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Destination Santiago...


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#1 tr7dan

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:46 pm

So we just got back from our 5th annual road trip - this year to Santiago De Compostela and northern Spain taking in the Picos de Europa.

 

We set off from Lancashire early morning last Sunday (9th) heading for the Pont Avon Brittany ferry to Santander from Plymouth. We were booked on the 3.45 ferry so we just took the motorway route to be on the safe side and, in fact, arrived a couple of hours early.

 

Rather than hang around the port car park we made our way to the Hoe promenade.....

 

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.........which I thought was really picturesque.....

 

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.............and was made even better by the fact that there was a large gathering of about thirty or so Ferraris - everything from classic Dinos and Testarossas to brand new 488's. Not a bad way to kill a couple of hours - slurping one of those oyster ice creams (haven't had one of those since I was a kid !) whilst checking out the cars.

 

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There were a lot of bikes on the ferry, including a group of Hells Angels but loading on was relatively stress free. I had taken padding for the seat strap but, unlike the Hull to Rotterdam P&O ferry, they provided the padding and the crew strapped down the bike....

 

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The crossing was calm and with the help of a few beers it passed quickly but we ate in the main restaurant and I'll swear the steak I had, had run in the 3.30 at Kempton in a former life..... and I thought the French were supposed to be good at the culinary art !....

 

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We had booked our first hotel in Santillana del Mar only a few miles from Santander and we arrived mid afternoon. It was the Hotel Spa San Marcos and we had two nights there.

 

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This was a gem of a hotel with classic bikes dotted around the place as ornaments......

 

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......and a small collection of classic cars in the garage where we were allowed to park the bikes for security........ 

 

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It was also only a short 5 minute stroll into the ancient and historic town which had lots of restaurants, tapas bars etc.....

 

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It also had a Museo de Tortura (torture museum) but be warned, it's not for the faint hearted.

 

Homo Sapiens must surely be the most evil animal that ever existed !!

 
To be continued........

 

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Jim

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 10:59 pm

Looking forward to the next instalment ;)
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#3 Bjørge

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 04:21 am

Sitting in my office looking forward to vacation in one week  :P

Nice pics !


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#4 tr7dan

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 11:24 am

Sitting in my office looking forward to vacation in one week  :P

Nice pics !

Where you headed for Bjørge ?

 

I was up in Trondheim a couple of weeks back on a family visit. My brother in law has a fantastic house high up overlooking the fjord, but the weather..... and the prices....omg !!  :huh:  :lol: 



#5 Bjørge

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 11:50 am

Where you headed for Bjørge ?

 

I was up in Trondheim a couple of weeks back on a family visit. My brother in law has a fantastic house high up overlooking the fjord, but the weather..... and the prices....omg !!  :huh:  :lol: 

 

Ah, Nice area ! I have a son living a few miles North of Trondheim ! Weather in Trondheim is renown for being unstable. And prices are crazy, yes :lol:

 

I'm going to Malaga, just for sun, sea and lazy days.


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#6 tr7dan

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 09:27 pm

Day 3 was the trip around the Picos that we had planned before we arrived......

 

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.......and as we had booked 2 nights at the Hotel San Marcos it meant we could leave our luggage in the rooms to free up a bit more space on the bikes.

 

We travelled through 'Pots' and 'Pans' and stopped for lunch in Riano but I didn't take a lot of pics on the day as it was mostly spent riding but the scenery was fantastic and the roads sublime....

 

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Day 4 saw us on the road to Santiago but with an overnight stop at the Hotel O Cabazo in Ribadeo. I don't think I've ever stayed in a hotel that was so clean, everywhere was spotless, not a speck anywhere and again, a five minute stroll into the local town.... but it didn't have the charm and character of Santillana. I had a bit of a dodgy gut probably through the change of diet and the heat so Ribadeo came and went without any pics but it was always just going to be a transitional stop with a nice ride either side before we reached Santiago.

 

This was my first visit to northern Spain and it was a bit of a (pleasant) surprise to find that almost nobody spoke English and Big Mac and fries or egg and chips were definitely not on the menu. I forced me to learn as many Spanish phrases as I could in the short time we had and, I have to say, it is my eternal regret that I didn't learn the language at an early age. It would have been a great help to practice with all the family holidays to the Canaries and Balearics and mainland Spain that we had in the past.

 

Next stop, the jewel.... Santiago De Compostela....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#7 masterbrewer

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 10:30 pm

:ambusy:        :clapping:       :good:



#8 dablik

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 10:24 am

Lovely pics, keep it coming :good:


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#9 drewpy

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:57 pm

fantiastic, making me look even more forward to my spanish trip


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#10 tr7dan

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 09:28 pm

We left Ribadeo on a warm but drizzly misty morning - it wasn't exactly raining but it was enough to prompt us to put on the wet gear but by the time we had our first coffee break the clouds were clearing and after that we never saw anything other than blue skies for the rest of the trip.

 

Another coffee break was taken at O Pino before we reached the city and it was obvious we were getting close as the roads were lined with a constant stream of pilgrims in small groups of two or three or sometimes alone.

 

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I've been wanting to visit Santiago De Compostela for quite a while now so we booked the best hotel we could find in town The San Francisco Hotel Monumento, ranked no.1 on Trip Advisor. 

 

 

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I had read  on T.A. that it was hard to find a way get to the entrance.... and they weren't kidding - after riding all around it for about 15 minutes we just bit the bullet, ignored the 'No admite únicamente vehículos autorizados'  (no entry) signs and rode up the prohibited road. It turned out that drivers staying at the hotel were authorised vehicles.

 

One quirk of the traffic system though, was that once you were in the hotel car park, there was technically no way to leave. The receptionist said that on exiting the car park you would deffo get a ticket if you turned right up the prohibited street..... but turning left meant you had to ride the wrong way down a one way street !! Work that one out !!

 

Frontage for the hotel....

 

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The hotel was fabulous, an old convent on the side of a church but beautifully appointed inside with large open stone pillared public rooms - God knows what debauchery must have taken place there over the centuries :punishment:   :rotflmmfao: 

 

The swimming pool and spa and full breakfast were all included for 194EUR for two nights.... and it was right by the city centre just 300 yds from the Cathedral and main square. When we worked out the cost of all five hotels that we stayed in on the trip the average price per person per room was about £52 per night - not bad, I thought.

 

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We had booked two nights at the hotel to give us chance to unpack the gear and have a day walking round the city without bike gear and helmets to carry around. I won't post a load of pics of old buildings etc. as the guide books do a much better job than me - just a few images that I liked....

 

..... we come in peace.... (don't think it's a dove though ?)

 

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..... usual old characters.....

 

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...... and those less fortunate.....

 

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...... time for bed.

 

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..... to be continued

 

 

 



#11 Jinkojuice

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 08:54 am

Looks amazing, Something I will have to do once the kids are more independent, Bike looks really tidy aswell.


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