2016 – Spain & Portugal

21st June 2016 – Home – Fareham

After a day at work its time for another adventure. This time we are heading south, hopefully for some sun.

I travel easily down to Fareham where I meet up with Dad and John who will be travelling in Dad’s trusty Volvo for this trip. I find them just before dark and leave the Morgan at the B & B before heading out to eat. Off to the ferry in the morning.

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22nd June 2016 – Portsmouth – Ferry

We made our way to the ferry at Portsmouth. We have to wait ages to load and we are the last two vehicles to go on!

The crossing to Bilbao is expected to take 24 hours. We have a cabin for tonight and arrive at 12:45 tomorrow afternoon if on time. The ferry is comfortable and showing the football so it’s not too bad.

23rd June 2016 – Bilbao to Riano

Image may contain: sky, outdoor and water Land ahoy!

Arrived in Bilbao early afternoon. After some rather grey motorway we headed into the mountains. A cold grey climb then the clouds parted and the sun came out.

Some brilliant roads this afternoon to Riano. A good first day in Spain.

 

24th June 2016 – Riano to Salamanca

We left Riano this morning after breakfast. It was a bit chilly and cloudy but the road south was brilliant. After a couple of hours we left the mountains behind us and continued south now in hot sun. Mile after mile of open farmland stretched in every direction.

We arrived in Salamanca in good time. This is a beautiful ancient place with two spectacular cathedrals.

We continue our push south in the morning.

25th June 2016 – Salamanca to Almaden

Central Spain really has been a surprise. I was expecting a hot featureless landscape that would be a bind to cross but there have been fabulous roads, mountains, farmland, beautiful villages and lots to see. I was right about the hot part though.

Now in Almaden staying in an amazing 15th century house built by monks. We were given the tour by a very passionate owner. One of the most unique places I have ever stayed. It is soooooooo quiet and even a bit creepy.

A change tomorrow as we head for Malaga.

26th-28th June 2016 – Almaden to Malaga to Algeciras

 Well, a couple of eventful days. The drive down through Spain has been great. Well it was until Dad and John both left a bag each at a petrol station cafe 40 miles north of Malaga! We took the two hour round trip to go back to look for them but they were gone. Dad lost his shaver, medication and a few pieces of clothing and John lost everything important – cash, cards and his passport!

We visited Malaga police which is a taxi ride from the hotel that evening but there was no English speaking person to help so we had to go to a different Police office within the Tourist Information office the following morning. We eventually managed to obtain a police report (it was in Spanish so we don’t know what was said). 

Next stop was the British Consulate on the other side of Malaga. They were very helpful and after another couple of hours and after relieving John of 140 Euros (which he had to borrow from me) John received his emergency passport which will get him home. Think I’ll keep hold of that! At least there was a Consulate in Malaga.

A pharmacy was able to replace most of Dad’s medication so 24 hours after they lost the bags we were able to continue on our way. Phew!

We got the cars up in the lift from the underground car park in the very smart hotel and headed west. It was now 3.00 pm so we had to abandon the coastal route and hit the motorways.

We made it to Tarifa – the most southerly point in mainland Europe. I bet there aren’t many 3-wheelers that have been driven to Nordkapp and Tarifa! We are now in Algeciras having had a lazy rest day. Tomorrow we head for Portugal.

Eve Francesca – we are now heading towards you – be warned!!!!!

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29th  June 2016 – Algeciras to Albufeira

The longest driving day today at just over 250 miles. Our accommodation tonight is at a golf resort. Shame we can’t play though it is rather hot for this. We have a two bedroom apartment  tonight overlooking the course.

We venture into Albufeira to a very nice steakhouse overlooking the beach. After a quick paddle we enjoy an excellent steak watching the sun go down over the beach.

170 miles to Lisbon tomorrow……

30 June 2016 – Albufeira to Lisbon

Lisbon is our destination today but first we visit the statue of Christ overlooking the city. I am stopped by the Portuguese Police at the top but they just want a look at the car!

The views are spectacular and you can go up the tower to the feet of the statue. it is a bit of a climb but well worth the effort.

The trip over the bridge into the city was very busy but we manage to stay together right into the underground car park under the square outside the hotel. The hotel turns out to be extremely smart.

We eat very close to the hotel with Portugal playing in the semi-final of the European Championships.

1st July 2016 – Lisbon to Aveiro

Another box ticked today. We left Lisbon and headed to Cabo de Roca – the most westerly point on mainland Europe. Thats now North, south and west points in my 3-wheeler. I don’t know where the easterly point is!

We continue on to Aveiro to our hotel for the night.

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2nd  July to 3rd July 2016 – Aveiro to Vigo

Sometimes its when things go wrong you can have the best times. Today we were supposed to travel to Vigo to visit my niece Eve for the evening. Unfortunately just outside Ovar my car coughed, spluttered and cut out. Oh dear, what to I do now? I called the AA and they promised to get a truck out to me.

While I was waiting a young woman who spokee good english pointed out that I was just 20 yards from a motor cycle repair shop. Result! She went and asked there for help. The two Brazilian guys who ran Moto Grand Prix could not have been more helpful. They soon found the problem – a broken valve spring. Unfortunately getting hold of a replacement valve spring for an american S & S engine in Portugal on a Saturday morning was impossible. They really did try for me though. Eventually we agreed that to be sure of getting the correct part it would be best if I contacted Morgan directly.

Moto Grand Prix, Lda.'s photo.

Morgan wouldn’t be open until Monday morning so we left the Morgan with the motorcycle guys and headed for Vigo in the Volvo. It looks like Eve will have to put up with us for the whole weekend!

Vigo was really nice as was our hotel and we booked in for a couple of extra days without any problem. Eve showed us round and we had some lovely meals and visited the islands. It was lovely to see Eve so happy and she clearly loves living in Spain.

I Speak to Morgan on Monday morning and get Russ on the case. They get the replacement spring set and head gaskets etc. and they are in the hands of DHL by 10.30. They arrive at the hotel in Vigo at midday on Tuesday – well done Morgan.

Oops accidentally ended up in paradise again 🤔 only this time I have been joined by Uncle Richard Hardy, my grandad and his lovely friend John. So lovely being reunited with family 💙

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4th July 2016 – Vigo to Puebla de Sanabria

We went back to the Moto Grand Prix guys who repaired the car in about 3 hours. I like the way these guys work – very systematic and methodical. They clearly love working on engines and having a Morgan to work on is a treat for them. The car starts first time and sounds great. What a relief! I can’t tell you what a nice helpful couple of guys these brothers are. They are not making much money but love what they do in their own little shop. They even follow up with e-mails all the way home making sure the car is running well. Thanks guys, you have been brilliant.

We head north now using as much daylight as we can. We eventually pull into a hotel in Puebla de Sanabria booked just an hour earlier in a very quiet ancient hilltop town. Its very difficult to be quiet in a Morgan 3-wheeler with a stage 1 performance kit! We find the only bar still open and its beer then bed.

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5th July 2016 – Puebla de Sanabria to Santander

After talking to Brittany Ferries they book us on to tonights ferry. they have been very helpful and as the return journey is to Plymouth rather than Portsmouth they even give me £50 back.

We arrive in Santander in plenty of time and have time to explore the town – its nicer than I was expecting.

So we are almost home. Not everything went to plan but if everything always went exactly to plan there would be no adventure. We have all enjoyed our Spain/Portugal trip and I am already looking forward to my next trip.

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