Day 5: 9th April 2022 – Villa de Don Fadrique, La Mancha to Gibraltar
Final hop today, across the Sierra Nevada range and down into La Linea de la Concepcion to cross the border into Gibraltar. The day dawns very bright and bodes well for the journey. I go down for breakfast and there is quite the spread; fruit, cheeses, breads etc. very nice.
I get my luggage and pack up the bike, during which the owner comes out and watches me… again with the slightly creepy! He does gesture an offer of help at one point, but I’m ok of course. All done and with a butchered ‘Adios Amigo’ I’m off.
It really is a lovely day and not too cold. Following the country roads I am soon heading up into the foothills of the Sierras. The ubiquitous bully is often to be seen watching over the land… I really must ask someone why these are dotted about the countryside.
More views.. the snow capped Sierras are in the distance, am going to have to cross these at some point.
Am really enjoying the ride today and as I ascend the road becomes more convoluted. The route is amazingly quiet, almost no traffic whatsoever, which is good.
As I climb higher I decide the snow looks too cold so will turn now on to a faster route that will take me down towards the coast then along to La Linea and into Gibraltar.
I’m riding along the A7 coast road and for some weird reason I look down at my exhausts and the ‘Fucking Hot’ heat shield has lost one of its fittings and is now hanging off… bugger! I pull over asap and secure it back on with a cable tie.. I’m going to have to find a replacement button head bolt, I probably have a stainless one at home. OMG, not some 20 miles later and the bolt at the other end has gone… this results in the shield hanging off and dragging on the ground causing some significant damage, am really peed off about it. I decide to take it off altogether; I’m going to have to root out two stainless button heads when I get home.
The sporty has done well… am pretty happy with it. The sheepskin gel pad I put on the seat had to go.. I took it off the first day as it was making the base of my spine ache, without it is much better, I have kept it though as it might suit Glo when on the back.
All in all a good decision I think, this is a much more suitable bike for riding around the local area and shopping trips etc. I will spend a couple of weeks in Gib, catching up with maintenance in the apartment. Glo is joining me in a couple of days so we can have a break together in the sun. The weather is glorious, especially on our balcony which is a sun trap, so am hoping to get a bit of a tan. For the ride back to the UK, I have already brought over a brand new front brake disk and pads as I noticed the existing disk has had it so I will do that on Tuesday. Have arranged with my mate Martin, who runs a moto repair shop in Gib, to borrow a few bits and pieces.. I will do the work myself but don’t have a lift and some other tools here, so for a couple of quid I can go over and use his.. all good.
12th April 2022 – Gibraltar
Piggy has new pads and disk… easy job really, only an hour and a half, with a break to pay my speeding fine… what!!! Yep, went to my garage yesterday over the border in La Linea to swap the bikes over… bringing Piggy back through the border I then have to cross the runway at the airport. The speed limit here is 50kph, needless to say I was going a little quicker when out pops this copper with a speed gun waving me down. Tried to talk my way out of it, but he wasn’t having any of it.. 67kph in a 50 zone… cost £100… I mean WTF Padraigin??
19th April 2022 – Still in Gibraltar
So the plan is to leave on Thursday, ride up the coast of Spain into France, pop and visit some friends in Lagrasse and turn right to St Tropez and the Coté d’Azur for 4 or so days before heading north to Calais and home… well that was the plan, but the weather is predicted to be terrible all week, heavy rain and thunderstorms moving eastwards so basically I will be wet every day… nope forget it. Discretion being the better part of valour and all that I decide to book a return ferry from Santander to Portsmouth on Sunday. I will still leave on Thursday to give myself plenty of time to ride up, well hopefully.