CARL ON TWO WHEELS - HASTA LA VISTA SPAIN
DAY 5 & 6, HOMEWARD BOUND
Day 5 of the amazing adventures of Carl on two wheels in sunny Spain - it's all over now bar the shouting - so sit back and enjoy the last thrilling instalment as he heads back to Blighty...
...After the usual morning tasks, I decided to spend some time playing around with the Sat Nav settings hoping to find something to avoid another Granada incident.
‘Take on me, take me on, I’ll be gone, in a day or two’
A-ha! I screamed, I had found a setting which would display both the current turn to take and the following one, no more missing my turn waiting for the Sat Nav to catch up wohoo!
"... I'll be stumbling away, Slowly learning that life is OK., Say after me, It's no better to be safe than sorry"
Dragging myself back from 1984 and my A-ha moment (actually I wasn’t born then) and even with my new found hope in the SatNav and Andy's words singing the praises of the local roads, I still found myself a bit disappointed that I wasn’t doing another day of trails and would be stuck on "boring tarmac" for 300Km+, it certainly didn't take long for my view on this to change though.
Kitted back up, the sun yet again gloriously shining in the sky, ( I had heard that it had been raining since the day after I left back home *snigger*)’ I set off down the motorway for a quick stretch before turning off to take the mountain/hillside road to Archidona
Then came the SatNav's first test - Antequera!
Film:Antequera and more
Antequera featured gripless cobbled street with turnings everywhere - but lo and behold Miss Tripy and I came through unscathed and a reward waited for us on the other side. You may think this is good - but this was but a taster of the things to come for the day, trails, who needs them!
The King’s little pathway
Next stop Caminito del Rey which is an old/crumbling pathway along and over the gorge, near El Chorro. During this section I encountered my first section of bad road...
Film: Bad Road El Chorro
...hey ho can't win 'em all! This was followed by a short dirt track, so I got a little bit of trails (however easy) anyway to the parking area – lucky I was off road trained eh! The pathway is currently undergoing a restoration with "prohibited" signs scattered about. So not wanting to risk a fine, I decided to leave it be but – Arnie stylie – I’ll be back!
The Guinda del pastel
So back on Captain Black and across the gorge using the road bridge and there they were again, yet more Spanish curves and better road conditions
Film: After the Gorge
I had a fantastic ride alongside the "Embalse del Conde de Guadahorce", but the real "guinda del pastel" (icing on the cake) was yet to come.
Next stop was Ronda (no not in Wales!), which lay around 50Km away, the roads in this section were slightly straighter and bends slightly softer but still gorgeous views all round and next to no traffic – it’s a hard life!
Film: Straighter roads
The fabled mountain road
I pushed through Ronda, with no problems thanks to the SatNav I may add, in search of the fabled mountain road Andy had mentioned to me the night before. Looking back I regret the decision to push straight through Ronda now as I missed a town positively brimming with bridges and castles and even probably used by Hemingway in For whom the bell tolls. Never mind just another reason to come back, as though I needed another!
In missing Ronda I also missed lunch and may have been hallucinating due to starvation, because the for next 40-50Km I was in heaven. Words can not describe how amazing this road is, the perfect riding road with the ideal rhythm for bend after bend, mile upon mile, all with a view to die for.
Film: Ronda to Malaga
What made it all the more heart breaking was that I only have about half of it on film as the camera batteries finally gave out here, for those who watch the video, this is the least fun of the two halves, so just imagine what the other half is like!
I am not a religious man but, but I now truly believe that there is a Biker god out there somewhere looking over us, is that you Ogri?
All good things come to an end
All good things must come to an end though so I travelled onward to Marbella, and then the coastal road and up towards Malaga where the route turned off back through the mountains for the final stretch home.
Malaga and the area surrounding, is a popular tourist destination so there is plenty to do, but by now I was so hooked on the roads that, hoping there would be more roads like the previous section ahead, I pushed on.
The final bit although nice for a motorway, was still a motorway and I was quickly back at the hotel.
I had received a message from Andy during the day inviting me to join the group for dinner again, so off to villa I went.
There I met another group of guys from the UK who had come across on the ferry on their own bikes and had booked a days trailing for the next day. They had spent their holidays for the last 11 years touring across various parts of Europe but once they had discovered Spain they had fallen in love with it, as I had by this point, and now return here most years. We had a great evening and more delicious Spanish food and then it was back to the hotel for some rest before my 400Km sprint to the airport to catch my midday flight the next day.
Don't panic paying customers the package itself will have you depart from Malaga airport (30minutes away) where Kevin will meet you with your bags or alternatively you can rent the bikes for a few more days and take a leisurely ride back to Calp.
Day 6 - Despedida Espana
All packed and ready to go I loaded up Captain Black for the final time, bade farewell to Andalucia (I miss you) and proceeded to eat the motorway miles with no problems except maybe a mild case of numb bum kicking in around half way.
I arrived at the airport a good two hours before I was due to meet Kevin, which gave me plenty of time to plan my next of many trips!
As you can probably tell I can’t recommend this holiday enough and Kevin, Lynda, Andy and Fran are the kindest most helpful people you could wish to meet. Maybe see you out there at Trailworld Spain one day!
Also thanks to Craig from Trailworld UK for his help
Any similar experiences, anyone been on a hoilday like this tell us about it at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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