DAY THREE OF CARL ON TWO WHEELS IN SPAIN
THE WILD WILD WEST - AND ONWARDS
I woke up feeling refreshed and raring to go on my 300 Km trek to Villanueva del Trabuco via Almeria, Motril and Granada ... doesn't sound so hard, ha!
Hollywood or bust!
My first stop was Mini Hollywood on the outskirts of Tabernas. Strange but true - this is a whole ‘Wild West’ stylie town built in the Spanish desert and famous for its starring role in such great films as: ’A Fistful of Dollars’, ’For a Few Dollars More’, ’The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ and ’Indiana Jones and the last Crusade’. There are three sites there including a Wild West theme park and a zoo. --
Just a fine and fancy ramble to the zoo
Due to the heat I chose not to walk around all of the zoo, although I did see a large bear – if it was a polar bear it must have been very hot! Instead I opted to watch the cowboy show back in El Paso. It was everything you’d expect from Spaghetti westerns and Spain, fistycuffs, gunfights including a duel, jailbreaks and more all topped with a good dose of cheese! What better to go with that Spaghetti.
-- It was all well worth the visit but I could feel Captain Black and the road calling so I headed off.
Scarecrow: Pardon me, this way is a very nice way
It was midday by now and the sun was high in the clear blue sky bringing temperatures easily into the 30s. I carried on down the A 92 past Almeria and soon found myself back on the coast for the next 100KM with a motorway stretch thrown in. This gave me a chance to see how the bike performed whilst filtering (yes you guessed it, roadworks), and apart from forgetting I had side panniers and knocking a poor driver's mirror the wrong way (luckily I didn’t knock it off!) it passed its test with flying colours (Really want one of my own now!)
After this I was back on the B roads happily ticking off the picturesque Spanish seaside towns.
Film Seaside RoadTowns
Kevin had smartly programmed the SatNav to give me a refuel and rest south of Motril in El Varadero, but wanting to make up for lost time I headed straight for Motril for my first argument with the SatNav... I would later discover a setting which would have avoided this entirely!
Dorothy: How do you talk if you don't have a brain?
Miss Tripy ll SatNav, ‘its not you it’s me...no really it’s me’ - I should have taken things slower, I should have spotted the signs you were clearly showing me and perhaps even taken the time to stop and think about what I was doing.
Upon entering, (on Miss Tripy’s advice I might add) a one way system, which didn't seem to have an end, I was a bit slow to react to the Sat Nav's instructions or unsure at times when I was required to take two lefts or two rights (Does it mean take this right/left too or has it just not updated from the last one yet????) Still it only took me three tries and I got see all the sections I'm sure most tourists would miss. Every cloud.....
And the silver lining was definitely the road climbing up the mountain afterwards
Film: Hill Climb
Trapped behind a police car for the most part, it still managed to be very enjoyable with plenty of stop points for photo opportunities and a great ride back down ready for the ride to Granada.
Film:Hill To Motorway
And now it was time for another barney with Miss Tripy ll, why oh why did I let her navigate?
Like all big arguments though, the person to blame was actually a third party the Spanish Highway Authority (Or whoever does the roadworks) as my pre-planned route was closed and every turning I tried to get around seemed to be too!
This did highlight one glaring weakness in the Tripy ll, it doesn't recalculate a route for you, instead giving you a direction via a compass face and distance to let you know how far off the route you are, no doubt a throwback from its Dakar Rally lineage.
So, following the Siren’s call, I found myself deeper and deeper in Granada's grasp, captivated by its beauty but with an overwhelming urge to escape. After having explored the deepest darkest and very slippery (cobbled streets), just as I was about to give up and be devoured, I spotted a route out and made a dash for freedom.
I was free but on the wrong side of Granada and still 7Km from where I needed to be, luckily from where I was now I could see deep into the belly of the beast. After a quick check on the SatNav for the road I needed and with renewed hope and vigour I dived back into the Siren's nest.
If you're not happy with my directions...!
So with the Mrs still in "If you're not happy with my directions, do it yourself" phase, I wove my way through Granada's claws and mainly due to patience and little bit of luck I eventually found myself on the right road. I felt as though I had slain a mighty beast and began to look forward to telling a scholar (Wemoto News) of my mighty feat so it may be recorded for the ages, Minstrels will sing of this for years to come I thought to myself as my steed galloped down the final stretch of motorway on my way to TrailWorld Spain.
Kevin had sensibly programmed the SatNav to show me the hotel first -I would be staying at the hotel for the next few nights as the Villa at TrailWorld was fully booked, but it was only 3Km away so this wasn't a problem.
I arrived at TrailWorld Spain just as Andy was returning from walking his two beautiful dogs. After a warm welcome and the usual introductions, Andy explained to me I would be riding with a group of three (very) wise men (oldmenonbikes.com), who were currently relaxing poolside.
So off to the pool we went, and after introductions from Andy he left us to get acquainted. My companions were Victor (Glasgow’s main Honda dealer), Alan and Sandy, all from Glasgow. Despite being in the advanced age class these gents were still young at heart enough to ride their motorcycles regularly and had enjoyed Andy and Fran's hospitality so much last year, that they had come back again.
Shortly after this Andy collected us so we could go and select our bikes and kit for the next day's riding. The fleet consisted of about 12-15 great AJP off road bikes with varying set ups to better cater for everyones needs. After this it was over to the kit room where again there is kit for everyone ranging from your average giant to the vertically challenged. The helmet I had also happened to have a GoPro mount already attached which was handy.
Soon after Andy and his wife Fran came to collect us for dinner in the town. Another culinary treat was in store – I chose Oxtail a big meaty dish (getting all meat I can before I got back home) and Pyjamas (?) which was not as you might expect stripy flannel but various fruits with whipped cream and ice cream for pudding. During dinner Andy gave us a brief overview of what we would be doing off road on the bikes the next day. Then it was off to bed for some much needed sleep.
Off roading - next thrilling instalment soon - watch this space.
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