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.

Friday, 4 October 2013

What fun we had in Tours with Roulement a Bill

A truly wondeful bicycle project in Tours, we had a great time with the happy crew, a Bollywood soiree of
enormous hilarity, great food and chitter chatter, here is....

....and here's Bill le Dindon

le drapeau.

a long john in the making, there were three of them in progress, looking good.

a busy busy ,lively workshop

..really busy !!

and we got to perform our show again and present the wondeful Raymondo bicycle disco machine, 
thank you Roulement a Bill.


 Posters we like,
and this one for a short film competition
organised by

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

La Fete de la Loire, Orleans

We arrived in Orleans in time for the Fete de la Loire which only happens every two years.
We even got driven to Orleans the night before we actually cycled there to see the Fireworks display and meet some fish.

Here is a Breton Fisherman Fish, yes we're looking forward to being in Brittany again soon...

A Love Velo annagram fish, who we obviously loved

And Madame Clounfish, who we love too.

So the day after our nightly excursion we actally cycled to Orleans really slowly, discovered a great market just south of the river next to the cyclepath avec tout reclam, reclam reclam, tout 1 Euro 
We went to have a look at the boats of the Fete de la Loire and found some Venezian Gondolieres

This lonely Gondoliere was rowing upstream for about half an hour. Tres impressionante!

A pipeplayer on a Gabarrge

And there was lots of sonic sculptures, some of them made with old bicycle bits. This one is Kevins favorite and was making clonking noises with saucepans.

An automatic bicycle wheel guitar device
They must have a Scrapstore somewhere nearby...