November 26, 2007 GMT
Back in the Saddle

20 to 25 Nov 07

Although there was still much to be done in Australia, we flew out on 20 Nov bound for Hong Kong, London and Barcelona. We arrived in Barcelona on the night of 21 Nov, missing two days sleep, but otherwise intact. A late night dinner of local sausage and white beans and a few hours sleep reset the gyros for Spain.

Spain 2 002.jpg

Spain 2 003.jpg

Architecture in Barcelona is varied and interesting these two apartment blocks are typical. Many apartment blocks are very elegant and interesting.

On the morning of the 22nd we walked to the BMW dealer and found the “Elephant” moping around the back of the workshop, fraternising with shiny new bikes whose owners washed them and probably treated them very well indeed. No place for our beast of burden.

Spain 2 012.jpg

Marc Muòoz brings out the “Elephant”.

The service cost about half the asking rate in the United Kingdom and the dealer, Mutaòá BMW, was very professional. We thanked Marc Muòoz, the service manager, for looking after our bike and gear for three weeks, paid our bill and got the bike back to our hotel to start getting it ready for the next leg of our adventure.

Spain 2 004.jpg

The mechanics unload new BMW ready for its first service. Space is at a premium in Barcelona, but this dealer had a spacious and well equipped workshop.

Spain 2 005.jpg

This little charmer was in the BMW workshop. I could just see Burkey riding it up to the Outback Café on a Sunday.

During the time back in Australia I had made up two additional storage tubes to be fitted to the bike to increase the volume of space on the bike to accommodate our cold weather gear. One of the problems with the itinerary has been that we need to carry gear for very cold weather, but we don’t need to use it all the time. The cold weather stuff isn’t heavy, but it is bulky and we simply didn’t have the lockable storage to carry it.

Spain 2 022.jpg

Fitting up the new storage boxes in the Barcelona hotel room.

The remainder of our day and well into the evening was spent fitting up the storage kits to our existing boxes. When the job was finally done and all of the gear loaded, we were both too tired to go out for a meal and collapsed into bed hoping to catch up on some sleep. Unfortunately, the hotel was old and thin walled. The noise from the street was annoying but the noise when the gentleman in the next room took a folk dancing lesson from a professional instructor was enough to wake the dead and was certainly enough to wake us!

We headed out of Barcelona at 1030 on the morning of the 21st after giving Kylie (the GPS) Valencia as our first destination. It was about then that the day started to go wrong.

Jo reckons it was my fault. She claims that after not speaking to “her” for three weeks I shouldn’t have re-started our relationship by saying: “come on you old tart, get your sorry arse into gear and let’s get this rock show moving!” Whatever the cause, Kylie gave us clear and unambiguous directions that took us west and inland onto the central plateau rather than straight south down the coast to Valencia. I only noticed there was something wrong when the road kept climbing and when I checked the altitude we were at 760m and my hands were numb with the cold.

We stopped for coffee, warm clothes and a long hard look at the map. I punched Kylie’s buttons firmly and set a course straight back to the coast. It was 1400 by the time we were back on the coastal road only 100km from our start.

Spain 2 047.jpg

There are interesting pieces of public art everywhere in Spain. This piece in the middle of a round bout is typical.

For the next day we headed south rolling along on the minor road through towns and villages across endless plains of orange orchards and around huge sprawling industrial towns with every kind of factory. Every now and then our minor road crossed under the auto-pista with its traffic flashing by, but we were happy weaving our way through Spaniards going about their daily business.

Spain 2 046.jpg

Orange trees are everywhere in this part of the country. They don’t call it the Orange Blossom Coast for nothing. We liked the use of the orange trees in the main streets very much. Not only do they look great, you get to eat the fruit!

Every few kilometres in the rural areas a young lady dressed in the traditional costume of Spanish folk dancing instructors sat by the road on a plastic chair waiting for students from among the long distance truck drivers and tourists who mill around along the coastal strip.

Spain 2 031.jpg

Bugger! I know it is under here somewhere.

Our destination town of Calpe is a large tourist centre catering to German and English seeking a place in the sun. Off season, with the cold wind whipping white caps onto the normally calm Mediterranean, it has a seedy and unhurried charm. We will be pleased to have a few days here in a comfortable (heated) apartment to get our selves settled again.

Spain 2 038.jpg

The Mediterranean on a bad day looking like the South Coast on a good day.

Spain 2 040.jpg

Calpe has a lot of German expats, but also some English. This place was full of them for Sunday lunch. It is a strange cat indeed who would choose English food over Spanish regardless of where they grew up.

Spain 2 041.jpg

Something lost in the translation.

Spain 2 044.jpg

Plenty of WiFi in Calpe,but the down jacket is a bit much!

Posted by Mike Hannan at November 26, 2007 08:38 PM GMT
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!