¡Iberian Espectacular! – Day 8

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June 9th, 2018 – Lisbon, Portugal to Porto, Portugal: ~220 miles
Vy and I see some pornography on a leather vest.

Did you miss Day 7? Vy and I go to the end of the world.

I loved Lisbon and regretted that we only had half a day to spend there. Little did I know that I would be back there a few months later for the Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 launch, though I would only be able to stay for one day then, too. Life could be worse.

Vy and I departed Lisbon and headed west to Sintra via some beautiful back roads. Colorful buildings and narrow lanes? Check.

Windy, cobblestone roads? Double check.

The highlight of our morning was a visit to Sintra to see the Quinta da Regaleira, a 19th century mansion. The mansion’s gardens are full of miniature forts, which we obviously used to showcase Baby Jack.

Vy and Baby Jack say hi.

It was acquired by a gentleman named António Augusto Carvalho Monteiro, who earned the nickname of Moneybags Monteiro thanks to his vast fortune. The centerpiece of the grounds is a pair of initiation wells.

The wells were never designed for water – the “initiation” name comes about as they were supposedly used for “secretive initiation rites.”

Once you get to the bottom, you don’t have to climb right up as both wells are connected via a network of tunnels, caves…

…and even a river crossing!

Vy adjusts the talent.

Next up was Tomar and its lovely checkerboard plaza in central Portugal. The church was built between the 15th and 16th centuries.

This is Republic Square. The statue on the left is of the founder of Tomar, Gualdim Pais.

Walking around town, we found Baby Jack’s bigger brother in a closed store.


Outside of town is the Aqueduct of Pegões, which was built between 1593 and 1614.

It’s a whopping four miles long…

…and in portions it’s just shy of 100 feet tall. Access to an inspection tower is conveniently alongside the road and up just a few steps.

I didn’t mind the height, except when I got to a section where the small protective wall on the edge vanished. All of a sudden, the ground felt a lot closer than it was before.

Terras de Mira = Cross Country and Montar para Viver = Ride to Live, with quite an image in between! You can click the photo to enlarge if you’re feeling frisky.

One last view of the aqueduct before we headed towards Porto. What an impressive piece of construction!

A Portuguese-made Casal. Founded in 1964, Casal (actually, Metalurgia Casal) was Portugal’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. Most of their products were 50cc mopeds, but they also had a few 125cc motorcycles. I was unable to determine which model this was – do you know?

Normally when Vy and I travel in an area with toll roads, whether it’s domestic or international, there’s a way to pay with your credit card afterwards. I couldn’t find any signage on how to do that, so Vy took this photo as a reminder for me to research it when we got to the hotel later today…more on that later in the trip.

Weather-wise, Portugal was not being as friendly to us as Spain was. I saw some impending rain clouds on our path so I pulled over to put on my Racer waterproof gloves.

A Benelli TnT 135 sits outside of Moto Urban in Coimbra.

The rain picked up again as we entered Porto.

We found a parking spot across from the Bolsa Palace – which used to be Portuguese Stock Exchange – and then we kept our rain gear on as we explored on foot.

The police station had a couple of two-wheelers ready for duty.

The torrid rain meant I kept my camera in my pocket, though I still couldn’t help myself when it came to local motorcycles. This cute Honda NSR 75 “Super Sprint” was missing the optional lower fairings (click here for an example of what it could look like) but it still looks like a fun little two-stroke commuter. This article calls it the Mazda Miata of motorcycles, “sought to offer sensations at an affordable price to the general public” (don’t mind the translation). The 75cc engine produces 14 horsepower and Honda even made a version with Repsol bodywork for your inner racer.

This Yamaha supermoto is the ultimate pizza delivery machine – though I suspect I’d be delivering lots of messy pizzas if I was in charge.

Vy and I retired to the hotel and debated if we should continue north into Portugal or not. We had a few wonderful stops planned, but the weather forecast was calling for 3+ straight days of heavy rains, and we weren’t particularly interested in that. Would we continue on the plan or bail to the sunnier skies of Madrid? I mulled those thoughts over a beer…until I saw that the bar had Havana Club on the shelf, so I had to get one of those, too.

On to Day 9!

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