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Thread: Discombobulation 2017

  1. #17
    Graham Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Great write up, Steak looks good too It'll get better Nutty

  2. #18
    Son of Ah Knah Yee Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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  3. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Nutty GSER View Post
    Living the dream, Rob

    We're in France now, and the weather is bloody awful. In all directions.
    Oh dear Rich.. Can most definitely sympathise!

  4. #20
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    To Spain..

    We’re up relatively early, skipping the hotel breakfast and opting to crack on. The weather has improved a bit. We pick up our now warm and dry gear and pack the bikes up.

    Last night after dinner I’d done a bit of research as to if it would be possible to grab another GPS on our travels. Since we’d done a hundred or so extra miles last night then that gives us a little more time today to play around with, so maybe that’ll work.

    Our first port of call is a small store in town who say ‘non’ to the ‘GPS pour le moto’, but the elderly lady is friendly and draws us a little map to Marmande - we should have better luck there.
    So we breeze the 20km or so into Marmande to try our luck.
    At one of the main junctions, a roundabout, traffic is badly backed up- the reason- well, it is occupied by 20 plus Gendarmes, bikes, vans, inspecting and stopping various folks. Whilst looking around for the stores (A motorcycle dealer called Motobox, , A L’auto E. Leclerlc, a place called Norauto.. and a Le Halfords, which is called ‘Roady’.. we’re directed around this roundabout various times going in all directions. I thought we’d get a tug as looking so strange and so conspicuous, but thankfully not, and in fact on our last navigation of the roundabout we got broad smiles and 'Bonjours..'
    And after all that? Well, no moto GPS.. the closest we got was the dealer who’d sold the last one in stock that week.
    So we decide to call it quits and carry on. Its not an essential,

    We briskly buzz to the back roads, playing for another half an hour and then stopping for breakfast in a town where they have a fairground in the square.



    A little bit previous for a Portuguese custard tart, but they looked nice, and were, sold to us by two smiley and really very pleasant young ladies in the patisserie. I couldn't help noticing how happy they both looked, and that you get a slightly different experience in my local Greggs..



    Back on the road, and it’s pretty murky and as we head south towards the Pyrenees, and the murkiness gives way to rain.
    It’s uneventful brisk sort of stuff. We hit the mountains, and opt for the Somport Tunnel to head down into Jaca, our destination tonight.

    The bike is still stuttering and cutting out at points when coming to a halt as per yesterday, illustrated perfectly by the stalling into the petrol station at Jaca for a fill up. But everything is manageable, so we trudge on..!
    It’s before six when we reach our hotel, the Hotel A Boira, where I’ve stayed once before. It’s a good place and the bikes are stored away in the garage under the hotel.

    Interesting notice about Siesta



    Last time I stayed in Jaca we’d been rained on too, and only got to head to a restaurant for dinner, so didn’t see much of the town. This time we’ve time for the Tapas trail, and I’m impressed with the town and glad to see it.



    Drool..



    We opt not to have dinner, and simply nibble at the Tapas places, which seems like the right thing to do. Super nibbles for buttons

    Oh yes..



    Wandering the Tapas Trail..



    .. simply has to be done..



    .. and Keeping well hydrated is essential when shuttling between venues:



    .. a hint of Fred Flintstone about this Pork Scratching..



    .. and to the street, again..



    .. time to mooch in the shops. Bought a new buff (I burned my one on a lamp at the Logis hotel last night. Oops).



    Some variety of beer available..



    .. and finishing off with a good beer to finish, feeling ever so slightly pissed.



    Another fine day

  5. #21
    Son of Ah Knah Yee Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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  6. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Nutty GSER View Post
    Living the dream, Rob

    We're in France now, and the weather is bloody awful. In all directions.
    That's the trouble in July, if the jet stream is wrong it can last for all of July and Aug, seen it many times before wen it changes for the worse after June and good weather seldom returns until Sept
    Looks like it's one of 'those' years
    JohnnyBoxer



    So many roads...........So little time......

  7. #23
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    So when does the funny part starts?

  8. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyBoxer View Post
    That's the trouble in July, if the jet stream is wrong it can last for all of July and Aug, seen it many times before wen it changes for the worse after June and good weather seldom returns until Sept
    Looks like it's one of 'those' years
    Yep, we're gutted, to be honest. We've headed south, and are going to do the RDGA instead, as the weather will be much better. The Dolomites in the pissing rain doesn't interest us in the slightest.

  9. #25
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    Bit late to the party, but please carry on
    [SIGPIC]http://www.ukgser.com/forums/image.php?u=1024240&type=sigpic&dateline=1267183772 [SIGPIC]

  10. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJC View Post
    So when does the funny part starts?



  11. #27
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    Heading west..

    Today’s destination – due west, and into the beautiful Picos..

    An early start, up, packed and out. No sign of rain today, a pleasant 18 degrees as we kick off, little puffy white clouds scattered across the sky like cotton wool. The morning isn’t the most riveting riding, some good fast stuff, punctuated with stretches of Autovia as we rack on some miles and push on.

    All signs of rain are forgotten about- the wet togs have been safely stowed into the bag, and by afternoon time we’re heating up as the temperatures climb into the high twenties.

    A couple of stops during the day; coffee at one place where the drunks are being collected and helped home.. before midday..
    Between this and the next, time for a bit of the rough stuff, leading to a tactical u-turn and retracing our steps..

    Bloody hot now with temperatures now creeping up to 30. How the recent rains are forgotten, distant memories.



    Shortly after we reach a place where they’re super friendly and recommend the milkshake with a long wait, but it’s a good recommendation..



    The milkshake sets up a great 45 minute run in to Ojedo, on the edge of Potes, where we check into Pena Sagre, a lovely little place.



    A stroll into Potes for a couple of pre-dinner drinks..



    .. and then back to HQ for the signature dish, lamb chops.. with house wine.



    What to have for dessert? I ordered another round of lamb chops. They were so, so good, I just couldn’t help it. The waitress got a laugh out of it, once she worked out I was serious.



    All followed up by getting lightly mangled on the balcony. Drinks all round!



    Happy days

    And some continued good news on the bike: The stuttering now is a little less pronounced. Perhaps some water ingress maybe? Anyhow, it’s much improving and today’s blast, with a lack of damp, has certainly seen an improvement. Nice

  12. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberto View Post
    Heading west..

    some good fast stuff, . That'll keep Ballistic happy then ... he doesn't have that name for nothing you know

    All followed up by getting lightly mangled on the balcony. Drinks all round!



    Happy days
    5 glasses and just the 2 of you !! that'll suit Brian as well.





    Poise - The art of raising an eyebrow - not the roof.

  13. #29
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    some good fast stuff..

    Quote Originally Posted by digga View Post
    That'll keep Ballistic happy then ... he doesn't have that name for nothing you know
    Quote Originally Posted by digga View Post
    5 glasses and just the 2 of you !! that'll suit Brian as well.
    correct on both counts

  14. #30
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    Bloody brilliant

  15. #31
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    Cheers all.. glad to know someone is reading my continuing drivel!

  16. #32
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    West again.. point me towards Ponferrada..

    I’m up around 5 and see the sun come up, having a sit on the balcony with a host of empty drinking vessels and an ever-so-slightly fuzzy head. It’s just beautiful. The cool early morning air, the emerging sun, the colours and shadows across the limestone peaks.. all just memorable.
    Sitting in front of the computer here now, like a prize nerd, I can close my eyes and breathe it all in

    The bike sits below the balcony, waiting patiently for today's installment of action..



    So. today’s destination is Ponferrada - so continuing our journey to the west and over towards Portugal. We have a simple breakfast – Brian, bread and jam, me just coffee, I’m still a bit full after the lamb chop overdose, but the coffee is strong and good and does the trick.

    Being already in the heart of the Picos, well, the riding is simply magnificent from the start. We head across the San Glorio pass; we see no traffic, bikes, cars- nothing- on the way up.

    Stopping for pictures at a favourite spot.



    It gets no better..



    Digressing for a moment, just a moment to mention that this part of Spain is a simply fantastic place to head to on a bike, and I would thoroughly recommend it, as I’m sure many on the site here who’ve had the pleasure to visit would.



    Selfie. Hello, UKGSer’s!



    We move up to a viewpoint where the Bear monument is, but I can’t be bothered to stroll up in all of this clobber.



    We’re joined by a guide up at the top who is taking a group of three for a walk. He tells us about the features and peaks in an animated passion. walks off with them, and then comes back to tell us more.



    The going is good and the roads get a little harsher as we move away from the main routes across the mountains. Bumpier, and with poor surfaces, but GS country, and entertaining. Brian opts to take some roads that were decommissioned with newer roads nearby and we find ourselves emerging through the undergrowth, like a two wheeled David Bellamy duet.

    Coffee stop with scenic splendour..



    More bumpy goodness after the coffee stop.

    Lunch is taken in a place called Villamanin, at a restaurant called Meson Ezequiel, which Brian calls the sausage factory. Hardly in a picturesque location, on the main road and part of a truckstop, but it’s probably worth mentioning that the standard over here for ‘roadside’ food is fantastically high..
    A confused attempt at ordering gets the right result. Meat!



    I opt for a mushroom dish given the indulgences of last night. From the head perspective, this was a good idea. From the heart, it was a very bad idea. From the heart surgeon, on the other hand, again it was at least the correct choice..



    Due west of us, on the tiny roads passing through Poladura de la Tercia is a beautiful valley setting - as stunning place as you’ll ever get the pleasure to cast an eye on. I don’t have a picture so you’ll have to trust me, but please do.

    Eventually this meets up again at a main fast road and we work our way west on Fantastic quick roads.

    At one point, two deer hop out- one carrys on across the road and the other doubles back. The brakes are certainly working well. eek.. that will warrant an underwear inspection later, me thinks.

    The final act of the piece is a brisk and flawless ride down into Ponferrada, enjoying the benefit of the change in elevation as we make our way into the city; the bike is almost riding itself, and there’s not a hint of a cough or a stutter now. Lovely.

    Temperature is in the early thirties as we roll down on into Ponferrada. Wide boulevard motoring into town, with 50kmh and lots of traffic lights. The final trawl up is following a Policia Local car which is intent on doing five miles an hour. Not exactly the welcome we wanted in the heat, but after what seems an age we’ve climbed to our destination.
    The hotel is fine- a good location, close to the castle with indoor parking at a surcharge, which is used for convenience sake. The hotel is full of laminated notices featuring what not to do.

    GPS odyssey update: Well, the screen has sprung back into life on the old Zumo, colour and everything, but the touch screen part doesn’t work anymore. That would be fine as I could use it for location reference easily, but Professor Piehead here had fiddled around with it whilst it was barely working and activated a route on it, which I now can’t cancel, and so it’s constantly telling me to bugger off back to France. So it does work well as a compass and a speedo. That’s something, I s’pose, and I do like to keep it mounted on the bike because if it’s not there, on or off, I find it a bit of distraction. Weird.
    I try to take the battery off hoping it’ll reset the route. No dice. Balls. Google tells me if I want a hard reset I’ll need the touch screen, and that’s out.



    Shall we take this party outside then? Why not. Actually, Ponferrada is a bit of an unexpected gem. I’ve only ever skirted around the place- it seemed a sort of an urban industrial place- and this goes to show how wrong you can be on first impressions.

    We hit the streets. I buy a sticker for the bike off of this chap.



    It’s quiet and peaceful in the heat of late afternoon. The restaurants and beer bar we plan to visit aren’t open until after six, so a stroll is taken..



    Pretty streets and sights in the old town..





    We make a visit to the supermarket, where you can get spangled for the princely sum of a shiny Euro



    Seems like this place has everything you need, eh..?





    Mandatory late afternoon refreshment is taken with a view of the castle walls where we can people watch the Camino de Santiago walkers on their pilgrimages, all manner of folks, young, old, tattoos..



    After a further wander, it’s craft beer o’clock, so we’re onward to our venue of Cerviceros del Beirzo..





    Fortunately, I’m pleased to report my beer navigation system is working perfectly as we make our way through the menu. There’s some serious stuff on offer..



    .. each round served with Tapas and very pleasant service.



    Ponferrada proves to be a hit



    We wobble back to the hotel, opting to skip dinner. Brian trundles off to bed and I have a drink in the hotel bar. It’s full of said walkers and pilgrams the Santiago route, feet up and socks off. I ask for a glass of white wine, and am promptly presented with a bottle which is opened and poured before I can protest. Well, I suppose I better make the best of it..

    Night night.

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