April 28, 2005 GMT
In travel mode now

So here we are again a week on and the sun is definitley shining again.

The ride from Santander to Salamanca was terrible and we rode 5kms up the side of a mountain only to be turned back by too much snow! You would have thought we would have learnt that the higher you go the colder it got but we pressed on until snow was pretty much covering the whole road. Coming down again was fun though. I had my feet out and we pretty much "skied" all the way down.
We eventually made it to a more major road but it was still snowing and Jo was cold to say the least (tears and all!!). It took her forever to get off the bike!

Salamanca was a welcome change though and we have had sun ever since. We spent a few days "relaxing" and taking in the sights of Salamanca, mainly the main square where we drank coffee on and off all day.

From Salamanca we headed to Lisbon which was a lot closer on the map than it was in real life. The scenery was changing fast though and was much drier and warmer the further south and west we headed. The Spanish Motorbike Grand Prix had been on the day before so there were literally 100īs of bikes hooning past which kept the ride fun. Jo was expecting another stamp in the passport when we crossed into Portugal but had to be content with a "Welcome to Portugal" sign over the motorway.

It was still another 4 hours ride to the campsite and was getting dark, the roads were bumpy, and I was riding with the sun in my face. We arrived at the campsite in style though by falling off the bike when we came to a stop. It was the first time we had dropped the bike but we managed to pick it up again without a problem and wasnt damaged at all. (Oh and no Jo wasnt damaged either!)

NB - We have now decided to limit the riding to 300miles a day max!

The next day made all the hoo haa worthwhile and we found a desrted beach without a single footprint on it. It was a beach straight out of "Survivor Thailand" complete with caves etc. We both sat on the sand looking out over the ocean in amazement at where we were and how beautiful it was.

Lisbon was the first capital city we had been to on our trip and it felt funny being around so many people and cars again. The locals didnt waste anytime in offering me some very strange smelling substances with a quality that was gauranteed to impress. I wouldnīt even know what to do with the stuff they were selling and wasn't sure whether I should have been honoured or appalled that they had chosen me to pick on.

Apart from that Lisbon was great and we spent the day walking around and up and down some seriously steep hills. We finished the day off at the "Ghandi Palace" for a nice Chicken Tikka and Samosa's!

We met our first travellers on the way to Seville when two German bikers stopped for a chat at a Service station. Although we don't know much German we could still look at a map and understand what they were saying about great motorbike roads and excellent mountain scenery. They have also assured us of a bed for the night if we go to Dusseldorf so we hope to meet up with them again when we are in the area.

And now to Seville where we have been since last Thursday (I think!). Riding into a city we are normally presented with great views but the only thing we could see in Seville apart from buildings and motorways were cranes. Oh and Horse & Carts being "driven" down the motorway at evening rush hour. They weren't even carrying tourists. Just father and son out for an evening ride.

We were proven wrong though and once you are in the city it's a very different picture. There was a Bull fight on the day we came into town and everyone was dressed in their Saturday best to watch the match. Not quite the same atmosphere as watching Arsenal Vs Chelsea but there was certainly a buzz around the city. We visited the Seville Cathedral which was huge and amazing, including a great view of the city from the top. We enjoyed some tapas and sangria and well and truely joined in with the festive atmosphere.

We spent yesterday in Cadiz just people watching by the ocean and strolling along the beach with an ice-cream - tough life!

We will visit Cordoba tomorrow and then on to Granada and more mountains - hopefully without snow this time. Fingers crossed the weather stays kind to us.

Posted by Garry Scutcher at April 28, 2005 05:46 PM GMT

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