What a day! But I shall begin at the beginning, which, I am told, is a very good place to start.
Up fairly early this morning, breakfasted and got the bike out.. packed up and just before I left took a few photos of the hotel, just to show you how grotty it looks from the outside. As I said yesterday the room is excellent, so no complaints really…. yes I know, I’m always complaining…
So I have changed my mind as usual… not going to Burgos… realised I’ve not had the pleasure of finding a closed HD dealership for a few days, so its off to Oviedo, just 205kms from here and on the way to Santander, which is where I am getting the ferry home tomorrow.
Bombing along the N630 in the sunshine and nothing much happening… I was just wondering what I was going to say in my blog when I enter the town of La Robla.. am approaching the Pyrenees again and can see the dark clouds emerging over the mountains. Just before the next roundabout there is a group of Spanish Civil police and one of them flags me down.. oh oh, what have I done?? He comes over and using a mixture of spanish and gesture tells me I can’t go any further on the N630 and must detour to the AP66 (a bloomin’ toll road). OK so off I go… when I get to the booth the charge is a whopping €7.40, wow that’s steep!! Well, I’ve go no choice so I pay up and am soon bombing up the AP66. Before long I am in amongst the Pyrenean foothills and travelling through fairly long tunnels. I have to say the views are almost worth the toll fee… look at this…
And a few kilometres further on…
Then through a 4000m plus tunnel into the clouds and the temperature drops and it gets decidedly damp, but I carry on without the romper suit for now as it’s only very light. As we drop down the drizzle stops but its still gloomy. About 2kms outside of Oviedo it really starts to rain, but as I am on the motorway there is no place to stop and put the wet gear on so just have to bear it. The HD dealers is 5 or 6kms out the other side so by the time I arrive my jeans are soaked… again!! I reckon I can change into my wet gear in the shop, but guess what…. it’s shut.. closed from 1pm to 4pm and its 1.30 now.. sigh! Sod that, I’m not hanging around til 4 so I take my time and put all the wet gear on, change my gloves etc etc. I then check out the gps and find there are two other HD dealers.. one in Bilbao and one just outside Santander.. well I’ve got plenty of time so I route to Santander for the ferry tomorrow night via the two HD dealers.. I’ll find somewhere to stay tonight along the way.
It’s still raining and miserable when I leave and have gone about 3k. I am about to turn right when the bike decides to disappear from under me.. no warning… one minute I’m riding and the next I’m in the road listening to the bike scraping along the tarmac. There is a tremendous pain in my right thigh, so much so that I think I have broken it.. within a few seconds there is a man standing over me obviously asking me if I’m ok in Spanish… I can’t speak the pain is so bad so I just sign pain to him and point at my leg; I think I moaned a bit too (tres unusual I know). I try to get up but really can’t move although I have ascertained that it’s not broken as I can lift it slightly and wiggle my foot. The man puts his hand on my shoulder and again obviously tells me to stay still.. meanwhile he is calling for an ambulance. After a few minutes I realise that the bike is still on, so I ignore the man and make an attempt to get up… he then helps me and another man appears from nowhere to help. Once on my feet I’m able to limp over to the bike to turn the ignition off.. and when I look up the civil police have arrived already. The first man and a lady cop lift the bike off the ground to take it out of the road, but of course it is in gear so I have to try and take it out of gear.. the pain is memorable!!
Anyway.. have to get out my papers.. passport, drivers license etc. No one speaks English btw.. so have to try my leetle beet of espanol with sign language. The upshot is that I have to wait for the ambulance to arrive so they can assess my injuries.. ok but I’m not going to the hospital.
While I’m waiting I assess the damage…. not too bad considering…
New front fender/mudguard; new set of brake levers and fluid reservoir; oh the mirror broke off completely so new set of mirrors; new air filter; new rear brake pedal pad; new foot pegs and lastly, my headset snapped from the gps so have to get one of those made. All in all I would say roughly £1000 and a hike on my insurance next year… bloody bikes!!
Ambulance arrives, two guys one of whom speaks a little english, he takes a look at my leg and says I must go to hospital, but I tell him it’s ok, I don’t need to go. He makes me sign a release, which is fine with me. He tells me if I get any more pain or swelling then I must find the nearest Hospital or clinic.. I promise him that I will. They go and I assume I will be able to get on my way now, but noooooo I have to wait for the traffic cops to come, they arrive a few minutes later; take all the same details as the civil guard and then let me go. I do manage to get some details from them so I can tell the insurance and that should be ok for me to make a claim.. I hope.
When they have gone I take a few photos of the crash site and then, tentatively, get back on the bike. I turn around and head back to the HD dealers down the road who should be open now as it is gone 4pm, to get a replacement mirror.
There is more to tell, but to be honest I’ve had enough blogging now and my leg is throbbing so will finish off tomorrow morning… night all x
Morning all… I am feeling much better… I slept quite well considering and the swelling in my leg has gone down quite a bit along with the pain so I’m looking forward to today.. anyway back to yesterday…
Arrive at the dealers and must admit I’m a bit shaky… there is a group from Provincetown Northern Ireland at the shop and they are very friendly, some enquire as to the accident and it seems we will be on the same ferry tomorrow night so invite me to join them.. thanks maybe I will, be nice to have some company.
I manage to pick up a standard mirror.. its chrome so looks more than a bit out of place on the bike, but it does the job so that’s good. I pop in the loo to see if I can see what my leg looks like, but its too dark, I can feel a huge lump on the side and its very hot and painful to touch. I notice that I also have pain in my right shoulder, knee and ankle… guess that’s where I whipped around on the ground after the initial impact on my thigh. Anyway, it all makes walking pretty painful at the moment.
I also grab a tee shirt.. just because I think I ought to… and the total bill comes to €71 which is not too bad for harley… he has given me 15% discount?? normal HOG member discount is 10% so that’s a bit strange, but grateful of course.
So gingerly I get back on the bike to resume my journey… I think, briefly, to just go straight to Santander and find somewhere to stay to wait for the ferry, but nah… theres more tee shirts in them thar hills quimo sabe… (for those who remember the Lone Ranger.. can’t be many of us left…). Onward and downward as we are out of the mountains now, towards Bilbao.
After about 20 or 30k I realise I am more shook up than I thought, the accident has really knocked my confidence on the bike and it is raining again. I enter a town called Villaviciosa and pull over to consult the booking.com app (I just love it!!) and find a hotel right here in this town.. its the Casa Espana.. fab!
10 minutes later I am parking up at the hotel… so easy peesy…
There is another group of Brits sitting at some tables outside the hotel, they are from Scotland I would say, judging by the accents. I tell them about the accident and one woman comes over to offer to help me with my bags, her name is Elaine and she tells me that she had a similar accident on her bike a couple of years ago, but her bike was a write off so guess I have been lucky really. Elaine says ‘why don’t you get your insurance to transport your bike home’… ‘no’ says I ‘I can ride it, its not broken’; to be honest it’s not something I would ever have thought of. They are going home on the same boat and invite me to join them… bloody hell, thats two invitations in one day.. but I’m not going to have accidents everytime I would like some company!!!!
I get settled in the hotel.. have a look at my leg.. not much to see except this huge lump in the middle of my thigh; it’s still hot and painful to touch and difficult to walk but hunger conquers all, so I get changed and make my way downstairs to see what is on the menu.
No menu.. only sandes and bocadillas.. ‘ah ok, wheres the restaurants pro favor?’ apparently they are just 20m away up the street opposite. Well reckon I can manage that…. but you know me and my sense of direction.. yep round and round.. limp limp limp, can’t find anything except cafe bars, bars and more bars full of blokes watching football, delightful. In the end I spot the word Restaurant up ahead and decide whatever the menu that is where I am going to eat. I look inside, there are a few people at a long bar, theres footie on the telly – no ones watching it, and some bare tables. The menu is on display outside and its all in Spanish, but I spot Entrecôte on it.. right thats what I’ll have, so in I go.
I get a few strange looks (ho hum), and limp up to the only table with a paper cloth and some cutlery on it. After a few minutes a small woman comes from behind the bar to serve me, she doesn’t speak English of course so I ask for the menu… she disappears… comes back and says ‘Non menu’, disappears again and brings….. the menu???? She asks me ‘solo’ ‘Si’ and then gets me to move to another table.. the only table in the place that is set up is for 4 people and because she is so busy I need to move to a smaller table…. sorry don’t get it???? Anyway, she leaves me to look at the menu and I remember before on the way to Switzerland Lynn and I asked for the menu and got the set meal for the day, (see the Switzerland blog for details), so she thought I wanted the set meal…. ahhh all is revealed. She comes back and I point to the Entrecôte.. ‘Non blah blah fillet’ ‘OK thats great… err bueno por favour’ ‘con patatas?’ ‘Si.. oh salade natural’ ‘Si Si’ and off she goes. I’m feeling rather pleased with myself there, almost strung a sentence together. A few minutes later she comes back with a small plate with one tiny piece of french bread on it and gives it to me. I think… god what’s this, I hope it’s not fish. It looks like cheese with a lump of jam on the top.. oh well, can’t be rude, I take a bite.. yep it’s cheese with a lump of jam on the top… tasty!!
The meal arrives and it’s enormous… a huge piece of steak, chips (hand made) and a full plate of salad… fantastic. It is so large I can’t finish it all. I am eating away and notice it’s England v someone in blue and yellow on the telly at the far end of the bar, so for want of something better to do I sort of watch it.
Suddenly the woman at the bar starts pouring from a large wine bottle.. nothing odd there, except she is pouring from the full stretch of her arm above her head to below the bar… she’s pouring it on the floor for some reason I think… then she puts a large glass about 1/4 full of a pale yellow liquid on the bar and a man takes it, gulps most of it in one go and empties the dregs onto the floor… I’m sure my mouth is open, I’ve never seen anything like it! She then starts pouring on the floor again from the full height of her expended arm.. up pops a glass with the same amount onto the bar and the woman next to the man takes it, gulps most of it down and throws the dregs on the floor…. now this is fascinating, I can’t keep my eyes off them.. if they look I just pretend to be watching the footie. She then serves two other people, but now I can see her other hand.. so the right hand is way above her head and her left hand holds the glass fully extended below her waist and she expertly aims the liquid into the glass.. she misses a bit so some of it goes on the floor.. she’s not bothered. A few minutes later she comes round the bar and is talking to the two people who have had the drinks.. she spots me gawping and comes over.. oops! Now I remember when I was looking at the blurb about the hotel that this region is famous for its Sidre… ah I bet thats what it is… she seems concerned that I am not enjoying my food… no no and I mimic the pouring action and ask if it is Sidre?? Si si.. she disappears and gets me a glass.. no no I say but she tells me that the two people are offering me some of their bottle.. oh so I really cannot refuse. She does the whole pouring action and brings the glass to me.. she gestures ‘down in one go’ so I do.. ‘Muy bueno’ she says and beams at me.. I beam back.. its really very strong, so I beam over to the couple and say ‘Gracias’ the woman nods back. I’m feeling a bit woozy.. that stuff is deadly! After this the couple leave and the woman says buenos noches to me, I feel very happy to have found this place.
At the end of the meal I practice my very best spanish in my head and when I go to pay I say… badly… ‘Muy, muy bueno… deliciosa’ ‘delicthiosa’ she corrects me but she is beaming at my compliments and poor attempt at Spanish I suspect. ‘Grathias, I say again and buenos noches’ and off I hobble back to the hotel.
It’s a funny old life isn’t it when you can go from deep upset to euphoria in the space of 4 hours… oh well tomorrow is another day. Am going to continue my journey to Bilbao and Santander HDs then on to the ferry tomorrow night.
Ciao for now….