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!