Central Portugal – Off the Tourist Trail


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I hardly recognised the  town of Gois  when I went in there last Friday . It was so busy with people and motorbikes. Lots and lots of them. The main street had become an unofficial racetrack , and loud bike engines could be heard throughout the town. The  GNR ( police) were out in force, and had put bollards and new road systems in place to ease congestion.However it  seemed to confuse everyone( me in particular),and created holds up, so not so sure it was the best idea.

The open flat ground at the edge of town became a second campsite ( there is a municipal camp site in the centre of town. ) with 100’s of dome tents crammed together.  The bars were packed ,and everyone seemed to be dressed in leather and denim. Gois was ” buzzing man “. I went to my local for a quick drink, and found that they had started a ticket system for buying drinks, beer had gone up 20 cents  and everything came in a  plastic cup. I can appreciate the reasoning , but  will be glad when it changes back.

Down by the river  were lots of stalls selling hippy clothes, t shirts, jewellry,  leather biker gear, helmets , and places to get tattoos, and piercings. I missed the nice cake stalls which had disappeared from the last fair, but was happy to see even more stalls selling caraparinhas and ginga in chocolate shot glasses. I was pleased I didn’t have so many caraparinhas that I ended up tattoed and pierced !!!

On Saturday it got even busier ,and throughout the morning I could hear the  sounds of bikes arriving ,whilst sitting on my terrace. By Saturday evening Gois was bursting at the seams, and business was booming.

Late in the  evening( after midnight) there were rock bands playing but I have to be honest it was not  my sort of music , so I gave it a miss. Another reason being that apparently Saturday night can get a bit crazy with bikers doing wheelies, and some horizontal bike spinning called doughnut- ing on the streets. Again not my sort of thing, so I was at home with a nice glass of Licor Berao and my guitar.

Although the bike festa was not my thing as such ,( the FACIG  feira,was  more me)  It was great to see how much business it brought to the town,putting as well as the towns and villages nearby . I went to the small village of Ponte de Sotao on Saturday afternoon, and as I turned in , I was met by at least 60/ 80 bikes and scooters  on there way out. One bar I know, about 16 km from Gois had to turn people away, as groups of 10 or  15 at a time showed up wanting food. They normally have about 20 in total all lunch time, and had not got the staff or food to be able to serve them , which was a pity.

So  Gois Moto festa  is over for another year. The clearing up is done,the stages dismantled. The land is again empty of tents. The bar prices are back to normal and the coffee cups and beer glasses are back !!


Author: portugalholidayguide

I love making and creating , and trying out new ideas .

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