After a night in Salamanca's streets, the third day began with some roadside repairs to my Guzzi under the watchful eye of Santo Domingo. Thanks to Juan Ramon who kindly brought the much needed part all the way from Madrid, we were soon on the road again to Portugal.
For maximum riding pleasure we kept to the minor roads where possible, even though it probably doubled the length of our journey.
A few kilometres down the road we stopped at what could easily have been the Baghdad cafe, far from anywhere we sat down for a banquet of Spain's finest ham and wine. The 'Guijuelo Restaurant', you probably won't find it in the Michelin guide. One of life's simple pleasures, good friends around the dinner table, far from anyway, excellent.
The rest of the day we rode mile after mile on deserted roads, with the dark skies above this was certainly one of the more memorable moments of the road-trip, until finally the heavens opened up as we crossed the frontier into Portugal.
We headed to the nearest village, Termas de Monforthino, where the only shelter and apparent sign of life was at the local bar. After a beer with the locals they were only too happy to direct us to a 'Pensao', or bed and breakfast, with enough rooms to house an Army let alone a few bedraggled bikers!
To finish the day we headed to the finest restaurant in town, an easy choice as there was only one to choose from and after a superb dinner it was back to the Pensao in the early hours for some Spanish style measures of Rum!
On the morning of the fourth day and just after a few kilometres El Solitario's Panhead broke down in the middle of nowhere's ville. For once it was not me and the Guzzi slowing our progress. With plenty of helping hands and to the sound of Bob Dylan, the Linkert was soon in pieces.
Once cleaned and reassembled, which didn't actually do much to improve the Pans performance, we were on the move again, Acres and acres of Eucalyptus and Olive trees flashed by, hour after hour passed and the group became separated but we headed onwards. Our sights were on Lisbon and the seaside bungalows reserved by Joao, eventually we arrived late at night.
And so began our stay in Lisbon, beautiful sunshine and lodgings on the beach. With our guide Joao, we rode the coast north and south of Lisbon by day, and experienced Lisbon and Tequila by night!
We also met up with the boys from 'Rev' magazine for a photo shoot.
Then came the time to say au revoir to our friends. Juan left us to join his family in Madrid and 'El Solitario' headed off with plans for everyone to meet up again in Galicia in northern Portugal. Our original group took the road north via Eciceira, Nazare, Sao Pedro de Moel.
The following morning the Guzzi's final drive drive broke and in an instant, I realised that it was the end of the road-trip for the two of us. With absolutely no chance of repairing the bike locally due to a complete absence of Moto guzzi delaers, the only solution was to repatriate the Guzzi to France.
Mark and Polo continued on the road north while we stayed behind to coordinate bikes the recovery.
We would have given anything to be with Mark and Polo, as they crossed the Portugese Spanish frontier at midnight, but for us the trip to Galicia was in the back of a Taxi. With everyone safely regrouped in Galicia, we were treated to several days of luxury with David and Val's family, superb cuisine lovingly prepared by Davids mother followed by long nights partying thanks to Loren. All of it unforgetable.
Back in Galicia we were once again ready to continue the road trip, this time on the Norton, less comfortable but lighter and better handling. Our paths seperated once more, Mark and Polo opted for a slighter quicker route back to France while we preferred heading northwards to the coast beginning with Gijon, Santander and onwards to Bilbao.
I don't particularly like Bilbao but the idea of finishing our journey with a visit to the Guggenheim museum was iresistable. Our voyage ended there, all that remained was the final three hour ride back home in the rain.
Thanks to: David,Guillermo,Ivan,Joao,José,JuanRamon,Lalo,Loren,Mark,Pilar