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Elefantino Portugal

2009 Treffen Sintra Portugal Feedback

Feedback Details

by Paul Kristensen

The Portuguese 2009 Treffen was a great success and thanks must go to our host Jorge Gaspar and his family, they worked like slaves to make us welcome and keep us fed and watered. There were a few mixups with accommodation due to the owners of the campsite not being clear with pricing and what accommodation was available but it was all sorted one way or another even if a bike alarm had to be set off at 2 am Friday to wake the camp up as the key to a chalet was missing, great idea Hannes it did the job.

We had more than 40 people come, most by Elefant but a few came by plane and a few by other bike including yours truly. My own elefant was not finished after the alternator burnout from the 2008 meeting in Bidart, so my trusty BMW had to suffice. There were some casualties along the way with Michal Hilgers ST2 converted 900ie also burning the alternator and leaving him stranded in Madrid, Michael we missed you. Having now got to the bottom of the problem if you are thinking of this conversion drop me a line before you ride it any distance. ...... I digress A 748 dropped a valve on a ride out on the Saturday and on the Sunday ride out somebody fell off trying to mount his steed as though it was a kids scooter, there were a few other niggles but otherwise all was fine.

The French contingent had a few surprises, in the guise of David Castau's Dakar elefant and a early style elefant specially lowered for Ninie all 5ft 1in of her. The lads had a good system to prop her up at junctions and also ride interference when crossing lanes. She made it all the way from Bidart, well done. As well as Ninie Andrea rode from Germany on her own 900ie accompanied by her husband Daniel.

A special thank you must go to Andrea, for accompanying Gabriele when she was rushed off to hospital early on Saturday morning with a suspected heart attack. Gabriele we hope that you are well now.

We had a number of riders from Spain and Portugal a first this year. The support from central Europe & the UK was strong considering the distances involved but having ridden an Elefant to the most Westerly point of mainland Europe was a great achievement to you all. To Mats from Sweden who was not well enough to ride this year but came in his little sports car, as close to having the wind in his hair so to speak that he could manage well done please don't stop coming.

The trophy for the follow on meeting was handed over to Gavin Robertson on behalf of the Italian group in preparation for the next year the meeting which will be held in Italy. Due to delays and the sensitive nature of arrangements for the next years meeting the Italian riders present had not yet been notified of the proceedings in time for this event. Details are on the website and will be updated as they become known.

The "Alex Fisher Trophy" for the 'Spirit of the Elefant' was awarded to Marcus Bähr for his selfless assistance of other riders over the last few years, well done Marcus.

Well there is not much more from my side to be said other than it was a great ride Portugal was really a special country one Ronelle and I will remember for a long time to come, the people of Portugal are very welcoming and live in an unhurried simple way which I know we long after.

Thank you All for making it possible and remember next year in the Italian lakes, there are some of our photos here just follow the link, if anybody would like to add a few words or pictures please send them to me.

Paul K's Photos............Click here