Catalonian Rainshine.. A Series of Day Trips in Northeast Spain.

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by BK.RD.RNR, May 29, 2013.

  1. Irnworker433

    Irnworker433 XR650RRRRRRRR

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    Super stoked that you had a chance to do this. Great writeup, and tons of pics...almost as tho we were there. Hope you and the missus are doing great.

    D
    #21
  2. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

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    Hey D!! Where ya been? I wrote you on FB last week. We're doing good. Hope you and yours are well!
    #22
  3. scudrunner82

    scudrunner82 combustion addict

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    Hey Dude, just found your Spain thread. Very nice, looks like you have a great adventure. I've been a few places in Spain and I love the country. Not to mention GORGEOUS women. :tb:drif

    PS: what did they find wrong with the KTM?
    #23
  4. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

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    Just after I crossed the border back into Spain, I began to look for a way to the start point of some back country tracks that Pavillo had pointed out to me with the GPS he had lent me. They did not start very near the highway, the other back country roads were not displayed on the GPS, I was unsure which side route would get me to the starting point of the tracks, and I did not have an unlimited amount of time to lose looking for it, not to mention the possibility of getting lost in remote mountains.

    I decided instead to explore a little bit here and there off the highway on my way back.

    The first thing I came across was a little side road that lead to a hamlet, and this cool old church.

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    Just across the street (?) was a residence. The bike has not moved.

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    More angles of the church

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    The plaque (historical marker) for the church.

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    Can anyone translate the jist of this?

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    I stayed on this small "road" paralleling the highway, and ended up stumbling on this small village. It had a unique combination of old buildings, really old buildings, and a few modern ones which were designed to blend in, but were still a bit out of place.

    In the next pictures, the the street between the buildings is public. I stopped to ask a local resident that I saw walking around if it was permitted for me to ride through. He confirmed for me that it was. It was so tight compared to what we are used to in the U.S., I felt compelled to make sure that I was on public property.

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    I did not take any more pictures here, but it was a cool little town that even had an interesting looking Hostel/ Bar/ Restaurant. I kind of wish I had not been pressed for time, it would have been cool to check it out a little more.

    Back on the highway, making my way back to Barcelona, I found another diversion to check out.

    I saw this mountain from the highway, and a road leading in the general direction on the GPS, and decided to do a little exploring to see if I could ride up to the snow line.

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    Some views from the road along the way, trying to make my way to the snow line. (Not to mention a fair amount of gratuitous 990 pRon.)

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    Some interesting rock layers.

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    More to come from this segment.
    #24
  5. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

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    The road leading up to the lookout point I ended my previous post with was awesome! Lots of elevation change (obviously), and a great, narrow, curvy road.

    Heading around the other side of the mountain from the lookout point in my previous post. The awesome road continued. This time with less trees so that I could get a few pictures of the beautifully constructed asphalt.

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    A homestead that I would be riding past in a little while.

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    These pictures are taken from one stop, but the entire road was curvy like this. Those Spaniards know how to make an entertaining byway, for sure!

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    A few miles later, when I rounded the side of a mountain, a mix of precipitation including snow, sleet, and rain started forming on my visor, and I decided that was as close as I needed to get to the snow line. Time to snap a few pics, and turn around.

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    After this stop, I headed back the way I had come, and headed directly back to Barcelona by the main routes, and highways.

    Back on the highway, I saw some storm clouds blowing in. Probably the ones I had just encountered up in the mountains. I stopped at a gas station for fuel and a snack. While I was there, I checked the online radar maps for the area that I had saved in my favorites on my phone. I decided to just hold up for a bit, hoping the storm clouds would blow through, and I would not have to ride through the brunt of the rain. After a 1/2 hour or so, I continued on on wet roads, but with no heavy rainfall. The ride from West to East in the valley alongside a rushing stream was beautiful, even for the lack of sunshine.

    Shortly before reaching the E-9/ C-16, it started to rain heavier, and I finally decided I should stop and put on my rain pants to avoid getting soaked. I was completely unfamiliar with the area, and had no idea where the road was going to take me next.

    As I began to put on the rain pants, the sun looked like it wanted to poke throught the clouds, as I began to zip down the last zipper by my left boot, the sun shone brightly through the clouds. As if to mock me. I couldn't help but laugh out loud. :lol3

    I left the pants on, figuring the best way to ensure a dry ride home was to wear the pants. As we all know, the best way to insure it won't rain, is to wear your rain gear.:deal

    Less than a mile after I put on the rain gear, It was bright sunshine, and I came to a toll booth for the Cadi Tunnel (I was unaware of the tunnel). This was the longest tunnel I had yet encountered. Not only in Catalonia, but anywhere, aproximately 3 miles long!:eek1 It took you right through the mountain range, and dropped me out on the other side... Where it was not raining.

    After winding my way back down the other side of the mountain, in traffic, on a 2 lane road, the E-9 "interstate" began again, and I boogied my way back into Barcelona. Even the slab there is entertaining to ride. I found myself riding at between 85-95mph on a freeway that twisted it's way through the landscape, with plenty of long sweeping corners to keep it interesting. Good stuff, and a great day on a motorcycle in a new place.

    After getting back to the hotel in Barcelona, knowing that I was running behind schedule, I quickly parked the bike, and ran up to the room to get ready to head to the Olympic stadium for Enduro Cross. I ended up just missing the shuttle I wanted to the stadium, and had to wait around for a 1/2 hour for the next one. I missed the first heat of the races.
    #25
  6. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Glad you got back to the report.I know how time consuming it is to put one together. A beautiful area you're riding through.Thanks for taking us along.
    #26
  7. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

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    I guess it's time that I got back around to this before I forget all of the details. Time flies. It's been almost a year now. :eek1
    #27
  8. DRglidarn

    DRglidarn Panzer pilot

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    Spain looks great for adventure riding! I would really love to take my bike and ride the Pyreneean and explore Spain sometime :) Show us mote please!
    #28
  9. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

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    Day 4, my final day of Day Trippin' in Northeast Spain.

    We had left the shades open the night before,and when the sun shone directly in, I woke up early. The light was so beautiful that I had to get up and take a picture. I'm not an early riser by nature, so I got my photo, closed the shades, and went back to sleep for a bit.

    Sunrise over Barcelona...

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    That day my plan was to head Due North out of Barcelona on the Highway, to the town of Berga.

    I had found a road on Pavillo's map that headed west out of Berga that I wanted to explore. It seemed to skirt some nice mountains, was twisty as all get out, and was highlighted in green on Pavillo's map, which meant that it was also a scenic route. It appeared to be the perfect trifecta!

    I was not disappointed. :deal

    Heading out the highway, I saw Montserrat. It was a stunning sight with a beautiful blue sky for a backdrop. I stopped at a rest area to get a few pictures.

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    I knew that I would be a bit pressed for time. There was an event at the XGames that I needed to be back in time for, so I was trying to get to Berga, and get back in time, It's just that these beautiful scenes in foreign lands always compell me to soak them in while I can, knowing that I may never have a chance to enjoy them a second time. XGames highlights can be found on YouTube most anytime. :D


    So I got to Berga, and found the start of the road that I wanted to take.
    A few pictures from a quick stop at the begining of the road...

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    More to come...
    #29
  10. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

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    So the road was interesting right from the start. Very narrow tight and twisty (by North American standards), very few cars, and two way traffic throughout. Steep enbankments one one side, and for the most part, steep drop offs on the other side. With all of the rain that the region was having, it was one of my first experiences with small rock slides...

    I was riding in and out of drizzling rain and fog/ clouds, trying to stay tight to my side of the road around blind corners, and then you see a few small rocks bouncing down the embankment into my side of the road! :eek1 A little unnerving when I had never really experienced that before.

    As I was riding the road, I kept seeing tons of motorcycles coming at me from the other direction. Lots of them. All kinds, everything from scooters, to sporty scooters, to new and old sport bikes, to BMWs, to SuperMotos, to old 2 stroke Bultacos leaving the intoxicatingly sweet smell of 2 stroke exhaust in their wake. :raabia
    I couldn't help wondering if there was a rally of some sort passing through?, was this THE most popular road for motorcycles in all of Catalonia?, am I just riding it in the wrong direction?
    None the less, I was having a great time, but couldn't help wondering if I was missing the party. :lol3

    A while later I came to a small town, and there at an Inn on the side of the road were numerous bikes parked. It seemed to be the hotspot for people to get out of the weather for a bit, and warm up/ grab a bite to eat.
    Not to be anti-social, but in an effort to keep with my time table, I rode through to the North edge of town, took a little break, and snapped a few pictures...

    A little 360* around the bike where I parked...

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    A couple of would be new friends, had I been carrying some carrots...

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    A couple of views over the town..

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    A little while later, I came upon this body of water. The mineral rich color of the water, and landscape, prompted me to stop and take a few pictures. Unfortunately, the pictures don't do the water's color justice..

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    #30
  11. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

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    So as you see from my last set of pictures, I was again approaching another snow line. It's so cool for a guy from the Northeast US to ride around in such a gorgeous lanscape, with so much lush vegetation in the lower elevations to be contrasted by the snow capped mountains that seem so close.

    After finally starting to descend an incline, instead of the constant uphill I had been riding so far, I stopped briefly to wipe sleet and snow off of my facesheild, and snapped this pic.

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    A little while later, I stopped to take a few pictures of this tunnel that I thought was interesting.

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    To help give you a sense of scale, There are 3 or 4 motorcycles in the picture below..

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    Just above me from the same spot..

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    The direction I had just come from..

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    #31
  12. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

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    ...


    The valley below.

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    More motorcycles heading the opposite direction..
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    Some local Flora.

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    More to come!...
    #32
  13. ata

    ata expat in the jungle

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    gave that 60csx to Santi a few years back.............. and still running:D
    #33
  14. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

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    So, continueing on, I'm starting to run short on time. On the map, it didn't look like such a long jaunt, but it took much longer to cover than I would have expected. Don't get me wrong, that is not a complaint, better too much of a good thing, than too little. :D

    I did make two more stops for breaks/ photo ops, but I did miss some good ones, and had to short cut my intended route to get back to Barcelona on time (late anyways :lol3).

    I rode around behind this perfect little homestead, in the middle of nowhere. I didn't realize how cool it was, until I rounded the other side and got a look at it from a different perspective... I wish it was mine. It was perfectly secluded.

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    Shortly after this stop, I had to shortcut my intended route, and head back to the South and East. This was also a great road. It still had a lot of technical corners, but was a little more open and flowing, so I was able to carry a little more speed and have fun with it. Looking at the map, I want to say that I deviated from my intended route at Cambrills, then Southeast through Solsona, Cardona, Suria, Callus, and finally back to the highway near Santpedor.

    This building was so cool, that I had to stop for a minute. There was an amazing rock formation just before this, that I wish now, I had stopped to photograph. They were eroded columns of stone, with large natural fineals on top. Absolutely amazing... The last good pictures I took from the ride..

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    #34
  15. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

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    In summary, I would have to say that this trip was by far the most amazing pavement riding I have ever done. Hands down. I'm not sure if I have ever had more fun on a motorcycle.

    The roads were incredibly fun and challenging, the landscapes were absolutely humbling, the mountains were stoic, the valleys were lush and beautiful, and the architecture was interesting as well.

    I am eternally grateful to those mentioned in the first post of this report for not only making this trip a possibility for me, but a reality.

    I've seen a few pretty cool places, but only a couple have climbed inside me.

    Catalonia now has a special place in my heart, like a loved one, and I smile warmly when I think of her.

    .....I hope that doesn't sound too corny. :lol3
    #35
  16. bavarian

    bavarian bavarian

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    I've done this road twice sofar - Berga to Tremp via the Coll de Nargo - and I rate it as the best riding I ever had. No traffic, smooth aspalt, smooth flowing curves and an amazing scenery.

    Nice to read that others share my taste! Thanks for posting!
    #36
  17. BK.RD.RNR

    BK.RD.RNR Torque Stick

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    Thank you. It's nice to know that I'm not just waxing on about something that others consider "average". :lol3
    #37
  18. Shortarse

    Shortarse n00b

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    Hello Catalonia Sunshine,
    it is with a very heavy heart that I must report that my friend, and Triumph guru, Que Freyer passed away at 2:30 today eastern standard time.
    My email is Ian12256@aol.com if you'd like to share memories of que and see pictures of his last build that I was priviledged to be a part of.
    All the best from Westchester County,
    Ian Carroll.
    #38