TRIP TO MONSANTO: 10-13th January 2017 by Juergen Heinz & Stan Green.
We had been told that visiting Monsanto should be on everyone's "bucket list" of places to visit so we decided to plan a trip to go there. We were not disappointed! We based ourselves in Badajoz for 3 nights at the Hotel San Marcos in the centre of the old quarter and there was a secure underground garage for the bikes. We also decided not to use any toll roads or motorways and the ride was fantastic from twisty to long straights and sweeping bends.
En route we stopped to look at some of the sights in the area of Extremadura. Two of the best were at Alcantara. The dam and the Roman Bridge which was built in 104 AD.
From Badajoz we reached Monsanto which you can see in the distance built into to the side of the mountain. It's a steep climb up to the parking area on the bikes from where you have a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.
The buildings have been carved out of the rocks some of which are gigantic and you wonder how they don't roll down the hill crushing everything. Photos can only show so much, this has to be seen with your own eyes 👀
Juergen rides a KTM 1050 and there is a dealer in Beja so we stopped in there so he could arrange for a service before he returns to Germany 🇩🇪.
They were very helpful and pleasant and there was a Portuguese man with his fully restored 1983 Honda CBX 1000 with a beautiful 6 cylinder engine giving 100bhp. I asked him which he preferred, his bike or his wife? He laughed and said he has 7 bikes and only one wife. A very diplomatic answer!
We covered 1500 Kms in 4 days but the weather was dry and although around 5* in the mornings it soon warmed up to an average of 15-16*.
I'm going to plan another 3 night trip there for the group with overnight stops in 3 separate locations and staying within Portugal. This will reduce the daily distances and make it easier for everyone to enjoy the trip.
November or January is a good time to go as there was virtually no traffic, the hotels are really cheap at that time and the climate can be ideal for biking. Also in the summer, I believe Monsanto is just so busy you can hardly move.
David will post details of the proposed trip on the website in due course. It would be a really fun trip and please just ask if there is anything you would like to know.