once again i pack my bags and get on the bike. it has been a pretty relaxed summer, so far and the rocket queen has been in the shop with clutch problems for almost a month now not being able to take advantage of the great weather conditions we are having this year.
for the last 2 years i have meant to take a ride along the south of spain with some friends, but i have always had something come up that would not allow me to join them. this year i almost had to miss it, but i managed to make arrangements to join them 3 days into the trip.
the initial plan was to go from madrid to carboneras (almería) to el palmar (cadiz) and back to madrid. due to a little problem plans changed and we stayed in almería the whole time.
before i continue, i will say this has been the very best ride ive taken to date, by far.
the adventure started with me taking out my bike from the workshop after 3 and 1/2 weeks due to clutch discs problems and a tire change. so i loaded my stuff on the bike and off towards almería.
the trip would have been nothing special if it wasn´t for the failure of the clutch as i was approaching la roda (albacete).
i phoned the insurance company and was told that they would cover the tow truck cost to alicante or madrid where the nearest official Harley Davidson Service centre was, however, me and official H.D.S.C. do not get along well, so i decided to pay for the remaining distance to Carboneras. It was an easy decision. I could not let anything stand between me and this trip one more time. so i finally towed the bike all the way and left it at harley dees.
the place is run by tim and julie, a very nice couple that somehow ended in almería and set up this amazing joint where you can have a cold beer, get a tatoo or have your bike serviced. they are closed on mondays and tuesdays, so i left the bike parked there over night and they were nice enought to come and check out what was wrong on tuesday morning.
while my bike was at harley dees, my friend decided to rest while i borrowed his heritage softail deluxe.
the softail was incredible. i was shocked to find out how easy it is to handle and how ligght it was, regardless of its appearance. it was my first time on a softail and now i really would like to buy one.
the tour was a really nice combination of arid landscapes and sea, and extremely hot temperatures.
agua amarga has a nice beach and its a great place to9 have a cold drink in the town´s "plaza".
as you ride past fernan pérez you come across abandoned villages, quaries... great sites for taking really cool pictures.
For lunch or dinner i highly recommend la isleta, where you can taste some of the local flavours while overlooking the sea. it is a little pricey, but worth every cent.
our next stop was cabo de gata. a protected national park with breathtaking views of the mediterranean coast.
some of the places in the area have been chosen as film locations for great movies in the past. near cabo de gata, in san josé, there is monsul, where the famous indiana jones and the last crusade scene where sean connery scares the seaguls with an umbrella, was shot. also lawrence of arabia and doctor zhivago had scenes shot in the area.
if you take a tour to tabernas as we did once tim, from harley dees, fixed my bike, you can go to the filming locations of most spaghetti western movies shot in the 60´s and 70´s. 3 of the main old film sets are still there. we chose "western leone" and we found out it was the right choice.
the people were really friendly, and at the time we were there there were absolutely no tourists, which allowed the stunt doubles to tell us all sort of stories and experiences.
riding to tabernas i experienced the hottest temperatures i have ever felt. at one point i almost stopped the bike because i thought it was on fire. i started checking the engine for flames, the tank... everything seemed to be fine other than me, i was burning due to the hot air in the desert. the landscape also felt like nevada or new mexico. had i been riding a horse i would have really felt like a real cowboy...
at night we tried several places, but the award has to go to no other than jo´s bar. this place is hard to find, but when you do get there you literaly ride into a one of a kind place turned into a pirate village for bikers. if you get there by bike, you can ride your bike into the place. if you drive there there is a car park outside. bar tenders are really friendly and just like real pirates, you can ask to taste their own personal brand of rum. music is rock of course and they are open 23:30 till 4:30 am aproximately.
after jo´s closes, you can always take a short 2 minute ride to "la haima" just by the beach, or if you preffer a more clubby atmosphere, you can ride up to mojacar where you´ll find loads of different places to have a few drinks and dance till the early hours in the morning. the road to mojacar is a lot of fun on the bike during the day, perfect for a short ride before you jump into the beach.
the last night, when we were on the way back to carboneras, we saw this huge red glow coming out of the mountains near carboneras. it was a bush fire that caused the town of mojacar to be evacuated and loads of families had to find refuge in carboneras´public schools... the next morning we had breakfas while we saw the fire fighting planes collect water from the sea to put the fire out, after which we got on the road back to madrid.
all in all, i have to say, next year i would love to come back to almería for a few days. it has been a great experience i would love to repeat.