It´s A Narrow Open Road: Part I

porta velha

Usually before a ride like this you would pack everything and go to bed early. I thought I was smarter and had a blast saying goodbye to Portimão: beer, red wine, gin tonic a bifana and more beer to top it off. Felt great about leaving this dump and had to celebrate.

portimao town hall

I had planned this trip a couple of years back and somehow felt it was now time to hit the road. Grabbed my board, clothes, camera, a little cash and off I went. The goal was to reach my place of birth Figueira da Foz,  meet old friends and promote the Gliding Barnacles event. I live in Algarve, in the south of Portugal, it´s a 400km trip if you go straight, wich was not the case.

here we go
rural villages

One of the reasons I left was to stay away from the phone, computer and people in general. I already stepped out of social media and wanted to try the next level. Funny thing was that all the bikers were riding down from northern Europe for the Faro Moto Parade. Love to zag when others zig.

pit stop

Riding a Vespa, although fairly comfortable,  is a bit tiring, specially if you have a board on the side and a huge hangover on the other. The on coming wind didn´t help too and it was overcast and super cold for summer. Wanted to reach Arrifana to have a surf, a 60km ride, but had to stop in the middle to rest… Noches alegres mananas tristes.


Finally reached my first destination and had a refreshing surf. By chance, met my belgian friend Miguel, who is now an enthusiastic photog. I was stoked to probably get some nice shots surfing this fun left at the end of the beach, but that was not the case. He spent all the time in and out of the bathroom with a bad belly. Off to the pharmacy.

miguel had imodium

Feeling slightly better, we headed up to Porto Covo, a picturesque village in Alentejo. It was about a 100 km ride this time. Upwind with some scary trucks and a lot of Pakis from the strawberry´s fields. Hate this vegan trend…

narrow road
good boy

It was an ok ride, felt good to get out of my comfort zone. I actually went faster then Miguel´s WV van, speeding at around 80km hour. My Vespa can go faster, but it´s not safe with the board, if the rack breaks I am screwed. Other dangers are cars coming from the crossroads, wild boars and hookers.

new home
alternative medicine
noche alegre

Woke up with another hangover. Miguel thought he would cure his bad belly with good wine, which he did, but I wanted to detox, had too many parties already this summer. I had to have a surf somwhere.

searching for waves


stairway to heaven

at last

We went to Praia dos Aivados, waves sucked, but I felt great. Miguel got some shots of the 1 foot slop, inglorious bastard… At least I felt better, it´s amazing how the ocean can heal you up.

over knee

Having someone around was cool, but it was now time to be on my own. Had no idea where the next stop would be, just trusted my instincts and said goodbye.

holly cows

Did a quick stop at S.Torpes just to say hi to long time friend and Indo explorer Aikan and local legend Kalu. Good to catch up with this dudes, it´s a small country, but it´s not easy to stay in touch with everyone. I don´t have Facebook.


It was a pretty depressing first chapter: hangover, upwind, shitty waves and not really by myself. Now I was heading to Setubal and with luck I would meet this friend from my first adventure in Sumatra which I had not seen in 10 years. Another 100 km of asphalt, a ferry and more wine were expecting me. I had this feeling that the adventure was about to start.

“You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame;
how could you rise anew if you have not first become ashes?”
Friedrich Nietzsche


Special thanks to One2seven hotel for helping me relax and get back in shape and the panama


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