Author Topic: The Picos & Portugal  (Read 4731 times)

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  • Offline andyrob

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    Offline andyrob

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    The Picos & Portugal
    on: Mar 08, 2019, 10.35 am
    Mar 08, 2019, 10.35 am
    Hello Folks,

    Decided after having our holiday riding about the Outer Hebrides the previous year that we would go somewhere hot again in 2018.

    So ferry from Portsmouth - Santander, into the Picos for a few nights then head west to Santiago de Compostela. After a couple days head south into Portugal for the main event, the Serra de Estrella. Back up through Salamanca, ride some more in the Picos and the ferry home. (Well we blank out the 800+ overcrowded m/way miles to get down to the ferry and back.)

    So here are a few (a good few) pics and some blurb to hopefully inspire you to get out there.

    Ferry out from Portsmouth and always enjoy seeing what the big boys get to play with. And we dont have anything bigger than this...HMS Queen Elizabeth



    A few nights in Cangas de Onis as a base. https://www.hotelsantacruz.net/



    Bliss




  • Offline andyrob

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    Offline andyrob

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    Re: The Picos & Portugal
    Reply #1 on: Mar 08, 2019, 10.58 am
    Mar 08, 2019, 10.58 am


    Kept thinking we were sitting in front of a leaky roof or some sort of outside tap but in fact it was the waiters pouring the local cider from way above their heads into a glass held below the waist. Get us one of them!

    Love local culture...


    Up early the next day and head for the Cares Gorge for a walk. Temperature dropped from double figures to 4 or 5C on the road down. Start to question WTF are we doing? Thankfully starts to warm up as the sun comes up and round. Park the bike right up by the hut at the end of the road in Cain and head off.








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    Re: The Picos & Portugal
    Reply #2 on: Mar 08, 2019, 11.19 am
    Mar 08, 2019, 11.19 am
    Headed down to Riano as I think its a stunning bit of scenery, although the lake has been artificially created. The petrol station is always good for a chat with fellow pilots over some grub and taking on some water and listening for other bikes arriving through the absolute midday silence in the small town.





    Following day tried to get up to the lakes past Covadonga but we were too late, the road had closed to public vehicles. So onto parts new on the northern side of the Picos, Poncebos (and the otherside of the Cares Gorge if you do the full, end to end walk.) Some of the tightest, steepest hairpins I have experienced up to the village at the top. Squeaky bum time it was. Empty, as there is nowhere for cars to park...bikes only!







    Out east to Tresviso on the CA-1. Loads of Vultures flying about from the nooks and crannies.



  • Offline andyrob

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    Offline andyrob

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    Re: The Picos & Portugal
    Reply #3 on: Mar 08, 2019, 12.05 pm
    Mar 08, 2019, 12.05 pm
    Was time to move on, an overnight stop in Cangas del Narcea after a huge, long, long & fast decent on the AS-213 from the ski resort (road and resort empty in early July) at Puerto de Leitariegos, in mixed weather. Meagre digs, out for a beer and a wander and another beer. Proper non-touristy town. So cheap beer, giant free tapas.





    Onwards for a couple of nights in Santiago de Compostela. Heard good things but to be honest we have never been to a disappointing Spanish city. The heat had by now really ramped up to the mid 30C's. Bike parked for two days and time to cut about on foot. http://www.hotelcapitol.es/
     Busy place after being out in the sticks for a while. The main square is where all the walkers end their 500mile pilgrimage on the Camino Santiago through the hills from France (and often next to you on the road, easy to spot with their sticks and bandanas.) So if you hear lots of spontaneous cheering, singing etc. you know what it is! Maddies.









    Aye, so beautiful and yet another one goes on the fantastic city list.

    The point of the trip, Portugal beckons... :305:

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    Re: The Picos & Portugal
    Reply #4 on: Mar 08, 2019, 04.25 pm
    Mar 08, 2019, 04.25 pm
    The plan was to head south from Santiago into Portugal to Chaves. But I had read good things about the N103 Braganca - Chaves road. Its a 130 mile detour that I would not hesitate to recommend. M/way all the way down to Puebla de Sanabria (fill your tanks in Spain as its about 10c per litre cheaper than Portugal.)

    Had spotted a road a little way before our cut off the m/way that ran twisting beside it. So we turned off onto the N-525 for Padornelo and it was a good move. Perfect twists and turns for miles then come round a corner to the site of hundreds of bikes parked up. Must be a local haunt!


    ZA-925 over the border which becomes the N103-7 and then west on the N103 proper. Miles and miles of well surfaced, empty, choice motorcycling roads. The only stop was the first cafe we came across for some of our first (and not last) Portuguese pasteis de nata. Their custard tarts. And the locals to laugh at my shocking attempts to speak the local lingo. Looks easy enough on paper. Nae chance coming out my gub. Lots of desculpe!


     Sat stuffing our faces in the shade from the desperate heat it was onto booking.com for some digs. Farmhouse, outside Chaves for £44 b&b? Thank god for sat-nag and wifi places like this are easy to find.
     The old dear that ran it could speak French but no English. My French is ok if I know I'm going there 6 months in advance but managed to understand she would bring us what we would need for breakfast this evening and leave a fresh loaf hanging on the door in the morning. Job jobbed, off into town for a cargo of beer and wine and after the sun went down watch the World Cup (SKY telly!)
     Topper: http://www.quintasantaisabel.pt/en-index.html





    Sittin' pretty




  • Offline Dave56   gb

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    Offline Dave56

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    Re: The Picos & Portugal
    Reply #5 on: Mar 08, 2019, 04.49 pm
    Mar 08, 2019, 04.49 pm
     :047: brilliant, really enjoying reading this andyrob. A question from a total techno numpty  :112: though, how do you manage to get text placed in between your pics.  :087:
    "The more the miles, the bigger the smiles"

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    Re: The Picos & Portugal
    Reply #6 on: Mar 08, 2019, 05.13 pm
    Mar 08, 2019, 05.13 pm
    Heading south, we wanted to go through the Douro valley and ride the N222 from Pinhao to Peso da Regua which was apparently one of the best "drives in Europe." The road is standard but the views are pretty. I would say any of the smaller roads north and south are much more like what we bikers want. But we were just passing through on a long day so no exploring.

    Heading down to the Duoro valley on the terrific N323


    Pinhao, fortunately for you there is no way for you to hear the god-awful music being piped through speakers throughout the town and surrounds.


    N222


    We had decided to base ourselves in Manteigas in Serra da Estrella for 4 nights as it seemed central, big enough and surrounded by good roads in any direction. So had pre-booked Hotel Berne. https://www.hotelberne.com/
     Bit of a long steep walk into town but very nice quiet hotel with a lovely view to sit out and chill.

    Manteigas


    Excellent pizza and host. Busy with locals, always a good sign. Tae the drink first though...





  • Offline andyrob

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    Re: The Picos & Portugal
    Reply #7 on: Mar 08, 2019, 05.20 pm
    Mar 08, 2019, 05.20 pm
    *Originally Posted by Dave56 [+]
    :047: brilliant, really enjoying reading this andyrob. A question from a total techno numpty  :112: though, how do you manage to get text placed in between your pics.  :087:

    Cheers Dave, I've just learned how to get pics up using Flickr cos the forum gallery was not playing ball (for me, fellow tech daftie, no offence admin!)

    Writing the text I want in the "reply box" then hitting enter, copy and pasting the BBCode of the pic from Flickr below said text. Doosh doosh the enter button, enter text i want for the next one....etc.

    Hope that helps.  :031:

     



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