The Spoked Traveller | Seeking culture, adventure and a good story
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The Spoked Traveller

It never occurred to me to leave my bike at home on my first overseas trip. Twenty years later, nothing has changed. Whether at home, or in a foreign country, riding makes me feel closer to people and places.

I created this site as a hub for all things cycling; it’s a celebration of bike culture. Where to travel next, how to travel, where to get advice, see some cool practical bike fashion, what to eat. I’ll share what I know; and I invite you to do the same.

Over the next few months keep checking in as I’ll be adding some new menu items.

See you on the trails. Melanie

  me writing From the RV office of Miss.Melanie Chambers. Day one.    The dishes in the back of the RV rattle and clatter. Hold er steady, cap-tn. I'm givin' er all I got!  Newfoundland's Trans Canada Highway isn't the smoothest, but it sure is scenic: rock borders the highway -- like a giant flame torch blew a path right through the sucker-- while beyond the rock, it's a green carpet of pine trees. At the helm of my ship! me at wheel        

If you sit in a terrace restaurant long enough--right before the sun sets --you can see, and hear, many changes. By day it is souk shop keepers,''for you free visit, free, only for you....where are you from?"  It is also strange animals on display--it feels like a circus. IMG_6359 (640x359)

I was scared about visiting Morocco. As a blond, blue-eyed, solo girl, I heard stories and I naively believed them. In Portugal I met a woman from London, England who said a man wanted to trade her for a George Forman Grill! So far, no grills; no camels. I arrived in Casablanca late at night so I had a driver take me straight to my hotel ($40 if you prearrange). I saw two accidents on the way. Crowds of people standing and watching. One was a motorcycle accident with clothes strewn everywhere. I had to look away. Drivers are insane here. I took a train to Fez the following morning. In the taxi, I'm ready to go, and a guy pops his head into the cab and yells at me: "ou?" As in, where are you going? My cabbie and this dude started screaming at one another; eventually my driver high-tails it out of there. This is Casablanca. Fes--the city of Moroccan artists and gastronomy--was still busy and overwhelming, but charming. Shop keepers are a bit pesky, trying to get you to buy something, but they are harmless. I walked by one guy twice. "What, you don't like me? You don't like my store? Why?" He laughs. Start in the old medina (meaning old walled city); Fes' medina has 14 gates. It is 16 kms around and there are 187 neighbouhoods, each has its own bakery, mosque, hammam (bathhouse), fountain and Koranic school. IMG_5995 (640x359)

Built into a giant rock mountain, Montsanto is called the most Portuguese village of Portugal located southeast of Porto -- about a four hour drive.  Tiny streets curl up to a town. I parked the car and walked about 15 minutes through a rock trail--literally it went through giant bouldersIMG_5785 (640x359) IMG_5788 (359x640) IMG_5791 (640x359) IMG_5801 (640x359) IMG_5807 (359x640) (359x640) that leads to a 12th century castle