Transalp travels south to Andorra for some RB2 fun.

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Glenn_G
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Re: Transalp travels south to Andorra for some RB2 fun.

Post by Glenn_G » Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:44 pm

Cheers for info Simon, agree website updates are/were useful in planning to avoid pitfalls along the way eg new 'private roads', angry farmers :unsure: etc. Will check out better maps sometime as I'll probably be back there next year doing rb5.


Thursday off along cracking winding b400 road east initially blocked by road works, however their road working machines moved west and then allowed me through. Picked up the route at #197, then east via #203 and through Saint Julia de Cerdanyola. Enjoying the scenery and riding abit too much as didn't concentrate and took a little while to find #215, ending up off track here :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 5233996722

It was neither of those choices, but in fact backtrack and straight through the park, also found #222 appears to be on the wrong southerly track, back tracked to adjacent southerly track and picked up #226. Got to see a few foragers and cows this morning:

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 6533531698

Green landscapes :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 1045406562

Rocky creeks :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 3446752434

Again tricky navigating when the topo map disappears (off Pyranees topo and into Spanish topo I didn't have) and you're left with only a line to follow :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 6394781650

Followed the route east to Ripoll and filled up with fuel, also to help navigate I had to buy another Espana Noreste Michelin 574 map as mine flew out of my tank bag earlier in the day somewhere. Then missed a minor road turn off and ended up going through a couple of tunnels on a major road south C-17, struggled to determine where I was even with my new map. I knew I needed to go east and took a gamble on a slip road ahead Terradelles? and thankfully it went back over the C-17 and I was east and able to go north (parallel almost with C-17) via winding road and pick up the route again at #269. Continued on and mindful of the need to detour around the angry farmer coming up soon, then saw three matching Honda XR4/600's? coming from the opposite/east direction, last one appeared to have a UK plate. I was to later see three fresh sets of tyre tracks further east a few times so I guess they either did the rb2 in reverse or maybe doing the rb5 west - hope you guys had as much fun as I did :) . I loaded up the detour route to avoid the angry farmer (along with the second half of the route - 60csx couldn't handle all the waypoints in one route/file due to it's 250 limit but it's not really a problem once you know). It took me a little while to find the trail going behind the houses from #287 to #292 but got there, and was thankful to see the stone with the iron cross on the corner to know the detour route I was following was correct :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 9382604370

Lots of winding roads to Vidra and some slow moving obstacles to avoid ;

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 1604508434

filled up and started looking for campsites on gps and found La Fagenda but meant going south/backwards so carried on north into Olot and found Les Tries Camping site, site facilities maybe a bit tired, but what a power shower - great for massaging aching neck/back muscles. Popped to the bar to pay for the camping and bought another bottle of vino tinto :cheer: :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 0514598818

to enjoy whilst cooking up some tea, vodka rice anyone (leaky hipflask soaked my last boil in the bag rice :whistle: ) :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 8068976034

Distance so far 1273 miles

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Flintlock
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Re: Transalp travels south to Andorra for some RB2 fun.

Post by Flintlock » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:00 am

A fantastic report-really enjoying it

Simon_100
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Re: Transalp travels south to Andorra for some RB2 fun.

Post by Simon_100 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 8:05 am

Glenn_G wrote: Continued on and mindful of the need to detour around the angry farmer coming up soon, then saw three matching Honda XR4/600's? coming from the opposite/east direction, last one appeared to have a UK plate. I was to later see three fresh sets of tyre tracks further east a few times so I guess they either did the rb2 in reverse or maybe doing the rb5 west - hope you guys had as much fun as I did :) .
Two of these might have been from the HISS - a Dutch couple with immaculate matching XR 600 kick start models went on a 'rideabout' for a week or so after my Event, so that would be between the 11th and 18th of September.

Image

Freek - on the right in his riding gear - is pretty distinctive and at about 6'4" fairly hard to miss! Does he look familiar?

I've mailed them to ask, but who was the mystery 'Third Man' I wonder? :whistle:

Regs

Simon
Be sure to visit www.thespanishbiker.com the invaluable guide to motorcycling in Spain - plus guided rides, HISS Events* and off road touring support service



*Highly Informal Sojourns in Spain

nuttynick
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Re: Transalp travels south to Andorra for some RB2 fun.

Post by nuttynick » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:21 pm

Great write up, cheers!

Glenn_G
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Re: Transalp travels south to Andorra for some RB2 fun.

Post by Glenn_G » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:09 pm

'Does he look familiar? '
Hard to say as it was tight winding road and only saw them briefly.
Could of been. Be interesting to see who they were and how they got on.

Simon_100
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Re: Transalp travels south to Andorra for some RB2 fun.

Post by Simon_100 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:05 am

Glenn_G wrote:'Does he look familiar? '
Hard to say as it was tight winding road and only saw them briefly.
Could of been. Be interesting to see who they were and how they got on.
Nope, not them after all. They say they did some nr 2 and 4 tracks (what are these?) but just the two of them - so the plot thickens! :whistle:

BTW, what's the story behind all of these 'Angry Farmer' warnings that you refer to?

Simon
Be sure to visit www.thespanishbiker.com the invaluable guide to motorcycling in Spain - plus guided rides, HISS Events* and off road touring support service



*Highly Informal Sojourns in Spain

Glenn_G
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Re: Transalp travels south to Andorra for some RB2 fun.

Post by Glenn_G » Sat Oct 03, 2015 9:20 am

'what's the story behind all of these 'Angry Farmer' warnings that you refer to?'
Read about this on the vibraction site, in that the original route took you past a farmer, who took offence to people passing by and appears several people over the years had run ins with him being aggressive etc, so many now choose to avoid this area and have posted detour routes around him ...

Glenn_G
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Re: Transalp travels south to Andorra for some RB2 fun.

Post by Glenn_G » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:45 pm

Friday up and out heading north east on N260 had a close shave exiting a roundabout with a truck not looking where he was going - note to self must stay focused as it's not over yet ! Heading to #329 and saw a new (to me) icon on the gps of green blocks and unsure if this was the route or I should take/stick to the road :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 2424314194

So walked/checked out options near Castellfollit de la Roca :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 3216384002

but concluded it should be via the road as this track dead ended/was roped off. However the winding road was heaven, came across 3 wheel trike cyclist out in the heat :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 8097793330

Then came across someone else going in the same direction, a 4*4 which they kindly pulled over so I could carry on the downhill cracking tree lined track with great mountain tree views :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 4525808978
https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 4687461538

Then a few miles on another 4*4, this time I waited for their dust to settle, carrying on further and the soil changed to red all around :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 9240281314

Navigating from #421 to #427 proved tricky going east across through the many offroad track options trying to get to Figueres, through this offroad maze I pulled over where lots of trees had been cut down/stacked in groups/blocks for a break. However on taking my rucksack and lid off to settle down I heard a rather disturbing growl from the undergrowth - so quickly put lid/rucksack back on and got out of there, unsure if it was a dog/wild boar? - didn't hang around to find out :ohmy: Afterwards wondered if I should have taken road route south looping east up to Figueres as a little later on a large north/south railway blocks this offroad section with no bridge over that I could find, meaning I had to get back on a road, here I've popped out onto the road trying to cool down and work out best way forward/east :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 5531615954

North of Figueres and more navigation trying to locate #435 as it appears to be a river crossing/bridge I'm looking for, to get across the water, but I missed it due to a traveller type caravan and stuff blocking my path, a quick hola/buenos dias to the owners but before I could turn around and start to think about riding through 'their patch' to find the crossing one of their alsations woke up, stretched itself as it stood up - I decided there and then to make a detour - did'nt want my new mx boots to have any teeth marks :) . Detour involved a north easterly loop round and picked up #441. Somewhere along this detour I came across one of those lady of the night you sometimes read about, sat on a white plastic chair at the end of a dirt road. She growled at me as I went passed, maybe because I didn't stop for a chat :) . Abit later on pulled over for a break, hiding in the shade for a breather :


Nice cooling stream crossing :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 2207082226

Went as far as Espolla before checking map and deciding to go south to Roses, saw a few of these little trucks bringing in the grapes :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 9695643090

Then went via Rabos, Vilajuiga & Palau-saverdera and onto the main front at Roses, made it and a little relieved to have made it :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 5804231554

I then pinged Di on FB to arrange to meetup and surprise Clive, so made my way to the Rolly Moll BP garage and did a few jobs on the bike whilst waiting - adjust the chain, top up engine oil & scottoiler reservoir but couldn't get the airline to work for the tyres. Di had told Clive he was getting a package delivered by a courier to keep him guessing, on driving into the BP garage he saw me and said 'that bloke looks like Glenn' good to see his reaction :laugh: . We made our way back to their place and I showered etc and then we went out for a couple of shandy's/panache's (long day tomorrow) on the sea front and had a natter/caught up, and picked up some takeaway food on the way back. Watched the England Fiji RWC rugby game on the tele then hit the sack.

Distance so far 1359 miles

Glenn_G
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Re: Transalp travels south to Andorra for some RB2 fun.

Post by Glenn_G » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:07 pm

Saturday up early grabbed some breakfast and a cuppa, took a pic or two whilst waiting for them to get up :) , forgot how good the view from their balcony was :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 1469652690

then left Roses a little before 9am retracing my way back to Espolla to hopefully finish of the RB2. Due to the long trek back to UK later and concerns my mt21 tyres might not last the distance I stopped at the Repsol garage just before Pau to check the tyres. The air compressor was so quiet I wondered if it was working to start with, but my pencil pressure gauge showed it got them both up to 32psi which was the recommended pressure for maximum load rating on the tyre wall. Then picked up the rb2 route and occasionally talked to myself 'stay focused' as when nearing the end of a trip mishaps can happen if I loose concentration or switch off. After a couple of hours seeing the coast meant I was near the end, which was a little sad :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 9142598946
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Dropped down onto the coast and popped into Collioure front for a quick break and picture :

https://picasaweb.google.com/1114373175 ... 3628278434

Then set off at 11:30am on the long drag home/north this time using toll roads where possible. Passing places such as Pepignan, Narbonne, Beziers, Millau (bridge crossing was interesting and cost a little under 5 euros) then needed to stop for fuel and pulled into the next one I saw, which happened to be Aire de L'Aveyron the one I was thankful to find last Sunday on the way down. It was good to see the unusual figures again, this time I wasn't running on fumes :) I also put on my wateroproof goretex layers as well two pairs of gloves (scott neoprene rain gloves under road bike leather gloves) as intermitant rain, being static sat still (not working like you do when offroading) and heading north meant it was getting colder. It was hard going, roughly 2 1/2 hour stints of riding till went onto reserve followed by a break for fuel, pee, stretch & snack then repeat ... This carried on past Saint-Flour, Clermont-Ferrand, Vierzon, Orleans then reached outskirts of Paris about 11pm that night. Maybe a little tired, as the gps was doing a good job initially directing me on the ring road around Paris but I missed a junction and ended up heading toward the city then tried to get back on ring road and got lost in some suburbs, then the bike went onto reserve bugger!

Fuel receipt later showed me at Elf Relais Picardie at 00:15 hours Sunday morning and I'd got on the N1 and gone through Saint-Denis then north to Beavais, Amiens, Abbeville. Then later on along the A16 I needed some fuel so stopped at what turned out to be the automated fuel pump near Etaples/Le Touquet, I was so stiff/achy I could only just get off the bike! It was only Super Unleaded and more expensive than normal but at least I wouldn't run out and have to push! For info a little under 25 miles further north there appeared to be a nicer stop called Relais de l'Epitre. Finally got to Calais and rolled up to the DFDS checkin counter at 4am, to be told the 6am ferry is full but you're on standby in case anyone does not show, else you'll be on the 11am one bugger! There were two cars, myself then a third car parked in the 'standby lane' 111 and we had to be ready at 05:40am in case space became available. So I went off to the coffee room to warm up and have a kip (after setting an alarm on my phone for 45 mins time!) managed to lay down behind the vending machines for abit and woke up blury eyed to the alarm. Wandered back to my bike and sat on the floor leaning against the front wheel trying not to fall asleep, a kind lady in the car behind me offered to dig out one of their camping chairs but I declined thanking her, and explained I will be getting on the ferry soon, or going back to sleep in the coffee room :laugh: . Thankfully I was the first standby waved onto the 06am ferry, unsure if the others made it though. Being late on I couldn't find anywhere comfy to lie down, so slept on the dining room floor (after setting an alarm on my phone for 95 mins time). Woke up feeling dazed/jaded and wandered down to floor 2 to find my bike and get kitted up - I was the last off :whistle: . However for once Dover was not grey/raining on return, but in fact was bright, sunny in the early morning and it looked lovely - felt good to be back in Britain. Topped up with fuel in Dover so no need to stop on the way home. It was a hard slog getting home, probably not helped by only 2 hours sleep and lots of hours/miles in the saddle. The Transalp is usually a really comfortable bike but the M20, M25, M1 journey home to Milton Keynes was very hard with aching feet, knees and arse all the way. Arrived home a little before 10am, hung up tent to air/dry and then went in to find wife on the sofa watching tv, quote 'you're home early', followed by 'you stink' - I love you too :P My 16 year old son wanted to show me his new cooking skills and made me a bacon sarnie - result (thumbs)


Distance total 2285 miles

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boboneleg
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Re: Transalp travels south to Andorra for some RB2 fun.

Post by boboneleg » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:24 pm

Thank you Glenn for such an entertaining RR (thumbs)
one-legged adventurer

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