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Portugal Day 4 – Alvor via The Monchique & West coast to Alvor

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Wow, an early rise to brilliant sunshine and clear blue skies, what a day we are going to have. We had breakfast, all met up bright and breezy and headed north towards the mountains. The road towards the Monchique is a fantastic route into the mountains, big long twisty roads, just waiting for acceleration as we climb higher and higher. 

After getting high into the mountains we took a small side road off to the right and then found a road to die for. If you like twisty roads, corners, bends and banking over then this is a road you must ride, miles and miles of bends, long, sweeping, tight, slowly opening, tightening up, hair pins with cambers. You name it – we rode it, sometimes at speed, sometimes slowly but this road had it all, it was demanding and needed full concentration for its entire length.  Absolutely fuckin awesome, I have NEVER ridden a road like this before, one to visit next year for sure. 

Then we stopped for a coffee break, how could we ever beat this last section of road I thought. But there are plenty of these roads here, they are seldom used, the road surface is pretty good as they do not have the heavy traffic and do not have the bad weather to destroy them. The coffee and tosta mista (cheese and ham toastie) went down well with the fresh coffee, the break also allowed the adrenalin to subside. 

The west coast for lunch

Setting off after a well deserved drink, we found another great section equal to the former section but this was only half the distance. We then meandered our way towards the West coast, this was a very technical road indeed, on the map it looked quite good but in reality it has to be shown a lot of respect. It took us to a small town near the coast, Aljezur was going to be our stop for a spot of lunch. 

The food was great and very cheap, we were eating really well and for a fraction of the price we would be charged in the UK. All we were missing was a warm pool to have a swim in, that’s because it was mid October and the weather had changed. You can normally guarantee the weather up to late September but once you get past that, it can be changeable. This trip was no exception, we had lost the normally great weather and it was not warm enough to have a day around the pool.

After lunch we headed south on the coast road, long sweeping bends again, you would think we’d had enough of these types of road but we hadn’t. Travelling at higher speeds than we would in the Uk and having the traffic move out of your way, it is difficult not to enjoy over 150 miles of empty twisty roads.

The land of luxury

Eventually we arrived in Lagos and filled the bikes up opposite the marina where overpriced yachts were moored up, some over £1,000000. We would rather be riding our bikes and having fun than bobbing along on a boat, after all most of the group have not got sea legs anyway. 

After filling up we were now homeward bound and when we arrived back at base we headed down to the pool to sit and chill out and have a beer or glass of wine. It was a bit nippy to jump in the pool but sitting there enjoying the October sun was a great way to finish the day before heading out for dinner.

We found a lovely Portuguese restaurant and once again had some great food and the best glass of port that is sold in Alvor. This time we managed to all go out together, it was the first time we had done so since starting the trip. It was a great evening and everyone was happy. It was now time for a well deserved rest and we headed back to our apartments to bed. I was hoping to reproduce this fantastic day in two days.

About the riding

This was a culture shock for the whole group of riders, no traffic, empty roads and twist after twist after twist. It really is a riders heaven but there are bends and corners that will catch you out if you are not concentrating.

Everyone had the opportunity to have a bit of lead time and training. Even though everyone has done advanced training the skills for these types of roads have to be high to ride them well. If you are a mediocre rider you will still have fun and that’s exactly what everyone came away with today. They knew they had plenty of work to do on their own riding but were smiling like Chesire Cats at the end of a great day’s riding.

Nobody had any real problems, messing up a few corners in road position, cutting the odd corner as they made a mistake but there was nothing for me to be worried about. Steve looked after Cat on a 1:1 and I got the easy job of looking after Andy, Mark and Paul.

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