I left Lagos with a farewell breakfast with my new friends Petra and Hartmut. They are from Germany and travelled to Lagos with a VW 4X4 truck. They unfortunately are only on holiday and were also leaving the same day for Germany and home.
I had a superb time in Lagos, meeting new people and knocking back some Sagres and Super Bock beer with the Germans for the 2 days I spent there.
I hit the road and joined the motorway towards Lisbon or as its known down here as Lisboa.
The road was good and you paid gratitude by paying 20 Euros for 150km of smooth tarmac. Its was quite cold but I struggled to find a cloud in the sky. I motored along at 120km/h and listening to the wind of my “tires” as I drove through the countryside in Portugal.
Before long I had to refuel for the first time in Europe. My extra supply of Moroccan petrol was finished so I pulled into the self-service gas stations of Europe and found this easy to use petrol pump. You fill your bike and put your credit card in the slot and viola!!! It charges you a 100 Euro for a tank of gas… Yes, an R1200GS CANNOT take that amount of fuel, I know. Lets hope FNB can get my money back.
Soon enough I was heading towards the famous Christo Rei statue of Jesus overlooking Lisbon. I paid a toll yet again and crossed the famous 25 de Abril bridge. The sight of Lisbon had me breathless.
I headed for the campsite Pieter advised me of Lisboa Campismo. I quickly set my tent and changed into my tourist clothes consisting of a T-Shirt, Camo pants and armed with my camera I set off for the bus stop just outside. It was a 30 min ride into town and I got off in the heart of old Lisbon.
I took in the atmosphere and decided to check my Lisbon map and head out to do some sight-seeing. This is what I found.
I then decided to head out the St Jorge Castle that overlooks the city.
It was getting dark and I decided to take the last bus back to the campsite.
I got back and ate some of my left over spaghetti and called it a night. I was planning to head over to BMW in the morning and then set off for Madrid.
As always I packed up and set off quite early and made my way to what will be the 1st BMW dealer of the morning. I stopped and a friendly guy helped me. I enquired about tires and asked him to check the final drive. He checked it and immediately said “your final drive is very damaged”… The words almost made me cry. He then also suggested I replace it at a cost of 1500 Euros. I think by then I was crying.
I asked him if anybody could replace the bearing? He looked around and said in a whisper “Try Motomil BMW, they are on the other side of the river”.
I thanked him and made my way there. After getting lost a few times I managed to track them down. I was greeted by Ricardo and Joao. They immediately saw that I was in a bit of a panic. They gave me quote to repair and also to do the Major service. I wanted BMW to check the bike as it wasnt running as it should. The engine was noisy and “offbeat”… So they said that I should leave the bike there and find a hotel. They will start first thing in the morning.
The next morning I took a taxi from the Hostel and headed to BMW. When I arrived I got some coffee and met Francisco. He told me that my bike was next inline. I thanked him.
I got back down to the workshop as Francisco loaded my bike onto the lift. I explained to him what I wanted and he set off with my list of things to do.
It safe to say that he is a pro! He had the old bearing out in no time, oil drained and started cleaning up the corrosion and dirt from the final drive parts. He saw that I was quite ready to tackle a job and make myself handy so he gave me the difficult task of heating up the hubb so that we could insert the new bearing. So armed with a heat gun I started the heating process. It was quite hard as I had to sit and blow the heat gun onto the piece of metal for 15min. Yes, I am quite technical and handy with heating stuff in the workshop. So with me out of the way Francisco went on finishing the work on my bike.
So as the clocked struck 14:30, it was siesta time and Francisco said I should come and have lunch with them. We had some proper Portuguese Chicken.
After lunch we got back and finished up.
After we topped up the oils and got the bike back together I asked Francisco to check and clean the starter as it was noisy in the mornings. We also got some wiring tied down and odds and ends sorted out. When we started the bike Francisco wasnt happy, he plugged the computer in and he had that look on his face… that look that says “I think we have to spend some more money on this bike”. I held my breath as he went through the computers and checked everything. He then plugged in another computer and checked the calibration of the cylinders. This was a problem. The left cylinder was only running at 70% and the right at 100%. So after calming me down he went about adjusting “something” and what do you know. The bike was running as smooth as the first day. He just turned to me and said ” now you have a new bike”…
I slept over in Merida and was off early morning to meet up with Manuel and the Spanish guys we met in Morocco.
The next morning I joined Manual at the university and joined the english classes he and some other lectors join to improve their english. It was fun. We then headed out and I bought a new GPS as I promised myself that I wouldn’t get lost again in a new european city.
I was asked what I would like to do in the evening and I replied “lets hot some Tapas bars”… and so we did but first Manuel and Javier took me to the Plaza del Toros. The bullring in Madrid.
Tapas as explained to me by Mike the Canadian in Rabat: “Man! your order a fuc#*% beer and they give you free food! Its awesome!”
So I wanted to try that!
I had to say a fair well to my host Manuel and left this morning for Barcelona. Deidre is landing here in less that 11 hours. Some of you might wonder where she’s going to sit? but I left some stuff with Manuel in Madrid and will fly back from Rome to collect it again for the trip down.
So that’s all for now. I will keep you posted.
For now I first have to catch up with Deidre as I last saw her 3 months ago. I can’t wait!
Ps. Report for the guys at Motomil: The bike runs like a dream. The power is back. I cruised comfortably at 140km/h. Slight vibration but I think chaning the tyres will solve the problem. Thanks Agian everybody at Motomil BMW.