Author Topic: Return to Spain, September 08  (Read 281 times)

Offline Radar

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Return to Spain, September 08
« on: September 25, 2008, 08:40:02 PM »
This summer will go down as the worst on record and as the rain pounded down on the roof of my car, its windscreen wipers struggling to cope with yet another deluge of torrential rain, I kept finding my thoughts wondering back to the glorious sunny days that I had spent riding in southern Spain. Those fabulous days had had only been a few months ago, but after the miserable summer we have all been enduring it felt more like a million years ago. I felt so depressed! I had to go back to Spain!
We now fast forward a few more damp, grey weeks, and Terry of Bike Tours Spain is picking up 4 of us from a sunny, chaotic Malaga airport.

Soon we were sitting out on the terrace at the 100-year-old Cortijo overlooking Malaga that was to be our base for the next few days. Tired from an early start the riding would have to wait until tomorrow.

Day One ~ On Days Like These

We awoke the next morning to warming sunshine and the sight of 3 bikes lined up and ready for action; Terrys Ducati and the two Honda Hornets that were to be ours for the next 3 days.


Ready for the off

Finally the action got underway as we wound our way down the tight and twisty road that leads down the mountain from the Cortijo to Estacion Cartama, dodging pebbles that heavy rain earlier in the week had left strewn across the road, concentration levels had to be at 100% straight away, but was it good to riding with the sun on my back again!  

The first kms were spent wafting along the quiet roads just enjoying the sunshine and dry roads. The roads we took were the A7054 and A7077 towards Alora initially then the A343 past Alora itself. Tree lined sweeping bends, lovely. After 40km or so we pulled into a small little cafe in Valle de Abdalajis where I had an interesting chat with a Brit who was in the process of loading a beautiful 1937 Alvis into a transporter that would take it off to a new home in Germany.

We got back on the bike and the relaxed mood continued as we glided along the A343, I started hear the strains of On Days Like These in my head! We stopped again for another rest in the charming village of Estacion de Bobadilla. The fountain in the middle of the village provided a relaxing soundtrack as we all enjoyed a wonderfully chilled break







Attacking bend after bend is a great buzz, but sometimes the simple joy of just being on a bike, riding through stunning vistas in good company is enough in itself
It was in this spirit we continued along the twisty roads, straights rarely more than a few hundred metres long. This suited the mood perfectly and the three bikes picked their way through a series of villages, the roads were a little bumpy in places, but the Hornets were coping with conditions with some aplomb. As it was my wifes birthday we headed to a beautiful lake to enjoy a celebratory lunch in special setting






 
The lake looked stunning and my wife enjoyed her birthday meal. We even talked the bemused waiter into sticking a candle into her ice-cream and he looked on in amusement as we all sang Happy Birthday to You with some gusto.



Back on the bikes once again Terry and Michele led us down the tight MA5602 through traditional villages such as Ardalas where the pace of life seemed so laid-back when compared to the rat race back in the UK, to hook up with the A366 near El Burgo. Now this is a serious strip of tarmac and as soon as we hit the mood changed like a switch. Throttles were twisted and exhaust notes hardened, the whole attitude of the ride shifted and the pace climbed significantly as the bends now came at us in quick succession. The next few klicks are a bit of a blur to be honest but I was certainly enjoying myself!  What a fantastic few miles!!

By the time we returned to the Cortijo we had covered over 200km on some challenging roads, but the near 30 degree heat had left us all tired and feeling rather drained, but still really satisfied with a cracking day of riding

Back on the terrace, an ice-cold beer in my hand we all enjoyed another excellent evening that was neatly rounded off with a splendid sunset. Another two days of this to come?
 




Day Two ? Bump, twist, groove and views!

The day started with a quick blast down to Malaga and alongside a glistening deep blue Mediterranean. We stopped for a drink alongside the Med as it gently lapped up a near deserted beach.

The A7 is a fairly typical dual carriageway and I was pleased when we all peeled off on J258 to sample the delights of the N340 and A7206 to Algarbarbo, then the MA104 to Sayalonga and the M5104 to Archez, followed by the MA4109 Sedella to Canillas de Acettono road. All were twisty as hell and Terry on his on own riding the Duke today was setting a good pace for me and Thumper to attempt keep up with as we squirted the Hornets from bend to bend, mainly using 2nd and 3rd gears. Speeds were not high as such, but on roads as demanding as these, riding 2 up you can only go so fast anyway. The Hornet is well suited to kind of riding and I was really enjoying myself, feeling really tuned into the bike once again.





After the bumpy demanding roads we tackled in the morning the smooth, sweeping bends of the MA4106 to join the A356 provided with another chance to push the Hornets that bit harder; on few bends my boots were scrapping tarmac! Yahoo!!

The day was rounded off by checking out the views off the top of the mountain where Terry and Michele are based. Perched there is a quaint little white church built to commemorate the memory of three local hunters who all died in a mysterious accident. In an area where stunning views abound these are truly breathtaking and the pictures do not really do them justice.







Back at the Cortijo we had covered another 200km and yet again we took to the large terrace to enjoy another evening filled with laughter and a little too much booze! What a brilliant day!

Day Three ~ Bike shows to knocking on heavens door

Another delicious breakfast set us up well for the last days riding. Terry led us to Vellez Malaga to suss out a local bike show, but after checking out the bike park the draw of great roads and glorious sunshine to enjoy them in proved too much and we didn?t go in! So yet more excellent roads followed and we stopped for lunch overlooking Lake Vinuela. Today we took in the A402, A7204 in and around Poenta dez Salia, Periana and Rio Gordo.








Letting the jackets cool off rather than dry out for a change!

However the best was still to come, the A7000 road to heaven; it is perhaps, along with some parts of the A366, the best road I have ever ridden, anywhere. Smooth, ideally cambered, hardly any traffic and you can normally see a few bends ahead; it really feels like it was engineered with bikes in mind. In places it twists back over itself as you plunge downwards into small tunnels, cranked over boots kissing tarmac; I just wanted to yell out loud. Luckily my wife is a superb pillion and I tucked in behind Terry for a mesmerizing few miles.


The A7000 Road to Heaven, how perfect is that??

Sadly all good things come to and end and it was with a heavy heart that I pulled my Hornet into the Cortijo for the last time. The last evening out on the terrace was the best as the conversation flowed and laughter echoed out across the valley. We all had a fantastic time and the UK summer blues had well and truly been banished. Once again Terry and Michele had been the perfect hosts, judging perfectly when to be attentive and when give you some space. As Arnie would say: ?I?ll be back!!?

http://www.biketoursspain.com

Offline Froudy

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Return to Spain, September 08
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2008, 10:45:43 PM »
Another good trip there Radar, and as always some stunning photo's:nodyes:
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Offline Betablocker

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Return to Spain, September 08
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2008, 07:48:42 PM »
Yeah same as above mate.

Bit hot for me, but another good ride out Radar.

Thanks for taking the time to post :thumbs:
Diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.

Offline nailer

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Return to Spain, September 08
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2008, 03:11:48 PM »
Looks superb! Great pics.

 Just goes to show what an over crowded/populated place the UK's become!
 
 :shakeno:

Offline Radar

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Return to Spain, September 08
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2008, 09:52:01 PM »
Quote from: nailer;190857
Looks superb! Great pics.

 Just goes to show what an over crowded/populated place the UK's become!
 
 :shakeno:


Thanks bud, and yep the UK is pretty crowded. I am thinking of touring Normanndy next year, I want to see the sites associated with the D day landings of 1944

Offline Betablocker

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Return to Spain, September 08
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2008, 10:55:36 AM »
Your posts always make me want to go away for 2 weeks or so riding....one day
Diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.

Offline Radar

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Return to Spain, September 08
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2008, 07:40:06 AM »
Quote from: Betablocker;191971
Your posts always make me want to go away for 2 weeks or so riding....one day


Go for it, I put it off 20 years and now can't get enough.

Offline "M"

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Return to Spain, September 08
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2008, 01:55:22 AM »
As always Radar, a top write up.

Im half considering doing one of Spanish Tony's holidays in the next year or so.

Give me a shout when you want to do the D Day landing stuff.
I may tag along for that one (if im welcome), its not so far for me to travel and the misses isnt interested in all that stuff.

(I also have most of the D Day and memorial sites as POI's in my GPS, will gladly share them to help your planning if you use Garmin)
Incompetant!

Offline Radar

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Return to Spain, September 08
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2008, 12:54:47 PM »
Quote from: Matt Splat;192213
As always Radar, a top write up.

Im half considering doing one of Spanish Tony's holidays in the next year or so.

Give me a shout when you want to do the D Day landing stuff.
I may tag along for that one (if im welcome), its not so far for me to travel and the misses isnt interested in all that stuff.

(I also have most of the D Day and memorial sites as POI's in my GPS, will gladly share them to help your planning if you use Garmin)


I would recommend the Spanish trip, it would be a walk in the park after Mongolia! It is a great way to combine thrilling riding with chilling out

It would be great to hook up for the Normandy trip. I talked about it with my wife and does not sound keen either. So it could be a lads ride in that case. Thumper of TBF would be interested in coming along too