Monday, 1 August 2011

Days 3,4 and 5

Much of the remainder of the ride through france was relatively uneventful until we were passing Birraitz only 25km from the spanish border. Once again Geoff and Pirate had fallen behind so I found a safe space and pulled in. Immediately as I pulled in Pirate and Geoff came round the last corner so I pull out in to the space infront of them, thinking that Pirate had seen me pull out and would have given me space (I wasn't exactly descreet with a bright orange mo-hawk on my helmet). I pulled out but I hadnt changed down to first so pulled away sluggishly. Pirate hadn't seen me and we had a near miss, in honesty I shouldn't have assumed that pirate had seen me.

A few miles down the road, near St. Jean de Luz, the top pulley on the cam drive had worked loose and I lost all drive from the engine. The engine was really hot to work on and the temperature was warm  so it took a while to cool. The repair frustrated me as I kept making silly mistakes and it took a much longer time to repair than it should have.

Not long after this we crossed the spanish border and went through a toll, I followed the protocol we had used the whole way through france by pulling into the service/ rest area immediately afterwards. Pirate hadn't seen me and rode past with Geoff . Luckly I had seen them and pulled out of the service and caught up with them. Geoff pulled in and we all followed. At this point Geoff came and spoke to me about riding ahead and my general speed. With 3 long days of road riding behind us and an afternoon of incidents this was my last straw I needed to blow off and have some time on my own steam so rode off intending to wait at the next toll.

About 5km down the road I lost battery in my GPS and the Motorway split outside san sebastian, and I went followed the direction to Bilbao thinkint that was the direction we were heading. When I got to the toll I put some fresh batteries in my GPS to find I should have gone towards Madrid and Burgos rather than Bilbao. I was still steaming from the fall out we had had later but knew we had to join back together.

Day Three Map
We agreed to meet at Miranda de Ebro but had no accomodation arranged, It was almost 11pm when I arrived at a Truck stop out side the town which appeared to have a small hotel but the reception appeared closed. I pitched up on a piece of deralict ground and waited for Geoff and Pirate to arrive. I was still really upset with them and I definately was starting to feel like the awkward 3rd wheel in the trip I had spent most of the last year arranging route planning and saving for.

Geoff and Paul arrived at midnight and were about to pitch up next on the deralict ground when a security guard told us we had to move. He allowed us to lay our camp beds in a car park and we got some much needed rest.

We awoke at about 6am on Monday the 20th June after an awkwards nights sleep in a carpark. It was already starting to get hot so I decided to switch into the Motorcross Suit I had bought for the hot weather. The atmosphere between the group was not great and every one was not really talking and it wasn't until we got to Madrid at lunch time we really spoke to each other.

Day Four Map

The afternoon ride from Madrid to Granada was the most boring and straight road that I have ever ridden along until we reached mountains where it started to get twisty.

Motorway Srvices about 160km from Granada
We aimed for granada that evening and arrived at 7pm and it was half nine by the time we got into a hotel. We agreed to aim for the centre which was a lovely medevil city centre and I was really glad to be there, However pirate wanted to stay at out of town hotel and wasn't happy about the decison to saty in the centre.

That evening Geoff and I went out for a bite to eat we had gazapacho soup followed buy cous cous with chicken. I was pleased to eat some fresh food after 4 days of fast food and stuff off the shelves of motorway service station.

As Day 5 came around I was keen to stay in the same hostel in the Centre of Granada another night but the others wanted to pack up so when Paul arrived (around lunch time) we should head to the port.

The hot weather and thin oil had made my oil leak look much worse than it had at any other point on the trip. I thought the oil was leaking though the cam drive into the belt chamber so looked to replace the O ring in there. I found a garage that was recomended to me by a local motorcycle hire place. However it turned out to be a Tyre shop. However they gave me space to work and supplied me with and oring that fitted.

Whilst this was happening pirate when with an Ex pat we met at the tyre shop to replace his cardo coms unit that had broken down in the rain. With no luck he was given the address of a place in Malaga and we planned to visit there following day.

After fixing my bike we went to carrefour to meet Paul as this was our agreed meeting point. Paul didn't arrive until 5pm and he arrived at a different Carrefour the other side of town. Whilst we were wait ing for him I fixed the Ridgid industrys spotlights, it was just a case of installing a new switch as the old one had died in the rain.

We spent the night at an Etap hotel on the edge of town that was just as soul less as the last one, I would have prefered to go back to the hostel in town and enjoyed the medevial centre of Granada.

Pauls arrival very quickly changed the group dynamic and we seemed to be all getting on better, there didn't seem to be the arguing over whose sat nav to follow and and what speed we were running at.

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