Spanish Adventure - Part 3

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Spanish Adventure - Part 3

Post  Radar on Tue Aug 05 2014, 23:04

Day 6 -

We were settling into our biking trip now and we decided to head west today in bid to escape bad weather that had been forecast. Gijon, a port city was principal target and after a brief session where we managed to get separated into two pairs we were trundling along the excellent N632 under a slightly overcast sky. We quickly passed through the villages of Vega, Caravia, Colunga and Villa Vicrosca, with a brief rest halt in Fonduru, where a builder was noisily cutting tiles. Ses had briefly tried my Ducati for a few miles, but he seemed as uncomfortable with it as did on his gargantuan BMW GS.

Gijon itself is an impressive looking town and almost immediately the huge campus building of the Centro de Cultura Antiguo looms into view, so we headed straight for that. What an impressive building, built on a huge scale, with a massive courtyard and surrounding Cloisters, with what looked like a former church building forming the centre piece.

We wandered around this largely deserted edifice and went in the church where a curious ‘concert’ was being stage…a huge surround sound system had been set up in the church, and when you stood in the middle of a ring of speakers the odd sounds (I would not call it music), took on a strange ethereal feel. Not what I had expected when I set of this morning! It reminded me of the odd museum we stumbled across in the Pyrenees last year.

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The imposing Centro de Cultura in Gijon

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The church that formed the centre piece of the massive courtyard

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Ses and Thumper enjoy the 'concert'

Gijon boasts a long, golden beach and impressive seafront and by now the sun was out and the temperature climbing fast. We rode along the front for over a mile and after an abortive attempt to park in a private beach club we wound up on top of headland called Cima de villa overlooking the bay.

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Superb beach
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Good parking spot

The town also hosts the remains excellent defensive coastal battery constructed in the 19th century to defend the town from any aggressors, and as a lover of military history I enjoyed myself checking it out. The fact there was a rather attractive young lady performing some pretty extreme yoga moves, also rather tended to focus our attention…

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Prize for spotting Yoga girl...

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The marina

We also had a long around out the new refurbished marina, whilst in the distance we could see the old, larger working port. The town gave an air of a place transitioning from a traditional working port to a more leisure focused area. Having enjoyed an excellent lunch in a restaurant overlooking the marina we worked our back to the bikes to head back to base.

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Gijon

En route we popped into another fishing village called Tazones that oddly had a Cornish look and feel and spent a restful hour or so there, sitting on the beach and enjoying a few quiet moments.

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Tazones...what is a Cornish fising village doing in Northern Spain??

Once back at base I directed Rich while he cooked up, under my expert tutor ledge, a stonking NINE egg omelette and we all washed it down with quite a few cans of San Miguel! The evening melted away as we chatted and watched yet more German World Cup coverage. Today that was memorable more for the sights than the riding, but still highly enjoyable nonetheless.

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It is a hard old life...

Day 7 - Misty Mountains and a place called Todger???

Hard to believe, but Thursday marked the completion of the first week of our trip, how time flies when you are enjoying yourself! Day 7 saw attacking the superb AS115 and AS114 that snake through the steep sided valley of the Gargantes river as we headed into Panes, before turning right at El Mazo onto the CA856. On this section I stopped to just absorb my surrounding and savour the silence of being the hills, the irony of riding such a loud bike in such a peaceful place is not lost on me…

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The others had pulled well ahead by now so no choice but to try and catch them! I had great fun attacking these superb roads, so much in fact that I completely missed them parked up on bridge in one of the villages waiting for me! I sped on for another 7 miles until I came to a T junction and thought, hmmm, I should of seen them by now... After a minute or so the distinctive thrum of a flat twin could be heard bouncing off the valley walls and Thumper rolled up. He had set of in hot pursuit in a bid to catch me…He backed off a little after putting the wind up himself a couple of times: He was chasing hard to catch somebody, who was chasing to catch somebody…Oh well, and then we had to retrace our steps back to the others…no hardship on a road this good! From here the CA181 took us through Puentenansa towards Sarceda, a cracking road, but on this occasion the wrong one. So we had to retrace our steps we made our up past El Tojo on yet another magnificent road, this time the CA182. We stopped for lunch here, and when I asked Rich to confirm our location he loudly announced it as Todger! That lad has a way with languages and no mistake...

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Rich was enjoying riding his understated, but very capable CBF1000

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The resturant at El Tojo

Anyway after consuming what was just about the biggest steak I have ever seen it was back on the bikes for the ascent up to Alto Campoo via the CA183. This road twisted and turned up to a height of 2004 metres and literally felt like we were riding into the clouds as they sat across the peaks, past a ski lift , that was laying dormant waiting for the snow and influx of skiers that winter would bring.

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Heading for the cloud line

The temperature was dropping fast as we made our way to the summit, dropping by nearly 15 degrees in a matter of minutes. Once at the peak the mist and clouds rolled in and out, the place was deathly quiet, all that could be heard was Ses moaning about how cold he was..man up! We soaked the atmosphere of this somewhat surreal scene as the bikes were enveloped in the rolling mist, that came and went every few moments..

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Rich, Thumper and Ses

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Misty bikes...

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When the mist and cloud cleared you could see for miles, just check out that road...

Time was pressing on by now so we decided to ignore the twiddly roads on the way home and headed back to base using the big dual carriageways and a series of impressive tunnels and spectacular viaducts. Despite being held up by a huge load being escorted along the road for several miles we still made great time to get back at the harbour side in Ribasedisella. Thumper and Ses had really gone for it on the pair of GS's and really enjoyed the fast blast on these big expansive and well surfaced roads. Once parked up we got chatting with some fellow bikers from blighty who tipped us off about the police helicopter and patrol cars that were operating in the area...they had each been fined €100 for crossing the solid white lines. So be careful when in Spain and keep a look out for the eye in the sky.

So that was another couple of days of cracking riding, so far this was proving to be an absolutely amazing trip...
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Radar
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