think back to friday afternoon, what were you doing?
i decided to head north to aljezur to look at houses.
i headed off in a t shirt on my motorbike along the coast road, across the mountains and through the forests. great twisty roads and the smell of pine and eucalyptus to keep me company.
wasnt long before i found myself shuffling across the seat and sticking my knee out for the corners as they came up , not something recommended on a cruiser with leaky front forks and a knackered rear shock!
i got to aljezur and had a scout around, gorgeous little place, even took some photos for the site. when i left, i headed to arrifana and took some more photos.
riding away from aljezur i remembered a tip about a secret spot up there so i peeled off onto a dirt road and had a cruise along, a little like steve McQueen in the great escape. after a few kilometers, i found the secret spot, completely deserted but i was still on top of the hill. i looked down the dirt road that lead to the beach and decided that i could get down it – lets go.
a little bit bumpy and rocky, would have been much more fun on a pukka dirt bike ( pukka, that reminds me, Jamie Oliver has a TV series over here ) but i made it all the same. when i got to the bottom, i met a couple of locals on dirt bikes, i think they couldnt believe their eyes when they saw my bike and had watched me ride down the hill ( over here we are called ´bifes´or whities)
anyway, checked out the beach, was perfect, then i realised……….there was no way on earth that i could ride my cruiser back up the hill i had just ridden down.
there were a couple of dirt tracks leading away from the valley……..which one should i take? the one heading inland or the one heading along the coast?
i opted for the one heading inland. i dont know if this was a big mistake or not, but it wasnt a good choice.
heading inland, my mind kept telling me that at some point i had to meet or cross the main road that i had ridden down. no such luck!!
i must have taken every wrong turn at every junctioni came to, i was low on petrol, low on water, low on phone battery and my arms were burning in the sun, i left the suncream at home.
finally , i saw a farm and decided to head there and ask for directions. as i got closer i could see a dog the size of an elephant that wasnt chained up………discretion or valor???? i turned around and wheel spun back the way i came, to the last junction.
there were lots of tyre marks at this junction so i figured i should follow them! big mistake – terrain like something from the paris-dakar rallye, the last thing i needed now was a puncture…………..thankfully, i managed to miss all the sharp stones.
the bike had taken a real pounding, one of the side panels had fallen off, all of the fork oil had come out of the forks, my trainers were covered in fork oil and then coated in dust – i was a complete mess.
i saw a phone mast and figured i knew where i was…….but then i thought no, its not the one i know so headded in another direction.
into a forrest – jeez, what a dumb ass! fuel getting low, sweating, even if i did call for help, how could i say where i was, i still had little idea. i decided to just keep heading straight forward.
eventually i could see some cars ahead of me, they must have been on a main road. finally i found some tarmac and the main road back to aljezur.
i sat at a cafe, completely exhausted, bought a coffee, drank my water and looked at my watch – missing in action for just over two hours!!!!!
next time, i am gonna do it on a dirk bike, with satnav!!!