“This trip was obviously intended to give a range of scenery and experience. In practice, the descent from mountains to sea was rapid and we spent most of our time on cobbled roads and tracks through villages and vineyards. The hotels were varied, comfortable and interesting. It would have been of considerable help to have known which did not provide evening meals. A simple added note in the destination hotels section of the booklet would have warned us to eat, or collect food on the way and saved us some late night cycling in search of an evening meal.
The kit provided was comprehensive and good quality except for the GPS of which more later.
However, although mentioned in the trip notes, there were no maps provided and no first aid kit.
We had considerable problems with navigation. This caused our days to be considerably longer than we expected and left little, if any time, for sight-seeing. We had bought maps before we went but found them little use because we did not know the route. It was a mystery tour.
The GPS was not of sufficiently good quality to give a clear display. We are older people and perhaps our vision is not as acute as that of a younger person, but we are used to GPS and use it frequently. At every junction, and there were many, we had to stop and select our route by trial and error. All too often, we were in error and had considerable distances to retrace. Only one GPS was provided! and this is a point I made before we set off; that we should both have had one. I enjoy the navigation as much as my husband and felt considerably frustrated with my role as 'follower' Two heads would definitely have been better than one. At the very least, the provision of a map would have eased our problems.
We had no directions on our GPS, to our last hotel in Porto. Fortunately I had taken co-ordinates for the hotels from Google Earth before setting off and this, together with a street map acquired in another hotel in the town, got us to our destination.”