Spain September 2001

I was pleasantly surprised on arrival at Plymouth...French style pavement Cafe' good at 7am for an intake of strong coffee.

Ferry was excellent on the way to Santander, room was fine, facilities were good. A bit pricey but that seems the norm nowadays.

We got off the ferry to an uneasy feeling in Santander, apparently a recent terrorist bomb in the town centre had everybody on edge, there were all sorts of police activity and detours to avoid the area concerned.
We managed to find the road we wanted and headed for Segovia, a beautiful Roman town, getting warmer by the minute as we headed south....was only 180 miles on the first day, but seemed more, we had to stop at small villages because of the 'running of the bulls' roads were all closed etc.
We had not booked any accommodation in advance, simply because we never knew where we were going to and did not want to be tied to moving on if we came across a nice place. Accommodation in Spain is never a problem unless you want the
We headed into the Old Town part of Segovia and came across a nice hotel in the cobbled narrow back streets and checked in. Got a cracking room with it's own courtyard and Well ! for about 45.
We took a walk round the town, and decided to stay two nights, Famous for not only it's Roman Viaduct but it's suckling pig cuisine. Definitely a must when doing northern Spain.

We then headed down past Avila, a spectacular walled town on the way south, we stopped off in a nice Hotel in Plasencia for one night, before heading further south to Seville. We had intended to stay in Seville, but it was outrageously hot, we were irritated in our leathers and just wanted to keep going, ended up blasting along a motorway at 5pm...thinking we need to get off this to find somewhere...It was Sunday. Spain was closed!

We pulled off the motorway at Osuna, not a soul to be seen, headed into the square and saw a sign for an hotel, asked the locals directions, very friendly, but our Spanish and their English did not compute. We rode round the town several times trying to find the place...on giving up...we headed back out the town and came across a police car...asked him directions to the place...again English/Spanish not working...he beckoned us to follow him and we did. He drove up the main street, and stopped, pointing to a huge wooden door. We had only passed it about 3 times.

We entered the hotel, all sweaty and feeling a little embarrassed at the state of us, covered in dust and not bearing up well under the 110f heat. The hotel was awesome, big marble open courtyard with pillars and fountains. We asked if they had a room, he said what type of room? By this time, I'm thinking any flaming room!! but the guy, who's English was better than mine, grabbed a handful of keys and showed us to this spectacular room with a bed ten feet bath and balcony for 55 a night...I nearly bit his hand off....and a garage across the road for the bike...excellent stuff! Food was crap and VERY expensive though!

From there we headed down to the south coast, pulled off the motorway and headed into the wee villages, came across a small village called Herradura, magic place, not on the tourist route, excellent beaches and a nice 4 star Hotel...we checked in...but a little too early for them....went across the road to a bar on the beach and had a beer, the heat was incredible, beer going in, sweat coming out.

Hotel was fabby doo, rooftop pool, garage for the bike, just everything you needed....had dinner in a beach restaurant, excellent stuff.

Next stop was Gibraltar, we were knackered and decided to stop for 2 nights, what a mistake!! Horrible dirty filthy place, Hotel we booked into was not cheap and it was straight out the fifties!  There is an atmosphere around town that gets to you, we got the feeling something was going to happen and left after one day.

Great to get back into Spain, we headed up towards Toledo through some of Andalucia's most spectacular countryside, brilliant small villages and scenery>> more later.

Last updated 25/08/2006