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Thread: A little trip along the Portugese border

  1. #1
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    Default A little trip along the Portugese border


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    The weather's not really good enough for riding back and forth to England now, but here in our little southwestern corner of Europe it's still summer. So I took off for a couple of days to ride some of the nice little roads on both sides of the Portugese border.
    I took the back roads to Sevilla, then branched out on the N433 towards Portugal. After about 30km I turned off on the A476 which goes past hundreds of square kilometres of abandoned open cast mines.

    It's a fantastic lunar landscape that has an amazing number of colours. There are also loads of abandoned buildings for processing all the ore.
    From there I took a few beautiful little back roads up to Aracena and then across to Aguafria, really small roads winding through the lovely Sierra de Aracena.
    Back on the Nacional n435 I headed up towards Jerez de los Caballeros, stopping for lunch in a venta in Higuera la Real, where I had the menu of lentils with lots of dodgy pork products, some fried fish and a homemade dessert. With two beers and a coffee this excellent feed came to 10 euros.
    Somewhat stuffed I continued North, turning west at Jerez de los Caballeros on the EX112 towards the Poortugese border. This is a beautiful and deserted road full of fast sweeping corners. From there I took the EX107 up to Badajoz, where I'd decided to stay the night, but as it was still early I headed towards Zafra on the Nacional 432 , turning off to Fuente del Maestro and Almendralejo before coming back in to Badajoz on the old Nacional VI, now almost empty since they built the Autovia.
    It took me a long time to find a decent hotel in the centre of Badajoz. I found out later it's because they're all out of town, apart from one the Hotel Zubaran, which was very nice and had underground private parking for the bike. At 70 euros all in, it was very reasonable.
    I'd done about 400 miles, all on small roads, so I had a bit of a kip and then went out to explore the town. It's a typical Spanish provincial capital, mostly unchanged since the seventeenth century, full of small winding streets and loads of bars. I wasn't really hungry after the massive lunch, but being Extremadura I had to have a plate of ham, and it was as good as any I've ever had, and cheap at 750.
    I had a few beers there, watching the world go by, and explored the city centre a bit more on foot dropping in at a couple of other bars for more beer and a cognac or two, until I found my way back to the hotel at about midnight.
    I slept well, and at about 9 I was on my way. I crossed the river into Portugal on the motorway, taking the first exit onto a beutiful empty backroad through farmland, very fast and empty. Back on the EX107 again I reached Villanueva del Fresno, but this time turned right into Portugal again, towards Mourao, where I stopped for breakfast.

    I wanted some Pasteis de Nata, the lovely Portugese custard tarts for breakfast and to take some home to my wife who loves them, but this must be the only town in Portugal that didn't have them. After trying 3 different places I gave up and had some really delicious chicken pies instead. All along the Portugese border, you pass castle after castle, making you think of the armies that have ranged back and forth across this part of Europe over the last 2000 years.
    From Mourao I set off South on a lovely road past some lakes. This would have been fantastic but it was in raelly bad condition so I just cruised through the beautiful scenery passing through several beautiful sleepy villages and finally tracking down the elusive pastries in Serpa, where I rejoined the N433 back into the Sierra de Huelva. My back tyre was looking a little the worse for wear on the right hand side by this time, having done a day at Jerez before starting this trip, but it didn't stop me enjoying the fast corners of this old favourite road to the full, leaned over at 100mph+ with the throttle wide open the GSXR was in it's element.
    Crossing the A66 motorway, I headed up into the Sierra Norte de Sevilla on the horribly bumpy but very beautiful A3102. This joined up with the very fast and bendy A432 after about 60km, again a great road for the GSXR to strut it's funky stuff. Turning right at Alanis,I took the very scenic SE162 down to Constantina, where I stopped for a quick lunch of fried calamari at a roadside venta.
    From there I headed down to Lora del Rio where it got very hot and humid, then to Carmona, and on familiar ground now, Utrera Espera and home by 5.30 bearing the precious pastries, luckily undamaged on the journey.

    After 800 miles in two days I felt comfortable, the bike had not used a drop of oil, the rear tyre was shagged, but I still did another 400km trip on it the following week before changing it. The more miles I do on this bike the more I like it, it's up to 12000 now since May.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: A little trip along the Portugese border

    Nice report! I'm maintaining my jealousy level

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A little trip along the Portugese border

    Good write up...
    Done a few of them roads myself..

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