Stayed up late last night finding details for the replacement spring. I got the numbers for 3 different HD dealers, one in Pombal, one in Lisbon and one in Setubal about 50kms south of Lisbon in the morning I’ll ask the reception to call them and see if they have it in stock so I won’t be wasting my time going to each one.
I got downstairs at about 8.30 this morning and the woman on reception was most helpful, she did try to call Pombal, (the nearest one), but of course it was too early so she told me to go and have breakfast and she would call at 9am. I went out at 9.15 but still it was on ansaphone, Lisbon too so she thought it may be they do not open until 9.30 so I went and had another coffee. I went back to reception about 9.40 and she tried again but still no answer so she called Setubal who thankfully answered the phone. After a few minutes she tells me they have the part.. whew what a relief.. then she finishes the conversation with them and explains to me that the other dealers are closed as it is a holiday in Lisbon. It means I will have to go beyond Lisbon so will be quite some way for me to go without being able to get off, but I will just have to manage. She gives me the address, to which I tell her I have already got it in my gps so I won’t need it but thanks anyway.
So, I gather all my gear and one of the Latvians helps me with tying up the side stand and I am on my way by 10.30ish. I did stop long enough to take some photos before I left… here are some views from my balcony
As you can see its a very pretty street… actually the town is very smart and uber clean, very lovely. I am so impressed with the hotel, its quite oldy worldy but it has monogrammed sheets and towels which does lend it a certain je ne sais quoi and I have stayed in some very expensive hotels for work from time to time but have never had monograms before.
I also stopped to snap the gondolas on the canal that runs through the town…
So, I’m back on the road again and after about 20 minutes I realise that I am going to need to get petrol so it would be better for fuel consumption of I avoid motorways,which means it is going to take even longer… and how am I going to fill the tank up without getting off the bike to pay?? Oh well I’ll have to cross that bridge later.. The gps tells me I am going to arrive at about 3pm so thats 4 1/2 hours in the saddle.. great.
So I manage to stop for fuel and luckily there is someone serving so I just let her fill it up while I am on the bike and pay cash so no problem. Pretty soon I am in the outskirts of Lisbon and then I am routed onto a fast road, which is great because I have been playing tag with a whole stream of lorries for the last few hours and the ride has been really boring because it seemed like a never ending industrial park all a the way down. Then suddenly I am faced with the most amazing bridge I have ever seen.. it goes on forever.. I wish I could stop to take a photo but it is too dangerous, but here is one I downloaded this evening
I have since discovered it is the Vasco De Gama Bridge and it is 17.2kms long.. apparently there is exactly the same bridge between Sweden and Denmark but its slightly shorter… by about 2kms. It was a real experience riding on it… it made me think of the Florida Keys, which I have always wanted to ride and hope to do so one day.
At last I arrived in Setubal and made my way to the HD dealer following the gps… when I arrived… no HD dealer!!! I couldn’t believe it. My gps was bought from Harley and has all the dealerships in Europe pre loaded, (sad I know), but this is getting ridiculous because I know this one still exists, the receptionist spoke to them this morning. Then I remembered turning down the address.. what a plonker… but maybe I put it in my pocket… hurrah, yes here it is. What a nightmare that would have been. So its another 15 minutes to the address and that means I have been on the bike for almost 5 hours.. gosh my bums sore!!
I wait outside to see if someone will come out, but no one does, then I spot a guy in the back of the shop so I wave frantically at him until he comes out. His name is Joao and he really is very helpful and speaks perfect English. For those of you who know him, he is the spitting image of Marco Nardi, glasses and everything and he’s really short too. Anyway, as soon as I can get off the bike I rush to the loo… when I come out Joao and his mate have already sorted the bike out. I have time for a quick browse, buy a tee shirt and find out that Portuguese people don’t drink milk in their coffee and if I want to ask for milk I need to say Galon. I tell Joao about how amazing their bridge is… he says ‘which one the red or the white’ ‘oh there are two’ says I, ‘yes, and the red one is the same as the golden gate bridge in San Francisco’ so theres another tidbit of information for you all.
They’re not actually a HD dealership anymore, they’re independent…. says it all don’t you think!
The temperature now is 80 degrees plus so its really lovely. It takes me another hour to get to Cascais, the end of my journey, where the HOG rally is being held. I arrive at my guest house and it is just beautiful.. I know I have said this before about the accommodation so far, I have been so lucky and this does not disappoint, its marvellous. Anyway more about that tomorrow.
Went to the rally site and had a look around. Bumped into some of the Latvians so took a pic
The guy on the right helped me out yesterday and gave me the cable ties. They are so friendly and helpful, but its strange how we never exchanged names… don’t know why really.
Booked myself onto a guided ride/tour; thought it was on Saturday but its tomorrow so I have to be up early… and the bike needs a wash! I’m knackered.