Once into Spain the traffic was light and the roads good.
I headed up into the mountains to stay at a free municipal campground for the night.
I saw a High of 35°C today.
At camp it’s shaded by pine trees and has a constant breeze, very pleasant!
After leaving my very peaceful forest this morning I headed further into the mountains on some fabulous roads. It was like a race track had been laid through the hills, all second and third gear, twisting left and right and up and down. The best thing of all, I was the only one on it, what a way to start the day. Pure motorcycling pleasure!!
Once through the mountains I found "Jesus” and headed further south west on mainly 120km/h motorways.
Another 35°C Day.
Every morning I now buy ice cold water and fill my Camelbak, it stays cold and keeps me well hydrated while riding.
I clocked up 640km today, my longest ride so far!
I’m in a campsite tonight, I needed a hammer drill to get my pegs to pitch the tent
I headed south west to Cordoba.
Cordoba was originally a Roman town, then taken by the Visigoths, then the Muslim Moore’s in the 8th century. By the 10th century is was the second largest city in Europe. In 1236 the Christians took the city.
Cordoba has four World UNESCO sites, more than anywhere else in the world. The number one attraction is The Mezquita-Catedral. Built as a mosque by the Moore’s it was converted to a cathedral by the Christians.
Today was a scorcher 38°C, too hot to be walking km’s in motorcycle trousers and boots, even worse when the jacket, helmet and gloves have to go on.
Staying south of Cordoba tonight for free in a municipal park.
The thing with traveling by motorcycle you never really know how your day will turn out!
After my free camping in the hills, and a good old chat to family in the morning I headed off for a leisurely ride to Malaga, we’ll actually just past there to a place called Torre Del Mar. After looking on the internet last night I decided to stay in a camp ground not too far from Malaga, the cost on the internet €20
I headed off through the hills and pulled into a petrol station, not for petrol but for ice cold water to fill my Camelbak.
When I returned to the bike I noticed the rear tyre looked a bit deflated. I rode it around to the free air machine.
When I inflated it to the correct tyre pressure all I could hear was a hiss. Oh no, that only means one thing, a puncture.
I put the bike on the centre stand and spun the back wheel, a long screw had gone through my tyre like a hot knife through butter. The realisation that I now had to take all the panniers off, remove the back wheel and swop out the inner tube was not a prospect I relished in the heat. I had brought spare tubes with me.
An hour and a half later I was finished with the repair. The tyres I am running are known to have a firm sidewall, they certainly do. There’s always an upside in every situation, firstly I was at the petrol station with an air pump and flat ground, second it was warm so the tyre was more malleable and thirdly I wasn’t in the back of beyond.
After fixing the tyre adjusting, cleaning and oiling the chain I carried onto the campground I had chosen to stay at, when I arrived it was like a circus, tourist everywhere. When I asked for a site, the price was €40. No chance of any sleep and an extortionate price. I searched on the internet for another place, I found a free place heading towards Granada next to a lake. It was an hour's ride. When I got there, it was a dam and no camping allowed. I found another place about 30 minutes away for €17.
I rang them up and they saved me a spot. The ride along the river to the campground was epic, smooth twisting roads and not much traffic. What a way to end the day!!!!
I stayed another day in camp today.
Enjoyed the swimming pool and the €2, one-litre beers
The main reason I’ve stayed put is I’m waiting for an Amazon delivery to one of their lockers in Malaga. It’s a Garmin GPS cable that I need to download my Morocco map. I’ve been notified it’s arrived so I will pick it up tomorrow along with a spare rear tube and then head off to Morocco on Saturday. Ferry all booked for 9am.
Today was all about getting stuff done before heading off to Morocco tomorrow.
First trip was to a camping shop to buy a replacement inflatable pillow (my repairs only prolonged the inevitable deflation). The only one they had was the entry level €6 model. Got to be better than nothing?so I bought it.
Next thing, do some grocery shopping, done. Next thing, ride to Malaga and collect my Garmin cable from the Amazon locker, done. Next thing, get a spare rear inner tube, mmmm not an easy task, a lot of shops are shut for the holidays, or have a Skelton crew working and no replenishments of stock.
I went to a Triumph dealer, he didn’t stock them, he orders them in. I finally got out of him where he buys them from, so I went there, they had none. The guy on the counter was very helpful he rang around a few places, no luck there. I bought a smaller diameter one just in case I need to limp home.
There was one final place but they close at 1pm, I had less than 10 minutes to get there, this is when you hit every traffic light on red, get stuck behind the slowest drivers. I arrived 3 minutes to 1. They were putting the motorbikes inside. I google translated what I wanted and the guy shot out the back to see if he could find one, it was a tense wait. 5 minutes later he comes through the door holding a box. I read the size on the box and it was the one, few, what a relief.
With that all done I rode around the coast to a campground, one of the more expensive ones I’ve stayed at.
Final job was to load the Morocco map on to my GPS now I had the cable. What a nightmare, I won’t go into too much detail, in the end I had to buy the Garmin maps at an extortionate price, then it wouldn’t download, error on the Garmin server, then on the Garmin live chat (more like some secret torture tool for the ultimate frustration of their dwindling customer base) then I rang the USA via Skype. After 4 hours it was finally done.
Day 41 - 19th August 2023
This morning I was up bright and early, well not so bright it was still dark so I packed up using the light of my head torch.
Rode 30 odd km to the port in Algeciras, got put on the earlier ship to Tangier Med. The ferry trip takes 1.5 hours, one hour of that was taken with standing in a queue to get stamped into Morocco by Immigration.