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Old 10-24-2010, 12:02 PM   #1
Johnnyboxer OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Oddometer: 1,056
Spain - A short sojourn to the Picos and Pyrenees in Oct 2010

Well, this year I didn't do it on the R11RT Gentleman's Express ('cos I sold it)

The 1150GSA got the nod

When Humvee muted a trip of tossers to go to the Moto Piston, Picos and Pyrenees and divulged the entry list.....................I was in

We set off from Portsmouth on 6/10, after a B&B halt in Horndean and a wet start in Pompey

Safely onboard, we assembled on the deck and said farewell to the naval port, the afternoon was spent in the bar, interspersed with reading Practical can dream of a wobblybox

At about 6.30pm...................things got very blurry and a bit choppy to say the least................I took the advice of a young, pretty french crewmember and retired to my cabin, with a bottle of water and 2 dry bread rolls to ride out the storm.

Meanwhile, the other hardy tossers, hit the a la carte restaurant - however this was shortlived with most only managing a paltry starter before turning a greener shade of vert

It was a rough night:

Next day, everything returned to normal on the seas and we enjoyed the rest of the trip

Disembarking from Santander, everyone followed me out of the city streets to the m/way, Humvee got bored following the old 'oilhead pig iron' and then took the lead and we headed out along the coast road towards Santilliana and onto Cala San Vicente

A late lunch ensued in Cala San Vicente, where we met a guy on a 690 KTM, who knew Loz well

The locals were bemused by the high tide, which was going over the road and into the car park and our bike were nearly swamped, 10 mins after this pic was taken, the quay was awash

We headed out of town and towards Unquera towards Panes and onwards down the Hermida Gorge, before turning off along it to do the LWR to our B&B @ La Pisa (Cookie decided the SWR was his preferred option) towards the reservoirs

A spectacular road ensued though......................

The B&B @ La Pisa
was superb, great for a largish group. We stayed 3 nights and the food was truly excellent and rooms were comfortable

Everyone @ La Pisa

Friday, we hit some of the Picos roads, which were as stunning as ever

Coffee Stop, en route

We ended up in Potes in the late afternoon, I really like Potes - it sums up the Picos - small, friendly and quaint

Next day..................we ventured over to the Moto Piston Rally @ Colombres, which we can all recommend as a fantastic event

Remembering our yesterdays, a Bultaco Frontera Enduro

This young couple decided to book their nuptials for the busiest day in Colombres

and this was the Latin American style hacienda that they did the deed in

Is this the biggest paella ever

After a classic bike overload, we headed back to the B&B and much drinking followed, some people we decidely the worse for wear on the Sunday morning (Oscar and Gerry:)

We climbed out of the Picos and over towards Pamplona, across the hills and Plains.

We saw much evidence of Sunday hunting of wild boar and many rural villages were thronged with triumphant hunters and their dead quarry of dead boar, lying in the town's squares..............not a sight you see in the UK anymore

Arriving, rather soggy on the outskirts of Pamplona we settled into the hotel and dried off. Noting it was a wet Sunday night and there was little in the way of local restaurants, we headed into town on the local bus and found a stunning cellar eatery in town.

Our secret weapon was Oscar a Spanish GS'er, residing in the the UK - who made sure we ate all the finest food and received the very best Spanish service all week, the locals realising we were simply not just stupid english tourists - but had a 'local Spaniard in the camp'.

Not only did he smooth over the food ordering, he explained local culture, politics and nuances, which allowed us to fully enjoy the Spanish experience.

Oscar we're indebted for your help, all week and it was a pleasure to holiday with you

Today....... must be Monday, yep Monday and for Mondays .....naturally it was raining

The rain soon cleared and we took the N240 towards Jaca, alongside the Yesa reservoir

Here's the road.....ribbons of tarmac

After Jaca, we climbed up the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees

and then along deserted and abandoned mining valleys..............

arriving in our 3 night destination, Vielha by late afternoon.

We stayed at the Hotel Aran

Excellent, if not a little quirky and with free garage parking for bikers too

From Vielha we explored the Pyrenees and the next day we ventured to Andorra, via Sort and traversed some spectacular roads and trails

Yours truly

Andorra was busy, as usual.....................but the ride home along the Sort valley was splendid

Here's a vid from Possu, showing the Sort area from the 2007 AdvRider Rally - we rode tarmac, but next time I'd like to ride the dirt

Our next free day in Vielha, Steve and Julie and myself. decided on a less frenetic day, so we just had an afternoon ride for lunch at Bagniere de Luchon, over the border in France

It is a typical french spa town, very pretty and chic

After a walkabout and a splendid 10Euro lunch, we headed back and found this delightful French village to explore

Thursday was big day, in more ways than one for some

We were heading over towards Lourdes, via Col D'Aspin, Col De Tourmalet and Col D'Aubisque..................however it was the day that fellow GS'er Gerry Huxtable hit a car and broke his leg, thus ending his trip
We were far on, down the route when we heard, from Cookie and Angie who had stumbled upon the scene and gone with Gerry H to hospital.

Humvee and Oscar headed over there too, when we knew Gerry was relatively ok, we carried on to secure the pre-booked hotel and tell them that some of the party would be late arrivals

The roads were stunning, yet again and the weather too was superb

Real tipees

Pyrenean sihouettes

First Pyrenean snow

Autumn fall

Col Du Tourmalet

Pyrenean Valley basin

Everyone arrived at the hotel in Oleron St Marie, knowing Gerry was ok and in the best hands, so we had a few beers to toast him and ended up in a french bar, dining on steak and pigeon breast, for one of the best nights out of the trip (sorry you missed it Gerry)

After another late night, we traversed the Pyrenees for one last time and made for Jaca and the N240 again......................our destination a small fishing town in the basque country, above Guernica for our final night abroad.

The hotel Axturra took some finding and the GPS took us down forestry roads, which were impassable. So once rerouted we were ok

The hotel was really special, very comfortable and we'd obtained a local discount courtesy of Oscar, our fellow rider and basque national

He showed us his hometown of Bilbao and the famous Guggenheim, on the morning before we were due to catch the ferry home @ Santander

The Guggenheim

The ferry home was much calmer and we had a good crossing

Thanks to the others, I had a fantastic trip

Here's a link to another report of our trip

Hope you enjoy our trip reports
So many roads...........So little time..!!!

2005 BMW R1150GS Adv - Black
2005 BMW R1150GS Adv - Silver
2007 BMW G650 XCountry - Black

Johnnyboxer screwed with this post 10-25-2010 at 02:48 AM
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:10 AM   #2
Johnnyboxer OP
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Oddometer: 1,056
Next time, I may take the XChallenge to explore the excellent trails

So many roads...........So little time..!!!

2005 BMW R1150GS Adv - Black
2005 BMW R1150GS Adv - Silver
2007 BMW G650 XCountry - Black
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Old 10-26-2010, 03:33 AM   #3
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Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 56,854
Fantastic ride, report and pics!! Thanks for taking us along.. If you do the trail ride, be sure to show us around too
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