Day 1 – Plymouth to Santander
Everybody arrived early and excited to start the trip and after a welcome brief from our guide, we embarked on the Pont Avon ferry and settled into our cabins. We met in the bar later that evening to get to know each other, though initial conversation was drowned by the raucous support for England winning the Cricket World Cup! Friendships were already being formed and various groups dispersed to find appropriate locations to satisfy their culinary appetites before retiring for the night.

Day 2 – Santander to Llanes
Most of the second day was spent on the boat solidifying new friendships as we crossed the Bay of Biscay. The ferry docked at 4.15pm local time in Santander and everybody disembarked excited to get on their bikes!

Sat Navs were checked and a convoy of Magellanites proceeded to flow out of the ferry Port, out of the town and quickly into the wonderful Spanish countryside. There followed a series of fantastic roads through stunning scenery around Reinosa where long haired cows with big horns, long haired goats with big horns and horses were encountered and thankfully avoided.

Arriving at the hotel at Llanes around 9.30pm, it was quick showers and into the bar and dining room for a late dinner.

Day 3 – Llanes to Tineo
We awoke to stunning scenery in the distance, giving us a taste of things to come. Breakfast and the day’s briefing was followed by one of our guides conducting a riding warm-up session out in the hotel car park for those who wished to partake; this generating much mirth and banter!

On the bikes we were soon delving into a series of fantastic and slightly demanding roads that wound themselves up and around the hills to the south-west of Llanes, which in turn became a series of fabulous fast, sweeping bends. We arrived at our first coffee stop with smiles all round and everybody enthusiastically discussing the roads we had just ridden.

After negotiating the streets and traffic of Oviedo, lunch was taken at the picturesque and well priced restaurant El Tenderjon del Fernando, with magnificent views across the Escamplero region to the mountains in the distance. After lunch we were back on the amazing twisties before finally arriving early in the evening at our hotel in Tineo. The converted monastery with fabulous rooms well met the expectations hinted at by our guide. The tradition of relaxing drinks and a communal dinner in the hotel’s restaurant was upheld. A great day was had by all with dinner conversations revealing various riders experiencing a range of mini adventures to add to their memories.

Day 4 – Tineo to Santiago de Compostela
The morning’s brief contained information regarding the Pilgrim’s route which culminates at today’s destination, in north-west Spain’s Galicia region; the scallop shells signs for the route had been spotted by the more eagle eyed riders the previous day. We ascended the roads from Tineo and were soon thrust into the mountains on a series of lovely hairpins, where we experienced low cloud that unfortunately obscured the fantastic views that would have been spread before us; visibility was so bad that riding was conducted mainly on instruments, with our satnavs providing vital information of the road/bends ahead! We encountered many pilgrims, ignoring the weather and determinedly marching along the route. Descending to lower altitudes, we emerged from the cloud to breath-taking scenery and fabulous roads that could only leave us all with massive grins. Arriving at the magnificent Rio Navia Dam, we found ourselves riding towards our morning coffee stop.

Coffee was followed by more glorious riding and we soon found ourselves in Lugo for our lunch stop. The afternoon’s riding continued on some truly brilliant roads and the weather had been continuously improving during the day, which meant arriving at our centrally located hotel in bright sunshine. After settling in, the group dispersed into the city to sample the culinary delights, with several taking up the recommendation of Steve H to dine at the fantastic and very well priced Meson El Bombero. After dinner some of our group went for a little walk to take in the magnificent sights the city boasts, which includes a visit to the beautiful cathedral.

Day 5 – Santiago de Compostela to Zamora
After the traditional morning brief, we left the city in warmth and sunshine and headed to the capital of Zamora province. A long day had been planned and we had all been suitably reminded regarding the need for constant hydration and sun protection. The magnificent roads of northern Spain continued as we headed south-west and the temperature was climbing. After an excellent coffee stop in Soutelo de Montes, we rode to the town of O Barco, situated on the picturesque Rio Sil.

The afternoon’s riding took us into the mountains, some of which contained some fascinating quarrying being undertaken. Arriving at the top (1850 metres) provided a magnificent and panoramic 360 degrees view of the surrounding geography. Riding down from the mountains, we encountered several small villages along the way. One of the riding groups stopped at one of these and Lu decided to take a sightseeing walk on her own, but soon found herself lost. She was rescued by Steve C, who had been riding a few miles behind this group, and gave her a lift to reunite her with her riding buddies; luckily, she had her helmet with her, so a safe pillion ride was enabled. You can’t beat hitching a ride on the back of a motorcycle! The final ride into Zamora was on straight and flat roads, as the city forms part of the northern point of the central plains. We all arrived safely at our hotel, showered and met at a local bar for drinks before heading through fabulous streets to the wonderful Casa Bernado restaurant, where we all experienced an excellent and very filling meal; Andrew had a huge steak that completely filled his plate on its own!

Day 6 – Zamora to Cangas de Onis
Riding out in warmth and bright sunshine, we encountered the same straight roads we had come in on the previous day. After the first coffee stop, the roads became more interesting again, and we soon found ourselves on the winding and majestic roads up to Riano, situated by a beautiful lake.

After lunch, we continued into the heart of the Picos, riding up and down winding roads with breath-taking views. Some of the road surface near the summit was under repair with new tarmac and tarmac strips, which gave more than one rider an anxious moment! The ride down the far side took in several 180 degree bends with a magnificent landscape opening up before us.

Following our afternoon coffee stop, we rode the famous ‘Pots and Pans’ road through a twisty gulley. Turning left at Panes, we continued on a beautiful, curvy road all the way to our last hotel, and what a treat it is! The Parador is another converted monastery, set in beautiful grounds of lawns and flower beds at different levels. Parking had been arranged for all of our bikes and we were soon settling down for a relaxing drink before dinner; those experiencing the local gin and tonics were very relaxed indeed! A fabulous last dinner was experienced with much laughter and everybody recounting memorable tales of our wonderful tour.

Day 7 – Cangas de Onis to Santander
After a very filling breakfast, we prepared our bikes for the ride to the port and said farewell to four members of the group; David and Gary were continuing on a self-guided tour to catch the ferry at Caen, while Andrew and Neil were booked on the following day’s sailing from Santander.

The route took us back on the road to Panes, so we were able to experience once again the flowing and smooth tarmac of the previous evening. Riding out of Panes, the road took us back into the mountains where we found ourselves on sweeping bends and a variety of magnificent hairpins. Stops were undertaken at various points to admire the fabulous views.

We arrived at our lunch stop overlooking the impressive lake of Reinso, eating at the El Puerto de la Poblacion restaurant. After lunch, there was one final mountain with the cows to negotiate before we made the gentle ride back into Santander and down to the ferry terminal for the voyage home. We embarked on time and spent the last 24 hours in each other’s company before docking at Portsmouth the following evening. Phone numbers, email and actual addresses were exchanged as promises were made for future visits. The comradery experienced only results from a journey of this nature. Many had never experienced the cumulative miles/kilometres of riding required of such a tour, so were justly proud of their achievement and delighted to share it with others. Many are already thinking about the next tour where reunions are bound to occur. Thank you to everybody for making this such a fabulous and memorable tour. Here’s to the next one!

Andy

Tour Magellanites:
Guide – Toby (BMW R1200 GSA)
Assistant Guide – Andy (BMW R1200 GSA)
Support Rider – Steve (BMW R1250 GSA)
Grant & Karen (BMW S1000 XR)
Chris & Lesley (BMW F750 GS)
Rob & Carolyn (BMW R1200 GS)
Terry & Lu (BMW C650 GT)
Neil (Triumph Tiger 800)
Andrew (Yamaha XJR 1300)
Steve C (BMW R1250 GSA)
David (Triumph Bonneville T120)
Quinn (BMW 1150RS)
Bill (Suzuki GXR 750)
Gary (Honda Fireblade)

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