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Old 06-16-2011, 04:13 AM   #1
Dominatio OP
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Joined: Sep 2006
Location: Newcastle 1/2, Andalusia 1/2
Oddometer: 130
Day Tripp'n in Andalucia...

I’ve been spoiled. From 2008 and thru 2009 I had my R1200GS at my place in Olvera, Cadiz (Andalucía) in Spain and latterly my R1200RT in UK to play with, and my little F650GS has been languishing in my Spanish house since 2006 almost. Its only got 3k Kilometres on it and I realised yesterday that I’d only ridden it 3 times in the last 3 years – one of which was to guide a visiting couple on a hired GS around the area. And I rode it like my mum (and she don’t ride LOL).

So this trip down to Spain I had to get the baby ITV’d – the equivalent of the MOT in UK and I guess a vehicle inspection in US. Everything needed doing – insurance, road tax and the ITV. As usual when you neglect a bike for so long (hadn’t even been started in 18 months) the battery was a goner – no chance of recovery, so a new one was ordered with much pigeon Spanish and waving of hands. After a 40 minute telephone call to the battery manufacturers from the local scooter shop owner – the very next day I had my new battery!

Oddly – the battery came dry and accompanied by a bottle of sulphuric acid. The shop guy attempted to instruct me in the ways of aciding up a dry battery – much hilarity was had and as I left I suspect he was telling me to protect my eyes and hands by pulling faces indicating the perils and pitfalls! It was fun and pretty simple to do too – being an old geezer I had done that many times as a youth but not seen the necessity for sulphuric acid in at least 30 years – thought all batteries came either filled or gel these days – ho hum – it’s Spain after all. LOL.

Once all was up and running seemed like time to check the bike over – but first get it out of my house entrance way – can’t get the bike and the car in my small garage at the moment so that’s where its lived for the last 2 years. A buddies help, several building bricks and a home built ramp and all is good. By which time my help and I had been at the vino so a test ride was postponed until the day of the ITV.



Hangover from hell and a 37klm ride to the ITV on the most glorious roads took its toll – needed to go to bed when I got back LOL.
So, I won’t get the chance of a long ride this trip (only here for 4 weeks and working most of that time) so decided to reacquaint myself with the area and the bike through a series of 1 hour up to half day rides around the locale, and figured these trips might make an interesting ride report for those not familiar with the area.

The temps here have been a little depressed for the time of year (now 12th June 2011), and there has been more rain than typical for the area (now upto 36c though 16/6/11). My place is in a mountain town north of Ronda and on the road between Antequera and Jerez (where the MOTO GP runs every year), it’s around 600m elevation surrounded by mountains and known as one of the ‘pueblo blanco’s’ surrounding Ronda. I started just by exploring the town again as there are loads of changes since I was here last. What’s great about this town from a riders perspective is that within 3 minutes of leaving my front door I can be on the real twisties, one road starts 250 metres from my house and has 8 switchbacks in 7 klms, and that’s just the back road! Even the main roads here are all fantastic for moto’s. To top it all off, in any direction from the town I can easily see dirt tracks heading into the hills, you could ride all day just dirt roads if you so choose!

Here are a few photos of the town in general and showing the style of the roads and the ease of access to dirt tracks.




There are loads of dirt tracks you can just see here in this shot taken from one of the back ways into the town of Olvera. And the next one is from a different direction but shows the twisties available in minutes.



Exploring the area: Today I decided to expand a little on my explorations just to the outlying roads and to see what had happened to some of the dirt tracks since the heavy rains this last 12 months. A high point in the area is Las Canabanas, but it’s only accessible via a track. It’s probably 5 klms from me but on the way there were lots of road repairs either in the process of fixing or just marked as damaged – pretty dangerous some of them too. Of course in this part of Spain the roads are often simply built up on rafts from the dirt base, and over the years of adding tarmac get higher and higher from the road side, so inevitably they will split and fall away with the least provocation from the weather – but you ‘kinda’ don’t expect this...



Still, defensive riding and using the ‘Deadground’ principle most of the road challenges here are not so traumatic as these photos might suggest LOL. Have to say though, I was caught out last week with a repaired road drop off where it became a ramp and I got so much air time I was tempted to apply for my pilots license! Thank's to BMW for the GS's suspensionLOL

Getting to the viewing point, as so often happens in Andalusia, was uneventful as other than the roadside sign pointing up a track, there is actually no indicator that you’ve reached the top of the view point, other than it seems you MIGHT have crested the highest peak you can see! But the tracks here are almost all used by local farms and the Olive Pickers of course so, in the main, completely navigable by bike.



The sort of views you get from up there too...



I went on to explore further but when the track turned a little too rustic for my recent shoulder surgery to cope with I turned back on to the roads. I came across a couple of small rio’s that usually are bone dry around here, but seems the rain has them trickling again.



These rio’s are almost all navigable on a ‘proper’ dirt bike and can provide some fantastic and challenging riding – but not on my little GS ;-} Then straight back up into the twisties again LOL.



Just to rub it in a little here are is a shot from the bottom of my street into the hills up the nearest track – and the map that shows the track from Google Earth.



This earth shot shows the track out to a village called El Gastor – home of a Flamenco Guitarist famous as a teacher and guitar builder.



The same track from my roof terrace...


I’m going to take a different route over the next couple of weeks whenever I can get the time out of the office, and away from the DIY you need to keep a Spanish property running. Hopefully my write ups will get a bit better and as soon as I master taking shots whilst on the move – perhaps my photography will too! 

FYI: I’ve just discovered a couple running an off-road school and tour company about 60 klms from me using DRZ400’s so I think I’ll head down there in a week or so’s time to check it out and get some training on the loose stuff! For anyone interested they are in Cortes de la Frontera, just south west of Ronda. http://www.ridersofthelosttrail.com
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:22 AM   #2
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I was fortunate to visit Spain a few times many years ago. Enjoyed it very much.

Your pictures are great and it sure looks like you have a nice place to ride! Thanks for writing it up.
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Old 06-17-2011, 08:55 PM   #3
Edmond Dantès
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Nice RR.
I will be in Malaga this summer for 20 days. Any info on bike retail or 'must do rides' would be very much appreciated.
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:34 AM   #4
Dominatio OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edmond Dantès View Post
Nice RR.
I will be in Malaga this summer for 20 days. Any info on bike retail or 'must do rides' would be very much appreciated.
When will you be here? Temps are ramping up now 33 - 38c at the moment and will stay similar or up to 40-42 through July and August - too hot to ride in the heat of the day so plan early / late riding in those months.

Loads of rentals around Malaga and Seville now, depending on what you want - lots of 800 and 1200 GS's available from the coast so you shouldn't have a problem getting one organised.

There are a lot of folks on the ADV site based in this area so probably some will respond regarding the great roads here. In my area the road from Ronda to San Pedro (either direction) is spectacular and for me the road from Campillos to Villamartin is superb too. They can all be linked up to go through one or two of the national parks for a great ride variety. A FULL days riding on fast sweepers, technical country roads and even a couple of tracks if you want is all here!

Bit closer to the time - give me a PM and I'll sort some maps and suggestions out for you. If I'm around I'd would be happy to share some 'finds' with you too!
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Old 06-18-2011, 05:42 PM   #5
Edmond Dantès
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Quote:
When will you be here? Temps are ramping up now 33 - 38c at the moment and will stay similar or up to 40-42 through July and August - too hot to ride in the heat of the day so plan early / late riding in those months.

Loads of rentals around Malaga and Seville now, depending on what you want - lots of 800 and 1200 GS's available from the coast so you shouldn't have a problem getting one organised.

There are a lot of folks on the ADV site based in this area so probably some will respond regarding the great roads here. In my area the road from Ronda to San Pedro (either direction) is spectacular and for me the road from Campillos to Villamartin is superb too. They can all be linked up to go through one or two of the national parks for a great ride variety. A FULL days riding on fast sweepers, technical country roads and even a couple of tracks if you want is all here!

Bit closer to the time - give me a PM and I'll sort some maps and suggestions out for you. If I'm around I'd would be happy to share some 'finds' with you too!
Dominatio,
thanks for the reply. I'll be in Spain from July 19th onwards. That sure is some high mercury readings temperature wise.

I was thinking along the lines of: GS, TransAlp, Tenere, so thanks for the info regarding the availability of rentals.

This will be my first time in the region, the roads you mention are a big help. Love the sound of the variety of riding. Hoping to see as much as possible: coast and inland.

Many thanks for the offer of further assistance. I'll take the liberty to PM you if I am in need of info.

From your pics it sure looks like an amazing part of the world. I am psyched !
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:26 AM   #6
Dominatio OP
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I had a buddy staying over in Olvera - a 74 years old who had ridden his kawasaki 500 GPZ over from Scotland to Spain - and was enjoying the area quite a bit. I took him to the place I used to stay here in a village called Teba about 35 klms away, and close by there are a set of Lakes and Reservoirs. For the last few years I've been coming to Spain these lakes have gone from semi-full to almost dry, but because of the two wet winters they are more full than I've ever experienced. Here are a few shots of us visiting Teba and the lakes.

You have to park where ever you can in these small villages LOL

Some times you come round a corner and this is the kind of traffic you meet !!!!

Yours truly in my Rev'It mesh - a godsend this trip!






This last image is of a house built on one of the lakes, it's owned by King Juan Carlos and typically used for his famous friends to holiday in. Only one way in and out apart from the boat ramp! Nice...

The road round the lakes is a favourite of Spanish riders who stop off at the bar and restaurant there to cool down and take on some liquids. Often 40 or 50 bikes are parked up under those trees on a Saturday. Great place to visit if you want to make contact with some Spanish riders.

Just round the corner from the lakes (actually an extension of them but through a mountain) around 10klms away is a place called El Chorro, it's spectacular and part of a real prehistoric landscape. When i get another day free I'm going to get some photos of the area and sights.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:09 AM   #7
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Great shots mate! I'm another Brit in Spain.....in the Granada province!
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