Author Topic: Picos and Pyrenees  (Read 2764 times)

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  • Offline Dave56   gb

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    Offline Dave56

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    Picos and Pyrenees
    on: Oct 05, 2018, 01.16 am
    Oct 05, 2018, 01.16 am
    Now, I’m not saying that forum members are an apathetic bunch but “Ride Reports” do seem to be as common as hen’s teeth, so I thought I’d redress the balance and stick one on about my recent trip to the Picos & Pyrenees.

    So, here goes and can I first apologise, as Booker prize winner I certainly ain’t….!

    This trip was to sandwich a week’s holiday with the wife in Moraira and consist of the Pico’s at the start and the Pyrenees at the end.
    I’d been planning and looking forward to this trip for many months, spending time booking the ferries, planning my routes on the TomTom, booking my accommodation and researching the Pyrenean climbs I was going to attempt.

    Tuesday 4th September

    An early start this morning as I was traveling down to Portsmouth in order to catch my 9.30am sailing to Bilbao, so I was on the road by 3.30am.
    The least said about the boring ride down to Portsmouth the better as all a bit of a yawn.
    Boarding went smoothly, the crossing went boringly.

    Wednesday 5th September

    Docked in Bilbao on time at 2.30pm in weather that looked rather un-settled as we dis-embarked and sure enough the heavens opened as I made my way onto the E70/A8, ah well at least it was warm rain.
    On exiting the motorway onto the now famous N621 the roads where still damp this making the crossing of the recently replaced bridges a little dodgy as the entries and exit’s where covered with sand and gravel – not good.
    On arrival at the hotel Infantado,  http://www.hotelinfantado.com/EN/home.html?id_referer=ADWORDS&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0KKptfPt3QIVL7vtCh17egwaEAAYAiAAEgLxzfD_BwE  my stay for the next two nights in Ojedo the weather still drizzling and the bike looking filthy, but this is Spain surely the sun will shine soon…..!
     
    Thursday 6th September

    This was to be the day I’d planned to do a loop of the Picos, leaving my hotel to Panes, then onto the AS114 to Cangas de Onis and from there the N625 to Riano before heading back to Ojedo via the N621 but once again and disappointingly the weather was awful and it was tipping it down.
    I therefore waited a couple of hours before I attempted the loop getting as far as Cangas de Onis before turning back, but as I approached Ojedo the weather improved so I decided to take a trip to the cable car at Fuenta De.
    I certainly wasn’t disappointed with my decision as the CA185 leading to Fuenta De was a treat and as to the cable car ride, that to was pretty impressive so not total disaster.

    (More to follow)

    "The more the miles, the bigger the smiles"

  • Offline Longdude

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    Offline Longdude

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    Re: Picos and Pyrenees
    Reply #1 on: Oct 05, 2018, 05.30 am
    Oct 05, 2018, 05.30 am
    Good start Dave56 !
    My first trip on my then new KTM 950 ADV was Cherbourge to northern Spain. That was a good few years ago, I must get back down there again soon. Cracking area to explore.
    The benifit of living in the South West of England, is that it's only a 30 minute ride to the Plymouth ferry port for me.
    KTM has long gone and looking forward to getting my first V4 soon.
    MoorMan.

  • Online Hartley   england

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    Online Hartley

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    Re: Picos and Pyrenees
    Reply #2 on: Oct 05, 2018, 06.48 am
    Oct 05, 2018, 06.48 am
    Nice one Dave, was wondering just the other day, how your trip had gone. Fingers crossed the weather improved for you. We had a bit of a mixed bag while we were there.


  • Offline Viffer18

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    Offline Viffer18

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    Re: Picos and Pyrenees
    Reply #3 on: Oct 05, 2018, 09.14 pm
    Oct 05, 2018, 09.14 pm
    Dave56
    thanks for starting the ride report. I know they are time consuming and if your like me the memories a bit short nowadays (inherited dementia  :157: )

  • Offline andyrob

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    Offline andyrob

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    Re: Picos and Pyrenees
    Reply #4 on: Oct 08, 2018, 03.41 pm
    Oct 08, 2018, 03.41 pm
    Well done Dave, looking forward to reading more. May give others ( :158: :034: ) a boot to post up and inspire folk to take a trip, or direct them to some choice routes and hidden gems!


  • Offline Dave56   gb

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    Offline Dave56

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    Re: Picos and Pyrenees
    Reply #5 on: Oct 08, 2018, 11.23 pm
    Oct 08, 2018, 11.23 pm
    PART TWO

    During my 2 night stay at the hotel Infantado I experienced both the best and perhaps the worst in fellow motorcyclists hospitality as I met up with Geoff the Chef of this parish and spent a very enjoyable evening with him and his friends, while at the same time and later in the evening we were joined by a couple of middle aged motorcycling morons who thought it amusing to constantly take the piss and let off stink bombs, for god’s sake guys, grow up, or for all our sakes find another hobby.
    Anyway Geoff and friends, thanks for your company guys, I really did appreciated it.

    Friday 7th September – 245 miles

    It was now time to depart Ojedo and make my way through Spain towards my next overnight stop in San Agustin del Guadalix, just north east of Madrid, so I left the hotel and headed into Potes where I took a left turn into the mountains onto the CA184 which turned out to be another gem of a road and owing to the time seemed devoid of any traffic.
    As the road climbed the early morning mist was slowly being burnt off by the heat of the sun slowly revealing some stunning scenery, especially where the mist hung in the valleys.
    As time went on and the sun got higher and hotter with the mist slowly dissapearing allowing me to fully enjoy both the views and the wonderful sinuous nature of both the CA184 and CL627 as I headed for Cervera – motorcycles, especially the CT where made for mornings and roads like this.
    As I had skipped the hotel breakfast I stopped at a small village café to enjoy a coffee and some lovely bits of tapas in the sun, wonderful.
    From Cervera I picked up the P227 heading towards Villabermudo where I took to the A67 and A231 towards Burgos.
    From Burgos it was the A1/E5 to my destination of San Agustin del Gaudalix.
    While the first half of today’s ride was totally memorable the later stages of became a little more mundane and boring as dual carriageway’s where the order of the day.
    Upon arrival I was soon checked into the hotel Juaneca  http://www.casajuaneca.com/hotel.html which comes across on Bookings.com as something of a gratranome hotel so I was looking forward to my evening meal , oh dear, how disappointed was I to be. I arrived at the hotel restaurant where it appeared all tables where booked, so a table was carried into the restaurant and set aside for a sole diner – me. On studying the menu and with eager anticipation I ordered a pork dish, and when it arrived - OH MY GOD – it looked absolutely disgusting with what appeared to be a piglets leg and tasted exactly as it looked, bloody awful :004: and all for €30 eeek.
    So I left the restaurant, retired to my room, stuck on my travel kettle, made a strong cup of tea a cracked open my packet of ginger nuts – salvation.

    Saturday 8th September – 378 miles

    A long day in the saddle today so an early start required, skipping the hotel breakfast - not surprising after last night’s debacle.
    Today was the day that I would meet up with deb for our weeks stay in the beautiful seaside town of Moraira, our favourite place in Spain and an area we have visited on numerous occasions.
    So it was back onto the A1/E5 heading northwards for a short distance in order to pick up the brilliant N320 which I was to follow for over 200 miles and all the way to Albacete.
    This road literally had it all, miles and miles of empty tarmac which took in a huge variety of ever changing scenery passing through Guadalajara and Cuenca and numerous picturesque small towns and villages a couple of which I stopped at for a coffee and tapas for breakfast and lunch.
    On reaching Albacete the weather took a turn for the worst so I took the A31 motorway all the way to Alicante where I picked up the AP7/E15 until my turn for Moraira by which time the weather had greatly improved and on arrival at our villa for the week I couldn’t wait to make use of the swimming pool. What followed was a very relaxing week, just what the doctor ordered.
    As mentioned above and one thing that I really love about travelling by motorcycle through Spain is that as long as you stay away from the Costa coast’s the roads are both invariably empty of traffic and devoid of potholes, how very, very refreshing.
    Also, Spain Is a huge country that when you travel through it’s interior you experience at first hand it’s many differing landscapes. I can certainly recommend that this is undertaken if you ever get the chance, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

    (Can I take this opportunity to apologise for both the lack of photos and the fact that the photos  are not interspersed as they should be - lack of computer knowledge I'm afraid  :003: )
    "The more the miles, the bigger the smiles"

  • Offline Dave56   gb

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    Offline Dave56

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    Re: Picos and Pyrenees
    Reply #6 on: Oct 18, 2018, 03.34 pm
    Oct 18, 2018, 03.34 pm
    PART THREE

    Saturday 15th September – 195 miles

    After a thoroughly relaxing and enjoyable week spent with Debs in Moraira it was time to start my journey home via the Pyrenees.
    I set off from our stay for the week in Moraira at about 2.00pm in somewhat overcast skies which after about 10 miles on the AP7/E15 heading for my overnight stay at Santa Barbara near Tortosa.
    A rather wet and boring motorway ride today with the weather only abating once I’d reached the outskirts of Santa Barbara but thankfully the Hotel Diego https://www.hotelrestaurantdiego.com/ proved to be an excellent choice for my overnight stay.

    Sunday 16th September – 215 miles

    Today was a memorable ride as I got nearer to the Pyrenees and the total opposite to yesterday. Having set out from Santa Barbara after breakfast I immediately noticed the almost total lack of traffic as I ventured further along my chosen route.
    While I appreciated the fact that it was a Sunday but the lack of traffic is something that I love about motorcycling in Spain, the only change to this is as you near the larger cities or along the coast.
    As I skirted around Llieidapicking up initially the C26 before I took a left onto the C13/C147 before I took the wonderful N260 where the scenery ranged and changed dramatically as I entered the foothills of the Pyrenees, “Spain really is a MUST for motocyclists, it really does not get much better than this” I thought to myself.
    All to soon I arrived at my hotel for the evening situated in the beautiful town of Vielha staying at the Hotel Viella  http://www.hotelviella.com/EN/hotel.html
    Once unpacked, showered and changed I headed into town for an excellent meal at one of the many local restaurants.

    Monday 17th September – 144 miles

    Today was to be without doubt THE best days motorcycling that I had ever experienced as I was to achieve a goal I’d had for many a year, to ride as many of the famous Pyrenean Tour de France climbs that I could.
    Despite a somewhat restless night’s sleep owing to my apprehension of what was ahead of me, how would I cope with the many hairpin bends, how would the DCT cope with the many hairpin bends, what if the weather turned against me. All sorts of things were going through my mind during the night, all of which were to prove un-founded.
    A beautiful morning greeted me as I left the hotel after a light breakfast I took the N230 to Bossett where I turned left onto the D618 and onto my first climb of the day, the Col de Portilhon which proved to be a great “nerve settler”.
    This was followed by the Col de Peyresourde, all the time the scenery literally taking my breath away – but wait – there was even better to follow.
    On leaving Arreau I took the D918 and started to climb the Col d’Aspin, with not only the road climbing steadily but also the temperature. How can this scenery get any better, but it does, around each hairpin there seemed to be a differing view each as spectacular as the one before.
    Upon descending the Col d’Aspin I took a left onto the truly awesome Col du Tourmalet, as I climbed higher and higher while constantly accompanied by famous Tour de France names daubed on the road surface, this really was motorcycling heaven and as for me and the DCT coping with the hairpins, thankfully no problem what so ever.
    After stopping atop the Col du Tourmalet to take in the spectacular scenery and to soak up the history it was time to descend into Baregas for a welcome lunch stop before tackling my next climb.
    Not only where the views of epic proportions but the aromas where also very pleasing with the accompanying smells of freshly cut grass and the pine forests.
    Next up was the Col du Soulor which brought more of the same with regards to stunning scenery, before I took the D916 to tackle the most hair raising climb of the day the infamous Col d’Aubisque.
    This was the one climb where I truly noticed the extreme heights/drops involved in tackling the Cols as immediately to my left, separated by nothing more than stone blocks where drops of hundreds of feet, coupled with the countless stream of motor caravans made for an interesting and awesome experience.
    I have to say that the only things that seemed to outnumber motor caravans on the roads seemed to be the endless sightings of GS’s……….!
    On descending the wonderful Col d’Aubisque I headed for my overnight stay in Oloron-Ste-Marie and the Hotel De la Paix.
    What an awesome, totally unforgettable day one of the best rides I have ever had and I can’t wait to return. If you’ve never visited the Pyrenees then put it on your “must do” list, you certainly won’t be disappointed.
    "The more the miles, the bigger the smiles"

  • Offline Dave56   gb

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    Offline Dave56

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    Re: Picos and Pyrenees
    Reply #7 on: Oct 18, 2018, 03.53 pm
    Oct 18, 2018, 03.53 pm
    FINAL PART

    Tuesday 18th September – 538 miles

    The original idea was to travel from Oloron-Ste-Marie to Cholet just east of Nantes but as I was making such good time I decided to change my plans.
    While fueling both myself and RubyTwo I came to the decision to head straight for Caen. So after making a call to Brittany Ferries I got my sailing changed to the 11.00pm sailing that night.
    I arrived at the terminal at 7.00pm so made excellent time covering the 500+ miles and feeling remarkable fresh. This speaks volumes for the quality and comfort of the CT as a long distance mile muncher.
    In conclusion, this trip proved to be the highlight of my long motorcycle life and one that I would dearly love to repeat – yes I know that in “adventure” terms many riders travel further and for longer but to me it’s not the distance or destination that makes an “adventure” it’s the journey, irrespective of destination or distance. I think what I’m trying to say is just ride and enjoy the ride.
    Many thanks for reading my ramberlings.
    "The more the miles, the bigger the smiles"