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Old 06-12-2013, 03:34 AM   #376
PorLaTierra OP
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Location: Madrid, the coolest city on the planet.
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Sorry guys I guess I need to upgrade the account for now. Then later I will try and switch all my photos to Picassa or Smugmug. Hang in there, I've got the next update all typed up and ready, damn!
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:07 AM   #377
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Secret beach!

Quote:
Just sent another few bucks your way Ryan. Keep up the adventures and the great pictures.
Thanks man! I put it towards the photobucket fee for now, switching sites would require me to update the links. I will find a better photo hosting site soon, but not today.

Not only was it a cool beach but it appears as though theres a small fishing village as well. Probably mostly houses used on the weekends or in summer. they had water tanks so I guess they are not connected to the grid. Interesting sight and landscape.














And then back through the cool mines to return to the highway.



Approaching Escombreras the scenery got ugly again.









To end on a nicer note, heres a small oasis between a refinery and a big city, Cala Cortina, which I passed on my way back home that day. Now I need to pack up and hit the road again, this time with all my stuff. I need to track down some second hand soft bags an mount the top case that came with the bike. I love riding this bike, there is something so entertaining about it.

A small cc bike has the advantage that its a bit more subtle and of course this particular one is so simple. I love arriving somewhere new and feeling that I blend in a bit, for me that is very important when I travel so that I can experience a place without being immediately labeled as a foreigner. Its sort of like that "fly on the wall" Anthropology, observing without influencing too much how people will act.

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Old 06-16-2013, 11:15 AM   #378
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Airhead Rentals

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New bike...valid license...You're looking mighty legit these days. Where's the guy that rode to Panama without even a copy of his bike title? All the proper paperwork makes me think you're staying in Europe awhile. Where next? Do tell....
Haha yes its true. I decided that a fine for not being legit in the EU is not something I want to deal with. If you live here, you have to register your drivers license with the equivalent of the DMV. Unfortunately there is no longer an agreement between Spain and the US so I was unable to register my US license, meaning that if stopped by the cops, they would ask me why I have residence in Spain but a US, Washington state license. It was unavoidable.

I am totally amazed by the quality of riding in Spain and I am fascinated by all the rewarding travel opurtunities available to me here. I want to stick around Spain, explore Portugal, Morocco, France, Italy, Corsica and Sardinia...and I realize that now is my chance. I will continue to try and make a life for myself here, and continue riding and photographing what I see. I figure if I keep doing what I like eventually somebody might start paying to do it, in one way or another. I've got some ideas as always...
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Old 06-16-2013, 11:26 AM   #379
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Airhead Rentals

I would also like to take this opportunity to announce a project that my dad has launched back in the beautiful Northwest Washington state.

http://www.airheadrentals.com/

It seems my dad just cant help himself. He has decided to work with what he loves: Classic BMWs If you know anyone who wants to ride the Northwest on a classic airhead, in perfect running condition of course, please spread the word on what I think is the only business of its type. He told me he is working on a new business and I said "Why not?"

As for me I am hoping to get to the US this summer for a quick visit, and of course to ride some bikes with Airheadrentals.com, so if you are planning to go to the BMW rally in Salem this July, its very likely that I will see you there.

I am looking forward to some incredible riding this summer both in the Northwest, the North Cascades the WA peninsula and rain forest, Eastern WA and of course around the Iberian peninsula.

What are you doing this summer? Renting a BMW?

Stay tuned for more, I am considering starting a new thread for my European rides but for the moment this RR stays the same, and continues. If I do start a different one I will post it here. I promise I'm still "on my way" to Brazil, and besides a quick visit to the US, I have no plans to go "back."
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:33 PM   #380
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
Looks like Photo Bucket has pulled your pics off. That was a great secret beach ... and nice pics ... they were there yesterday, now gone!

Try Picassa or Smug Mug. I've never had a Smug Mug pic go away here.
I quit using Photo Bucket years ago.
Picasa is cool. You cant try Flickr too now 1 terabyte for free.

I realy like your travels you must came to Portugal some day enjoy the routes and the food (and drink)

Cheers
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:13 PM   #381
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Don Quixote de la Moto

Update from the road! This stretch of the road has a theme: Don Quixote de la Moto! Read on as I brave triple digit heat through central Spain in the middle of August, its more fun than it sounds!

but first,
One last shot of the Mediterranean, and my cool little '99 SR250





I stored the bike for a few months and went to the US, but I am back in Spain now. I took a much needed trip to visit family and friends, remind them that I still exist and of course answer there questions about Spain and what its like. I also spent a lot of time with my dad helping him with his new business, AirheadRentals.com He has a small fleet of beautiful bikes and they needed riding, so I rode them!

But thats another story, check out his website.

I love the Northwest for motorcycling but lets get back to Spain for the time being, where the weather is nice, the motorcycles are fast, the roads excellent and curvy, the women excellent and curvy, the pace of life is perfect and the people are so good natured that I just cant help but feel good each and everyday.

Oh, and they dont hang out in the left lane on the freeway (like in some places) riding a bike here is extremely pleasurable.

250cc should be used carefully, and not loaded up too much but I bought some used Givi soft bags and just couldnt help myself. I couldnt remember what I had left on the bike so I brought shoes and a backpack and fliplops, a water bottle all crap that I already had on the bike, so I ended up carrying a lot more than I meant to. So here is the bike loaded up, about 20km from the place I called home for a while, but not anymore...


And here is the highway before me, can you count how many times it comes into the frame?




So Im off!

The road North out of Mazarron small, with a dry yet inviting landscape. The small towns and many castles and towers dotting the countryside are proof that people have been living here for a long time. Murcia is one of these regions where nobody seems to go, and most think of it as a place where there is nothing worthwhile to see. I found it fascinating and feel a little sorry to be leaving it. But I gave it almost a year of my time and discovered many hidden gems. I am faithful that they will stay hidden and that one day I will return to my favorite little pueblos and deserted beaches.



I cant say enough good things about motorcycling in Spain, its a paradise. There are great roads everywhere. I keep my Michelin map handy in bag and consult it often to pick my way across Spain. I hardly ever go wrong, the smaller the highway the better.



Of course if you stick to the slightly more travelled roads you will get around faster, and thats ok too. But, just like Colombia, some of the small roads that are supposed to be paved, are not, at least not entirely. Most likely they are products of construction projects that went over budget or were abandoned temporarily in the summer heat.





Summer is not the ideal time to tour the South of Spain. Its 100 degrees everyday, sometimes more. The little engine heats up quick but as long as I keep moving it never shows any signs of failing or over heating. I check the oil often and pay attention to how it smells, so far so good.


I stop for a snack in a small town, just another name on the map to me, and am not surprised to find it rich in history.



Whats that!? Oh nothing just another castle.


The contours of the Michelin maps are fantastic, showing a lot of detail and i quickly find my way into the hills.













I cant get enough of these old roads, now paved and fast but just as twisty and crazy and beautiful as they must have been back in the day before the invention of the car. Of course the towns they access often havent changed much.









I loved the shape of this mountain.



I camped near Cazorla, a kilometer or so outside of town.



For dinner I asked the barman for a little plate of jamon and queso, and a few glasses of wine. The first time you try a good jamon, or even a mediocre one, you will probably wonder why the hell you havent had it before. Its delicious and I never tire of it. Hint: if you really want to blow your mind, pay extra for the jamon "iberico" or even better, the "pata negra" which is expensive but not too bad if you just pick some up in a grocery store or a little deli, as opposed to a restaurant.
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:24 PM   #382
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Don Quixote de la Moto

Leaving Cazorla I had to drive right through it and it was a bit of a roller coaster, most of the streets being one way at a time, controlled by traffic lights, because they are way too skinny for two cars. They even have signs showing the width of the road in addition to the height, so if your vehicle is too tall or wide you will know not to take that route.







I climbed quickly up.



Olive trees








Lunch by a lake, and a little hour by hour route planning.




Castilla la mancha has some real gems, but it also has a lot of this:


I pass through many sights marked as part of the historical route of Don Quixote de la Mancha.



Just like the man of la mancha, I am trotting across this famous region of castles and fairy tales, atop my noble steed...

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Old 08-21-2013, 08:04 PM   #383
Blader54
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Hey! Great to see you back here. This report continues your fine tradition of excellence both in the photos and the writing. I'm really getting a feeling for what it's like to ride in a southern Spain summer. Sounds like there have been some life changes for you....hope they are for the best. Looking forward to the next installment!

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Old 08-24-2013, 02:11 PM   #384
DogDivine
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Wicked

Welcome back

I enjoy your photos and chronics.

Good ride in Spain, after try Portugal too

Regardds
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:36 AM   #385
Eagletalon
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Nice little update. Thanks for sharing. Any pics of your USA travels?

Later
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:47 PM   #386
Blader54
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Just re-reading your last update--great, as usual! Hope some more are coming now that riding season is sort of drawing to a close....
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:10 PM   #387
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If youre still reading...

I hope a few of you are still subscribed because I am still riding! I still haven't made it to Brazil, and I'm still not coming back (to Bellingham)

What can I say my faithfull followers except SPAIN SPAIN SPAIN SPAIN SPAIN SPAIN......Is there a better country to ride a motorcycle?? The roads are fantastic, they are smooth, dry, twisty, and the speed limits are "flexible" I have yet to be stopped and I ride like a maniac. And there are so many more curves compared to US roads. I swear the country is criss crossed by roads, everything from ancient roman roads that have been paved, to modern freeways...

To respond to Eagletalon, Yes! there are a few pics of me this summer in the US. for now, go here, I make an appearance in picture 18 sitting on my dads 1971 Slash 5!

http://bmwmoa.org/TheRally/ArtMID/31...-GALLERY-.aspx


Here are a few photos to continue the last post, im late I know, excuse me for riding so much and posting so little but I'm obsessed, what can I say? And plus, I found a cool job, but more on that in a minute, lets catch up.

I continued North through Las Lagunas de Ruidera which is a series of lakes and waterfalls full of Madrileños (Madrid people) escaping the summer heat. I had a little fall on a curve leading into the park, bike slipped out from under me. I guess the little thing has its limits. I slid, the bike slid, impact absorbed by the Givi bags. I got right up thanks to my good gear and took a short break, then road off again after checking the bike. Givi bags are incredibly sturdy! I was also carrying way too much and I think that was why I fell.

I went through Madrid and continued on to Segovia to see the ancient aqueduct. I also learned that an aqueduct is for carrying water while a viaduct is for carrying cars. The thing is VERY impressive,



Its incredibly old too.








I wandered around the city of course and found all kinds of interesting architecture.




And of course a church.




At this point I decided to turn back to Madrid, the long way of course, through the mountain passes to see all the closed for the season ski areas. My girlfriend had rented a room in an apartment in the center of Madrid while she took a summer course she was interested in. I had been searching high and low for something cool to do with myself and although I didn't have anything permanent I decided to try my luck in Madrid. So I crashed for a few weeks and took some low budget day trips, while exploring my options.

Meanwhile, I think I fell in love with Madrid. Why hadn't I been informed? This is the coolest city on the planet.

Its majestic, modern, but with a rustic touch...







The twisted streets of "lavapies"




You could spend a lifetime just exploring the markets, like this one, housed in the old railway museum.

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Old 12-05-2013, 12:24 PM   #388
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Spain spain spain spain spain




Where was I, oh right, markets.



Madrid as a tourist is so-so, the layout of the city inevitably leads you to the Puerta sol or gran vía. two place I know aviod (because of the tourists) the city has so many hidden corners I will never be bored. Not to mention its about 45 min. from some great mountains, full of awesome roads.

Below, the Malasaña neighborhood.




and another market.













Riding a bike in Madrid is great. You can weave through traffic and in general, the city is very motorcycle friendly. The city council has stated that motorcycles are the solution to traffic problems, and they have been quoted saying "every motorcycle is one less car."

Which brings me to...my new ride. I know what you are going to say, I did this in all the wrong order. I had the F650 in Central and South America and then in Europe, the SR250, which would have been a fine S. America bike. Well I have come full circle, saved up some €€€€'s and now I have a bright red 1998 BMW F650 to get me around Spain. Its got 24,000km and I just picked up some Touratech cases for longer trips. The VR is failing on me but I know how to fix that!



Heres my bike in the mountains outside of Madrid (for reference the navafría pass)

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Old 12-05-2013, 12:26 PM   #389
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Pyrenees and Norhtern Spain

Oh I forgot, Heres a few shots I took a while back of the Pyrenees. I HIGHLY recommend getting yourselves to the Pyrenees and the "green spain" the northern part. Actually all of it is good. A loop around the whole country would be very good for you.



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Old 12-05-2013, 04:40 PM   #390
Ben Carufel
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So what's this about a job and meaningful income?!? Curious minds want to know.
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