ban JR.JPG






Home > Trail tales > 2005 > Roaming Roland 2

Don't drink anything from opened bottles ...
Roland's latest news

July 2005

Hi everyone, if you donít know the Gaspie is the peninsular in Quebec next to the St. Lawrence River at this time of year itís navigatable, but gets blocked with ice in winter, towards Quebec City, the 132 road is not busy, but towards the north you encounter a few steep grades 13%. Most of the people speak French, but you get by with English. The total distance from Quebec City to Cambelton is approx 1500kms, mostly next to the sea. There are lots of campsites or Auberges. The one now that Iím staying in overlooks the sea, if youíre lucky you see whales.

From here I cycle down New Brunswick into Main, New Hampshire, Mas, Connecticut and hopefully catch my flight from Boston to the UK. I say, hopefully, because the immigration at LA gave me a tough time because my passport is not bar coded, so we shall see what happens. If they donít let me in, I shall have to catch a flight from Toronto.

The weather so far has been 23-28 degrees but now raining and foggy with 9 degrees. It changes very quickly which is typical of the Gaspie, so Iím spending the day indoors.

Hope everyone receiving this is in good health, my condolences to those who have lost a loved one.

End August 2005

This might help people reading this article not to fall into the same trap I fell into. On arriving in Lisbon, I thought I would cycle around the city and do some sightseeing on my bicycle.

Lunch time came so I bought some snacks and six Cerveja and sat down in what I thought a rather peaceful spot next to the river Tejo.

Next news, a middle aged man came and sat next to me entering into a garbled conversation in Portuguese. I offered him a beer which he gratefully accepted. He then offered to buy me a Laranja (orange) drink which came 5 minutes, without the top.

BIG MISTAKE:

I gulped down the drink and started feeling dizzy. He then started to assault me, going into my pockets for my money. I fell unconscious for 4 hours, waking up in hospital that afternoon about 18h00. I donít remember a thing. Maybe I have broken ribs, very sore, cuts and abrasions over all my body, minus my bicycle, money, travellers cheques, plane ticket, camera, which belonged to Jim, and various other incidentals, in fact all my worldly goods.

This is not a story asking for sympathy; itís to warn everyone out there that everyone is not honest.

The police tell me he is one of the most wanted men in Portugal, trust me to hit on him (or the other way around!!).

Anyway, the British embassy have been fantastic, lending me money, and letting me phone various people.

I am now looking for another bicycle, to cycle Portugal, Spain, France or maybe use the public transport and get Ďripped offí on the busses and trains, not sure yet. My brain is not functioning normally.

I might have to stay on in Lisbon because I have to positively identify the suspect.

You have been warned, especially to the girls Ė donít drink from opened bottles.