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Old 11-12-2012, 12:12 PM   #316
PorLaTierra OP
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Location: Madrid, the coolest city on the planet.
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Sounds like you found all the places I wish I had done when I was there on my 955i Tiger. Fantastic stuff! I always looked up into those mountains figuring there would be some good riding. Being solo, I never went exploring.

I did go to Morocco, but left the bike in Spain. But you should do it ... Take your bike! Getting a bit cold now for the Atlas mountains but lowlands and coastal areas should still be OK. ??

I'd wait till late Spring ... then make the Maroc dash.
Takes just over an hour on the Ferry, IIRC.

Love to hear more about your impressions of the very serious situation in Spain ... sadly, most Americans are 100% clueless about what's really going on. Even the so called "educated" just say "... they need to adopt more austerity programs."

I believe they might consider kissing off the Euro and flip off the banks regards their debt. (the way Argentina did). Nationalize oil companies and re-build from the ground up. Regain power from the Multi-Nationals who now have too much control and give things back to Spaniards.

It would be a HUGE risk with no guarantee of success, but what else can they do? I doubt any of that would ever happen ... but one can hope.

Suerte and safe travels!
Thanks! If I do Morocco it will be Spring. 3 hours from here there is a ferry. My girlfriend knows her way around there a little and wants to show me some stuff so it would be the 2 of us most likely and maybe my buddy Jose, who used to live there. Cant promise it but its starting to sound like a serious possibility. Hmmm, 2 up on a 250 for 2 weeks? Why not.

Modern Spain in crisis. Yes the situation is serious. Last week in Valencia the pharmacies closed there doors because there was no more medicine. Sorry diabetics and old, sick people, hop in your car and drive to the next state. The state is so far in debt that they couldnt afford medicine. Valencia has an airport that has never seen a plane, an opera house that costs something like 40 million a year to run (with 15 performances annually) and a whole slew of other embarrassing projects that were funded by taxes from the property boom, the one that went bust.

When Lehman bros collapsed in the US it sent shockwaves across the world and that was the beginning of Spains problems.

I will include some pictures of half built buildings in my next report, there are many.

Its important to note however that some of Spains regions are relatively debt free, like the Madrid region and some Northern states. Also keep in mind (when listening to US politicians talk about it) that Spain was one of the few EU countries that actually had its finances balanced before the collapse, better than France and Germany. Its not there social programs or their inexpensive universities. Its complicated. Im not sure who should take the blame.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:26 PM   #317
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Was looking forward to the next update. Nice pictures of Spain. My great grandparents are from the mother land and is on my list of countries to visit. Liked how you explained the process of getting a bike in Spain and all the rules and regulations they have. We always think that we have a lot of regulations here until we read from fellow riders that settle abroad.

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Old 11-21-2012, 09:35 PM   #318
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:22 AM   #319
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Exploring Southern Spain on a 250

This is the first of a series of posts documenting my wanderings around Spain on my new Yamaha SR250.

I havent posted much yet because my camera is broken and is being repaired by Fuji and I havent heard anything from them yet so I finally just borrowed my girlfriends old point and shoot to show you what it looks like around here. So far I love it.

Todays ride started when I went to school and found out that I was assigned to assist a math teacher. Very typical of organization around here he wasnt expecting me. So I ended up doing fractions. They seemed to get it, not bad for learning math in two languages. I havent done fractions since I was a kid. It gets better, the next class I was assigned to did not exist during that period on that day so feeling a bit useless (but getting paid for it) I decided that today was not my day in the English teaching world and the warm rays of sunshine cutting through the morning dew were calling me into the countryside.

I had ridden the bike to school so it was a simple matter of throwing my school supplies in the Givi box and starting the engine.

When the universe is telling me something, I listen. I believe the gods wanted me to ride, not to teach English on that very day, and I rarely mess with the gods.

I rolled out of Mazarron with the hills glistening around me. "It never rains here" Ive been told a million times. Well it just rained for a week non stop so the usually brown hills were covered in a beautiful green. "This isnt normal" they kept telling me "the weather is crazy right now, it NEVER rains." "Today the rain stops" I thought. And I hope it stays dry.

The change in scenery however is a welcome side affect of the mystery rain.

I fueled up in El Alamillo, technically a small town next to Mazarron but its hardly its own town, I call it a neighborhood on the edge of town.

From there I circled the roundabout and chose the inland road towards Cartagena. Cartagena Spain, just like in Colombia, is a cool old city with a rich history and plenty to do. Last week I had the best tuna ive ever eaten in a restaurant in Cartagena. I followed it with an "asiatico" which is a coffee with booze. I am taking to Spanish life quite well.

Heres the view from the cockpit.

Mazarron is surrounded by hills so to go anywhere you need to get up and over the hills. Heres why I dont take the toll road,

One of the free highways:

This is the smallest bike I have ever owned and I love it. It pulls strongly through the curves and up hills. The only place it lacks is on the really steep roads at 100km/h but for 28km/liter (65mpg) I will take it. Once I reached the top of the hills I was greeted with views of the flat countryside around Cartagena.

In the smaller towns and rural areas I am reminded often of motorcycling through Mexico and Colombia.

Today I am not headed to Cartagena though, the even smaller rural highways are more suited to my mood. Usually I just criss cross the countryside and end up in small towns.

On a motorcycle you get it all. When I passed through one small town today it smelled like shit, cow shit, I took a deep breath and thought to myself "This is what its like to ride a bike, and I wouldnt have it any other way." I didnt stop in that town though, I waited till I smelled food and coffee then I stopped in the next one. The cool part about the towns in the immediate vicinity of Mazarron is that once I have been there and had a coffee at the main bar/cafe in town I can then later tell my students "oh you live in Morata?" students roll their eyes and say "yeah nobody knows it" and I can reply "I went to cafe_____ the other day, the old dude who runs the bar is quite the character" and they are amazed that I have taken the time to explore and I know something about their town. This is great for earning respect from otherwise uninterested students.

Many of the roads around here look like this, keep in mind the bike is a little one:

If I'm not in a hurry, and I'm not, I can cruise all over the state on roads like this. I love it when its obvious that the highway was built after the houses were.

One cool thing about Spain is that the countryside is littered with history, these towers are all over the place:

An old aquaduct, judging by the water leaking through the cracks its still in use!

Pulling into Perin, another example of how the highway was built after the houses.

The old church in Perin.

Hey maybe we're related! My moms surname, a common Spanish last name that I assume comes from the Soria region to the North. Somehow a whole bunch of Sorianos made it to the South of Italy because theres tons of them in Puglia and Bari where I can trace some of my roots.

I almost missed this one! What looks like a driveway is actually the road to another town, I will save it for another day though, I am headed North to the old Castillo.

The highway widens.

Back into the hills.

The SR250 comfortably does 80kph and ive taken over 100kph with no trouble but I think the sweet spot is 80, at least with no fairing anyways.

Warming up now I begin to sweat a little under my heavy coat. I had stopped to take pictures and decided to take off some layers as well. Used to taking afternoon rides I looked at my watch, it was only noon! I dont know when I left the school but I thought "this is great!" I still have most of the day to mess around on the roads to the old Castillo.

"todos tienen miedo de esa carretera" my co-worker told me. Everyone is afraid of that highway. "really? WHERE IS IT!?" I asked.

I like everything that has curves.

Good thing I have my lucky metal phoenix bird thing, or whatever it is.

I take the turn off for Campillo de adentro towards the old military base or "El Castillito" as it is known around here. The road is nothing short of BADASS

The castle over looks the Mediteranean so those blue waters are never far.

Road could be better, but then again, there could be more traffic too, and there isnt, I will take it.

Some parts are without pot holes and are mighty fine.

As you can tell, it hugs a cliff that drops off to the left.

I decided to take a detour to another little road that headed up to a radio tower.

Down below is the bay of Mazarron and directly below is the small beach community of "la Azohia"

And finally, the highlight of the day, el castillito. Fully open to the public, you can climb around on the old guns and into the passageways and rooms.

Moving on, and making a circle back to town. I have been noticing a slipping/clunking/shifting feeling in the corners coming from the rear end, I inspected the bike and cant tell where its coming from. I will run by Motos Raul later in the day to get a mechanics opinion.

Coming back into town I pass through Isla plana one of my favorite spots to stop for a drink. They have a little "social club" which is basically a bar with no table service. The tables and chairs are scattered along the plaza on the edge of the sea. Its full of old guys playing cards and its cheap, they just have someone making basic drinks and coffee and snacks and they give you a tray to carry stuff to your own table. This is perfect for a guy on a budget, I dont mind carrying my own a table that looks out over the rocks out into the sea. Back home I did this too but we always had to bring our own beer in a backpack if we wanted to drink cheap by the sea. Here they have saved me a step.

Having taken my time all afternoon it was getting late when I finally pulled back into town. The nice thing is that the Spanish siesta = later business times. They return from the siesta and open up about 5 or so, then stay open till 8 or 9.

Motos Raul, where I bought the bike. They seem like cool guys, Raul and his brother Daniel. They also guaranteed the bike for 3 months so I can bring it buy and small repairs are really cheap or free.

The shop, with Daniel on the left.

I spotted this old Kawasaki Z650 in the corner. It was imported by an English guy who babied it for years and wants to sell it. Hes asking 4000€ which is a bit steep but its in perfect shape, with 22,000 miles. I sat on it, its a heavy motherfuc*** though. Probably a sweet ride. There was also an old Honda FT500 which they said has the same engine as the XR400. Its basically a road biased dual sport and seems like the perfect touring bike. Its got nice big tires, a luggage rack, its a single cylinder and also in good shape. Imported from outside of spain they are having trouble getting the emissions test past. Maybe they can pull a few tricks and get a "friend" to run the test. Maybe this added hassle means a cheap price. I didnt dare ask how much they wanted, i just bought a bike, im not about to switch it for another. Once I get a little more money in the bank I really shouldnt ask how much, or maybe its the next logical step up from the 250?...

No mechanics shop is complete without...

Turns out the rear sprocket is slightly bent causing the chain to make some noise and the bike to pull funny in the corners, makes sense, I mostly noticed it during acceleration on the corners anyways. The bike was cheep so I was expecting a few issues like this. The previous owner must have been a real klutz! He drove this thing a mere 3400km (2000 miles +or-) since 1985 and he managed to bend the rear sprocket, perhaps backed into a curve? and he spilled gas all over the gas tank. Some bikes look good when they are beat up and I dont mind.

Chain and sprockets will set me back 90€ which is not bad at all, they wont charge me for labor. A couple of private English lessons and I should be able to scrape together the euros.

Next week my girl and I will be taking a little trip into Andalucia so I want the bike in good shape. Then, in December ive got some time off so I plan to make a big loop around Castilla de la mancha visiting Toledo and Cuenca and everything in between.

Im very lucky to be able to store the bike in my friends garage down the street so it wont continue to rust so quickly, everything here rusts but parking it outside is bad news.

Hopefully my camera will be fixed soon, if not maybe I will look for an old film camera with a vintage lens and start snapping away.

Stay tuned!

Oh yeah, the guy who bought my F650 in Colombia is now back in Canada after a 3 month tour and he left the bike in Lima, Peru, he is looking for a buyer and I think the bike needs to be out of Peru in 90 days or something. Its probably cheap. So if you are starting to feel that winter chill, this might be an opportunity for you to quit your job, let me know and I can put you in contact with him. He says its still in great shape!

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Old 11-24-2012, 07:16 PM   #320
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That's a pretty kick-ass fender ornament Ryan. But, considering you're in Spain, where the running of the bulls takes place, can't help but wonder what the reaction of the fine folks there would be if you swapped it out for a nice set of bull horns. Do Spaniards appreciate the same hood ornamentation that say, a Texan might embrace????....I don't know, but I'm willing to donate money for this type of social experiment.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:47 PM   #321
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Talking the ride's the thing....

Hey PLT, great RR so far and I'm sure there's more to come. I really dig your can-do attitude re being willing to take "odd" jobs to earn a living and finance your riding. You're livin' to ride! Hope you, your g/f and your new pal get in some good rides this winter and take us along. Big ups to your parents, too! Thanks again for taking us along!
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:41 PM   #322
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That's a pretty kick-ass fender ornament Ryan. But, considering you're in Spain, where the running of the bulls takes place, can't help but wonder what the reaction of the fine folks there would be if you swapped it out for a nice set of bull horns. Do Spaniards appreciate the same hood ornamentation that say, a Texan might embrace????....I don't know, but I'm willing to donate money for this type of social experiment.
I think some bull horns and a Spanish flag would give me the benefit of the doubt. Just like hanging a picture of the virgen provides you with safe passage through Mexico. Ill keep my eyes out for some and quote you a price!

Hey PLT, great RR so far and I'm sure there's more to come. I really dig your can-do attitude re being willing to take "odd" jobs to earn a living and finance your riding. You're livin' to ride! Hope you, your g/f and your new pal get in some good rides this winter and take us along. Big ups to your parents, too! Thanks again for taking us along!
Thanks Blader, ideally I would be working towards some type of career but I have no idea what I want to do so yeah, odd jobs I guess. Maybe I should start sending resumes to Motorcycle touring companies, I think that would suit me.

I just got back from Andalucia and Im working on an update. Great ride. This Wednesday I will leave on my first real trip on the SR. I cant wait, its running great and Ive got some fantastic routes in mind.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:13 AM   #323
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Spain's Old West

I woke up Friday morning and looked outside to see what kind of weather I was dealing with. My girl and I werent sure if we could make the trip for a couple of reasons so I got ready for work and decided that we would just mull it over and make a decision that afternoon.

First good sign: Sunny! I peeked out the kitchen window, all the fishing boats were coming back from a night of what is probably very difficult work. In the evening this scene is the same, except in reverse.

This week I did a Thanksgiving presentation and it was a hit, the kids need to learn that we eat something besides hamburgers. Ive been asked "Do you eat hamburgers?"
"Then why are you not fat?"
"Because I eat other stuff too."
"Are Americans fat?"
Jesus, what have these kids been watching? I wont lie to them but I try to make presentations that show all the cool stuff weve got in the US too.

I also managed to host a badass Thanksgiving dinner with some friends. Turkey is not a common thing to eat here in Spain but I searched high and low and managed to find one. Ive never cooked one before so after a brief moment of panic I came up with an idea. Shove a bunch of garlic up its but and rub butter all over it. It worked great, if only life was always so simple...

It was a diverse crowd, from Madagascar, France, Uruguay and England, I showed them that Americans can cook. "You bring yourselves and some wine, ill find a giant bird" I told them.

and the aftermath

But this weekend I was free, no parties no holidays (that I cared about anyways) and no clouds. I told my girl I would just pick her up at the school (shes a teacher too) and we left straight from there.

Heres a picture of us somewhere along the coast...

We sped out of town with the engine roaring like uh, well not exactly like a lion or anything, its a 250 after all but it makes a cool noise and with 2 up we turned heads. Yamahas often have some loud pipes! I ended up wearing a backpcack on the front of me because I dont have any bags yet but it worked out ok, the backpack blocked the wind and I loosened the straps so it just rested on the tank. Youve got to make do with what you have.

So we hit the road, I wanted to make good time while still taking the fun highways so I didnt take very many pictures on the way there (took lots over the next few days though). I managed to get a video for the last stretch but for now my words will have to do.

The road out of Mazarron takes you along side the Sierra de las Moreras and then meets up with the toll highway sending you through a tunnel. I call it the poor mans tunnel because its smaller and seperated from the toll highway. After the tunnel you can either hit the coast or go inland, we go inland.

The road inland winds through small towns and up and over green hills then back towards the coast at Augilas. From Augilas we stuck with the coast until we had enough and shot inland again through some canyon roads and up to a plateau. The town of Sorbas was an amazing sight. I had never heard of it and all of the sudden, after rounding a tight corner up to my right, hanging off some impossible cliffs was a small city. We zoomed into the windy streets and chose a bar to take a quick rest and warm up a little. I was wearing everything I could, long underwears, sweat pants, then jeans but the cool desert air in the winter will find its way into the cracks and crevices. Its a dry cold in Sorbas however so its easier to get warmed up again.

From Sorbas the road straightened out and did not have even the slightest curve for a good 20km and then finally started to descend a bit around the town of Tabernas. Tabernas I had heard about but only in relation to its role in the making of dozens, if not hundreds of American westerns. The small desert towns and especially the surrounding deserts were a favorite spot for Hollywood filmmakers. Among others, the most famous to have been filmed here were "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and "Fistfull of Dollars"

We usually think of Italy when we think of the Spaghetti westerns but actually many were filmed in Spain. The Jamón Westerns would be a better name maybe?

After Tabernas I wasnt sure which roads would take us to Gador, our destination so we hopped on the "Autovia" for about 10km. I dont mind it, the bike will easily do 100kph with 2 people but its just not fun and its not really built for that.

Im glad I changed the rear sprocket to a 15 tooth though it gives me a little bit more on the top end in situations like this.

We turned off at Gador and my lady filmed a little video. Its about 5 minutes long so if you get bored make sure you fast forward to the last minute or so because the arrival at our friends farm is pretty badass.

In case the video doesnt work here is the link:
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:14 AM   #324
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I dont know how to embed video can anyone help? I searched the forums and followed the instructions with no luck. just that black box.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:05 AM   #325
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We stayed with our friend Luis on his farm that he calls "Los Mochihuelos"

The next morning I woke up in the little cabaña that Luis built and although it wasnt my first time at his farm I am always impressed by how beautiful it is. What a way to wake up.

It was frickin cold though, it was the first night to have gotten below 5 Celsius so I guess thats about 40 Farenheit?

Luis lives in a truly magical place. His farm lies in a small canyon and his house sits above on the ridge. He always has a few volunteers lending a hand through the WWOOF program, Worldwide Oppurtinities on Organic Farms. The volunteers usually sleep in a converted cave at the base of the canyon. This part of Spain is unique in that thousands of people still live in caves. In the city of Guadix 90km North about half the residents still live in caves. These are pretty modern caves mind you, some are even the 3 bed 2 bath style of cave with high speed internet. So not exactly Neanderthal style if thats what you were imagining.

Here is the farm from above.

House on the hill.

Donna and Indo

Walking down into the orange and olive trees is really cool.

Its a really trippy place actually.

The oranges are so amazing it makes you want to cry.

Inside the house is a plethora of goodies, recently picked fruit, delicious veggies, freshly picked mushrooms which we ate for lunch and the list goes on.

Heres me studying some routes for later this week, On wednesday I leave for my first real trip on the SR. Should be a good one, im very excited.

Luis almost always has company living and hanging out at the farm. He doesnt ever ask for anything or tell you anything unless you ask he just lets you do what you want and he does what he wants and we usually end up doing a bit of farm work just for the hell of it. On a farm there is ALWAYS something to do, the work never stops. We got the old wood chopper going and shredded some wood for a few hours then had lunch. After lunch I was itching to explore the area a bit since this was the first time I had come here on the bike.

The clowds were moving in but in never actually rained, this part of Andalucia is in the shadow of the Sierra Nevada de Granada and is as a result very dry.

So we took a ride, stopping often, through Spains old west. We were looking for a castle Katrin had heard about but never found it so we just kept going.

Found this "Pueblo de la estacion" or Station town, a few little houses right next to an old train station, still in use though, we saw a modern looking train go flying by while we were exploring.

In the picture above there is two bridges in the background, one is for the train the other is a one lane car bridge. We crossed it and then turned 180 degrees and went underneath it, as you can see here.

We dove into this little town called "Santa Fe" and squeezed through the tiny streets, I dont understand how we make it by some of the cars in these places. When a car is coming at you, you have to just go for it, it looks like there isnt enough room and there isnt. But time and space will stop and distort, letting you pass and then return to normal after you have gotten through. Thats the only explanation I have come up with while driving through old European cities.

I ended up just driving right through the city rather than back out to the highway. On the edge of town the road turned to dirt and we ended up in one of the many dry river beds called "ramblas." There was a chubby kid with a rat tail and a middle aged man, who was singing loudly in that gipsy/flamenco style and we passed by him, as if in a dream and I pointed the bike down river. They were the only two that I saw in the whole town. There was a little road leading out of the river and eventually we realized that if we kept following the river it would take us back to the farm. When it rains these "ramblas" are very dangerous and people die every year after the rains but when they are dry they are a pretty normal means of transportation if you dont mind riding dirt. I dont.

The next day we took off after breakfast to explore Cabo de Gata. More coming.
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:25 AM   #326
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Great report and photos Thanks
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:03 PM   #327
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We said goodbye to the farm and headed out. Before getting to far we stopped to do one of the most enjoyable things you can do on a motorcycle trip. We stopped in a small town, searched out a packed bar/cafe and drank some coffee.

Heres a shot of yours truly in front of the cafe.

We ate the typical Spanish cafe breakfast, toasted baguette with tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and salt. I love it, its always good. And of course a coffee. I love that I can order "cafe solo" and I get a strong black shot of espresso with no questions asked. Just plain ol coffee, and just what I need to fire up before a long ride.

Weather report: Sunny. You can see the almost full moon in the center of the frame, and if you look real close, near the bottom just over the hills there is a sliver of white snow, more on that later.

Riding the back roads in Spain is not without its obstacles. Heres me braving a dangerous water crossing.

We opted for the coastal route through Parque Natural Cabo de Gata. This is old school Spain at its best, fishing villages and campgrounds with no high rises or resorts in sight. And the scenery is amazing.

Heres a small town called "La Isleta"

And lets not forget the good stuff, the moto eye candy.

I managed to find the turn off for a road I had only seen on a map but one that I couldnt find on other tries. It took us over a sketchy pass, the alternative to the new tunnel, and in the 45 minutes it took us to go over it I didnt see even one other car. There was grass and bushes growing out of the pavement.

And thats it for the weekend trip. Next up, I finally get back on the road for some real motorcycle travelin. Its been quite a few months since I was really on the road but I finally get a chance to take some time off this new job and do a real ride. Im headed deep into Andalucia and up into the snowy Sierra Nevadas of Granada. I cant wait.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:33 PM   #328
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Looking forward to your next RR!!
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:22 AM   #329
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Looking forward to your next RR!!
Good to know I still have some fans. I think I lost a few people when I switched continents/took a break from riding.

Wednesday 11:10am. Its go time. Finished with work for the day I rode home to grab my already packed bag and already packed lunch and I hit the road. I think a good place to start this report is with my first photo of the day. I wanted to take a few of my town and the packed up bike and get into RR mode but I forgot and so my first shot is near Mojacar, an hour or two down the coast, in Andalucia, right where I began to turn inland.

I invested 20€ in an ipod touch, which is basically like an iphone but without the phone part, so I could check internet and use google maps whenever there was wifi. It was a sound investment and its 8 gigs are 6 more than my last mp3 player so even though that might not seem like much to some guys I felt like George Jetson with my new techy gear.

The ipod was showing a little road, just after a bridge that would take me into the old part of town and help me avoid entirely the ugly resort stuff that is Mojacar beach. It looks like a driveway, and was sort of but it took me right into town. These are the kinds of roads where you never know what will meet you coming the other way. Usually a lot of hand waving and interesting reversing maneuvers will get folks out of whatever mess they might find. Medieval urban planning meets the modern age.

Here is Mojacar town.

I didnt stop, I just wanted to pass by and then take another road inland which I did. It took me to the right around the town, which is built on the side of a steep hill, and then into the countryside.

Once I met up with the "Autopista Mediterranea" I had the choice of hoping on it for a few kms or hopping the fence into the construction area which would take me under the Autopista on a more entertaining route to the highway I was looking for. Guess which one I took. In typical Latin America fashion (I learned some things there) I bombed through some fresh asfalt then some gravel and then onto the N340.

Once on the N340 I was a happy man. It looked biggish on the map but it was a twisty two lane. The first town of mention is Sorbas.

I followed the "centro urbano" sign and zoomed up and down the narrow streets until I found a bench to sit on for a short break.

And history too, here is an old ceramics oven I believe "of arabic origin" as the sign says. I didnt read the whole thing because too much history makes my head hurt. You have to be careful of that in Europe.

And time to go.

After Sorbas the road straightened out and stayed that way for quite some time.

I was making excellent time and I realized I only had about a half hour to go if I just gunned it and kept on my charted route. That was a great feeling which made me relax and I decided to make as many detours as possible until I was bored and ready to arrive at my destination for the night.

Here is the first detour.

This area of Almeria is known for the Hollywood westerns they filmed here such as Fistfull of Dollars and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. To my pleasant surprise, the road to "Texas Hollywood" was not paved.

The damn camera didnt focus for that one, im still using my GF's camera because my fuji is lost in the pipes somewhere. I am assuming its in a row boat from Spain to New Jersey where Fuji is supposed to be fixing it under warranty. I sent it off December 5th.

Anyways, the road took me through some beautiful canyons and I dont know if I was recognizing geological features and other landmarks from westerns id seen in the past or if the landscape was just so perfect for that old west feel that it was just deja vu. I love old westerns and its no mystery as to why they filmed them here, it looks more like the Arizona badlands than Spain.

They wanted 19€ for the old west show so I skipped it reminding myself as I often do that I have a motorcycle which is way more fun than any tourist activity. It IS my tourist activity, as well as my adrenaline fix and means of transportation. So I sped off choosing an unmarked dirt road rather than returning the way I came. I knew that if I headed west I would either bump into the big A7 autopista or the 340 which I had come in on. The two meet up about 20km west from where I was.

Last shot of the movie sets, from the outside of course.

This thing is so light that it does great off road. I would love some slightly more dirt oriented tires and ideally better rear suspension but it handles its own as is.

I found my way out, and on the wrong side of a private property sign. Hmmm, a dilemma. I couldnt go back, knowing that I was on private property, but breaking out wasnt easy either. But I spotted a little path to the right of the gate and went for it.

And then onto Gador. It was a half day but a very good one. Ive been having more fun on this bike than I imagined. It felt great to be on the road again and I was just getting started. I spent the night in Gador at my friend Luis' farm in the little cabaña/tool shed and I froze my ass off. But I figured Id better get used to it, I slept in my sleeping bag with all my clothes on and blankets on top of me. The next day I was headed to the Sierra Nevadas of Granada and the snowy valleys of Las Alpujarras so I figured if I cant handle this I might as well turn back now. Its a dry cold though which I prefer.

Skip to the next morning and im up, but not wide awake yet. I hit my head on a bridge, why the hell would you make a bridge so low?

And out of town past the Spanish cow, these giant black cows are everywhere.

And into Las Alpujarras, the valleys on the South side of the Sierra Nevadas that will be my main scenery of the day.

Hmmmmm, it looks like frosting.

Im lucky, the snowline is still high and the roads are dry.

I stopped at a little British owned cafe, you can tell its a British expat because they serve tea in large cups and there usually affiliated with some sort of street dog rescue charity. This one had posters for such an orginization, with a pun on the word paws, I cant remember what it was. I saw another one, JJs puppy rescue. Its a common thing for brits to retire in Spain, open a cafe, serve british food and rescue dogs.

I was in desperate need of a hot beverage and I ate a bacon sandwich which was awesome.

I noticed these houses with only one road leading up to them, with a river crossing!

I made a detour to Pampaneira, a typical town of the Alpujarras.

The orange man.

Winding down from the Alpujarras back to the coast for a minute, just to warm up.

And some hot soup to warm up.

My destination for the night was Ronda. I had heard about it from a few people. One of those magical places where Hemingway used to hang out and get drunk. Those are usually great places so after passing through Malaga I headed inland again to the misty hills of story books tales...

Up a slippery cobblestone street and found a hostel. Heres the view from the hostel.

More coming, I cant get enough of this fall weather.

PorLaTierra screwed with this post 05-30-2013 at 12:40 PM Reason: spelling
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:23 AM   #330
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: May 2008
Location: Versailles, KY
Oddometer: 470
Quite a place. Love your report.
2006 Yamaha XT225 (TM33,Wiseco 10.25 to 1 piston, Webcams 89A cam, beehive racing springs, RDL seat)

2000 ST1100 ABS, RDL seat
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