Oporto 2013 Blog Restoration

, tagged: oporto2013
Today I plugged in my old X40 laptop, I purchased this laptop in Portugal after my bicycle was stolen while I was at the start of my loosely defined and ultimately failed “tour around the world”. I had prepared for the tour, I was leaving in February, and I was just going to carry on cycling, I thought about crossing Iran and going to India. It was cut short however when my bicycle was stolen in Oporto, Portugal. Read more...

Faro - Huelva

, distance: 121.76km, time: 6h21m , tagged: oporto2013
Slept badly last night, was itching and I had globs on my skin. Got up in the middle of the night and went to the bathroom to inspect myself so as not to wake the other people in the dormitory. In the end I just determined to not itch and to just stay calm until I fell asleep. In the morning the globs had gone. Spoke to French girl this morning: Read more...

Faro and new money

, distance: 88km, time: 4h7m , tagged: oporto2013
My card finally arrived this morning, (thanks Ana for letting me know). I withdrew some money to ensure that it worked before finally checking out of the Pousada de Juventude. It had been a productive 2 weeks, but the inertia got to me. When the card arrived I had only enough money for one more night. So, I headed out eastwards to the heart of the Algarve, Faro. The airport city that keeps the Algarve well stocked with tourists. Read more...

The New Blog - 10 days in Lagos

, tagged: oporto2013
Last tuesday I phoned my friend Franck in Paris “Hey Franck, hows it going?” “Yeah, pretty good mate.” “All my stuff nicked, I need to ask you a favour” “Sure” “Can you pick up my credit card from the bank, and send it over here.” “No problem” Thought it would arrive maybe the next day, maybe the day after. I am staying in a Youth Hostel in Lagos, its a pretty good deal. Read more...

Lagos - Day 9

, tagged: oporto2013
So. I have finally met a “crusty-hippy-permaculturist”. I was sitting down for breakfast, and was having a conversation with a Dutch guy, who was driving around in a hired car. We were in the middle of a sentance when.. English? We both looked around Are you english? - she addressed the Dutch guy, I kept my nationality a secret Err… no … I am dutch. Oh, well thats allright then. What about you? Read more...

Lagos - Day 7

, tagged: oporto2013
Now one week at the Hostel and only €130 left. Hoping card will get here tomorrow, one entire week seems a long time for a first card letter to go from France to Portugal, but its possible all the same. Have started running again, today was the third consecutive running day. Legs are aching, but tendon is fine. I started off with a small run on my second day here, 20 minutes to a beach, swim, then 20 minutes back. Read more...

Lagos - Day 5

, tagged: oporto2013
Five days and I am starting to perceive the routine of this place. Beginning to become habituated to the routines. The staff sitting down in the court yeard chatting. Scrambled eggs on Wednesdays. Each morning I sit down for breakfast at 8:30 and speak with Walter before he goes to surf school, often misunderstanding what he is saying to me and saying “what?”. Paid for Carlos to stay one more night at a cost of €12 Read more...

Lagos - Day 4

, tagged: oporto2013
Met Carlos. Unemployed Portuguese guy staying in Hostel for the night. Very talkative and triste. Life is tough my friend Yeah Four fucking times, four fucking times they stole my bike Yah, yah, life. But, you have to stay positive, you know? Thats the key We went outside and and somoked My brother is dead How did he die? He is dead. He died 4 years ago, life. Yep. I have no money, you know there is no work Yeah I have nothing, no food, don’t like begging . Read more...

Lagos - Day 3

, tagged: oporto2013
Finally managed to speak to an employee of my bank in Paris. She explained that nothing, no action, could be taken with my card without a written authorization. An authorization delivered in the mail and signed by me. I found out however, to my gratification, that I could ask one of my colleagues in Paris to pick the card up on my behalf, if they had the aforementioned written authorization. Read more...

Lagos - Day 2

, tagged: oporto2013
Slept well last night. I was the sole occupant of a 4 bed dormitory. Chatted with a French guy called Walter. You travelling? I asked err… yes .. erm.. on holiday I speak french I was glad to be able to chat in French, and Walter and I had many chats over the next few days. He was over here attending a surf school, and was currently “signing on”, that is, drawing unemployment benefit, whilst waiting to be admitted to the French police academy. Read more...

Lagos - Day 1

, distance: 74.48km, time: 3h17m , tagged: oporto2013
Apparently trip advisor ranked this place no. 1 in a poll of “15 up-and-coming destinations”. I spoke to a guy in the Hostel in Lisbon who said that, paraphrasing, this place was being colonized by the English. Its full.. of people .. of your people .. people like you! This is the south coast of Portugal. I rode into town and was surprised to pass an bookshop selling English books, I made a note to return to it the following day, thinking that I would be leaving the following day and I could call in on my way out. Read more...

Story of a stolen bicycle in OPorto

, distance: 100km, time: , tagged: oporto2013
I rode into the center of Oporta. Struggling up the narrow, ancient streets with my heavy bicycle. Passing by residençials (cheap hotels) that looked to run-down for me to stay in. Finally I passed into a larger street and found the residençial indicated on my map, the Saint Antonio. The entrance gave on to a short corridor leading to a flight of steps to the first floor where the reception would be found. Read more...

Santander - Day 2

, tagged: oporto2013
What happened today? No idea.

Santander - Day 1

, tagged: oporto2013
So Dad left yesterday, and I am left alone in Santander. I found a pension for €20 a night, but without internet connectivity. In the morning I went down to a café for a refreshingly cheap coffee and an internet connection. Checking the news, answering emails, and having that lightness of mind that comes with having no cares and no plans. I called in at the bakery on the way back, getting some bread and cakes, next stop was the supermarket for some cheap wine. Read more...

La Cavada to Santander

, distance: 32.189km, time: 1h30m , tagged: oporto2013
Dads last day, we rode into Santander, going straight to the Ferry terminal where Dad would be setting sail for England - but it was deserted, we eventually spoke to an offial who said that the passenger terminal had been temporarily moved further down the road. After assertaining the location we went to search for some accomodation for me for the night, then a coffee and adios! In 2010 I rode with Dad from St. Read more...

Bilbao to La Cavada

, distance: 96.56km, time: 5h0m , tagged: oporto2013
Breakfast surprisingly good and plentiful. Left hotel at 8 45 am only to discover that Dan’s brake blocks were badly worn necessitating a visit to cycle shop opening up at 10 am. Eventually underway at 11 am via Sodupe on hilly inland route involving one 5 mile climb (and 5 mile freewheel descent) from Ramales de la Victoria to Arredondo and hotel in La Cavada with lovely mountain view.

Deba to Bilbao

, distance: 91.732km, time: 5h0m , tagged: oporto2013
Rained heavily in night and left hotel at 8 40 am on a day of intermittent sleet and heavy rain showers on a mountainous route to Ondarroa via Lekei then inland to Gernika and eventually into a bustling Bilbao. Hotel found with difficulty and told by owner that bikes cost 10 euros to be garaged, and no eating allowed in rooms! Our room however had nice view of river. We dined out in restaurant area of bar populated by elderly people playing cards. Read more...

Bayonne to Deba, Spain

, distance: 38.624km, time: 2h0m , tagged: oporto2013
Awake before 6am reading War and Peace (39% read). Left hotel at 8 40am in sleet and snow through a desolate Biarritz. A welcome and partial drying out café in St Jean-de-Luz. With the weather deteriorating Dan decided we should cycle just 8 miles further to border town of Hendaye and take train into Spain and pre-booked hotel at Deba (with 40 minute changeover at San Sebastian where we sought to stay warm by waiting room radiator). Read more...

Mimizan to Bayonne

, distance: 99.779km, time: 5h0m , tagged: oporto2013
Another DIY breakfast. Light rain when we set out with coffee at Vielle St Giron. Dan received phone call from hotel booked the previous night to say reception was closed from 3 to 6pm. We aimed to go fast and arrive before 3pm and did so comfortably including a quick lunch at Souston. Started to watch film Abraham Lincoln on laptop but gave up because of poor sound quality. 62 miles. Read more...

Boredeaux to Mimizan

, distance: 99.779km, time: 6h0m , tagged: oporto2013
From Dads journal: Accompanied Debbie to tram for trip to airport at 8 30 am. Dan and I left hotel at 9 30 am making gradual progress towards coast out of Bordeaux in wind and rain. We had coffee near Facture and lunch at Parentis en Born, then on to Mimizan where we booked into hotel for 58 euros and dried our wet clothing on the bathroom radiator. Yet another dining-in night involving baguettes! Read more...

Bordeaux - Day 2

, tagged: oporto2013
From Dads journal: Another day with Dan delivering croissants at breakfast time. I cycled to the riverside and ran 4 miles on grassland then cycled along long promenade again in warm sunshine. We visited Musee Des Beaux Arts which was very disappointing but coffee outside in the cathedral square was lovely. With the temperature just about warm enough Debbie and I had evening meal in evening in venue near quayside.

Bordeaux - Day 1

, tagged: oporto2013
A lazy morning. Muesli in bed and Dan arrived with croissants from the bakery. As the sun shone we went to Museum of Contemporary Arts featuring a display of carrier bags, rubble in woks and a large mural by Gilbert and George. In nearby park I removed my shirt for brief time as we revelled in the sunshine. Debbie cooked a meal and we had drinks outside Place de la Victorie, again very pleasant evening. Read more...

Castille la Bataille to Bordeaux

, distance: 51.499km, time: 2h0m , tagged: oporto2013
From Dads journal: Leisurely cycle ride to Bordeaux along quiet roads with stop for coffee in bright sunshine at Branne. Reached hotel (with cooking facilities in room) at 1 30 pm but room not ready and hassle parking bikes. Debbie arrived at 4pm and in the balmy evening the three of us strolled into town and in relaxed mode drank lager outside a bar, then an excellent meal in Italian restaurant. Read more...

Perigueux to Castillon la Bataille

, distance: 93.341km, time: , tagged: oporto2013
Awake at 6 20am. Excellent breakfast. On a sunny day Dan (slightly sunburnt) decreed that we take a scenic route to Bordeaux via La Force. Stayed the night at Castillion la Bataille just 29 miles from Bordeaux. Started to watch 1954 classic film Sumari on laptop but fell asleep after hour or so. 58 miles.

Brive to Perigueux

, distance: 75.639km, time: 5h0m , tagged: oporto2013
From Dads journal: It was raining when leaving the hotel at 8 40 am. Dan bought a few items at giant sports shop on city outskirts. Coffee and croissant at Terrasson la Villedieu. I was annoyed seeing Fois Gras factories with pictures of smiling ducks displayed at entry gates. Into Perigueux and Ibis budget hotel from 2pm approximately. I walked into town and spent time inside huge cathedral, then got lost and jogged the streets until I recognised surroundings! Read more...

Ussal to Brive

, distance: 86.904km, time: , tagged: oporto2013
Left hotel at 8 35 am having a coffee at Engletons where the bar owner noticed Dan’s Marsille Marathon” T-shirt (apparently he ran same race. Next stop Tulle Cathedral where we had baguette snack prepared by me earlier in the day. Then on to Brive and one star hotel with shared toilet and shower in room that was mouldy in many parts. I enjoyed an early evening walk into the city fascinated by an abundance of knotted trees. Read more...

Riom to Ussal

, distance: 94.951km, time: 6h0m , tagged: oporto2013
Robb left in car for Paris with Dan’s friends at 6am, thus enabling several hours leisure time in city before Eurostar boarding. Dan and I ate a good breakfast and set out at 9am travelling through Volvic on a hilly route stopping for coffee at Rochefort where much snow had fallen. Onwards to snow-bound Ussal and three star hotel by railway station with supermarket nearby enabling top up with provisions. The owner spoke very good English and the night was comfortable. Read more...

Trail de vulcain

, tagged: oporto2013
This event was: purpose of our journey. event that made me wait until the end of February before leaving. reason I had been training for 2 months what gave our journey a sense of purpose This was the trail de vulcain, three races - 21km, 42km and 80km - in the mountains around Volvic, near Clermont Ferrand, in the Massif Centrale region of France. I was to run the 80km with Eric, Dad (my travelling companion) was to run the 21km and the others the 42km. Read more...

Train to Riom, day before marathon

, tagged: oporto2013
After a leisurely morning including another sauna experience we boarded train to Riom at 12 21pm and reached Ibis budget hotel early afternoon. Dan collected Robbie by train from Clemont Ferrand and returned at 6pm. Dan’s workmates (Frank, Eric, Jordan and ?) from Paris arrived at same time. I bought extra provisions at supermarket for a ravenous Robb.

St Arrionde Montrand to Mountluçon

, distance: 51.499km, time: 3h0m , tagged: oporto2013
From Dads journal: Left hotel in mist and frost 9 30 am, arriving at Montlucon 32 miles later at 12 30 pm. With Dan increasingly worried by injury we booked in early at Hotel De L ‘Universe intending to take train to rendezvous venue next day. I managed to fall from bike when parking in hotel grounds. Although I was shaken the only injury was a bruised chest caused by striking stay on the handlebar. Read more...

Vendome to St Arrionde Montrond

, distance: 104.607km, time: 7h0m , tagged: oporto2013
From Dads journal: Ibis eat all you like breakfast always great value at 6 euros! Left hotel at 9 20 am making good progress to St Florent for espresso coffee stop (Dad converted by Dan especially as it’s cheap). The sun shone so removed rain-top for first time when cycling. Arrived in St Arrionde Montrand where Dan bought compression socks at 40 euros to help ease and perhaps overcome injury. Misunderstanding with hotel owner over double bed in room instead of singles. Read more...

Alençon to Vendome

, distance: 107.83km, time: 7h0m , tagged: oporto2013
Typical French breakfast, ¼ baguette plus croissant with butter and jam. Weather cold but dry. Slowish progress over hilly terrain. Another long day with one coffee stop via la Ferte Barnard St Calais to isolated hotel at 6pm on outskirts of Vendome -a spacious apartment with cooking facilities. Dan cooked a pleasant pasta-based meal and very relaxed. 67 miles.

Ouistreham to Alençon

, distance: 119.091km, time: 8h0m , tagged: oporto2013
From Dads journal: Awake 6am local time and had cooked breakfast. First stop Falaise for coffee and cake. Through Argenan to hotel at Alencon via mountainous region with snow falling. Basic one star hotel, noisy but warm. Devoured baguettes in room washed down with cheapish red wine (a version of a meal repeated many times on trip). Able to contact Debbie most evenings with Dan’s phone (contract enabling free overseas calls). Read more...

Day 1 - Weymouth to Plymouth

, distance: 144.84km, time: 12h0m , tagged: oporto2013
From Dads journal: Departed with Dan on first leg of his planned cycling trip around the world. Very cold day and took wrong turning in Southampton. Arrived wearily at Portsmouth terminal for 10pm crossing on “Normandie” at 6.45 pm. Shared bunk-bed cabin and hot chocolate but hardly any sleep. Cycling miles, 91.
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1773km of achievement on this page!