Monday 29 August Day #7 Benalmendena 

Another lazy day. Coffee,swim,eat,drink,sleep, repeat!

The pool

View from the Balcony

Late afternoon we pack up our bags ready to set off on stage 3 of our holiday tomorrow, riding up through Spain and France with the Goozees.

In the evening we walk to Plaza Espana.  Debs and I stop off at a couple of shoe stores on the way, rude not too!, and I can’t resist these sparkly plastic shoes,  but I have to count out the change from our “kitty” purse as haven’t brought my own purse

We get to the Plaza expecting the boys to be on at least their second beer, but they are not happy as still not been served,  so we move to another bar!

We go for bucket of beer with tapas and bottle of wine with tapas, 

And then follow that up with Chorizo en Inferno,where you cook your own sausage. Very yummy! 

A really good spanish guitarist is playing in the square, and I’m more than happy to throw a euro in his hat when he comes round

Closely followed by “Elvis” who isn’t so good, especially with his blonde plastic girlfriend.. Miaow :0)


Sunday 28 August Day #6 Benalmendena 

Another very lazy day for me, although I do manage 50 lengths of the pool.

Whilst I’m lazing by the pool, Roger, Dickie and Debs take a walk to The Battery Park, with lookouts dating back to Napoleonic times.

In the evening, we walk to another of the Goozee favourite bars,

where they dont do chips!

We eat at an all you can eat buffet. The choice is amazing,and  includes all this seafood that you can have cooked to order.

We leave there totally stuffed!

Onto another bar where at last they sell 43, although I only have one as the measures are generous!

Saturday 27th Aug Benalmendena Day #5

Today is a lounging round the pool and lying in the sun reading day.

In the evening we walk down to the seafront and join the thousands of others promenading and admiring the sand sculptures. 

We go one street inland for dinner at a favourite restaurant of Dickie and Debs. Its easy to choose what we want to drink, but not so easy choosing what we want to eat.

We then stroll back, along a street lined with bars,restaurants and shops.

A few more drinks and a pool challenge, which Roger and I just win, before heading home about 1.30am 

Friday 26 August 2016 Day #4  To Benalmendena 

We collect our bikes from the secure garaging and load them up outside the Hostel. 

Back onto  N502, and a great biking road. 

What a fab way to start a days riding.

We stop in Almaden for a coffee. As we plan to stop for a proper lunch today, it doesn’t matter that the bar  doesn’t seem to do breakfast.  

The style of houses we ride past changes from orange mostly tatty old houses to whitewashed walls.

As does the scenery, which is much more barren here.

We join the N432, which gets a bit boring, but I’ve spotted some interesting wigglies on the map so make a last minute decision to turn off into C3408. 

A fab little road, tight twisties and a view out across Cordoba, which I find reminds me of the road above LA, that I did with Tyler a few years ago.

We stop for lunch in Cordoba.

Its ok. But not a good as I hoped. 

The “soup” is made with bread and lashings garlic.

After Cordoba, we blast down the motorway for quite a long stretch.

Thought it’s quite odd to see this sign at the motorway service station.

We turn of at Antequerra to pick up a lovely looking twistie section of road.

But that isn’t as easy as it sounds as there are roadworks on the turning we need to go on. 

I have to turn left up a steep cobbled Street but no bloody diversion signs when we got to the top. So round and round in circles, on cobble stones   getting more and more stressed.

So I head out of town, stop on a horizontal flat surface to try and sort out where we can go.

Roger spots that from this road there is actually a diversion sign so we follow that. Result!, wr are on the right road.

The view back over the town is stunning,  white houses scattered on the hillside and a fortress above the town, but I’m too wound up to stop.

But more stress is about to come as the first bit of this road is super windy,  and one of my pet biking hates after cobblestones is gusts of winds, especially when they take the bike. 

I am not a happy bunny :0(

If I’d been on my own I probably would have turned round and gone back on the motorway. But as it was I persevered, the downside being that even once the wind stopped I’d lost my mojo a bit and found it hard to get into my rhythm,

But luckily  eventually I did,when the roads were as good as this.

Where’s Roger?

Back on the main roads and we are soon at Dickie and Debs, with the bikes parked, 

And it’s time for that all important first beer!

Time for a swim

Before we go out for a chinese 

Thursday 25 August Day #3 Burgos to Herrera del Duque

We have planned a 300 mile ride today, so aim to leave by 8.30am.

Roger decides his monkey needs to sit at the front of the bike,  poor thing!

All packed up we are ready to leave our secure parking by 8.45, just a little later than we hoped.

We head out on N234, past this statue of El Cid.

The road is deserted at this point, although it does get a little busier further along.

We turn off onto BU901, onto what I term a “greenie”. 

Let me explain,wherever possible when riding in Europe I use Michelin maps. These mark scenic routes in green, thus “greenie” and the plus point is that scenic routes often mean great biking roads. 

We stop for breakfast in Leonardo De Yague.

My first Cafe con Helio of the holiday, Coffee with ice, with a lovely doughnutty cake 

We turn right, and I wave Roger on ahead  so as not to slow him down as this is a wiggly greenie, S0920, or so I think!

But we have gone  spectatuarly wrong. The GPS keeps telling me to turn left, but I ignore it as I think it’s trying to take us onto a main road rather than the greenie I’d plotted. 

We stop in Penarado De Duero,with its magnificent fortress, as I realise we’ve gone wrong but I’m not quite sure how!

I reset the route so that the next stop is N110. We get taken down a very bumpy bit of road, then onto the motorway. 

But I’m even more confused now as the GPS is saying it is much further to our next turn off than I expected.

When we stop for petrol we realise that somehow we are on A1, the opposite side of a triangle than I’d planned. Duh!

But at least we are now back on route. N110 to Torrecaballeros,where we turn left onto a small white road, before picking up CL601, a lovely riod with kits of twisties taking us up to Navacerrada, where we stop for a cold drink.

We continue south through Monasterie De El Escorial, where the whole town appears to be part of this huge monastry. Not sure what happened to that vow of poverty!

The temperature is now  soaring  into the high 30s , so when we stop for petrol and a cold drink I quickly soak my wet vest.
Oh what bliss when we start riding!

We reach Talavera De La Reina at 5.30pm. This was where we had originally planned to stay, but we can’t spot any hotels and my wifi connection won’t connect, so we decide to continue  South a bit further, perhaps as far the lakes- we both like being by the water. 

We are now on N502,a road Roger remembers as being a good one.

We had earmarked Castiblanco as a possible stopover. But as we ride up a tiny road off the main highway,  past 4 old guys looking at us as though we are mad!,both of us realise that this place is unlikely to have a hotel. This turns out to be true.

We continue to Herrera del Duque. The first hotel on the corner is closed, but just up the road is a Hostel. 
There’s a little bar where with the help of the Google Translate App I adk for a double room. I get taken upstairs to look at it, it’s basic but at 40 euros a night what do you expect,  but it does have air con and secure parking down the road.

After a much welcome shower, we are both hot and sticky we walk 100 yards to the centre of town, where everyone seems tobehanging out.

As usual those first beers are much welcome and hardly touch the sides.

And with every beer, a little plate of tapas!

After a couple of beers we leave to look for a restaurant,  but none are obvious, so we head back to another bar which dies appear to serve food ad well.

But it’s  getting  late now  so after more beer and more tapas, the decision is made to “dine” on tapas.

And Roger has already made the strategic decision to drink small beers,  as you get a dish of tapas every time you order:

Chicken wings,spicy sausages, fish, fried aubergine, olives  croquettes and cheese 

An absolute feast! And it’s free!

Wednesday 24 August 2016 Santander to Burgos Day#2

Most of today is spent on the boat. A pleasant enough way to travel. 

In the morning I sit up on deck enjoying the sunshine, except for one short,hard rain shower,  listening to podcasts Desert Island Discs on my ipad, whilst Roger catches up on his sleep.

In the afternoon we sit and plan our routes down to Dickies and Debs. We are going to try and do it in two days- it’ll mean 300 miles a day, but will see how it goes.

Before we know it,  it 5.15 pm ( UK time) and we have docked. 

We wait for our deck,  number 2 to be called.  It takes ages. 

When we get down there it appears that many others had pre-empted the call and they are waiting for Roger and I as our bikes are blocking any movement – tough! We( for once) did as we were told!

Our route to Burgos is mainly down the N623,  just over 100 miles. 

I hadnt realised that the time given for docking was UK time,  so it is actually an hour ahead, and it all took a long while so it is just gone 7pm when we leave port. It is going to be tight to get there before it gets dark!

I knew that even with Sat Nov it would be tricky getting out of Santander and it was! But after a little detour :0) We are on the correct road and wow! what a road!

The first part took us through tiny hamlets one after the other. The speed limit changing from 90 to 70 to 50, then back up again.

The villages then thinned out as we climbed up to 1800M,  with a stunning view of the road disappearing in front of us.

Then there was a lovely section of twisties with race track tarmac and no traffic- a bikers dream.

Followed by a very long straight section with wind turbines stretching out into the distance.

We made it to Burgos with seconds to spare as it turned dark!

So apologies for the lack of photos, I so wanted to stop, but time was not on my side.

We find our hotel Maria Luisa, check in and get the instructions to the underground secure parking- the main reason I chose this hotel.

After a quick shower wr head off in search of food and drink.

In true Roger style wr stop at the first bar! Apparently it’s rude to walk past! 

Our first beer!

They serve tapas and burgers here,so we decide to stay.

These were displayed on top of the bar, so I had to give one a try and very yummy it was, with a little bit if everything:prawn,salmon,anchovy,egg

Roger orders a small burger and I go for these little rolls.

We head back to the hotel about midnight. 

Roll on tomorrow and our first full day riding.

Tuesday 23 August Grinny to Portsmouth, Brittany Ferries

Roger and I are off on a two week trip to Spain and France. 

Loppy will be travelling with me as usual and Roger has a new companion,  Monkey, who he rescued from the roadside a couple of months back. 

We time our trip down to Portsmouth,to catch the ferry to Santander, perfectly,driving straight to check in,  straight to dockside and then only a short wait before we get on board.

There are two other bikes waiting with us, and for once the girls outnumber the boys as both bikes are being ridden by ladies.

We ride down into the depths of the boat, where the bikes are being parked at the front and back of camper vans and caravans. 

The straps to tie down the bike are as usual put over the seat of the bike on top of cushions,  but are attached to a wire that runs horizontally to the floor.

Happy the bike is secure, I decide not to leave my lid on the bike just in case it gets a little rough.

We catch the lift up to floor 8 where our cabin is remarkably easy to find, and as an added bonus is on the same level and quite near to the bar, Result!

A quick shower then it’s to the bar for that all important first beer!

The holiday has officially started!

The entertainment provided is a mixed bunch: a young,black,soul singer who I feel quite sorry for as the attentative members of his audience have an age ranging from 3 to 7!; then there a charades competition; bingo; a better than average Magician, whose naff jokes actually make me laugh ( although maybe that’s the beer!) and finally Sister Twist, four female singers covering Beatles songs -personally I would have preferred Twisted Sister!

At the end of the night, as we wobble,wobble back to our cabin, we are doubly happy that it is on the same floor as the bar!