Monday, July 28, 2008
madrid - nigran
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it all started at 8.30 am in madrid, fairly near the centre, where i met up with jose before we headed to tres cantos, where we were supposed to meet up with javi. the trip was supposed to last for about 7 to 10 hours... little did we know...
the whole trip to nigran was avoiding highways. our first of many anecgdotes to come was riding through through guadarrama in the mountains in madrid, where we were sort of stuck in a traffic jam. the news said they had predicted 6 million people travelling around spain during this weekend as part of the summer campaign. so driving through the center of the town, we saw there was "guardia civil" car, which made jose and javi wait with plenty of patience in the qeue of cars, while i laughed, looked at them and decide to skip the jam by riding on the right shoulder, thinking my buddies only concern was the cops´possible reaction to loud pipes and an "unusually small" number plate. my surprise was the cops blocked my way and told me i was not supposed to ride on the shoulder... they could have written a love letter (fine) but they were nice enough to let me go with a warning :)
stopped for fuel at a little town called cantalapiedra, where i had the chance to take a few shots. a horse and a couple of old locals hanging out at the petrol station who were impressed to see the bikes. an unusual sight for them.
after a beer stop in zamora, we continued into portugal, riding through some of the most beautiful landscapes i have seen, specially between bragança, vinhais and chaves. great curves, virtually no traffic and incredible weather accompained us for most of the trip which made it such an enjoyable experience. just before arriving in chaves, a guy told us while refueling, that there was a motorcycle rally in chaves, filled with bikers who had made their way up from the famous rally in faro the week before. we joined the rally for a couple of drinks, and even though i have to say, we saw nothin special regarding bikes, it was a lot of fun, and the fact that it was improvised added to the excitement.
we were leaving javi in verin, and jose and me had another 200km left to reach nigran. we had stopped plenty of times and took a couple of wrong turns, so it was getting late. once we reached verin, we took the expressway, we encountered the first signs that showed us we were in the north of spain (rain) and it started getting dark. from then on, we only stopped for refueling and smoke.
we arrived in nigran half past midnight, 16 hours after we left madrid, having seen beautiful sights and having had one of the smoothest rides. the only real problem i feel i should mention... after 2pm having lunch in portugal is really difficult, so we ended up having pretty shitty food in mid afternoon. luckyly we had some nice friends waiting for us in nigran with a big plate of pasta!!!
the return to madrid was done on sunday, this time we had to rush to make it on time to be presentable for work on monday.
we did not meet javi, he had a problem with his drive-belt sprocket and had to send his bike to madrid on a tow truck. me and jose woke up late after a mad night and started our journey at around 15:30, so we took the highway back.
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a little rain at first, but after we passed vigo it all started to look much better. all went smooth and we stopped only every 150 or 160 km since thats how much i can do before my tank goes in reserve.
once riding by zamora, some old fart in a 7 series bmw and no driving skills whatsoever decided instead of waiting for me to finnish overtaking, it was better to just get as close to my ass as possible so i would just move out of the way. i saw the guardia civil on the side of the road and while driving by them i lifted my hand (was tempted to show him my finger too) telling the old man what i thought of his mother. it all went alright considering the dangerous driving exercised by this lunatic, and it was soon forgotten.
around 15 minutes later we saw the same cops driving past us like they were racing for 100 million euros, all very funky with the lights on, and we soon lost them in the horizon. miuntes after, we saw them on the shoulder one more time. i started to get really confused, i was trying to figure out what the hell these guys were up to, but this was only the begining since a couple of km later... there they went again, this time changing lanes like rich kids with daddys sports car doing as they please in a road they took as their own.
after a while of wondering and looking at jose almost scratchin our heads... if it wasnt for the helmets... we saw the cops one last time. they were back on the shoulder, although this time they signaled us to stop and they guided us right behind this very familiar bmw with a now humble looking old man, almost worried about what could happen to his license in a very near future.
the officers asked us if this was the right guy, to which we confirmed with plenty of confidence. fuck him if you ask me, i am a little tired of assholes of this sort who dont seem to realise i have 2 wheels and no metal around me to protect myself from their ultimate stupidity.
the rest of the trip was full of laughing, i saw this poor little bird which smashed into joses side bag and rolled on the floor after that, i do not know about the outcome of the crash, but it did look funny in a twisted way.
we thought coming back to madrid would take us much less than the going to nigran, but all expectations failed when joses rear tyre went flat right after we crossed into madrid (we were 60km from the city). waited for the tow truck, took joses bike to the garage and then took jose home. arrived at arround 2.30 or 3. 11 hours on the bike to come back. tiring but if i could go back in time i would definitely do it all over again.