Wednesday 28 September 2016

Portugal - Tavira

A short train journey from Fuseta is the beautiful town of Tavera

Igreja de São Paulo (Church of St Paul)

This teaches the school kids about the European Union. I suppose they'll have to chisel the UK off in the near future.

In the Irish pub…..

….a very grand Irish pub

This was one of the reasons we visited Tavira. It doesn't look much but they make awesome pizzas.

Our favourite is the Pizza Barco (Boat) It's full of a gooey mixture of onions, peppers, pork meat, spicy tomato sauce & cream.

The roundabout at the train station. The things on the poles are ears…or pork chops, anyway they rotate in the wind.

Saturday 24 September 2016

Portugal - Fuseta

Earlier this month we spent a week in Portugal. This is a country we've visited many times. This time we stayed in Fuseta, a small fishing village on the south coast, east of the regional capital of Faro. 
Although not a big tourist area we were able to rent a very nice apartment.

The town has some beautiful beaches.

Next stop Africa

Looking back to town

Despite being a small town there were dozens of small bars & restaurants

Choice was limited. Some places don't have a menu and just grill meat or locally caught fish outside. Prices were very cheap and the locals seems to eat out every night.

Near us where these tiny quaint houses.

I can't quiet understand the sign but I think they were built for the disabled by a local who made good in America.

The fishing fleet at dusk

A walk outside town brought us to an area where they make salt. Shallow lagoons are flooded with seawater and the sun does the rest.

The lagoons were also home to a flock of flamingos. The birds were wary of us and flew off as we approached.

Fuseta is a small town but it has its own bike club. Here is their clubhouse. "Pata Negra" means literally "black hoof" and usually refers to a cured leg of pork (but may have some other meaning in this context)
Local church
Family crypts in the graveyard

There's not that much to do in Fuseta but it has a railway station that lets you explore the Algarve.

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Classics at St Fillans

An interesting selection of bikes on show at Loch Earn in Perthshire last Sunday.

Saturday 17 September 2016

Featured Bike - Yamaha Tracer 700

I saw (and sat on) this bike at my local Yamaha dealer today. It's the new adventure-styled sports tourer from Yamaha. This is a logical bike for them to make. Just as the Tracer 900 was based on the MT-09 triple the 700 is based on the MT-07 parallel twin (read these as FJ-09, FZ-09 & FZ-07 in the US) There seems to be uncertainty whether the 700 Tracer will be sold in the States. 


I've spent this summer riding my SV650 and I've come to appreciate the qualities of a middleweight bike. My SV is light & nimble but with plenty of power when needed. The Tracer 700 feels similar in size to my SV, a little taller perhaps and with a wider tank and an adjustable screen. This should make for an agile bike with touring ability.

The Tracer will compete with the Suzuki VStrom and Kawasaki Versys but it isn't an exact equivalent. The VStrom is quite large and bulky (the Versys less so) but the Tracer is a much more compact and sporty looking package. 

Yamaha have listed a wide range of extras for the bike including luggage, engine bars and a comfort seat. The seat is only £130 but I'd hope that a bike designed for touring would already have a good seat. The bike I sat on had the comfort heated seat (£294) I doubt the value of this. I've ridden in a lot of cold weather and lots of bits of me got cold, but my backside was not one of them!

The only drawback is the sadly fashionable lack of centre stand. SW Motech make one for the MT-07 which has the same frame so it's likely that an aftermarket one will be available.   

But there's more. Yamaha seem to be working on a dual purpose bike using the 700cc engine.

Spy shot of a disguised bike

(Another) Run to Dumfries & Galloway - Part#3

The final part of today's run.

I came across this drinking trough. It was to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902. I wonder how many travellers notice it today?

Another commemoration in Dalbeattie - a drinking fountain & lamp to mark the 50th year of Queen Victoria's reign.

Nearby is this impressive gatehouse.

Hestan Island in Auchencairrn Bay

There can hardly be a town or village in the country that doesn't have something connected to Queen Vic. Here's a lamp in the village of Auchencairn.

The Kelpies in Kirkcudbright. 1:10 scale models of the sculptures constructed at the east end of the Forth & Clyde canal. These guys seems to have been on a tour of Scotland (and the rest of the world) in recent years.


Kirkcudbright Bay. My photos of the sea in recent posts are missing…eh... the sea. I seem to always be there at low tide.