Spain 2014 Days 8 -12. Blow holes, beaches and bends!

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    Day 8 Sunbathing and Blowholes!

    After over a week of a near perfect biking trip you find yourself just wishing that you could live more and more of your life in this, simple, stress free manner…but for now we still had some time left to enjoy ourselves before the return to the real world. The lads fancied a day down at the local beach so that is what we did, just a short hop away on the bikes.
    Being a miserable grumpy old bugger I just sat on the beach in full bike kit, bar my jacket which I sat on. Meanwhile they mucked about in the surf like a bunch of excited 12 year olds, bless ‘em. They even managed to get ticked off by a lifeguard furiously blowing a whistle at them…

    We did do a little run up on the bikes to a place called Llanes, meanwhile Ses had decide to continue to sun himself on the beach. So just the three of us picked our way through some tight little lanes to get there and were greeted by the sight of a small inlet, bordered by a step sided cliff. The beach was narrow, but the sea was shallow to a good distance out and people were enjoying the chance to make the most of the decent weather. As we wondered up to the top of the cliffs we thought we could hear thunder, but it had a strange guttural roar, deeper than you would normally encounter. Several times we heard the strange sound and struggled to work out from which direction it was coming, it was mildly disconcerting….then we realised, the noise was actually coming from below us. The sea, as it crashed against the cliff face over the centuries, had forced open little fault lines and fissures that ran all the way up to the surface of the cliff top. So as the waves came in air is forced through the cracks and fissures and the strange thunder like roar is the result. You can stand over ‘the blow-holes’ and feel the air rush and see the debris pushed skywards. I have never come across this anywhere else on my travels. Very odd.

    Day 9 The last few days

    So after a relatively quiet and restful day we set out on our final Saturday in Spain with a little more intent. Ses was feeling a little fragile having managed to get himself fried to a crisp the day before, and I too was suffering from the effects of some dodgy food from a beach side vendor. Let’s put it this way, for once it was not the small tank on the Ducati that was dictating how often I needed to stop!

    I had increased the tyre pressure on the Ducati, to the correct level and I have to say the bike was now turning in much better, not that it been too bad before. After a slightly frustrating ride on the sublime 624, where we had been bottled up behind a horse box in sweltering heat we took a break at a place called Mieres. On route we stumbled across the seemingly brand new and perfectly surfaced AS119, this was a tremendously fast open sweeping road and Thumper and myself did our best to keep a local rider on a KTM in sight. That was really great fun, even if he did manage to pull away a little from us in the end. As for Mieres To be honest, this was a slightly scruffy, down at heel place that seemed to showing real signs of the troubled times the Spanish economy is enduring at the moment.

    Ses still feeling the effects of his day on the beach headed for home from here while the rest of us pressed onto the hills. Initially we on another brand spanking new road with a surface so perfect you could mistake it for a MotoGP circuit. It was also deserted…yeee haaah!

    Just in case you were wondering where all the money we pay into Europe goes…

    The road soon narrowed down and became somewhat bumpier as we picked our way uphill again, past yet another empty ski resort. Not quite as high at 1800m as the others but still spectacular as the road twisted and turned its way down a picturesque valley.  After filling up in the worlds’ quietest 24 hour petrol station we stopped for launch in a pretty little village called Lilyo.


    Then on the way back to base we passed over a (yet another…) spectacular valley, with jaw dropping views. As the sun tried to pierce through the clouds lining the mountain tops, the scene reminded me of those 1950’s Hollywood epic movies like ‘The Ten Commandments’ with Charlton Heston starring as Moses! I half expected a disembodied God like voice to come booming from the sky telling me not to be so bloody noisy on that sodding Ducati!



    God wanted a chat at one point

    From here I really cut loose for twenty miles or so and really pushed the Duke hard through a never ending stream of bends on the E625, it was absolute heaven. I had one little moment when I cocked up a gearshift but I soon tidied things up and blazed onwards towards Cangas. Virtually no traffic interrupted my flow, and it was when of those rare, but wonderful, occasions when everything just comes together…bike, road, place, and mood…fantastic. However, rain finally stopped play and I pulled into a road side café and took shelter under a cover while I waited for Thumper and Rich to roll up.

    That evening was spent, as was most of the others, back at base, drinking a few tins of beer and just laughing, joking and talking about what we had been up to. Simple and enjoyable stuff. Incidentally we saved a fortune by eating and drinking back at base, a tray of beers costs about the same as one beer from a bar…

    Day 10 No bikes, we actually walked somewhere!

    Sadly for proper riding yesterday proved to be the last real outing, but at least it ended on a high. The bad weather that had been forecast all week finally kicked in during the morning, so we just stayed in for a while playing cards and smiling as hyper active Rich paced about the house like a caged tiger.

    For a bloke who claimed never to of played Poker before, Rich was cleaning up. Good job we were only playing for matches!

    When the weather cleared a little we walked down to the local beach at Ribadesella…and checked out the town. What a superb place and it had been on our doorstep all week without us really appreciating it. A stunning beach, lines of historic buildings, a characterful shopping area, a marina and a market.

    Fantastic beach at Ribadesella


    So despite not riding anywhere we still had a great time, and it just shows that a day off the bike after so much intense riding can be a good thing

    Days 11 and 12 Homeward Bound

    Well sadly all good things come to an end, so it was with a tinge of sadness we packed up, cleaned the house and headed back to Santander for our Ferry back to the UK and reality.

    The Duke, which never missed beat, tucked up with a mate to chat to on the ferry

    Enjoying a few last beers

    The trip back was uneventful, the ferry comfortable and such a better option than a near 1000 mile drag back to Calais. We even bumped into both sets of the other British lads we had seen earlier in the week. Once back on UK roads we had to endure heavy traffic, pouring rain and pot holes almost immediately, but what will linger in the memory forever is over 1000 miles on some of the best roads I have ridden, in a quite stunning setting with three good friends. Biking does not get better than this… 


    the photos are amazing, looks like it was a fantastic trip :-)




    Reading this again really makes me miss Northern Spain, best place I have ever ridden a bike. What a fantastic trip and write up



    Seconded, brilliant place for biking. Nice pics.


    Great report; excellent photos….  8)


    Cheers for the feedback lads, why don’t you all come along on the next big trip?


    Hmmmmm….. :) :) :)


    The article on the BBC website gives an interesting insight as to how Mieres, the town I referred to as run down in my piece, cam to be how it is

    It would appear that it isn’t just here in the UK where miners have had a tough time 

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