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Old 07-06-2014, 03:08 PM   #1
PorLaTierra OP
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Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Madrid, the coolest city on the planet.
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Iberian Wanderings

Hello everyone, welcome to my newest Ride Report.

Lets jump right into the good stuff.








My name is Ryan, I ride a '98 F650 and there's nothing I like more than strapping my stuff onto the back of a bike and taking off in search of adventure.

This RR will begin with a test ride, a day trip to the "Great Wall of China, of Guadalajara." That's what its called in Spanish and with a name like that who could resist taking a look at it?

I left early in the morning but immediately took the wrong road by accident, but hey, getting a little lost is always part of the fun. It turned into a dirt road eventually but was very pretty and passed through some small towns in the middle of nowhere.




Continuing on, the pavement came and went.











From what I could tell, I was now in the area known for its "pueblos negros" which are small towns with houses made from slate. The dark color of the thin stones makes for a very unique landscape.

Once I got to the Vado Reservoir I knew I was getting close to the "Great Wall." I stopped at a tiny town and followed my nose to a small restaurant to have a mid morning snack and a coffee.







PorLaTierra screwed with this post 07-22-2014 at 02:49 PM
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:27 PM   #2
PorLaTierra OP
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Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Madrid, the coolest city on the planet.
Oddometer: 129
Iberian Wanderings

Having taken a wrong turn early in the day I was excited when I finally found what I was looking for










Impressively, this old bridge is also made of Slate.















I recently purchased some second-hand aluminum panniers which I need for the next leg of my journey. I headed back to Madrid to re-pack. I didn't waste anytime though and was soon back on the bike.

From Madrid I raced down to the South of Spain to visit some friends before looping into Castilla La Mancha to see place #2 on the Iberian Peninsula bucket list, Alcala del Jucar, a magical sounding place with cave houses tucked into a narrow canyon and a castle perched up on a hill. Stay tuned.



PorLaTierra screwed with this post 07-22-2014 at 02:51 PM
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:55 PM   #3
achesley
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Bring it on! Alway up for a good ride report from your area. Thanks for taking us along.
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Old 07-06-2014, 04:31 PM   #4
antipode
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Subscribed, that first picture really caught my attention.

The type of pavement talks of a lot of frost/ice/snow during the winter months.

Keep it coming!
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:06 PM   #5
b4thenite
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Great pics.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:07 AM   #6
Blader54
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Fantastic! I've been waiting for a new installment! For those of you who have not read the OP's previous RR, check out "Bellingham to Brazil-Not coming back" elsewhere here in the reports! Great stuff! More, please!
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:10 PM   #7
lvscrvs
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excellent pics and narration of great scenery and roads.... more please....
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:29 PM   #8
horsti
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Hi,
nice pics and writing.
I am definetly sibscribed !
C U in the world !
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:38 PM   #9
DantesDame
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Great pictures! You're making me itch to check out Spain now. I just will have to wait for cooler weather
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:33 PM   #10
Moss
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Hi Ryan,
Just seen your RR and nearly saw your bike in between those massive Zega metal cases .

Great pic's, especially the ones with snow. I look forward to your future report.

Might have to pop down that way some time.

Take care.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:54 PM   #11
PorLaTierra OP
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Part 2, Alcalá del Jucar

On the way down South I passed through the bizarre landscapes of Almeria. Many Westerns were shot in the area. Movies like The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly for example. You can still visit the movie sets of the so-called "Paella Westerns."





I think I'm getting good at this motorcycle touring thing.



The Mediterranean






The small beach town of Mazarrón.













From Mazarrón it's only a few hours on the freeway to the turn off for Alcalá del Jucar. One minute you are racing along a flat expanse of farms and endless blue skies, and then suddenly a canyon opens up and the road quickly descends into another world.








Modern cave dwellings.













I stayed at this guesthouse, a really beautiful place alongside the river.







For dinner, I headed into the town of Alcalá del Jucar. There are two roads in the Jucar canyon, one that is paved with some fantastic curves, and another thats just a dirt road on the opposite side of the river providing access to small farms and more cave houses of all types.



I took the dirt road to see what it was like




Once in town, I followed some signs for the "Masago Caves," I had no idea what they were but after a lot of walking down narrow alleyways I found what was easily one of the coolest locations for a restaurant that I have ever seen.








What I saw next blew my mind, I couldn't believe that I had never heard of this place. The entrance was humble, a friendly old woman greeted me and offered to show me the small museum in the entry way. The museum told the story of the caves. The town was built on the bend of a river, right where it makes a 180 degree turn. The restaurant was inside the rock wall, but on the other side, In other words, you have to walk through a long tunnel to arrive at the caves on the other side. Hopefully my pictures will make it clear.


The tunnel



And here is a view from the inside of the restaurant, looking back through the tunnel where that I just walked through.



The next morning I drove around the 180 degree bend to check out the windows of the restaurant. In the picture below you can see some holes in the rock face, those are the windows of the restaurant. I ate well and will be back some day...




The ride out of the canyon was just as impressive as the ride in and lasted another good hour or so as I rode past small towns with colorful names like "La Recueja" and "Cubas".

At this point I needed to head back to Madrid. My bike is running great and I have almost everything I need, except one very important detail.......






After a quick lay-over in Madrid and some re-packing the real journey begins. Stay tuned!

PorLaTierra screwed with this post 07-22-2014 at 04:01 PM
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:27 PM   #12
hwunger
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hola ! ... tu reportage es exellente, mi amigo

sadly those movies are called 'spaghetti westerns' here, because people think they were all filmed in Italy .... but the one you mention is one of my all time favourites yes ... and your F650 looks really really sharp.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:20 AM   #13
Blader54
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Or maybe because their director, Sergio Leone, was Italian, as were the producers?
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:35 AM   #14
hwunger
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ah si .... Sergio Leone .... wassa matta you ? ..................
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:21 AM   #15
E-Bum
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Great photos. What are you shooting with? Your night/low-light shots are the ones that usually draw my attention the most. What lense are you usually using for those?
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