Travel Day 7 / TP 4 Monfortinho to Castelo de Vide

90% Off Road 188Km

After a good breakfast we saddled the horses and went on. We got really good and efficient over the last days tying the bags on and packing. We seemed to get more space out of them, or we lost items and didn’t realize it J

Today was a real mix and we had the usual smooth lanes trough beautiful landscapes, the tight and narrow lanes, even cobble stoned steep overgrown paths up the hills to the old fortresses.

Amazingly the few walkers we met were all friendly, smiling and all in all pleasant. Something the walkers here in UK should try, but probably would turn them into dust ….

Amazingly the few walkers we met were all friendly, smiling and all in all pleasant. Something the walkers here in UK should try, but probably would turn them into dust ….

We also met the first few gates or more wire barriers to keep the livestock at bay

And of course we had the odd water crossing to cool down my Mousses

The area was amazing, all over these big old volcano columns now crumbled into huge Granite boulders

We arrived in Castelo de Vide early evening. A town with plenty of hotels and B&Bs to pick from.

Or so it looked at first glance. Murphy and his law decided to hold a Football tournament in the town that day and every bed was booked out. So we went a few clicks outside of Castelo de Vide and camped on the Campismo Quinta Do Pomarinho. A small campground run by Dolph the Dutchman. As the Dutch are crazy people if it comes to camping, this campgrounds facilities were absolutely spotless. Top marks. The Tent was up in Jiffy, due to us having it tried once before, mats blown up, sleeping bags laid out all ready for a good night sleep.

Travel Day 8 / TP 5 Castelo de Vide to Elvas

90% Off Road 120Km

After a quite late getting up and a very brief breakfast, we didn’t shop the day before, we loaded up and set off.

up and down old cobble paths,

The riding was amazing, trail after trail.

Wide and open to covered by trees,

through the fort, down the Granite strewn path,

past some abandoned Army barracks now occupied by Storks

We stopped for a late light lunch

And with bellies filled to the brim we rode on but after a while the ‘Lite Lunch’ caught up and we decided to stop in Elvas.

But Elvas was still 40Km away so we better get going.

Straight after the village we lost the track. It was gone and we found ourselves in an olive orchard. Not 3 minutes later the Police came and explained that we shouldn't be there. We were ready to turn around and find a way around the orchard when the Police Officers told us to follow them out. They picked the most off road route through the orchard :-)

After that it was a quick burst to Elvas

Travel Day 9 / TP 6 Elvas to Beja

10% Off Road 157Km

After the usual morning routine, Breakfast at 9am and loading the bikes we set off to re-join the trail along the river Guadiana.

The track crossed the EM511 and that would be the point for us to hit the trail again.

It felt good riding along the river bank until we hit the first locked gate.

It was something new to see locked gates with no real way around, so we had to turn back to Elvas to take the ER373 and join the trail a bit further south.

But again locked gates there. So what to do?

As the leak on Donna’s bike had gotten worse and my rear mousse felt a bit soft we decided to cut through to Beja on roads to get to the KTM Dealership and sort our bikes out.

The guys at MotorXpro let us use their Workshop and tools and were there with good advice and providing a good atmosphere. Great guys, pop in if you go by.

Donna sorted the leak.

The rubber ring behind the bush had perished, a common issue. Additionally a piece of string had found its way behind the sprocket and worked its way into the Shaft Seal which made the leak worse. Donna swapped both Seal and O-Ring.

I swapped the rear mousse for a Michelin UHD tube.

We found a Hotel just around the corner and used the time to wash some undies and socks and for relaxing in general.

Travel Day 10 / TP 7 Beja to Tavira

60% Off Road 260Km

With the bikes all sorted we had a good breakfast, filled up at the petrol station opposite the Hotel and went on south. We decided to abandon the tracks I found on Wikiloc as these were taking a few more days to reach the Algarve coast and our time was running out. We had as an alternative a route for bigger Adventure bikes and choose to follow this today. It was ridden just recently and so we were sure not to hit too many locked gates or disappeared tracks. The day was amazing, loads of wide tracks through old sulfur mines along old train tracks, tunnels and rolling hills.

Today was the first day we actually met other riders on the trails, two Germans on BMW GSs. We came past a German lady on a GS on the Road bits and later at the end she was waiting alone for the other two to arrive.

We briefly stopped at the Forte de Cacela for the obligatory pictures

We found a room in a cheap B&B run by an English lady and had our first proper tea in a long time.

Delicious. And as we were at the coast we went to a fish restaurant, the busiest at the strip, to do something about Donna’s craving for Fish.

Unfortunately the Mixed Grill of Fish wasn’t that mixed and it felt like eating a family of fish, Mum, Dad, brother and sister.

The Mixed Grill of Meat wasn’t special either. All cuts from the same pig.

So we didn’t waste much time there went back to the B&B for a nice cuppa.