Saturday, November 24, 2012

Our mill

For the past two and half years Rita has been working on our not so secret plan to revive her former family estate in the south of Hungary into a an awesome eco lodge..

Now it is slowly becoming a reality. By end of summer next year we should have the main building ready for opening...We have started a new blog solely devoted to this new undertaking. Have a look here:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Oia to Vigo

Riding in Spain is a real pleasure - all respect, they have wonderful bike routes almost all the way so far and it goes along the coast which is beautiful. From A Guarda we went to Oia to spend the first night in Casa Puertas, which is an unbelievably beautiful and perfect place with 8 rooms in a renovated historic building on the coast. We had a private garden with a small but perfectly green fotball field where the owners kids were training to become football stars while eating chocolate sandwich - literally, imagine a full chocolate bar between 2 slices of toast bred!!! I just wonder why to spoil the chocholate with bread :) We event spent our first night out in the only restaurant in Oia next door to our room - thanks to a mobile phone app baby phone - and we enjoyed a glass of wine with pimientos de pedron. Only for that it is worth coming to Spain :) Today we planned to ride 16 km to Baiona but we were so fast this time that we decided to continue another 18 km to Vigo after a long lunch break. I think we are a true disaster for any restaurant with all the mess and noise we make with the kids and though they serve great daily offers these occasions are truly stressful and tiresome for us at least. So we chose this night - as several other times - to make a picknick in our room, which is the same fun but without the audiance to make us feel totally insane :)

Viva Espana!

And we are in Galicia! Today morning we crossed the river from Caminha to A Guarda with the Santa Rita ferry and we are very proud of ourselves to make it so far :) in the last few days we faced some challenges - how could you expect such things not to happen... We got a flat tire on the trolley, as it turned out a thorn pierced it. We were just on the way to find a repair service when i hailed some fellow bikers on the road, who were the knights from La Mancha, Spain on their pilgrim to Santiago and instead of showing us the way they fixed our tire on spot!!!
And before being able to leave Caminha Lulu got a fewer during the night so we decided to stay one more day in the camping, also to dry our clothes which again got washed by the rain, and to take our princess to the doctor. We were scared because of the suspected tick she had a few days before but the doctor diagnosed her with an ear infection and suggested to take a blood test if we want to be sure she has no other infection. So we left this lovely country behind with the promise that we will come back. Now there is no mercy, if we do not understand each other, it is my broken Spanish, without the excuse of Portuguese :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Vila do Conde to Rio Alto

We headed North along the shore from Porto and we had as Tomek put it the best ride ever in his life :) it was flat, it was right next go the Atlantic and it was through sand dunes covered with beautiful flowers. It must be a consistent coast preservation development because for the whole day we were following a wooden plank path with cool restaurants and cafeterias in Scandinavian arcitecture style - which i admire and which took me by surprise in a hispanic mediterranian country. Along the way we stopped by a tiny beach restaurant with its own beach, hidden and not even listed on our map, so we were all to ourselves with the hosts 2 year old son. We spent the night in Vila do Conde, which could have been a pleasant experience, but it was not, due to the stinky and unclean room and the traffic, though the city is pretty and we managed to collect our caminho stamp in the local church. Riding through the small towns has the downside of bumpy cobble stone roads which our bikes and trolley does not take too well so sometimes we opt for the N13 national road which is uninspiring but flat and fast. So we reached the Orbitour camping in Rio Alto the next day, where we rented a mobile home of some 20 m2 with a small bathroom ang kitchenett, we even had our first night in separate bed from our kids:) they slept together sweetly till the morning squashing together on a big bed. We even made a big laundry as they had a machine and decorated our terrace with all the clotes only for the night storm to wash it all away. So instead of heading further North we stayed another day to dry things, to indulge in the pool and on the magnificent ocean coast. We made a ride to Fao; to see a doctor as we suspected Lulu having a tick, but the doctor did not see it and i think he thought we were crazy for such an idea. I guess they have no such problems in Portugal... Anyway Lulu is fine and we have the nicest watermark in our passports from the Fao; church. So after 2 days in the camping we continued further North, this time a bit inland and more to the mountains, so the ritde was not easy. We made almost 40 km and reached Casa da Reina, which was our heavenly accommodation last night, a real treasure with giant hortenzias, a lemon tree, a pool, 4 rooms and all kinds of wonders in the garden. I climbed an orange tree and made a lemonade from fruits right from the tree!!! No comments can describe it :)

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North Portugal

I think we lost track a bit of writing - this time because we were enjoying ourselves instead of writing about how we enjoy ourselves :) but also the fact is that our internet limit was reached so we were not connected. Anyway, arriving to Porto changed a lot - we relaxed a bit having less km to conquer and we decided to spend a day in The city. What we would not do without kids is to take a sight seeing city train tour, but this time it was the perfect choice given Leon's fascination with trains and our limitations to otherwise cover distances. So as the bargain was a wine cellar tour was included in the ride on the other side of the river in Gaia, which turned out to be one of the most fantastic things we saw so far. You can see the photos in the Flickr gallery so in short: the winery was established in the 18th century and has been producing wine ever since, but now as a private property with 3 million litres of wine being aged in the cellar at the time of our visit. And opposed to our visit to a winery in Italy these guys really do age and process the wine in oak barrels and harvest by hand. I cannot remember who asked me some time ago which wine can be stored for ever without being spoiled, but here comes the answer, hopefully not too late: the vintage port wine can be stored in bottle horizontally in normal temperature basically limitless, but once you open you ought to finish it the same day as the oxygen destroys it. And it tastes heaven! We tried a 10 years Tawny and a Ruby, hmmmm. And the cellar was beautiful!

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