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Hill Rider
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You’ve all read James’s, Steve R’s and Cookinfats ride report. Well, here’s my little addition to the tale, taking in my ride into and out of Spain after leaving the guys at Carcassonne.
Tuesday 21st April
Whilst they headed for Narbonne, I carried on south, heading for Perpignan on the Med coast. The roads where wet, as was normal for the previous days, until I started down out of the hills towards the coast, when the sun came out, the wind picked up and was blowing me towards the sea. I took the N11 towards Gerona before I got to Perpignan, having briefly discussed with SteveR earlier in the day about the roads around the Costa Brava. I headed for Saint Feliu de Guixols, just so I could catch sight of the sea.

Had to be done – me with my feet in the Med


From Saint Feliu de Guixols I headed south for Tossa de Mar along the coast road. Bend after bend after bend. And all in glorious sunshine and on warm tarmac. At last I’d reached the place where my idea of riding a bike in Spain had come true J
Tossa de Mar


I decided to find a camp site early in the afternoon, just so’s I could chill out and my tent could dry. After trying three sites after I passed Tossa de Mar, two of which were shut, I came across the third which was closed but the reception was open. I was informed that no campsites on the Cosat Brava were open yet, but the camp sites south of Blanes should be open. So off I set for Blanes, which is about 30 miles north of Barcelona. I found the sites the man had described, only finding one open after trying 4 or 5 others. Got a pitch at about 6pm that night. At least it was still daylight and dry!

Finding so many camp sites shut I decided that the next day would be spent getting myself down the Torrevieja in a oner – just a 400+ mile run.

Wednesday 22nd April
Blanes to Torrevieja. Having decided to run south in a day, I still thought I’d stick to the N roads and not the motorways, except to avoid the cities. Well, that was the plan, which stayed good till I reached Barcelona. Paid the toll to get me around the city on the motorway, only to find myself hurling into the mass of scooters, cars and cyclists that fill the cities roads. A 45 minute detour that showed me that the Vara copes well with city commuting, not even needing the fans to keep it cool. After Barcelona I stuck to the plan of using N roads, spotting a local feature or too as I rode south – mainly the whores standing / sitting at the side of the road, waiting for trade ;-).
To say my butt ached after todays 415 miles would be an understatement. Must be all those straight roads.

Thursday 23rd to Saturday 25th April
Having reached my sisters place in Torrevieja, I chilled out for a few days and caught up with the family gossip. Did some local sight seeing (on foot), sort of doing the tourist bit.



Sunday 26th April
Headed north for the first time in days, with Cuenca as my planned over night stop. No N roads today, just the little CM ones. Loads of photo’s taken, to make up for the lack of ones from the previous days. Alcala de Juca is invisible from the road as you ride down from the hills, but once you’ve followed the road off the straight and narrow, you are met with an amazing sight. A hole in the limestone created by the local water course that truely took my breath away.


The Pyrennes and some bends as I continued north towards Cuenca

Actually stayed dry all day. The roads today where awesome – dry, bendy and in fantastic condition.

Monday 27th April
What a night. The temperature dropped to well below freezing – woke up in the night and put on extra layers with little effect. In the morning the tent was frozen on the inside and the outside. Packed it away still frozen and got my self ready to head for Jaca, at the base of the Pyrennes. Again I took the small, winding roads and boy am I glad I did. This place just jumps right out at you as you come round a bend on the CM210 - Molina de Aragon

Came across this little piece of rock. You could see it from miles away and as you got closer it just it just filled the whole sky. Truelly awesome. Riglos on the maps.


Jaca comes into view as I ride out of the Seirra de la Pena. The roads within this set of hills just keep turning in on themselves. Mile after mile of bends being taken at no more than 20 miles per hour


Tuesday 28th April
Headed for a friends house in France – Brassempouy to be precise. Had to make my way through the Pyrennes and choose the Col du Somport tunnel as a good way of getting there. Enter the tunnel in Spain and sunshine, leave it in France at the other end, above the snow line!

After several days of great weather, the rain finally caught up with me approx 5 miles from my friends house. I arrived looking like the preferable drowned rat.

Wednesday 29th April
Headed off in the direction of Santander today, just so I had a short ride to the ferry terminal on Thursday. Left my friends place in the rain, took the motorway into Spain, where the rain got heavier! It finally stopped peeing on me approx 80 miles from Santander, when I turned off the motorway and headed for the coast and hopefully a camp site. Noja was a dot on the map, it looked like a nice place, so that’s where I headed for. Pitched the tent in brilliant sunshine and set about drying all my gear. Finally took a walk along the beach which was just around the corner from the campsite.



Thursday 30th April
Ferry home today from Santander to Plymouth. Short ride into Santander, park up at ferry terminal, share some “craik” with some of the other bikers waiting to board the ship, then a short wander round the town for a bit of sight seeing.

Friday 1st May
Rode up to my sisters at Pontypool, to share more family gossip.

Saturday 2nd May
500+ miles to home today. 1st half done on dual carriageways and motorways, then normal roads back into the highlands.

With views and roads like this, I had to ask myself why I went away.
536 miles and my rear end still has feeling in it! Must be all those bends!

3647 miles door to door, with well over 2000 done on the continent. More sites, sounds and smells than you’d normally get in that amount of riding.

Did I enjoy it?
Oh yes.

Would I do it again?
Still thinking about that one.

All in all an experience that I’m glad I’ve had, and one I think many would enjoy.
 

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Ah, I understand why you're not posting any pics of the road that goes from St. Feliu de Guíxols to Tossa de Mar, it is so amazing that is difficult to stop for any shooting. It's one of the classics here on weekends, but mostly for japanese rockets.

Yesterday I came to Barcelona from Colliure, in France, and did the bit that goes from Colliure through Cèrbere, going to Portbou. Simply spectacular!

And Mayos de Riglos, incredible spot! I was there past October and it appeared in the mist. They glide up there with parapents.

You did quite a big tour in a few days!

Cheers
 

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As I was reading your post more slowly I have to say that you really planned a strange route, going down to Torrevieja from Blanes in just one day, being Torrevieja nothing special to me. And deciding to do National roads instead of Highways in Catalonia is not a very good idea since from Barcelona southwards the N-2 (national road 2) is awful, and it crosses eeeeevery tourist town in the way south. Almost the same northwards. Here is better to do regional roads to find empty roads and fine places and villages.

I wish I could have helped you to plan the route better. Last time I wen with my girlfriend to Delta del Ebro we tried again to do N roads for the last time: it's better to pay the tolls, for me. I just keep going nuts trying to overpass the lorries, skipping tourists, and blablabla.

Cheers

EDIT: oh, it is your sister that lives in Torrevieja; sorry, I read it too fast i skipped it!
 

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A thought you only went ooot fur a paper :thumbright:

Hope to see you at Glencoe at the weekend, if your arse has recovered :D
 

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Deer Dodger
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Nice 1 Steve,

Great photos and report as usual :thumbup:
How's yer arse ???? :D:D

See you got the Trangia worked out then ;)


Finally got my computer working again --- junior sibling thought she'd muck about with the settings :mad:,but I've forgiven her -- she's just got an inquisitive mind :D


















Just like her dad :D:D


See you soon
 

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Great report, I bet that ride satisfied an itch.
Trouble is, you just want to get going again.

Thats a loverly colour bike
Rick

GlenCoe ?
 

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Hill Rider
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the comments LWR, LF & Rick.

Glencoe - only on Saturday for a run out probably & to meet up with everyone. Having been soaked through and blown about in a tent for a little while recently I don't think I need to re-aquaint myself with that experience just yet :D

See you all soon.

Steve T

:cool:
 

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Hill Rider
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
These are my pictures from the trip through France.

Jacqueslemac recumbent!


Loire river at Blois


Alfresco lunch on the banks of the Loire


Camp site at Neuvic


Day-3-D982-Chalvignac – Moody view of a lake in the rainy mist


The guys helping stop my bike sink into the soggy ground


Estang Monastary



This was the view as I left the port of Santander – some fancy Spanish Chateaux



The End
:D :D :D
 
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