Introduction

I’ve only been in Spain once before on the bike. Back in 2001, about a dozen devotees of a certain model of Suzuki motorcycle rented a villa in southern France over a three week period. Keen to be different, Sash and I took the boat to Bilbao and then crossed the Pyrenees while everybody else rode down through France.

I’ve fond memories of that holiday and of our trip through northern Spain and into France; riding underneath ski lifts and past wild mountain ponies, through fragrant valleys and ancient, sun-baked villages. An impromptu stay at a clifftop hotel that had it’s own rollercoaster. Roger trying to corral a deer in the grounds of our villa using only a towel. Sacha’s snoring.

Eight years on and I’m still into motorcycles and travel, though sadly don’t have as much time as I’d like to indulge in both. I’ve always wanted to go on an adventure rather than just a trip; to be brought into contact with local people rather than the local tourist industry, to start each day not knowing where it’ll end. In short: without expectation. But with many other commitments and hobbies clamoring for a slice of my meagre annual leave, 10 days in Spain is about all I can manage at present.

My personal heroes are advocates of budget travel, or, more precisely, of the adventures you can have as a result of a controlled budget. As a nod in their direction I’ll be trying to do this trip as cheaply as possible, but with a couple of caveats: namely my bike and my camping gear. I’ve purchased the best I could afford in both categories because I want long days of riding followed by comfortable nights of sleep, and because I’ve only got 10 days. Other than that I hope to be saving pennies wherever I can, and will try to capture on these pages some of what I see along the way.

The boat leaves Plymouth on Sunday 30th August.
Do check back and see how I’m getting on.

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