We stayed at Hotel Mundial, it was very nice hotel – bit of an upgrade for the riders on the last night. There was a doorman, bathrobes and a very nice looking bed that I was looking forward to getting into, but first it was time for some serious celebrating!
As mentioned yesterday, we had some wine at the park then was time to get changed, sort out our stuff and box bikes etc. At 7:15pm we all met in the lobby and caught taxis to the restaurant. I have lost the bit of paper I had written the name on but it was very nice.
Walli, who left us in Venice, had very generously contacted Christiano and organized to pay for the wine for dinner. A number of bottles of nice red wine were drunk, along with a toast to Walli. Walli had also sent a poem to be read out, which you can read below.
We had a great night, it was good to chat to the tour guides in a setting that there was no organizing they had to do for the next day. I had thought about going to a Fado club afterwards, but when it came to it I was too tired so will have to miss it this time round, and make do with going to the Fado museum tomorrow.
It will seem really strange not to see the other tour riders after having spent 11 weeks together, but some of us will keep in touch, and others our paths may well cross again in the future.
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Ode to Trans-Europa
To each of you my sincere congratulation
Reaching today your final destination;
You have achieved your ultimate goal
Arriving in tact – stronger in body and soul!
At this celebration forgotten are the pains
And the detours, and hills and other complaints,
But not the friends who shared your bliss
All the way to Lisbon or just to Venice!
The memories will last all the days to come
To cherish forever and to recount at home.
Another thought is sneaking in on the side:
Can we get together somewhere for another ride?
Cristiano scouted and led with detailed instructions
Every turn was flagged giving orange directions.
Ciaran and Gergo assured safe arrival at camps
Miles’ delicious meals caused no stomach cramps.
For weeks you had your tires sharing the road
Also no toilet seats, nor tissue, cold showers, nor soap.
Your tents were firmly pegged to the grounds
You know who is snoring and making other strange sounds.
But now comes the time to go your own way,
Perhaps we will meet again somewhere one day.
Now lift your glasses and with great cheer
Make a toast to life …
………………………..and wish Walli was here!
She can’t make speeches in public for fear she’d cry
Though poetic emotions are not hard to come by.
Alas, she has been reading the blog by the minutes
And decided to be with you this moment in spirit(s).
CHEERS, A VOTRE SANTE, NASTROVJE, PROSIT !!!!!