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My first biking holidays

Posted on 09/08/2003 at 2:21 pm by / 0

This was my first “long” trip on my bike and on my own, the more kilometres I had done was a return trip from Barcelona to Onteniente in 3 days, and by then I had been (well) accompanied.

I started on a Saturday morning from Barcelona to the first (short) stop: Perpignan, where I spent the week-end with my family. By motorway, nothing original except some traffic jam at the tolls… a little boring to be honest.

Next Monday I left after lunch to the second stop of the trip, Bordeaux, also by motorway, also boring. The only detail of the trip was when I stopped at the first service station, there were 3 Goldwings with trailer, with Irish plates. And then another one arrived (without trailer), with a Belgian couple with whom I had a small chat while we were resting… They had been in Barcelona for the HD centenary, then they had gone across the Riviera, and they were then aiming to Lourdes before going back to Belgium (and some will say that I do a lot of kilometres… 😉 ).

The next day I left early to Le Mans, the first half by motorway and the second by quite straight national roads, but less boring than the motorway. The weather was lovely, sunny but not too warm.

The small detail of the trip was my 3-year-old niece’s surprised face when she saw a bike coming into her garden, and it was her godmother who got down and took off her helmet…  It looks like she likes bikes already 😉 (sorry for her dad :/ ).

After a week with the family, I got on the road again on Saturday, to Niort, about 200km, 150 of which under pouring rain… I arrived completely soaked and I needed all weekend to dry (a little exaggerated but not so much!).

Next Monday I left Niort to Bilbao, all the trip through motorway (with tolls or free), a little boring but I was very happy to go to Bilbao. I stopped at the border to have lunch with a forum friend, Lorenzo, and then I proceeded to Bilbao where I was warmly welcomed by Cris, another forum friend. I was very happy to see her again and to spend some time with her and her friends.

The next day she came with me for a while on her bike, to San Vicente de la Barquera, showing me very nice places, some of which I will have to come back without luggage, like Santillana del Mar and some others…

In San Vicente de la Barquera, she went back while I went on to Oviedo (I was supposed to go to Gijón but never found the way out). There I met with another forum friend, Julio, while we were trying to talk to Rafa on the phone but he wouldn’t answer… 😉 and after a while Julio saw that one of the bikes parked next to ours was the one of another forum guy, Juan, who was close by having a drink and who joined us. Rafa then joined us and we had a drink, and then we all went to a small village for (very nice) dinner… and that was it for the first day in Asturias, in good company…

Every one of the 3 days there we went for ride outs on large twisty roads (so many of them there!), and discovered beautiful places inland and on the coast: a fishermen village, a cape where we couldn’t find the walking path to the point, and a small part of the “Picos de Europa”, where we were over the clouds, beautiful landscapes under an incredible sun 🙂 .

Cabo Peñas


Cangas de Onis

Covadonga Lakes – Lago Ercina

Covadonga Lakes – Lago Enol

And all that accompanied by first class guides (but one, who got lost in every single roundabout 😀 )…

And I have to highlight the incredible weather we could enjoy all the week, not a raindrop! Who said that in Asturias it’s raining all the time?

One detail of the ride outs… in a village on our way to the Picos de Europa, an elderly man (about 80 years old I’d say) watched us go through the village and greeted the 4 of us with a “V” sign. There is no age for passion… 😉

On Friday night there was a “goodbye party” (although completely unplanned), with a lot (too many for some… I won’t name anybody 😉 ) of cider, until “a little” late.

And on Saturday morning I had to head back home 🙁 . I was still (well) accompanied though by 3 nice Asturians, until some place close to Santander I think, by a river under the trees, where we had some sandwiches and I had a little nap also, really needed it!

At about 4.30pm we kicked off, 2 Asturians went back to their homeland and another one accompanied me a little more, to Bilbao.

Then I went on on my own by the National road, very nice and pleasant, with nice views, and the last part by motorway quite boring, with a lot of heat, and annoying side wind. I spent the night in Pamplona and had a very good sleep 😉 .

I left in the morning for the last part of the trip Pamplona-Jaca-Huesca-Barbastro-Lleida-Barcelona. The first part to Huesca by a road with very nice landscapes (typical nice villages, Yesa reservoir, incredible views on the Pyrenees).

Yesa Reservoir

From Barbastro it was a little bit more boring, with straight roads and motorway, and still that unbearable heat.

I arrived home at 3.30pm, end of the trip. I get down of the bike, take off my gloves, my helmet, my jacket… the road trip is over (my butt, my right fist, my neck and my back are thankful for that 😉 ). Holidays have come to their end.

I still have a lot to see about Asturias, I will have to come back… on my way to Galicia? I already have an idea for my next holidays… Still have to see with which bike it will be…

I won’t end without saying a big thank you to all those who accompanied me and warmly welcomed me, and for all I learn in such a short time. Between others: hospitality and friendship.


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