Lads Spanish Adventure
Motorcycle Trip Reports
Start Date of Trip
Duration of Trip
Total Miles Covered
Total Cost of Trip
Bike Make & Model
Age of Bike
Bike Problems & Accidents
bike over heated once
meeting lots of girls
having a pillion
The Single Most Important Lesson Learnt
Dont worry about anything as everything works out
Lad’s Spanish adventure.
What makes a boy into a man?
At 18 I imagined I was a man as I could vote, get a mortgage and get credit I.I craved for a challenge that pushed the limits of my perceived adult hood
The year is 1985 I’m 18 years old. I’ve just left home and thinking about the big wide world.
My current bike at the time was a full power KMX 125 I’ve yet to pass my test.
My friend Scrow, which is a nickname he still has today, as his last name Gorton rhymes with scrotum and I are looking through the window of Pendle motorcycles in Nelson. It’s now a damp proof shop .Scows bike was a Suzuki RM 125 on the road we were looking at a pair of Yamaha teneres .These Paris Dakar inspired bikes had just come out creating the drooling mouth syndrome
“Hey scrow lets gets our tests passed and tour Spain camping?” I suggest.
“Yea let’s do it “replied scrow in his typical pot head laid back way.
We took a step back and wondered if we would or if it would be like many childhood dreams and remain just that, a dream.
That evening I began the daunting task of me listing the things needed to make the trip a reality.
Top of the list passing my test
Deciding .what bike to use
Decide what route to take
.How much money it would cost
Passing your test In the olden days merely involved riding a short predetermined route whilst the examiner was on foot .I watched as the examiner went into a shop for a sandwich .Whilst he was inside I did four loops of the predetermined circuit, spotting him come out as I was on my last loop .
He indicated for me to pull over. A couple of Highway Code questions and id passed...
I began a Spanish course at the local college .This was great as I learnt all the necessary essentials for breaking down and of course excellent for communicating with the ladies .
Decide and source which bike to use.
I started looking for a bike .I decided on a Honda xl600 lmf, the one with the twin headlights and Paris Dakar styling .bike sourced and purchased Spanish learnt and able to communicate, I’m ready to start thinking of a date to set off.
After a disappointing call to scrow to find out his bike engine had seized so had to get that repaired.
He hadn’t passed his test due to falling out with the examiner nor had he bought a bike...I opted to let him ride pillion as at 19 I didn’t feel able to complete the journey on my own ..
The plan began to form we were going to catch the ferry to Spain via Plymouth Santander .then ride across Spain to meet up with friends in Torremolinos
Being on a limited budget we were to camp across Spain .There are around 600 campsites in Spain and the Spanish tourist board very kindly provides a map with all of the sites listed
I familiarised myself with the bike treating the engine with slick 50.cleaning the carbs air filter and generally going over every part of the bike
We decided to have a test run. Down to stoke on Trent to the off road show, what became immediately apparent was the seat. It was as comfy as riding on a log. Completely numbing me by the time I got back to Burnley that was without luggage. I improvised a homemade air hawk seat out of a blow up pillow from a beach towel
I lessoned the vibration by putting pipe lagging on the handlebar grips and the foot pegs, though the lagging on the foot pegs soon wore through and lost its vibrational absorption
As the day finally came round to set off we became more and more excited. The bike looked every bit the adventure we were set to have. bit s strapped to every available part of the bike .We set off for Plymouth full of trepidation and excitement .The Typical British weather raining all afternoon and most of the evening .
I think we had underestimated just how far Plymouth was .only just making the ferry in time to get tickets and get on board.
We were soon on-board and headed for the bar. After a few beers all our worries turned to excitement as we chatted to our fellow passenger s,
Our cabin was located in the bowels of the Ship A faint smell of diesel and the clanging of the engines soon had us to sleep .We shared the cabin with a couple which did seem a bit odd to us then .
The ferry crossing takes around 24 hrs. and is known for being a bit rough at times across the bay of Biscay This trip didn’t disappoint and before long scrow was gracing the sea with his whale impersonation and of course emptying the contents of his stomach over the side of the ship ..It wasn’t long before I was joining him in a strange yodelling to the sea gods.
This seasickness gave way to a fatigue of having missed a night’s sleep on the drive down and we were soon fast asleep in our shared cabin.
The morning brought fresh breeze and arrival in the beautiful town of Santander .a quick flash of the passports and we were on our way weaving our way .getting used to driving on the wrong side of the road wasn’t too hard apart from roundabouts …
It wasn’t long before the early morning sun gave way to fine drizzle .the type that wets you right through. We snaked our way out of town, up through the Pico’s d Europe.
Unfortunately the improvised air hawk somehow managed to slip from under me and was lost down a deep ravine. I’d have get used to riding on a tree trunk.
The Pico’s of Europe crossed. What had started off as a warm if somewhat wet day had given way to the cold with ice at the side of the road now came warm breezes as we descended down towards Valladolid, the first of our overnight stays .Full of beans excitement and pride as well as a good few joint as scrow had brought an oz. of Moroccan weed
We arrived at four in afternoon at the first campsite in Valladolid. Our adventure had begun .After pacing round the campsite trying to find level ground and seeing lots of ant holes with long strings of large black ants snaking out of them, We pitched tent unloaded the bike. Realising how bad we smelt .had a shower .Feeling refreshed we set off into town for something to eat and a few beers .Nothing much happened that evening though my sleep nightmare had begun. Unbeknown to me scrow was a very deep sleeper who fell asleep straight away and began to snore .I began my nightly ritual of thumping him, waking him and turning him onto his side
Note of warning take two tents if your travel mate snores.
We woke early to lovely sunshine and clear skies, loaded the bike and after a coffee and small joint set off for our next stop Avila
The temperature was getting hotter as we headed south and by the time we had loaded the bike sweat was pouring off us
It was going to be a hot day we had to negotiate the outskirts of Madrid
Madrid is described as three months winter nine months hell .and we were not disappointed it was hot with no let up as we had no sunglasses of tinted visors to shade us
.Then the engine began to cut out miles from anywhere around 20 miles from Madrid
Off the main road onto a field .First thought drain the carb, let her cool off for half an hour while scrow had a reefer .and then shaded ourselves under some olive trees...
Thexl600 lmf hasn’t a kick-start however after cleaning the carburettor and letting her cool off. A few dabs on the starter she roared into life.
Thank goodness though I imagined I knew about bikes I really hadn’t a clue apart from carb plug battery
Lunch was provided by an orange tree conveniently located just by the side of the road some bread and cheeses was purchased at a local tienda along with aqua
Later that day as we passed fields full of aniseed, the smell was amazing.
In the afternoon scrow began to nod causing me to jerk him awake with my helmet banging my head backwards into his .By four with the heat we had had enough for one day.
By this point we were just near Toledo a quick check of the map to find the nearest campsite .just a mile down the road .happy days.
Straight to sleep after pitching the tent and up around five before the heat really started.
We set off for our next stop ciudad real
The roads in Spain seem endless with field upon field of girasols (sunflowers) like an invading army off triffids.
Scrow reported that our meagre diet of ham sandwiches and oranges washed down with beer and reefers was causing him to hallucinate on the back of the bike. Seeing the swarms of sunflowers talking in the wind
At one point two overtaking waggons were heading on a collision course for us They forced us off the road into a gravel patch, stopping in a cloud of dust shaken though unharmed We had a joint and an orange and thanked the stars we were still alive .
We had arranged with some friends and my current girlfriend to meet up in Torrmolinos We had decided not to camp but get a room or an apartment to stay in
Arriving at four in the afternoon we tried in vain to secure some accommodation.
.This was slightly harder than first anticipated as for some reason probably the dishevelled look and maybe the smell all the hotels were all full .Eventually we found somewhere on the outskirts of Town unloaded the bike and went straight out to meet our other friends
.We must have looked a sight strolling along the beach in our bike gear .smelling like a couple of skunks after many days of the hot sun baking the sweat to our armpits road dirt on our faces.
Upon spotting us before we spotted them the girls tried to hide the fact they were topless hastily putting back their bikini s before running across the beach to meet us
The next few days we spent relaxing and getting drunk. .Unbeknown to me scrow slept with my sister a thing he kept to himself until the writing of this
It was soon time to be heading back for out rendezvous with the ferry .I began thinking of what route to take .the coastal route would involve covering a greater distance The seeping fork seal wasn’t getting any worse or any better so we decided to head back along similar route to the one taken although on different roads than ride up the coast.
We set off heading back to Santander
.After another day in the searing heat we headed for Jaen. Jaen is a very beautiful village
We arrived in Jaen at the campsite in the afternoon to find the pool which was the town’s only pool full of young people swimming and having a good time.
Before long and beautiful young sultry looking Spanish girl came over to us and asked “tienes cigarillo?”
“Si yo tengo ti gusta?” I replied in my best Spanish
She had dark hair dark eyes pale skin and full round lips her wet top contoured the shape of her ski jump breasts .Eva Maria Giraldez Mateo she announced as she pulled on the cigarette
"Encantado” I replied immediately enthralled.
.we chatted as best we could and arranged to meet her and her friend later that night for a few beers and to show us the town’s nightlife
.Id fallen in love or was it lust at first sight
We also arranged to meet a couple of Spanish lads we had been chatting to on meeting at the bar had brought his mother with him. When she saw my earring refused to speak to us immediately storming out of the bar!!
As the night and the certheza wore on I was falling more and more for Eva. After many beers and many bars we headed back to the campsite having lost scrow on the way...The gates locked and in no state to climb them went to a local hotel instead.
The basic hotel was manned by a little old lady who gave us a wry smile as we entered and paid despite not having our passport .A night of passion followed by an early departure with the same old lady raising her eyebrows at us as we sauntered past as quickly as we could
Back at the campsite Scrow was fast asleep in the tent, still snoring away, having somehow scrambled over the large gates in his drunken stupor.
Saying our goodbyes to our new friends we headed off to Manzanares to a well situated ant site just off the main road.
That evening g we decided to treat ourselves to a real meal after skipping lunch and dinner in Jaen .Unfortunately for some reason probably because we were smelling a little and our general dishevel demeanour after two weeks on the road the waiters just ignored us and served everyone bar us .
I don’t think k we will eat here tonight pal I said to scrow .So opted for a bag of crisps and the last of our orange supplies promising to stock up on pan queso and jambon our staple diet of the trip.
A night spent wild camping added to our expectations of the holiday near Segovia in the mountains very cold though nice to camp under the stars and reflect on the trip so far.
Next stop Burgos.
By now the terrain had given way to lush green fields .The campsite in Burgos was delightful ,nice facilities .At this point our weed supply had dwindled to a crumb and the first argument of the trip ensued .I can’t remember what it was over .
We were both tired hungry and said few things maybe we shouldn’t .Being on a trip you are stuck with each other for the duration There was a silence with an atmosphere like thick fog for five minutes .A realization of the situation and its silliness, a quick round of sorry We I had a cigarette a hug and a beer and all was well again with the happy travellers.
A check over the bike revealed the fork seal was weeping badly though it didn’t seem to affect then steering very much or the handling .other than a quick tighten of then chain all was well for the last run down to our starting point Santander .
The road to Santander is full of wonderful views at one point we spotted a couple of eagle sized birds soaring in the sky
Santander is very beautiful.
After putting the tent up we went to explore.
Santander has a lovely beach in town the some nice coves giving way to cliffs heading out of town.
At one of the cliffs a women was crying as I presume it was her car that had gone over the edge and was lying unceremoniously on its back like an upturned turtle .The car having been taken for a joyride the night before...Youths no doubt having g a laugh as the car hurtled off the edge of a cliff
Back on camp we made our sandwiches of ham bought a few bottle of red wine and preceded to relax and get drunk
As two German lads walked by we caught the aroma of Moroccan weed
“That’s smells lovely” we both said in unison
That struck up conversation we offering to share our wine in exchange for their weed.
Uwe Gerlach and Imme from Bremen became our buddies for the next few nights sat in the afternoon sun swapping stories, drinking cheap red wine and smoking some nice weed .Bliss
.At one point I took Imme, who was six foot five ,into town to try and score some more weed .He looked very odd a tall German on the back off a little Englishman riding a desert bike
One of the nights whilst sitting on the canteen of the campsite we spotted two Spanish girls one good looking one slim nice boobs the other plump with a moustache.
“We could be in here scrow though u may have to take on for the team and go with the fatty.” I said
Scow being an obliging sort copped for the fatty and I eloped for another night of passion with yet another Spanish beauty.
The next few days were spent on the beach. On the nudist beach scrow opting to stay clothed. It was a very odd feeling swimming in the sea naked half expecting a fish to eat my old man thinking it was a worm.
Before long the day came to pack up and head or the ferry back home .This time loaded up with mal du mar tablets which seemed to do the trick
We spent the whole night asleep, awakening 20 minutes before docking in Plymouth
Ready for a ride back up north .and yes back to the rain of our homeland .ruining all the films we had taken
We had covered over 2000 miles .We had managed to navigate on the wrong side of the road .Had a brilliant time, met lots of new friends and arrived back in England in one piece .
We had grown as people, not too sure if we were men yet though we felt it
Route taken from Santander and back
A67 to Valladolid
N601 to Avila
Ap51 to AranJuuez
E5/a4 to Ciudad Real
A41/a4 to Cordoba
A4/e5 to Seville
A4 to Jerez
A384/a364 to Rhonda to Malaga.
A44 to Jaen
E5 to Valdepenas
E5 to Ocana
E5 to Riaza
E 5 to Burgos
N62 to Santander
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Lads Spanish adventure
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