Table of contents
- Three days in Portugal In the last minute
- Click and go – »Last Minute« is in ?? but not always cheap
Three days in Portugal
Three days in Portugal
In the last minute
There was actually a lot of gardening on the agenda that weekend. Nobody could have guessed that a plane to Portugal would have just under two vacancies.
The offer on the net is too good to let it slip: two plane tickets to Faro for 128 euros each. Departure early tomorrow morning at six, back in three days. Actually not a bad thought, spontaneously for a long weekend in the south
To jet Portugal. You will certainly find a rental motorcycle somewhere in the Algarve. Name, address and credit card number entered, one last click of the mouse,
and ticket number one is mine.
Candidate number two: colleague Gerd Mayer from the graphic. Immediately fire and flame. And girlfriend Julia gives the green light. Bingo. Ten minutes later, the last ticket to Faro disappears from the screen. After about half an hour ?? how could anyone actually plan trips without the internet??
?? two rental motorcycles are booked: a Harley-Davidson 883 and a Yamaha XJ 600. Pick-up and drop-off directly on
On the dot of nine the next morning, serve in Faro. One
A pinch of head wind would certainly drive away the leaden tiredness, but still no trace of the bikes. The first lesson in Portuguese: Milky coffee is called Galao and is served in a glass. The route is also growing. Tonight the Cabo de São Vicente, the most south-westerly point of Europe, tomorrow up to Lisbon. And back across the Serra de Monchique, because according to the map, the only curves in southern Portugal are in this mini-mountain range. That would be a relaxed 900 kilometers.
Half past nine. An old van stops in front of the airport building. »Motorent Algarve«. This is our man. Shortly afterwards, Luis served the two motorcycles. The Yamaha with a dark leather tank cover and matt black painted side panels. The high heels of the socias would have constantly scratched the paint? and painting would just be cheaper than exchanging.
Gerd is now trying the 883. Over 70,000 kilometers
on the battered clock, worn out spring mechanism, infinitely long braking distance. Everything can be got over. But had to
be a sissy bar?
Traveling. Finally. On Faro’s beach mile along the sea. Salt air, foaming waves, two handfuls of surfers who watch their colleagues on the water in the shade of their VW Bullis and could easily pass as California dream boys. The great freedom ?? the picture is enviable.
Our idea of Portugal, on the other hand, gets the first one
Cracks. Nothing but construction sites on the way west. Kilometers of cranes, heavy equipment, half-finished hotel complexes
between the existing mega-systems from TUI and
Co. Not our thing at all. Only Carvoeiro exudes a last bit of fishing village romance. White houses around a small beach in a sheltered bay. Balm for the eyes.
Portimão, finally Lagos. From a driving point of view, driving fun has fallen by the wayside up to now. On the other hand, the jerk through the historic center of the port city
real highlight. Narrow streets, richly decorated baroque facades, pub after pub. However, because the sun is already quite low, we rush on, turn left in Vila de Bispo, until the dusty-brown wasteland, five kilometers behind Sagres, ends abruptly at the sea: In the extreme southwest, Portugal’s counterpart to the North Cape presents itself without shine and Gloria, but with brute force of nature. Only a 150-year-old lighthouse and a few firmly anchored stalls for souvenirs defy the violent gusts of wind, while mighty breakers crash at the foot of the 75-meter-high cliffs. Some days should
the spray even rise all the way to the top. Well, then there’s the sunset thing. If you believe the postcards, fireworks take place here every evening. But
meanwhile we can no longer gloss over the bad weather front. Early withdrawal to Sagres.
What a sleepy nest! And yet a very pleasant meeting point for dropouts, surfers and travelers in all types of mobile homes. We aim for the first hotel that we come across, and in the reception of the Dom Henrique we stand across from Vera. Gerd mumbles something about “looks like Cameron Diaz”, I can only nod. Did we want to see the rooms? We’d sleep in the barn to stay close somehow.
Dark gray over the sea, the first raindrops during breakfast, the first shower ever in months, it says in the hotel. Happened to me all the time lately, no matter where
I am. Well. Breakfast would have been longer anyway. Because we get into chatting with Matthias, who plans to offer guided scooter tours at this end of the world. We noticed his fleet yesterday: five squeaky clean Vespa scooters and an impressive 1982 Chevy pickup. Could he accompany us for a while? Si, claro.
Rough course Lisbon. Cold wind, a heavy sky. More than annoying because we are probably one of the spectators-
most popular coastal roads in southern Europe have been under our wheels since we turned left into the botany shortly before Carrapateira from the main route. The narrow path, lined with gorse and Algarve, mutates into a solid slope on the edge of the 40
cliffs up to 50 meters high, pointed rock needles protrude from the
troubled Atlantic, and again and again beautiful bathing bays appear.
Shortly before Aljezur turned left again, points
Matthias on a couple of switchbacks and at the end of the street
in Arrifana on a restaurant that is dizzying high above
depends on the sea. The view would be guaranteed to reach America.
We discuss whether it is still worth it with this gray broth out there, further to 300 kilometers away
Lisbon to drive. But the plan is now there. Matthias turns around in the face of the storm.
Portugal’s capital city in mind and the road firmly in sight? we let the two carts run. Somewhere in the mountains
between Odemira and São Luís, however, the desire to travel is gradually waning, in Cercal the hammer finally falls in the early afternoon ?? it pours freely. Two draughty backyard single rooms in doghouse format plus toilet and shower in the hallway, that’s all you can find in this dump. Adios,
Lisbon. After all, there is a fan heater on the wall in Gerd’s shed. Otherwise we would probably have frozen to death.
Here and there a bruise in the sky. Day three starts hopefully. We arrows back over the same route, opting again for this ingenious panoramic terrace
at Carrapateira. Turquoise water, light rock, sand
like powdered sugar ?? well please, just like on the postcards. It’s hard to believe what a little light can do.
We still have a few hours left. And the Serra de Monchique. It rises practically in a straight line between us and Faro. Finally a couple of real curves for the finale, that would be ?? something else. In fact, it goes in wide arcs first through an almost subtropical hilly landscape, then the steep route that leads to the 902 meter high Foja offers almost alpine impressions. At least for a short while. A quick Galao in quaint Monchique, then departure to Faro. Going out for a nice meal one more time, maybe through one
pull a couple of pubs. Sleeping is hardly worth it anyway? the plane leaves at eight tomorrow morning.
Everything turns out differently: Have you ever heard of the Moto Club Faro? Extremely hospitable bikers. We practically picked up Gerd and me from the street while looking for a hotel and escorted them to their heavily fenced clubhouse. It may be that it was due to our visually slightly gray motorcycles, which go well with the rest of the trucks, which are all in black. In any case, the President declares us guests of honor ?? from now on a white-haired guy with the stature of a gorilla watches over us.
Classic biker anthems are hammering out of huge boxes in the hut, and things are slowly getting cozy. Maybe 60 hard
Guys, most guaranteed over 40 and ?? logo ?? In a uniform look: heavy boots, bomber jacket, cowl (“live to ride ?? ride to live”), dark sunglasses. And everyone is terribly nice to each other. We have a free choice at the well-stocked bar. And finally we are allowed to take a seat at a long, lavishly set table next to the president, who looks like an aging Indian warrior. That we can quickly get to the kiosk across the street
Got a bottle of whiskey (Gerd quote: »You don’t come with empty hands«). So the evening takes
its course. How did we make it to the airport just after sunrise? Hard to say. Go purely optically
on the other hand we are almost as members of the »Moto Club Faro«. Unshaven, sunglasses, black T-shirts with the club logo
on the body. At home I would have sore muscles from that
Gardening ?? Seen in this light, the 128 euros for the ticket were a very good investment.
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In the last minute
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Curves and bends? Rather in short supply in southern Portugal. The coast beckons here,
the beaches and the usually very good weather.
Portugal is clearly a long-term goal: Who on
rolls on its own axis, must unwind at least 2100 kilometers from the German-French border. Even if you get on the motorail train, which will take you to Narbonne in the south of France, there are still around 1,400 kilometers to be covered across Spain. Info in every DB trip-
zentrum and at www.autozug.de. Otherwise the only option is to go to Portugal
to fly and rent a motorcycle on site. Regular flights cost from 250 euros.
In the Algarve, package tourists are passionate about it.
Nevertheless, hotels can be found (almost) everywhere-
or pension rooms from around 30 euros.
Anyone looking for accommodation in Sagres should visit
Aim for the cozy hotel “Dom Henrique” in the center of the village. Per night and nose
must be expected here with 32 euros.
D RENTAL MOTORCYCLES
GS-Sportreisen from Munich (phone 089 /
27818484) mediates rental motorcycles in
Port of Praia de la Rocha west of
Faro. The Harley-Davidson 883 mentioned in the text beats at around 320 euros per week
to book, and for the Yamaha XJ 600 are
210 euros due. Prices for a shorter one
Rental periods are available on request. Further information
Matthias Schafer has five Vespa scooters in Sagres and offers various multi-day trips including overnight stays and
Petrol from 449 euros. Information by phone 0163/6838930 and on the Internet at www.streetsurfers.de.
The various Portugal guides from Michael-Muller-Verlag (www.michael-mueller-
verlag.de), in this case »Algarve« (ISBN 3-89953-150-7) for 15.90 euros. Marco Polo comes with a set with two very good maps (Portugal North and South), each with a scale of 1: 300,000, and one right
informative guide about everything worth seeing in the country. A great offer for 7.50 euros.
Click and go – »Last Minute« is in ?? but not always cheap
The original idea was simply brilliant: under the name »Last Minute«, the major travel agencies wanted to get rid of their remaining places, which is what
Discounts of up to 50 percent
turned out to be a resounding success. Demand quickly exceeded that
Offer, so even conventional
or barely reduced travel offers were touted as last minute bargains? a practice that continues to this day. If you want to know whether one of the countless current “last minute offers” is really a super cheap deal, you have to bother to compare the price with the
Compare the corresponding catalog offer in the travel agency or via the Internet. The latter offers a sheer anyway
unlimited access to comparable offers. Important: Don’t be put under time pressure when searching, too
when it says: »Super Last Minute« ??
here the providers try to bait. Only strike if the destination, travel time and price are right.
Who is now in the online jungle
the search for a flight or a package tour can go to the
Masks of the various, on load-
Minute travel specialist providers usually specify their travel needs
(Departure airport, destination, date, price category, number of people, etc.). Annoyingly, you have to be in
Accept the fact that afterwards offers with other departure airports or destinations are mentioned again and again. Or that the desired trip or flight is already booked when the availability is checked. It remains to be seen whether these are basically bait offers. It is easiest for the one who
can react as spontaneously and flexibly as possible when it comes to the time or place of travel.
The following last-minute providers are worthwhile
www.ltur.de (L ?? tur): Market leader (belongs to TUI), simple navigation, flights and complete trips as super last minute.
www.topi.de (Topi last minute): a
Merger of almost 400 travel agencies in Germany and Austria
(Advantage: contact person on site). Very well done site.
www.lastminute.de: There are a particularly large number of charter flights here. However, the site is very cumbersome.
www.5vorflug.de: very large offer
to flight tickets with the best price guarantee (refund of the amount if the offer is cheaper elsewhere).
Further portals with corresponding offers: www.expedia.de; www.opodo.de; www.travelscout24.de; www.tjaerborg.de; www.lastminute24.de; www.hinundweg.de.
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