Welcome to the second version of the Christopher Columbus Tour of 2022.The bikes are outside and more or less ready to go. Peter and Barbara have decided to take a guided city tour of Malaga so off we go. Its is very quiet as we arrive into Malaga just after 9am - well it's a Sunday after all. But there are still some Malaguenos sitting in the cafes drinking coffee and eating breakfast. We stroll through the semi empty streets, through the harbourside park and round to the Harbour, where we take a coffee break. Afterwards we head up to the Gibralfaro and then down to the Alcazar. We take a relaxing tapas lunch and stroll around some more before heading back to the hotel to meet the other guests. welcome briefing goes without issue, then its time to fettle with the bikes before dinner and then off to bed early to be ready for the next days riding.
We head out in the cool morning air straight on to the Autopista direction San Pedro. Theres a fair bit of traffic around but we make it to our coffee stop with minimal fuss. From there its onwards and upwards to Ronda, along one of the best roads in Andalucia. Ronda is hot and busy and after some navigational "issues" we manage to park up and take lunch followed by a quick tour around by the bridge and bullring. Then we head down past the nearly empty Zahara reservoir and make our way to Seville. After dinner most of the group head up to the rooftop bar to finish off the day with a few drinks before bed. Tomorrow is a rest day - some of the group will ride while the rest take a guided city tour.
On the first rest day of the tour Felix heads out for a ride with 5 of the group while everyone else decides to do a city tour. Our guide Laura picks u up at 12:30 and our firt stop is the Market. Its bustling here and as per usual the sights and the smell is great. Afterwards we head to the Alcazar and its busy here also. We spend a couple of hours here with Laura giving us some fascinating history and facts of Seville and its colourful past. After that we visit the Cathedral and finish off with a walk to the top of the bell tower. In the evening we head out for a tapas dinner just around the corner from the hotel and have a relaxed meal with great spanish food and wine. It's a great way to end the day!
... and they had fun all day long. After a nice and twisty road the went for a Coffestop in the middle of nowhere Sierra de Norte - no one speaks english up there, all is very original and you get in touch with the real spanish county life.
For lunch we had simple but delicious plates full of finest jamon, wonderful cheese and the best olives, you can imagine. And all agreed: this is the true luxury in life!!!
Today is a national holiday in spain, so there is no breakfast until 8am. As we head out of the hotel its cooler today, but not unpleasantly so. The roads are quiet and the spanish seem to be home nursing hangovers. We make good speed to the Christopher Columbus monument but theres no coffee due the national holiday. We head down towards our lunch spot at Punta Umbria and when we arrive there is nobody around. We sit on the terrace for a while having some drinks and then take a leisurely lunch. As we are departing around 2pm the Spanish start to arrive!! The ferry service to Vila Real isn't taking motorcycles on national holidays so we take the bridge and drive more or less straight to Faro, arriving in plenty of time for some sightseeing. Afterwards some drinks on the rooftop bar before dinner, before hittingbthe sack. Tomorrow is another riding day......
Today we got to leave the unbelieveable pretty town of Faro and head along the coastline of the Algarve region first westwards and then to the north. Our route leads us to the long beaches, where people still enjoy a bath in the Atlantic ocean and have a good time at the seaside. We decide instead for a cold, refreshing drink in one of the stylish beach-bars before we head of to Sagres and the Cabo the Sao Vicent- Cape Saint Vincent, the westernmost Point of the continent. Wonderful weather, scenic cliffs and betwenn us and America just water and nothing else! From there - riding on pretty and winding alley-roads - we reached famous beach Amado Beach, where William prepared an outstanding picknick for us in a most pittoresque surrounding. Our next station Sines we reached in the last light of the day, just the right time to enjoy a nice sundowner in the sunset
Wow! What a great day!.After heading out of Sines we are straight into the narrow roads winding through the cork forests. Theres no traffic and we keep a good pace. A quick stop for coffee in Melides and we are back on the road heading up the Troia peninsula and to the ferry to take us to Setubal. The views from the Forte de Sao Felipe are great and then we head down to our lunch spot by the beach. We relax and take a long lunch here before heading down tp Cabo Espichel, europes most SW point. Then its a short ride into Lisbon and our hotel for the next two nights - tomorrow is a rest day!
Today a few of us decided to take a tour around the City, via the hop-on hop-off bus! We first walked down into the town centre to do some shopping and to take a look at the Santa Justa elevator (but we walked up as the queue was so long and slow moving!) Afterwards we jumped on the bus and toured around until we arrived by the Torre de Belem and took some time to see the sights there. Then we headed back into town for some more sightseeing.
Today is a long riding day to take us from Lisbon, back into Spain and to Zafra.We leave early and as its a Sunday morning there is little traffic around. We pass over the Vasco de Gama bridge and head along the freeway for a while intil we reach Evora, where we stop for a rest and a quick coffee. Then its on to Elvas where we make a lunch stop just outside the town. Rain clouds are looming and the weather radar is ominous so everyone puts on their wet gear. And it works! We ride away anf apart from a few drops of rain we are away from it all. We cross into Spain and immediately lose 1 hour, so by the time we reach the Parador we are all tired. A few quick drinks in the bar is followed by dinner and then after a few more nightcaps everyone hits the sack to prepare for the penultimate days riding.
After having a nice Dinner in a very original Restaurant and spending the night in a real Palace of the 13th century - The Parador of Zafra (great by the way!!) - Felix lead the group through scenic landscape to the small and charming town of Llerena for some refreshing. The temperature was around 28 degrees Celsius, so just the right thing to do. In the afternoon we reached Cordoba and the group had a good time with walking round town and some sightseeing. In evening we visited a Churrasco-Restaurant in the heart of the town and enjoyed a delicious meal there. And it was time for the Tourguides to celebrate our worldtourers: Ann & Jim, Maury and last not least James S. Thank you for joining Edelweiss for so many times!
So here we are - the last day of the tour already. After some fun and games in the hotel lift we eventually make our way out of Cordoba. At first we are on the main road which has curves but not much fun at the posted 90kmh. But after coffee we head through the olive plantations and down towards the Iznajar reservoir and it's much more fun. We head up to the Alcazar in Antequera to look out over the ciry and then head into the Montes de Malaga where Felix is waiting for us with a picnic. After lunch its a quick 45 minute hop back to the hotel in Malaga through the warm afternoon sunshine. It has been a great tour and Felix and I had a great time riding with all of you. We hope to see you again soon.......