A taste of Northern Spain


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Feb 24, 2005
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Colchester Essex
Just a short report (well nearly...) of a weeks tour taking in part of the Picos mountains in Northern Spain and a ride back (via the Millau Bridge) up to Calais.

Day 1 Sunday 18/05

We left Essex early for the 300 plus miles to Plymouth and our 4pm sailing to Santander.

About to board the Pont-Aven. This wasn't a Ferry so it must have been a 'Cruise' ship. :mmmm


Ready for the off. I had 'Roll Plymouth Rock' by the Beach Boy's playing on my i pod. :thumb2


I had a few beers and watched the sun setting over the Atlantic.



Day 2 Monday 19/05

We had a short wait (felt like hours) to get off the boat and then it was off to Cosgaya and the Hotel D'Oso which is well liked on here. It really is a great little place and other GSers also started arriving.

Felt a bit like a club run. :D



Day 3 Tuesday 20/05

We woke up to this...



After breakfast we decided to look at the cable car at Fuente De.


I really wanted to go up it and the view at the top was stunning (apparently) but with no head for heights I decided to take pictures instead. :eek:




After my cowardice at the cable car it was back to the N 621 and we headed for Riano. The roads where empty, the scenery stunning, we were very happy. :)






Coming around one of the twisties we saw this party pooper :eek:


Luckily for us it was female. ;)

The lake at Riano was stunning. :cool:




My bike is pretty stunning as well. :eek


So is Julie ;)


Nice boats.


After lunch we headed back up the 621.



Julie thought she saw a golden eagle but I think it was maybe a stork... :nenau:D


We returned to the Hotel and had tea and cake by the pool. This big guy decided to join us and we made him welcome...


The big oaf then decided to try and wreck the joint...




Will do some more later. :)
Great pics - we were there the week before in the same places but all of our photos have water in them!! Nice to see what it should have looked like:thumb2
Impressive photo's, the place doesn't half look different to a week before in the rain:tears:D
Missed you when you booked out, glad you both enjoyed the roads and wildlife :thumb2 As you said really nice hotel, cool views from the balcony and fantastic roads to ride.
Richard ( GSA )
Nice pics what camera did you use.

I have a Nikon D40. Great bit of kit. :thumb2

Right - now that Bill Oddie has finished on the telly I'd better complete this ride report.

Day 4 Wed 21/05

We had to be in Calais by Sunday morning so it was time to head east and towards the Pyrennes. We followed the E 70 past Santander and Bilbao then past Vitoria-Gasteiz and on to Pamplona.

I wanted to stay on the Spainish side of the montains as it was cheaper so we stopped for the night at the little village of Auritz-Burguete.

The Loizu Hotel was only 40 euros for a double room. :thumb2


We had a little wander around the village and found this interesting church.


I had intended to cross the Pyrennes from west to east staying on the Spainish side as long as possible but the weather was closing in and low cloud and rain were forecast for the next few days right across the region.

Day 5 Thurs 22/05

We decided to head for the south of France where the weather was better and tick off another GSer waypoint, the Millau Bridge.

Using the autoroute we bypassed Toulouse and Albi and turned onto the brilliant D999 to Millau.

Developing beer belly: Check
Tales of heroic off-roading: Check
Picos region: Check
Now Millau Bridge... Check :D


Only need to do Morocco, grow a nasty beard and get a twat suit and I will have full tosser status. :aidan

We stayed at the Chateau de Creissels which was not to pricey and had great views of the bridge.



I managed one fairly decent night shot before it got to dark.


Day 6 Fri 23/05

Sorry but the weather was good so more bridge shots. :rolleyes:



Next it was the fun D907 on the Gorges Du Tarn.


We stopped half way at La Marlene.


We then overnighted in the little town of Florac.




Day 7 (Saturday) we had to hit the autoroute and had a fairly boring run up to Paris and stayed overnight in a cheap Formule One Hotel (34 euros for a double room).

Day 8 (Sunday) it was a quick blast to Calais on empty autoroutes and then home in time to watch the last hour of the Monoco Grand Prix.

Next time will get a return from Santander and spend more time in Spain.

Thanks for looking.

Lovely photos Tricky and nice write-up :thumb2.
You got my bike (yellow GS) in one of those pics of the Hotel Del Oso. Saw you taking a meal on the lawn next to the pool when the dog 'attacked' - lovely dogs they were though :).

Looks like there'll be another Northern Spain thread up here soon, when I sort out me pics!

Ps, the 'bridge1.jpg' shot of the Millau is a real stunner :clap.

Cheers Tricky, really enjoyed the report. What's it like riding across the Bridge?
Did you do it?

Looks pretty scary to me and I would not fancy it if there was any wind at all:eek

Looks pretty scary to me and I would not fancy it if there was any wind at all:eek


I have been on it many times now, it isn't scary at all but there again I am a Yorkshireman as opposed to a Southern Jessy :D

Not once have I noticed any violent winds up there even after being blown about on the Larzac so that must be a clever design feature.

A super report Tricky:thumb
What's it like riding across the Bridge?

Looks pretty scary to me and I would not fancy it if there was any wind at all:eek


Crossed it on my GS two weeks ago. Crossing it is like any bridge really, just higher on this one.

It looks more impresive from the ground IMO.

I would recommend crossing it from the North to South instead of the other way, as we did :blast The reason being you get to see it appearing in front of you, whereas going from the South it just appears round a bend and you get the good view in your mirrors.
Rom (Richard) and Mezza (Rich) nice to meet you guys and look forward to your report Rich. :thumb2


We rode over the bridge both ways (and paid each time for the privilege :mmmm).

As the others have said you don't really notice the height that much when your on it. Not sure what it would be like on a very windy day mind. :nenau

But as Shenzi said it has lots of clever design features so am sure it would be fine.
Great pics.

May well go and do Millau/Tarn Gorge next month.

That Chateau you stayed in looks good.Might try it myself.

Was planning the Route Des Grandes Alpes but am prob going to leave that till Sept as a couple of mates want to come along.
Impressive photo's, the place doesn't half look different to a week before in the rain:tears:D

We could always download his pics and pretend they were ours, same places just better weather :rolleyes:

Although they didn't have a "Jonah" with them under the alias "Dryskier" :D

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