Tuesday, August 05, 2008
madrid - getaria
View Larger Map
I should start this post not talking about the ride itself, but about the badlander seat for sportsters.
Had a passenger for the first part of the trip. my friend tagged along last minute and she said she would love to ride with me. i was a little sceptical knowing how thin and lacking in cushioning the seat is. but well... we went ahead and tried. i did the first stop for fuel 75 km from madrid, just to check how she was doing back there. the comment was quite straight forward: "i cant feel my ass!" that put a little smile on my face, but she said it was all good, a little rest and off we went. 100 km later we made another stop hearing more of the same. also it was quite funny to see that after 75 km she started moving to change to a more comfortable position, quite unsuccessfully, but after a little rest we rode again. i offered the possibility of her joining our other friend who we were meeting after we passed burgos. he was driving a car and he could take her, but she insisted, she wanted to finish the whole trip.
we met carlos (the guy in the car) on the AP1 about 25 km from the starting point where the second gas station is. that´s where kelly decided she would switch and ride the car. the badlander proved to be an unsuitable seat for long trips.
regardless of comfort levels for the passenger, the trip went smooth. highway all the way to the final destination with some fast but tight turns between vitoria and san sebastian, a very enjoyable highway. the icing on the cake was the road that goes from zarautz to getaria (N-634) which carefully draws the contour of the basque coast providing a very nice view of the hills dropping into the sea. too bad it was night time, but i was going to ride it the next day anyway.
View Larger Map
saturday was a dream come true to me. i´ve been riding the N-634 on a moped since i was 14 years old and for one reason or another i have not been able to bring my bike there till last weekend. i remember being a kid seeing all the bikes ride along the coast to and from san sebastian and i made it a point, that one day it would be me on a harley doing the same. there was later an upgrade to the dream. there are 3 different ways (that i know off) to go to san sebastian from getaria.
the fast efficient but most boring. take the N-634 to zarautz and the A-8 to san sebastian from there.
the tour of the neighbouring villages and N-634. basically the old way, the old road, nice enough sights, trees, turns... just watch out for ass holes in tuned cars driving at ridiculous speeds thinking they are in the WRC... if they drove that well... wouldn't they be competing???
the third, less known and most beautiful way... take the N-634 east to zarautz, orio and after orio pay attention to a T junction where you should turn left towards igueldo. you will find yourself climbing the hills achieving a height that will allow you to overlook the A-8 highway and the green fields with its scattered "caserios" and the eventual herd of cattle. beautiful sight, perfect appetiser for the following view of the basque coast from some of the highest points along the coast. if you have the cash, do not miss a nice dinner at akelarre. i´m pretty sure it has 3 michelin stars, and it does for a good reason.
also, if you ride along this road you might witness some impressive sunsets, but watch out for the road. its not in its best condition, its bumpy and it has some really, and i mean REALLY tight turns which you might have to take at speeds of 10kmh... but, the beauty of the views is worth every little bump.
View Larger Map
sunday, before we headed back to madrid, we went for a quick visit at kelly´s parents´place in mouguerre in the south of the french basque country (one more country crossed off the list). the trip was nothing out of the ordinary, not forgetting the area is really beautiful. but kelly decided to give it another go. it was about 70 or 75 km and she seemed to be getting used to the seat already, or at least be fine for a short ride.
View Larger Map
At about 16:45 we started the return to madrid. this time we took the A-8 towards bilbao, then the AP-68 and on to the AP-1 to burgos. slightly longer, but faster and not too boring. in burgos i should mention the hotel landa palace. you wont have to even leave the A-1. its on the km 233 or 235... its located in an old castle, but no matter how much you might like the place, or find it a little pretentious... the food is simply amazing. i would recommend the morcilla, chorizo, the pepito de ternera and the canutillos de crema for dessert. you cant go wrong with that. don´t sit outside if you are counting the hours to get to your final destination. you might be there for a couple of hours. service outside is slow, but they are good and friendly, and inside they are pretty fast too. if you are near burgos DO GIVE THIS PLACE A GO.
after the stop at hotel landa it was already dark. we found ourselves riding towards a lightning storm and my gear shift pedals started loosening up. i stopped to get in my water proof gear, tighten the screws and continued the ride safely. funnily enough, the rain stopped shortly after i wore the waterproof pants... shit happens.
got home at around 1:35 in the a.m. almost 9 hours later.
it seems like this trips that are not supposed to be that long end up stretching themselves quite a bit!