First trip of the year!

Boris

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Day 3&4 continued, The roads and weather improved further as we approached the Gorge du Tarn, where we promptly complained about the heat…..no pleasing us! If you’ve not been to the GDT, it’s well worth a visit, the roads are very twisty, great fun to ride and plenty of cafe/lunch stops along the way. There are also vultures and eagles to be seen along the route,
All these are from the GDT,
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Boris

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Day 5 is a short 80-90 mile jaunt to Carcassonne, albeit on twisty and entertaining roads. For those unaware, Carcassonne is a medieval walled city within a modern city, with a thriving community still existing within the walls. Narrow lanes, cobbles, very old buildings and a great church. I’d been past it many times on previous trips, but never gone inside the walls, the early finish to riding meant a chilled afternoon and evening wandering about the streets and across the ramparts, in suitable clothing!
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bimota

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yer,

carcassonne is stunning, not been there for awhile now tho, we stayed just outside the walls and after breakfast the next day walked round there in shorts, t shirts, etc fab place

rob
 

SkunkWorks

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Watched a show about how they constructed that Millau Viaduct..............Amazing feat of engineering!
 

Boris

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Day 6, we leave Carcassonne and head towards the Pyrenees, via the Gorge De Galamus and Andorra. The roads were exceptionally good and scenic, with little traffic. As for Andorra, I really have no idea why we routed through it. It’s a traffic nightmare, and a shite transit to Spain. I’ve been numerous times and while it’s worth a visit, once is plenty!
Here’s some pics of the Gorge and its balcony road. On the first photo, zoom in to the centre….how/why?

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Boris

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Day 6 lunch stop, and our hotel in Alas, Spain. Unfortunately we booked on a Spanish holiday and nothing was open nearby, including the hotel restaurant, although beers were available. One of the lads headed out with a pillion to a local town to pick up some burgers and pizzas…..all was good again.
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StefanOnHisS10

Converting fuel into heat, noise and a bit motion
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Very nice, I visited Rocamadour and that wide area last year with the bike. Scorching hot weather (40*C and up), but so beautiful. Gorges du Tarn is worth the trip indeed, now I wanna go again. Great ride report Boris.
 

Boris

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Day 7, We left the small town of Alas and immediately picked up the N260, which we would stay on for the rest of the day (including the N260a). The 260 is a fairly well known road among bikers and car enthusiasts, as it twists and turns over mountain passes, through valleys and gorges for around 350 miles, from the med coast to Jaca in the Spanish Pyrenees. It’s an exceptionally good road to ride, whilst being very scenic along the way.
Here’s a few from the route and a couple from Broto, where we would base ourselves for two nights.
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Boris

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Still day 7, we unloaded the bikes, locked them up and headed out to the local river and rather scenic waterfall. Whilst wandering around the waterfall area, one of the lads was positioning himself to photograph the rest of us and stood on a rock, which gave way. He fell and face planted quite heavily. Usually a mate taking a tumble would generate a bit of laughter, however he went down heavily, cutting his face and twisting his ankle, he was clearly in some distress. We obviously went to his aid, helping him up and dusting him now. I’m quite amazed and shocked how quickly people rush over to stare and get cameras out for someone lying hurt on the ground! Anyway, no serious harm done and an ice pack and few beers later, all was well again. Later that evening we had a serious rain storm in the town.
If you’re in the Pyrenees and need a day or two in one place, you could do a lot worse than Broto.53845327738_b996058e84_o.jpeg53844174112_b81a1b07c1_o.jpeg53845063421_2e50e4175f_o.jpeg53844173967_210f4c73cc_o.jpeg53844179067_2cf1a08875_o.jpeg53845068746_692b440483_o.jpeg53845068741_c1e27942f7_o.jpeg
 

Boris

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Day 9. We’re almost at the end of our trip now, and heading to Santander over the next two days, to catch the ferry home. We’ve book a Parador in Santo Domingo de la Calzada as an end (almost) of trip treat. In case you’re not familiar with Paradores, they’re state owned and run hotels, usually in old castles, monasteries, nunneries, prisons and similar, that are refurbished to a high and suitable standard, and are spread throughout Spain. I’ve stayed in a few Paradores and they always feel special. But, we had to get there first…..
We left Broto around 9am and within a couple of hours, was away from the mountains and into the flatlands of Northern Spain, which was all a bit dull and tedious after a fair few days in the mountains. And it was hot, very hot, around 34/35. We stopped for lunch in Olite, next to a castle and in a restaurant with much needed AC. Watered and fed we heading on to the Parador, stopping for fuel about 30 miles short. Here one of the lads came wandering over and said, I’ve fecked up, I’ve put diesel in my bike. Borrocks! Cutting this lad a little slack here, it was his first European trip and this fuel station has a premium diesel option on a yellow pump. He made a mistake. Anyway, he never started the bike and never switched on the ignition, so no priming of the FP. Easy, tank off, drain it, flush it, on we go. But, we’re in 35 degree heat, exposed and all a bit tired. Nonetheless, we crack on with resolving the issue. Nope, it’s a huge job taking the tank off, so we scratch our heads, have a cold drink and wander over the nearby bike shop. Yep, bring it over, we’ll siphon it out. 90 minutes and €45 later, we’re up and running again and on our way. The mechanic would not, under any circumstances, take a drink/tip for helping us out. What a gent! And we got the chance to look over the new Stelvio while we waited. And……the slack ran out, the diesel mocking was pretty relentless.
Here’s a few from the day, mostly the Parador. First one is the castle in Olite.53849901786_34ff27e796_o.jpeg

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Boris

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And we arrive at our last hotel as tomorrow we catch the ferry back to England. It’s an easy 80 ish mile ride to Hinojedo, which is close to Santander. A few beers, a good meal and chill out watching England in the Euros. If you need a hotel near to Santander, the Hotel Marfrei is worth a look.
The following morning, we take our time getting up and ready to leave and set off for the 30 minute run to the ferry. Check in and wait for about an hour before loading starts. I’ve done this crossing 5 times now (including Bilbao) and it’s always been a smooth and comfortable crossing. It is tedious though, so a book or some downloaded films/shows makes sense. Also, if you can, book the Premium Lounge, it’s quiet, comfortable and an almost endless supply of food and drink. That all folks…….until September when I’m back for the Picos.
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