bit bored of going down and up and down again and most of it on big roads underneath an even bigger motorway.
We enjoyed the first bit along the Rio Eo from Tapia to Lugo until Pontenova when it started to climb up and up and up, in the heat and sun with nowhere to stop but the roadside. It took us three hours to cycle the 18 kilometers to Meira. Luckily it was very beautiful still and there was plenty of spring water bubbling out of the rocks. 
We made it!

And on the way up we found delicious Parasol mushrooms.

Sarria we learn later is famous for it's bread. We bought our first bolos here in this excellent bakery with friendly bakersladies and the bread comes on bikes. We don't knead nothing else.

The bicycle bread gave us the streangth to tackle more hills!

Then came the rain and we got lost in Lugo, taking the wrong country lane. We thought we would have to cycle through the night in the rain. But no, we got shelter in the Bar o Basilio and Alfonso and Jorge let us camp in the Polytunnel with the tomatoes and peppers. Just imagine the dreams we had that night!

Up up up up up again, the highest we've ever been and actually it was raining all the time apart from when we took this picture and then....

..... the amazing view of the Rio Minho opened out in front of us and we went down down down down really fast, dizzyingly fast

to find friends in Ourense

More about our friends to follow....

Giants in the park a Nantes

In Nantes we went to visit Le Jardin des Plantes, a beautiful public garden with lots of pretty ducks and trees and lawn and fun sculptures.

Les deux genies protecteur du Jardin de Plantes are there to protect the garden.

Kevin bumped into his cousins

Le Massif du Poussin

Sylvie sat on a bench, there is definitely giants round here!
Oh yes, them there Geanantes giants, they are big they are!

Nantes is currently Green Capital of Europe, Bristol will be in 2015 when Nantes will be European Cycling City!
We found a group called Dynamots in Nantes who do bicycle and poetry rides and who relayed Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain) and Nantes by bicycle during 3 weeks this May (both European Green Capitals 2012 & 2013).

They are now preparing a similar relay for next year from Nantes to Copenhagen  (European Green Capital 2014).
Why not continue in 2015 from Nantes to Bristol (European Green Capital 2015) ??? We think it's a genius idea and are up for joining in!

Association Dyna-Mots
Maison des Associations
1 rue d'Auvours
44000 Nantes

Searching for Tin Tin in St Nazaire

We had a good old cycle around St.Nazaire, up and down the beach, through the industrial boat yards and the old german submarine base, looking for pictures of Tin Tin. There is supposed to be seven, we found some of them, the others must be somewhere on the big road.... and then we found a bonus one, the rocket from 'Destination Moon'! 


Dans les pas de Tintin à Saint-Nazaire... 
here you can see them all and find out about Professor Calculus's adventure

We'd like to come back to St.Nazaire next yearand do a 50's style Bicycle Beach Bikini Ride along the Promenade with surf music, quiffs, icecream and pedal pushers.
Maybe in time for the “La Grande Marée” a huge picnic on the beach in early June.