San Antonio, also known as the gateway to the West, was to be out last city for a while. We had decided that this was where we would have our last shopping spree before hitting the desert and Big Bend. We had also made contact through the Horizons Unlimited website with a fellow biker, Andy, who had ridden to Ushuaia a couple of years prior. I was excited at the prospect of our first rendez vous through the website, and to hearing about aspects of the trip that we had only read about from a first hander.
We reached San Antonio as the sun was setting behind the Golden Arches of the ever present McDonald’s and pulled into a hotel car park to steal some internet signal and get our bearings, before heading out to Andy’s place on the outskirts of San Antonio, in Kirby.
Andy was expecting us, well, he was actually expecting us two days prior, but, as usual, we were running a little late!
We sat in his lounge, and immediately started swapping road stories, as bikers do. Andy was great. He quelled many of our fears almost immediately, with his no nonsense approach to road tripping. Nothing was too dangerous, too troublesome, or too difficult. In comparison to the horror stories we had heard from those who hadn’t actually been there, our trip now seemed a lot less stress free than we had been led to believe, but we would see.
Andy made us feel very welcome in his home, after taking us out for a Thai meal, we nestled in his spare room, ready to be up at 6am, yes, 6am, to meet up with some of his biker mates for a pre-work Friday breakfast.
The following morning, we rose, dressed and got on the bike to ride in the predawn dark, and freezing cold, to meet the gang.
We arrived on our Harley, following Andy on his KLR, and, feeling slightly out of place, parked up next to a collection of off-road bikes.
The conversation with the guys flowed freely, and we all got along straight away. We talked bikes, roads, routes and weather, ate a hearty breakfast, and one by one, the bikers set off for their work day, while we stayed, drank more coffee, and planned our day.
First on the agenda was a trip to Alamo Harley for Garth’ s 10,000-mile service. We rode up to the dealers, dropped the bike at the service entrance, and hung around for the work to be completed. 2 hours and $350 later, we were ready to roll into town.
We headed straight for the Alamo, a sight I was keen to see, before taking the street car to the Market Square, then a walk to the river for a totally cheesy , and rather unnecessary river tour; ”to the left is such and such hotel, to the right is blah di blah Hotel” and so on, then it was time to race over to the Tower of the Americas to look over the city as the sun set and the moon rose.
The San Antonio River Walk
Alas, we missed the sunset, in fact Jacquie missed the lot, as on reaching the top of the tower, at some 700 feet, she remembered about her vertigo, and couldn’t even peek out the window. The full, low moon over San Antonio was just beautiful, and after a run around the outside of the tower, snapping away on the camera, we headed back down, where I managed to persuade the manager to re-reimburse half of the $21 fee, due to the missus’ vertigo.
We strolled back into town, warmed ourselves with a hot chocolate from Starbucks (sorry) before heading back for our last night at Andy’s.
Posted by Dan Shell at January 03, 2009 06:21 AM GMT
Sunday was time to leave, Andy gave us some roads we had to ride, and sent us out to Bandera, and cowboy country.