Sunday, November 17, 2013

Northern Spain

The weather forecast for Andorra promised more snow for the next night, so we were more than happy to leave before. The morning was again beautiful, sunshine with some clouds and about +10C. The sun was heating us up a little and it did not feel so cold. Just before crossing the border to Spain, we filled our tanks - petrol was the cheapest so far on this entire journey with 1.215EUR/l. Good for our budget. There were so many filling stations along the main road that I lost count of them.

We made quite a dip of about 1700m height difference in 47km distance, this seems to be still fine for all the ladies and me.

Northern Spain welcomed us with curvy roads in best conditions and a stunning landscape. I have never been there by bike (neither has Skippy) and I needed to make a few stops to enjoy the scenery. We rode mostly along N260 and we can both highly recommend this!

Lunch break in northern Spain.
We stayed for a few days in a tiny village called Escalona. It was so tiny that it was not even on my Spanish streetmap ;)

Neighborhood when walking the dogs.
Evening show from our hotel window: Plenty of hawks, eagles and vultures
We continued to ride small roads, often they were not on my map and I relied fully on my Garmin. I also became kind of seasick when riding those tiny roads - not very nice. I found some hints on what to minder the effect: no booze the night before (surprise!), no coffee in the morning and focus on the street and less on the GPS/maps. That seemed to help me :)
Another place where we needed to stop. Click on the picture to enlarge it and see the magnificence of those rocks.
Click on the picture to enlarge.
Finally we made it to another super tiny village - Fago. Since it was deeply off-season, only 15 people lived there when we were there. The village gave us a little chill, since it almost looked like a ghost town. The houses have only small windows and thus it was hard to see the inner lights in dusk which made it really spooky. Streets lights went on very late in the evening and then only the street lights were shining.

Fago - great place to be if you seek peace and want to be in the middle of nowhere.
When we booked this hotel, it said that no parking was available. Since the price was decent and dogs were for free we decided to take the risk and bet on the fact that with our small bikes we always find a parking place... and so we did. The owner was so kind and offered also to use his garage, but there was no need to start hassling around. The spot was ok for all.
Our hotel and perfect parking place for our tiny motos.
Cats guarding the door.

Since recently, we stayed two nights in one place. Then we felt somehow stressed with this rhythm and we decided to change it to staying at least three nights in one place. So we have two full days to explore the surroundings, write the blog, do some minor maintenance, have a short day ride or do whatever we want or needs to be done at that moment.

Around Fago there were many small marked-as-scenic roads, which means those are typically curvy and/or something to see. So we did. We passed by the stunning Mallos de Riglos on our way to Castillo de Loarre. The point we missed was that we left late and the driving took more time then expected.
Mallos de Riglos in Hoya de Huesca comarca, Aragon
Castillo de Loarre (no dogs allowed, so we stayed outside)
View from the castle and all is flat behind here. Good point to see who crosses your land and collect taxes ;)
Mallos de Riglos in sunset.

This together meant we were driving the last 50km on really tiny roads and some 30km on some major road in complete darkness. Not very nice and extremely dangerous. I started to pay much more attention to my inner voice (especially after my last ticket in Finland where I did not listen to my instinct). When there was a car standing on the opposite lane with driving lights and emergency lights on, I slowed down as I thought there might have been an accident with a wild animal (I saw only one car). When I came to an almost complete stop I saw a brown cow blocking my lane. I am really not sure if I would have seen it in time to stop in time when riding 100km/h. Thank you very much my guardian angel :)

It was time to move on towards San Sebastian. The weather was first nice and sadly in the last 20km or so it started raining slightly. The next day we saw this when we had our morning walk with girls: SNOW just on the opposite mountains. This made us heavily re-think our plans for the next weeks.
San Sebastian hillside
This is not the way to keep such birds!
Neither those chicken and Indian Peafowls - far too small cage and dirty as hell!
Some rain washed this steep slope and left a mess on the lower street. This section was closed for traffic, so peaceful for us to walk with girls.
Howdy - no need to panic... we come in peace :)
Locals grow their own chilli in their backyard.
The reason to come to San Sebastian was that Skippy had a photo shoot there. That cheered her up a lot and it brought a welcome change of things-to-do. The photographer brought an assistant and it was her first photo-shoot and it sounded that she was more excited then Skippy :D (click here to see Skippy's portfolio)

Instead of continue to ride through the Cantabrian Mountains and towards Portugal, we decided to head south towards Alicante and warmness. There are several things to do and the bikes need their next maintenance.

~ Wolfi

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