Spain, December 2011 part I

A trip to Southern Spain to escape the winter blues and Christmas mass hysteria had been on the cards for some time.  Winter 10 saw Iz and I ride down to Aragon for what we’d hoped would be warm days and lots of gravel.  Well, we got the gravel, but shivered our way through the trip both on the bikes and in the apartment we rented.

No such worries this year, with a destination a LOT further south and a massive high pressure sitting over much of Spain. (not to mention some rather furry bar muffs)

We set off on a day’s ride through England to Portsmouth and enjoyed glorious weather.  Crisp blue skies, above zero temps and no traffic.  Sticking to the Motorways never inspires much biking enjoyment, but the UK weather is so fickle, it’s easier to take the simple option than end up stuck and miss the escape window of the ferry.

We made a quick stop at cousins for what is fast becoming a pattern of chat and Domino’s pizza before heading to the port for the night boat.

Double strapping of the bikes by the loading crew did raise an eyebrow about the sea state!  It actually wasn’t that bad, but it was certainly windy with a crashing steep sea!

We arrived in Bilbao before dawn to a wet drizzle and soaking roads.  I’ve had concerns about the Metzeler Tourance EXP’s currently fitted to the GS and it seems I was proved right.  From the moment we hit the road (and at a number of points through the trip) they offered little confidence.  Numb and unresponsive with little grip in anything but the dry I can’t wait to tear them off the bike and find something else.

Once clear of the hills around the coast, with the sun up the roads dried and we made great progress to Zaragoza and then turned south over the mountains to Teruel.  We enjoyed huge clear blue skies and low temps all the way down.  The wind slammed us for about a hundred miles south of Zaragoza, but I suppose the endless wind farms should have given us a clue as to what we should expect!

We landed in Teruel to stay at the fabulous Parador just 10 mins outside the town.  On the hill overlooking the region and the old town and right by the route we were on.

In time for what we thought was a late lunch we headed into town to be first in the restaurant.  Over an incredible menu del dia with chorizo and potato soup, lamb cutlets and the ever present patatas bravas, we adjusted our clocks to account for Spanish meal times and then had a good look round the city.

Well worth a look, but I’d say no more than a half day mooching would see the old town covered.









A bit of a chilly start to Christmas day at minus 7!!

Thankfully there was no water about at all or we’d have been checking back into the hotel. The 1200 took a bit of starting despite the brand new super duty battery I’d fitted a few weeks ago.  I doubt the tired standard BMW one would have coped that morning.

The road south from Teruel is stunning.  Bends, sweepers, views, everything.  To do this on an early summer morning would rank as one of the best I think.  So much so, we barely stopped to take pics.

All too soon we were in the flat lands near Murcia and headed into concrete hell of the coastal towns.  Our family stop over at Playa Flamenca was a welcome break, but isn’t conducive motorcycling!!  Nice to see the family for a couple of days as they settle into a new house, but we were soon ready to ride again.

More to come shortly.


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