2010 Spain Trip
In late September 2010, Kate and I flew to Spain. First stop was Classic Bike Tours of Spain, where we had booked a week riding Dave's classic motorcycles in the mountains of southern Spain. Dave's inn is in the town of Sedella, up in the mountains, about 1 hours drive from Malaga.
Dave is an Englishman with a collection of 30 or more classic bikes, mostly Japanese, and one spends (usually) a week staying in his inn and riding his motorcycles on day trips in Andalucia.
The bikes were all in good shape, though some didn't get used because of dead batteries, and some had failures during the week's riding. None left anyone stranded, but sometimes we rode back on fewer cylinders than we started out on.
The roads reminded me of the the Santa Monica mountains and Pacific Coast Highway, including Malibu, in California. More goats, fewer Mercedes, but similar levels of vehicular traffic on the back roads in the mountains. But of course you can't easily ride a 40 year old Japanese 2-stroke in the Santa Monica mountains, especially if it wasn't imported into the USA.
I think my two favorite bikes were the Yamaha RD500 V4 2-stroke, which is much like my CBR600F, and the pedestrian Honda CB550F Super Sport, of which I have two, for some reason. Pedestrian it may be, but it really felt good on those mountain roads. Close third place was the CX500 Turbo. The Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley replica is a real animal. And I mean that in a good way.
There were five guests: Kate and I, and Phil, Rob, and Norm from England. We had a great time, riding all the bikes, swapping them at lunch and coffee break. The weather was perfect; it only rained at night a few times while we were in Sedella.
This is a real "blokes' holiday" in that it's focused on riding all day, then going to the local bars in town each evening. Because Kate and I are interested in a little more variety than that, the tour morphed a little so that we visited some historic sites and went to some better restaurants than were available in the town where cbtspain.com is headquartered.
We were the first American guests on this tour. His clientelle has been English til now, and the other three on this tour were English. (Dave, the proprietor/guide is English, and his brother usually rides tail-gunner, but was replaced this tour by Les, a local (in Spain) English ex-pat who also happens to have raced on the Isle of Man.
Internet access was limited. This can be viewed as a feature. I had to keep in touch with the office (a little) so we borrowed Dave's cellular data dongle to use with our PC for the daily email check.
On our eighth day in Spain, we did a "back country buggy tour" run by some other folks in Sedella. Yvonne leads the buggy ride, and Rafi cooks the traditional multi-course Spanish meal that we returned to at the end of our ride.
Our ninth day, Monday, was spent taking the bus from Malaga to Grenada, and getting settled into our hostel in Grenada and checking out the city a little.
Tuesday, we visited Alhambra. We had tickets for relatively early in the day, which was good, because the place really fills up by mid-day.
Wednesday we spent on the bus to Madrid, and then getting settled in our hostel. This one was another winner, inexpensive, nice room, wi-fi, and only 1/2 block from the "main square" in the city.
Thursday was spent walking around Madrid.
Friday we did a day trip (by bus) to Segovia, a smallish town with a restored Roman aquaduct running through the middle of town, and a castle at the other end of the town -- about 30 minutes walk from the aquaduct.
Saturday morning was spent trudging around in the rain, and then the rest of the day flying back to JFK with all the fun that suggests.