90 Days on the road - India To UK in a rush

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Indirider, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    On The Road
    Stumbled upon a fortress bang on the main road - SS21,hard to miss.This fortress 'Forte di Vinadio' was in pretty decent shape considering it came into life around 1834.I can only imagine about the world war's it has seen and still survived to astonish us with it's stubbornness and beauty.

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    I continued towards Italy-French border.And just when i thought i have seen enough of Alps and its beautiful lakes.Some more jaw dropping landscapes were presented to me.That's Lago della Maddalena to you.

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    I have been very lazy today,frequent breaks,lot of coffee but wasn't able to score a decent meal,by that i mean a fat,juicy and mean burger.Which calls for a McDonald treat as soon as we hit the plains :)
    Cime de la bonette was my last stop in Alps before i head towards French Riviera.'Cime' is a french word for summit and wherever there is a road to summit in Alps,there is lot of twists,lot of turns,lot of photo breaks... lot of happiness for us motorcycle souls.

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    Customary picture at the top :)

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    While going back to the plains,clouds and the sunshine peeking through them made the entire valley and surroundings look magical.

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    Before Isola,I found a camping site very next to the main road.I pulled over to camp and rest for the day.
    Here is a look and feel of the campsite next morning.
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    I also noticed that the right side frame is broken,but it was sitting tight on the bolt..I tried to settle it down to its original position,but it refused to budge.I decided to let it stay there,until it can or perhaps find a welding shop and get it sorted.
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    Also the chain was almost over and needed a replacement,I was carrying a spare with me.But too lazy to change it myself,i thought of getting it changed in Andorra.

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    Cheers
    Biru
    #81
  2. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    On The Road
    With an awesome few weeks in alps i came back to plains to see what's around French Rivera which makes it so popular.In some point in our lives we all had played Need For Speed and we remember that track from Monte Carlo.That's where i was heading next, following the coastline all the way upto Tuolon.Cannes was also in the list due to popularity of Cannes Film Festival in Bollywood.

    I somehow took the wrong route and ended up in Nice instead of Monaco.Weather turned from heaven to hell as i struggled to sweat inside the textile jacket i was wearing.
    The only nice thing i did when i was in Nice was to visit this St Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral and visit McDonald to quench my need to feed.

    This church is believed to be Largest Russian Orthodox church in western Europe. Beautiful building with it’s own compound and glamorous interior.Russian Orthodox church which i have seen in St Petersburg and Tallin,all of them have Astonishing architecture.
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    I wasn't impressed much by the coastal route i took,i have seen much beautiful looking landscapes along the coast in Balkans and Greece.But this was different and definitely hot/humid.I had enough reasons to keep on riding and take less breaks.

    Somewhere between Cannes to Le Dramont
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    I arrived in Marseille,over the internet i found couple of places which were worth visiting.

    Port of Marseille,France
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    Marseille Cathedral - Roman Catholic cathedral, and a national monument of France.Beautiful building, but couldn't really tell what made it unique from many other European cathedrals aside from the stripes. Entrance was free :)
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    Marseille ferry port,France.There was a museum closeby,but i gave it a miss.
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    Form of art which i love the most.
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    Before i head towards Andorra and Spain,i wanted to visit the Milau Bridge.One of my friend Niranjan who is studying in Poland did a eurotrip in 2016 and i saw this Bridge in his photos,for me it was one of the most beautiful thing i ever saw and i wanted to experience it up close and personal.

    Cheers
    Biru
    #82
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  3. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    On The Road
    On my way to Milau,I stopped at Arles and Nimes.These are small but beautiful towns,definitely worth visiting.

    The Arles Amphitheatre - Doesn't even take a moment to guess that this beauty belongs to the Roman era.This two-tiered Roman amphitheater is probably the most visited place in Arles.

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    View of the town from Amphitheater is stunning :)
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    12th century church - Notre Dame De La Major
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    Saint-Trophime Church few minutes walk from the Amphitheater is quite beautiful from both inside and out. Some nice stained glass and soaring vaulted ceilings. 11th century so worth a look.

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    Next to this church is the town square known as Place de la Republique, gives you the ancient roman vibes the city is known for.
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    Not so far from Arles,there is a Monastery built in 11th century.Popularly known as Montmajour Abbey.It was quite atmospheric, uncompromising rock and stone fortress-abbey, featuring crypts, cloisters and soaring towers that everyone is delighted to explore.There is nominal entry fee,i forgot how much.But make sure you give atleast an hour and make sure you make your way to the top to enjoy the views around you.

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    Cheers
    Biru
    #83
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  4. Coffeeman

    Coffeeman Coffeeman

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Quiet here, not demanding, just a little worried for you
    #84
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  5. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    On The Road
    Arles was much fun and pretty as well.I arrived in Nimes and treated myself with some Doner kebab,i tell you these doner kebab shops in Europe make some finest,juicy and delicious kebabs i have ever had.They are pretty cheap and heavy on the stomach,5 euro and you are sorted for rest of your day.

    Made like a gun they say,slightly unreliable..can fire-back in crucial times :)
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    I was totally filled up with food and being a lazy ass,i did a quick fly by to some places in Nimes.Arena of Nimes being one.Looked pretty huge from the outside and well preserved

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    The Gardens of the Fountain.Finally found my destination for the day,time for a quick nap :)
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    This place is a must see when you're in Nîmes. Perfect for relaxing, walking and enjoying the beautiful greenery. It is very tidy, well-kept and contains historic Roman elements. Don't forget to climb on the highest part of the park,beacuse i didn't.
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    This is Temple of Diana.Interesting temple ruin,more importantly no entry fees :)
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    I had good rest,but wasted most of the day.Picked up the motorway to reach Milau as soon as i can,but the day caught up with me and i had to make few stops to find accommodation.Meanwhile the french motorways had unmanned toll booths,unlike Greece.You can either pay by card,cash or throw the coin in a basket.I used up all the coins to loose some dead weight.Came off from the motorway on Lodeve to find a motel,but most of them were out of my budget.My phone was dead,so unable to find any camping site or cheap motel online in 50 kms radius.But this Cathedral was a stunner,looked pretty old and rustic.

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    Got back on the motorway and as it turned dark,i pulled over in a town called Le Caylar.Hotel i got into was more expensive than the options i was getting in Lodeve.This hotel had a restaurant too,bought a home made pizza for the dinner and it was delicious.I guess decisions we make are worth one way or the another,regrets are mostly momentary :)

    Cheers
    Biru
    #85
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  6. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    On The Road
    Next morning was lit with the alluring views of Milau bridge.As you hit the parking lot of the view point,you have to hike a bit to get a closer look.And jackpot for motorcyclists as there is no parking fee,others pay a good price for the same.
    What a piece of engineering and so imposing yet stunning.Riding on it was cool,but admiring it in full glory from the view point was a totally different sentiment.

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    From Milau,i took these internal roads to Rodez.It was an eventful decision as stunning landscapes all around.

    Lac De Pareloup
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    Windmills along the trail i took.
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    I arrived in Rodez and made my way to the Rodez cathedral.Somehow i lost my track and didn't reach all the way to the cathedral.Parked my bike and walked around,best thing about most of the towns in europe is the city centers.These city centers has history,charm,buzzing with people,beautiful buildings and what not,yet very peaceful.
    Rodez cathedral turned out to be superb monument, The exterior is impressive, as is the interior, the ceiling height is staggering.

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    Cheers
    Biru
    #86
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  7. Coffeeman

    Coffeeman Coffeeman

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Oddometer:
    207
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    Update please!
    #87
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  8. JoeBiker25

    JoeBiker25 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    Gilroy, CA
    Amazing pics and narrative! incredibly impressed!
    #88
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  9. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    On The Road
    Time to head towards Pyrenees with some excursions in between.Chain needed some work as it was slapping everywhere and making unpleasant noises.Getting it changed in Andorra would have been cheap as per my logic,so i thought to run-in with the same chain for few more days.Meanwhile,taking Auto-routes towards Albi and Tolouse was totally unavoidable as i was running on Offline google maps and even if you check the avoid tolls option,it will take you from the fastest route possible.Thus filling up the toll buckets with coins :)

    Albi was quite beautiful,it had a perfect set up and feel of an rustic,old historic town.Specially the vastness of the Albi cathedral blew me away,well almost :)

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    St. Cecile Cathedral is at the heart of the old town of Albi. Walk down the narrow cobbled streets, turn a corner & bang, there it is in all it's awsomness! It is the tallest brick built building in the world or Europe atleast & boy it does make it's huge presence felt. Inside you are blown away by it's sheer majesty, the decoration is beautiful. One of the finest Cathedrals I have ever seen.
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    St Salvi Church
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    Beautiful bridge over Tarn river in Albi
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    DSLR i was carrying had some issue with the contact points of the lens,most of the photos i clicked were out of focus,blurred and not so sharp due to this.On DSLR screen it is not much noticeable, but makes a huge difference when you observe the photos on bigger screens.
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    Mobile shot,just in case DSLR screwed up and it did :)
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    After Albi,i stopped at Tolouse.Mostly for a lunch break,but ended up walking around the city center and checking out few places.
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    Basilique Saint-Sernin de Toulouse - A splendid basilica with terrific architecture. Make sure you take a look inside,it is worth a visit.

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    Cheers
    Biru
    #89
  10. mav1234

    mav1234 Mojo ki Mauj

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Bangalore ( INDIA )
    Great to read the blog Biru Bhai..
    #90
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  11. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    On The Road
    I spent my last night camping in La Forge and today we get to enter Andorra.Calls for duty free cigarettes and alcohol,Yay !!
    Rise and shine :)
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    As i left from La Forge,i wanted to take the longer route from Mont Louis through Llivia.Was only curious to check out,why Llivia shows a separate piece of area in Google Maps.

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    I started climbing towards Col De Pailheres,weather became foggy and cold.Quite a dramatic change.

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    Llivia just turned out to be a Spanish establishment in the French Pyrenees,so much for the curiosity..I made a brief stop at El Pas de la Casa to fill up my bags,who said men doesn't love shopping :)
    Fog scenes cleared up as i climbed few kilometers up towards Port d'Envalira,some gorgeous views as clouds were nicely lined up for a picture.

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    Did not ride much today and found a very cheap hostel "Mountain Hostel Tarter " in El Tarter,Checked in early to treat myself with the scotch i bought from duty free and take some rest.Also,I have been carrying this spaghetti packet from italy,which i bought from a supermarket.Didn't find a place to cook it on the way until today.This was the first time i have been cooking spaghetti and while i was at it,i totally messed up the hostel kitchen and spaghetti was a disaster because i bought the wrong sauce.Ended up having salted peanuts for the dinner, this was one of the deciding moment in life..where i concluded never to cook Italian food again and stick to the experimentation with Indian food only :)

    I met these nice biker blokes staying in the same room.We had good talk,good laugh over drinks.Next morning Lluis and Marc shared a cuban cigar with me,i was so overwhelmed.In return,i asked for a photo to be clicked together :D

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    I arrived in Andorra la Vella on a weekend,which spoiled my plan to get the chain replaced as most of the shops which i marked and who agreed to work on KTM were closed.I stopped at a motorcycle gear shop to get a new GPS device as i have been having a hard time with google offline maps,but the models available were not upto my satisfaction.Well,this statement comes from a guy who has been relying on a chinese gps for his whole trip or i just needed an excuse for not spending money on GPS and rather spend it on beer.I don't know.

    Beauty of Aran valley

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    As soon as i exit Andorra,i was greeted with the charismatic views of Port de Cabus.

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    Cheers
    Biru
    #91
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  12. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    On The Road
    I was steering back towards France,as i had few more places marked in French Pyrenees.But before that,quick catch up with winding climb of Port de la Bonaigua.

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    Soon, i was back in France and riding towards Col du Tourmalet.Not so good luck at the top of Col du Tourmalet,it was all foggy.

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    Atleast some of the view was enjoyable :)

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    Stopped here for a brief smoking break and captured some time lapse videos,same can be enjoyed in the video i had uploaded in Youtube



    I arrived in Lourdes and camped for the evening.Sole purpose of coming here was to visit Notre-Dame de Lourdes shrine.There was some pilgrimage festival in progress and most of the hotels,hostels and camping sites were occupied,i had a tough time finding a spot in the camping sites there.In the evening,i went for a walk around the town and the shrine.I am a believer and i take every opportunity to visit spiritual places of various religions during my travels.And my experience has been pretty amazing doing that,one thing i find common in most of these places is the positive energy and tranquility you feel.

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    Cheers
    Biru
    #92
  13. crashkorolyk

    crashkorolyk just happy to ride

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    140
    Location:
    vancouver island
    awesome video mate,I hope that my trip soon will be as brilliant as yours,stay safe!
    #93
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  14. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    18,892
    Location:
    North Carrollton, MS - Traveling on the Moto
    Very Good Ride Report! Thanks!
    #94
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  15. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb...

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    527
    Location:
    Satellite of Love
    The music you have chosen fits perfectly! Enjoying your Ride Report...:thumb
    #95
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  16. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    On The Road
    Nice and sunny day to start with and the remaining day gets more exciting as we ride towards Col d'Aubisque.Quick good bye to Lourdes with a croissant and coffee,we were at Col d'Aubisque in no time beating the cyclists with quite a margin :)

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    You find lot of generous human beings who knows and understands that you are alone,lazy and can't take the effort to set up a tripod to get yourself in a frame or two.
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    Lot of wild horses around, healthy and friendly ones.One of them tried to eat my tent but wasteful effort as he moved on to hibernate like this.
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    Mesmerizing views of Ossau valley
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    I forgot to share one experience where,on a usual border check between France and Italy,i was stopped for document verification.How a few min check turned into a brief discussion and while I finished with my roadtrip rant they were surprised by the fact that an Indian is doing this overland roadtrip and were happy at the same time.I was given this PAF badge as a parting gift by French Border Police :)

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    Cheers
    Biru
    #96
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  17. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    On The Road
    Chain had gone quite loose now,becoming like a garland.I had high hopes of finding a mechanic in zaragoza,but couldn't find a proper internet to search for a mechanic shop.So,I let myself roam around the city center of Zaragoza.Never a dull moment,you always find something surprising,of your interest,admirable.Have heard so much about cathedrals in Spain,they say that they are the most decorative and beautiful ones.I can second that and confirm it is a fact. :)

    Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pilar - A cathedral design style and architecture I have not seen too often, especially with the lovely colors on the roof tiles. The interior is decorated very nicely, although there is too much bright light coming inside from the windows that makes looking at the paintings very difficult.Also, they don't let you take pictures inside, but it's still very worth visiting.
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    Plaza Del Pilar as it is known popularly,surrounded by the basilica and other historical buildings.This place is a quite beautiful,with a mix of historical buildings, remainings of old wall and new monuments that are completing the whole ensemble. Fountain is amazing. There are also a lot of bars and shops around.
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    The Puente de Piedra is also called the Bridge of Lions because four lions are placed on the pillars at each end of the bridge.Buit on river Ebro,this is one thing you won't miss on your visit to the city center.
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    Iglesia de San Juan de los Panetes
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    Cathedral of the Savior of Zaragoza - Ancient culture, modern design,Architecture at its best.
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    Aljaferia palace is an Arab palace in the heart of Zaragoza. It was built as a place of recreation and also served as a defensive building. It is an 11th-century Arab castle

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    Cheers
    Biru
    #97
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  18. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    On The Road
    I had plenty of day left,did not wanted to stay here in zaragoza.Offline google maps which i had pointed out a KTM service center in Caspe.So i left in that direction,got slightly late while reaching Caspe,but got greeted with much beautiful sunset.Entire horizon was lit up with Orange and red color.

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    While approaching Caspe,i dropped my power bank.Totally forgot to close the tank bag properly,was in hurry to reach Caspe.Next morning i went to the KTM shop,only to know that the mechanic is on vacation for couple of months.I can't believe so much of drama is happening with me for getting a chain sprocket replaced.I went towards Alcaniz for the second shop which i marked on the offline map last night,and here my luck didn't turned me down. Camaral in alcaniz was my savior,garage filled with nude calendar girls.I was pretty sure that this is the right place to get my bike and mood fixed :D

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    Spain has a very good network of roads and that is of excellent quality.I have been taking the internal highways and never felt the need of motorways so far.I took the N211 and arrived in Molina de Aragón for fuel,there i met Santi.Exchanged few sentences in broken English and we became good friends.We decided to ride uphill where we could see some castle ruins.

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    A photo or two and we parted ways to meet again somewhere on the road..in a bar or strip club maybe. :)
    It's been a beautiful day to ride.Hot,sunny and lovely countryside.Riding through the N211 i felt the charm,calmness and simplicity of the rural Spain.

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    I wanted to bypass Madrid at any cost,i continued on N211 and arrived at Siguenza.I could spot a nice looking castle from the road,which forced me stop for a quick tour :)

    I reached at the castle,but it has been turned into a hotel.Without knowing i entered from wrong gate and took a free tour by myself.I would say they have turned it into an absolutely beautiful blend of historic building and supreme luxury.This is quite common in India,there are lot of historic castles which have been turned into luxury hotels keeping their history and architecture intact.
    I was more impressed with the exteriors,they were in perfect health.

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    Cheers
    Biru
    #98
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  19. nellaad

    nellaad n00b

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Excellent ride report Biru!!
    Looking forward to ride Europe sometime in the near future!
    #99
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  20. Indirider

    Indirider In search of Butter Chicken

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    73
    Location:
    On The Road
    I followed CM110 and some excellent landscapes in between.Went off from CM110 for some photo ops.

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    Ran into salt farms,very next to the road and some old salt mills too.

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    Quick stop at Atienza to check out the ruins of the castle.

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    Lovely roads and the windmills spread around on the either side makes the entire landscape much more alluring.
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    I arrived in Segovia and set up my tent in the aqueduct camping site.Segovia gets lot of tourists like me and most of the hotel during summers are expensive and camping sites are cheap but mostly full.Everyone is trying to save few bucks here and there,Yeah !

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    Cheers
    Biru
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