10 days on/off road in the Spanish Pyrenees

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by UK Jimbo, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    This is a follow-up trip and a follow-up ride report to the similar trip that me and three friends made three years ago and wrote about in [thread=389446]Mountains and deserts, a Spanish Adventure[/thread]. No deserts were involved this time I'm afraid.

    Here are some teaser photos:

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    I'll start with the RR shortly...
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  2. jings

    jings Been here awhile

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    if that 101.s still got its v8 it must of cost a fortune in petrol :eek1
    #2
  3. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    Yes indeed - 3.5 burbling (and misfiring) litres of V8!
    #3
  4. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    Time to get posting some piccies...

    We loaded up at my friend's house in Dorset and made for Portsmouth, a port one the South Coast of England.
    Trailering the bikes on the ferry costed less than taking them separately even though the trailer takes up more space so us two bikers crammed into the back of the 101.

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    We boarded the boat and got ready for our 20 hour ride down to Santander in Northern Spain.
    Portsmouth is home of the Royal Navy so we got some cool shots from the ferry on the way out.

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    Then we didn't have much to do for 20 hours...

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  5. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    We passed our time on the boat eating, drinking, sleeping and watching the world go by. Just resting up ahead of the trip.

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    Sleeping quarters were, errr, small. Perhaps me and the wife should have got our own one!

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    #5
  6. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    Our cool Spanish friend Honorio met us at the ferry terminal on his chocolate brown Bonnie.

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    We unloaded the bikes and rode over to Honorio's house where we left the trailer.

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    We then headed up the coast and inland into the foothills of the Pyrenees, a four hour slog of a drive all on tar but worth it so we could camp that night and start offroading the next morning.

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    We hadn't been going long when the 101 developed a problem and was limping up hills. The coupler that joins the two carbs together had broken. We fixed it with a small fuel hose clamp that survived the rest of the trip!

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    We eventually rocked up at Camping Urrobi and set up camp - day's route
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  7. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    We woke up to a stunning and warm morning.

    Kicking the XR into action:

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    All zeroed up and ready to rock

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    Hungry men. Cereal bar time.

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    Free apples by the side of the trail!

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    Chill time:

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    There were a couple of campsites marked on our maps that didn't exist any more so we wound up riding on quite a bit later than intended. We got caught in a brief downpour too which wasn't so bad given how baking hot it was that day.

    Telltale clouds

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    Details from a small village that we stopped at

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    We wound up camping out at a slightly grotty, by the side of the road campsite at Jaca. Pension La Victoria, Jaca

    Day's route
    #7
  8. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    We befriended Yurgen(?) a German guy from Dresden on a 1150 GS and chatted a load with him over some nice Barcadi 8 on the rocks. Here he is posing for a photo the next morning.

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    Abandoned house

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    I noticed that we had too much fun on the dirt to take many photos of it. And we're busy navigating the whole time too from the GPS and routebooks. Lots of nice photos of the view though!

    That night we camped at Camping La Gorga in Boltana http://g.co/maps/mruzp

    Day's route
    #8
  9. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    Packing up camp

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    We enjoyed some great trails and then took a wrong turning. The track turned out to be pretty good fun though:

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    There were so many fresh, new roads in Spain, I really wish I'd had a road bike at times. Check out the road in the next few photos.

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    We stopped up next to some awesome dam

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    That night at camp we made jerk chicken and pitta bread in the Cobb BBQ (nothing to do with Urals!)

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    We stayed the at the awesome Baliera Campsite

    Day's route
    #9
  10. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    We were greeted by another stunning day and headed off towards the trails. There were plenty of tunnels on the way.

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    Some odd looks from the locals!

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    So many amazing views, I'll let the photos do the talking...

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    Enjoying Monday morning

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    A shot of the GPS (and Garmin 60CSX) and the routebook holder (a hand-wound F2R) on the bike. We were using Vibraction routebooks and had one copy in the truck and the other on my bike. Additionally I had the waypoints programmed into my GPS and a custom screen containing the name of the next waypoint, distance/time to arrival and heading to that point.

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    Bike bandit Charlie

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    Lots of these roads didn't leave much room for error

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    but had fantastic views

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    Errr, looking a bit like naughty kids here

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    This was our lunch spot

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    and the view from there

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    It was really nice having the 101 with us the whole time as we always got out the table and chairs for lunch and ate loads!

    More good trails after lunch

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    We came across a few of these in the middle of nowhere. Anyone care to guess what they are? (we were told!)

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    We saw loads of big buzzards(?), vultures(?) soaring in the thermals. The camera wasn't really up to the job.

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    We stopped and chatted with two French couples in a 130 Land Rover and a Land Cruiser. They were following the same Vibraction routebooks that we were. I really liked the landy setup.

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    The bikes stopped for fuel and oil and the 101 headed down into La Pobla de Segur where Rei took some photos whie waiting for us

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    eventually we showed up

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    We did some maintenance that night. I think Henry was pulling the drum to remove dust/debris. No small feat when the wheels are that big and the jacking point so high up!

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    ...and then to sleep

    Day's route
    #10
  11. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    Another day on this trip and our planned destination is Andorra

    Starting the day with more tunnels

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    People waiting in odd places by the side of the road

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    and more great buildings on top of hills

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    We stopped not far from Sort on the place that we rode the first dirt of the trip back in 2008. It was great to be back here.
    The fast forest roads were great, so great we didn't take many photos!

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    Sant Joan de l'Erm
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    There's a small church 10km or so further on. Rei went took some photos:

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    There was a leg brace in the corner, perhaps this place was somewhere of a pilgrimage to people or they believe it has healing properties?

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    We then did a big climb and it really opened out.

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    Later on the poor old 101 started overheating. Henry parked it up in the shade and cooled it down.

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    There were gorillas there up in the trees

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    Later on we spotted some local beauties

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    more great hairpins (the 101 is half way down in this photo)

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    More great look out points

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    We rode into Andorra using the "smugglers routes" over the trails. It felt a big odd to have gone in without crossing any border control.

    Day's route
    #11
  12. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    :lurk
    #12
  13. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    The next day was a rest day in Andorra. We changed the front tyre on the DRZ

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    and worked on the 101 too

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    The poor old 101 had some problems on the trip with the advance on the distributor sticking/not working. Not long after this shot we went for a drive with the engine cover off and me in the passenger seat manually trying to find a happy medium.

    We had to replace some shock bushes too but the parts were custom made for the 101 and are like rocking horse s**t.

    The local Land Rover dealership had these:

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    which we had to remove the central metal from and hack in half. Easier said than done without a vice, etc. We got there in the end with a knife, mole grips, hacksaw, etc!

    While we were at the dealer I spotted this nice Jaguar XK150 up on the ramp

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    Other than that we didn't get up to much. This was yummy toast at lunch with roasted garlic and fresh tomato. You rub the garlic on the toast and then squash the tomato on too. Delicious!

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    Spotted this amusing sign too at the campsite! Clearly dog lovers.

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    No route info
    #13
  14. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    The next day was awesome. So awesome we forgot to take any photos. We left Andorra on smugglers routes and left undetected just as we arrived!

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    Couldn't resist getting this shot!

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    More amazing views

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    That evening we rocked up at easily our favourite campsite. Despite being close to a major road it was peaceful, well kept, the owner super-friendly and a complete motorbike nut. Give it a visit if you're looking to camp somewhere in the area. http://www.campingbeta.net/

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    Day's route
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  15. Jon_Garfio

    Jon_Garfio Adventurer

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    Nice trip!
    The firsts pics (Beach from Highway) is OriƱon, where are my parents.
    all Pirineo from Isaba, Roncal, Jaca to Sort, La Pobla de Segur and Andorra are a beautifull place to ride with faboulous landscapes.

    I hope we can meet some time in Pirineo!
    #15
  16. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    Thanks Jon - will let you know if we're there again
    #16
  17. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    The next morning we took ages to get going, it was so nice at the campsite and the sun was out early.

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    I chatted a bunch with two German bikers who were camping closeby. I don't remember their names, they were on a KTM 640 Adventure and an Africa Twin. The guy on the KTM (on the right) raced Ducatis too and had ridden all over the world. His buddy worked for an auto company in the prototyping section. He had made all sorts of seriously cool bike parts from billet aluminium and an on bike power system that used high-spec aero connectors.

    Every morning they have a ritual that they throw their fruit tea bags at their bikes!

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    We talked about the routes that we were travelling and they showed me another good routebook of the area. They look worth checking out and are quite a lot cheaper than the Vibraction routebooks. I can't talk for the quality as we didn't ride any though http://www.mdmot.com

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    We did a bit of Land Rover spotting. Looks like a Series 3 88" to me
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    Rush hour!
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    It's worth mentioning that most of the trails we rode we had to ourself, maybe seeing other vehicles once an hour or so at most and less in the quieter areas. Apparently it's like that all year round.

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    We got above the treeline and had some really nice fast mountain roads. A bit a chicane here though!
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    looking back at the same section
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    Charlie
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    Me
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    Our awesome lunch spot at ~1800m (5900 feet)
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    The view the other way
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    More local beauties. This lot were sleeping on the track.
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    We headed back to the tarmac and made up some of the miles we needed to get under our belts. That night we stayed at Resordi where we'd stayed three years before. Riding down on the shore of the lake was a great feeling.

    Day's route
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  18. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    Sadly at this stage we were starting on our way back to the ferry, we had a fair distance to travel and all on tar.

    Not many photos except for some nice ones of our lunch stop next to a river

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    well, actually we had our lunch in a layby, next to a river

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    ...and a bug at the campsite that night...

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    Day's route
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  19. cleanair

    cleanair Been here awhile

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    #19
  20. UK Jimbo

    UK Jimbo Been here awhile

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    #20