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Thread: Northern Spain July 2013

  1. #1
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    Cool Northern Spain July 2013

    Home - Plymouth
    I used to organise foreign jaunts for friends from the VFR Club on a regular basis and we’d spoken about a tour of Spain around 10 years ago, but never got around to it.

    However, as neither my wife or I had been before (bar a brief foray into the Spanish side of the Pyrenees in 2007), I booked the ferry to Santander and planned a relaxing trip. We didn’t want to ride mega miles everyday and wanted to take in the landscape and old cities, castles and cathedrals.

    As the ferry didn’t leave Plymouth until Sunday afternoon, we plodded down the Welsh border on the A483 on Saturday, before nipping round Bristol on the motorway and stopping in Burnham-on-Sea overnight.


    Spain 2013 930 (2) by spnorm, on Flickr

    Sunday morning dawned warm and sunny again, so after a tedious ride across Exmoor (too much traffic) we had a break on Dartmoor before boarding the Pont Aven in Plymouth for the sailing to Santander.


    Spain 2013 933 (2) by spnorm, on Flickr


    Spain 2013 936 (2) by spnorm, on Flickr


    Spain 2013 956 (2) by spnorm, on Flickr
    Steve

    2006 K1200S > 2009 R1200GS MU > 2012 R1200RT SE > 2014 R1200GS LC


  2. #2
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    Are we there yet ?

    No pressure like but we are waiting for the next bit.

  3. #3
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    I don't think there's any signal in the Bay of Biscay

    Andres
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Martel View Post
    One of the five imbeciles of the vainglorious big swinging dick types of the Harley section

  4. #4
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    Looking forward to this one Sven.

  5. #5
    Well as we've got access to all his photos in Flickr we could just make it up without him ..

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giles View Post
    Well as we've got access to all his photos in Flickr we could just make it up without him ..
    Well, that'd save me some time I just wanted to check that the Flickr links worked with the first installment, but then though I'd better do some work
    Steve

    2006 K1200S > 2009 R1200GS MU > 2012 R1200RT SE > 2014 R1200GS LC


  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outtomunch View Post
    I don't think there's any signal in the Bay of Biscay

    Andres
    there is if you pay brittany ferries enough

  8. #8
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    Santander - Potes
    After a very smooth and uneventful crossing, the ferry arrived in Santander at lunchtime. Santander is a much prettier destination than Rotterdam or Zeebrugge (well, until you arrive in the docks).


    After getting lost in a few rundown villages on the outskirts, I decided that “Avoid highways” wasn’t the best GPS setting and jumped on the motorway for a short while before heading up to the dam south of La Lastra. I’d seen a few fuzzy photos on this forum and it didn’t disappoint.



    From there on the roads just got better and better as we headed into the Picos.


    We soon arrived at the Hotel Infantado in Ojedo, just outside Potes ready for a few beers and a steak. Potes is a pretty little place with a good selection of bars and restaurants.




    Steve

    2006 K1200S > 2009 R1200GS MU > 2012 R1200RT SE > 2014 R1200GS LC


  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie View Post
    there is if you pay brittany ferries enough
    It's now free, but very, very slooooowwwwww
    Steve

    2006 K1200S > 2009 R1200GS MU > 2012 R1200RT SE > 2014 R1200GS LC


  10. #10
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    Picos
    The next morning we went on a three hour ATV ride in the hills around Potes. Sadly the low cloud spoilt the views, but the fading brakes on our slightly dilapidated ATV made the descents “interesting”. After that we headed up to the cable car at Fuente De for a spot of hillwalking to work up an appetite for another steak




    Steve

    2006 K1200S > 2009 R1200GS MU > 2012 R1200RT SE > 2014 R1200GS LC


  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by sven View Post
    Santander - Potes
    Has your wife just got off a pillion ride with Redrick ??

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    Potes – Riano - Leon
    The cloud finally lifted over Potes, which revealed it was surrounded by mountains as we headed down the stunning N621 to Riano





    Riano is a very pretty place – I don’t think I’ve ever filled up in a more picturesque petrol station













    Steve

    2006 K1200S > 2009 R1200GS MU > 2012 R1200RT SE > 2014 R1200GS LC


  13. #13
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    Leon
    I guess this is where the trip became a “city break by bike”. I love castles, cathedrals and old towns, so Leon was a great place to spend an evening. We stopped in the Hotel Real Colegiata San Isidoro, which is built onto the Roman city walls. Although it’s supposedly 4-stars, it was more like a 2-star hotel in a 4-star 11th century building.





    Leon itself has a lovely cathedral and old town.







    Steve

    2006 K1200S > 2009 R1200GS MU > 2012 R1200RT SE > 2014 R1200GS LC


  14. #14
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    Santiago de Compostela
    Leon is on the El Camino pilgrim trail to Santiago, so large cathedrals seem to have sprung up in small towns to service the needs of the hundreds of pilgrims who walk the trail (and still do). The cathedral at Astorga was very impressive and is next to one of the few Gaudi buildings outside Barcelona.






    The roads across northern Spain past Ponferada and onto Santiago weren’t particularly inspiring, but Santiago itself is a stunning place, although the mood was quite sombre as the fatal train crash had just happened.













    Don’t fart in the tapas bar...


    As we spent two nights in Santiago, we thought we’d use our free day to complete the Camino trail and head to Cape Finisterre, which was the end of the known Spanish world in 1492.






    Steve

    2006 K1200S > 2009 R1200GS MU > 2012 R1200RT SE > 2014 R1200GS LC


  15. #15
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    Thanks for that Steve..

    Thats given me a few ideas, as i'm thinking of doing a bit of Northern Spain in September.
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  16. #16
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    Portugal
    The rain finally caught up with us as we left Santiago, but not for long, although the temperature did drop to 13.5C degrees. The roads were nice and winding as we headed SE and then over a moorland road into Portugal. The N103 which runs just south of the Spanish border was a cracking road – a very twisty A-road with no traffic and a good surface. First it took us to Chaves:





    ....and then onto Braganca for the night:






    A great day, rounded off by the best meal of the holiday at http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaur..._Portugal.html Mmmmmm, wild boar and fine wine
    Steve

    2006 K1200S > 2009 R1200GS MU > 2012 R1200RT SE > 2014 R1200GS LC


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