We all met up as planned in Plymouth with some unsavoury weather, and having boarded the ferry there was no stopping us! Even though some of us were stuck with the dreaded sea bug (including the guide) eek!

Fortunately after getting to know each other at the bar and surviving through a turbulent night on the seas, we arrived in warm but not so sunny Santander. Santander, although a nice place is busy and does not have any twisties to enjoy, so off we went in search of them!

This saw us heading to Llanes, about 114 miles from the port. Fortunately the clouds held their threatened cargo and it even brightened up for us. We managed to overcome some niggles with SatNav’s and we were all happy bikers, riding along beautiful roads where other traffic doesn’t seem to go. It’s striking how empty the roads really are. Safely at our first hotel we settled in for the night.

Our first ride out day! While some chose to take the planned routes, others took a more leisurely day to take in the sights. A large proportion of the group did the 114 Mile Pico’s de Europa ride out, with endless miles of smooth tarmac and curves to suit everyone. Being treated to some awesome weather with not a cloud in the sky, made this day a real treat!

Today, there were so many opportunities to stop and take pictures and videos. There were familiar faces dotted along the route in lay-by’s, taking their pictures – all with massive smiles from ear to ear.

Riding the epic road between the towns of Potes and Panes, aptly named by British bikers ‘the pots and pans’ we were not only greeted by phenomenal views and hairpin after hairpin of glorious tarmac, but we also found a new steed for Magellan. I hopped on for a pic (see above) although amusing, I’m not so sure it would’ve been able to keep up for the rest of the tour if I’d swapped out my GSA!

Its always astounding to see how ‘tame’ the local animals are, with many of us seeing cows and horses grazing by the road and crossing right in front of us as we journeyed to our hotel.

Finally arriving back at our hotel in Llanes for our second night , the smiles on the faces of the returning riders made my day. It’s all about fun, and seeing those faces really does make me smile too.

The case of the mysterious replenisher of bread rolls constantly filling the side plate at dinner was a hoot, and a lovely end to an awesome day!

The next morning saw us riding the last part of the ‘golden triangle’ of the Pico’s with some of the best scenery and roads I’ve ever seen to reach Riano, nestled in the beautiful mountains with it’s impressive lake.

When all of our SatNav’s started spinning, as if we had crossed an invisible SatNav destroying force field, we sat down to a hearty Spanish lunch and had a crash course in fixing the pesky devices. Luckily we got them up and running and we were on our way again, taking in more sweeping bends and beautiful scenery. As each mile passed the temperature rose and the scenery changed as we moved south. One thing that stayed the same though, was the beauty and the traffic free roads!

A short hop on some faster roads to get some miles under our belt and we arrived safely at our hotel for the next 2 nights in Salamanca. After a wash and brush up it was off into the city to see the nightlife… For some, that meant a very very long night!!

The Spanish weather stayed consistently beautiful, and today saw us leave Salamanca after a relaxing day seeing the sights and delights of the city. We rode on more wonderfully twisty roads as we made our way through national parks, where the scenery like the weather was stunning. Popping into Trujillo for our lunch stop, there was a welcome break from the heat and a moment to reflect on the morning’s ride. The bustling town centre welcomed us Magellanites and all too soon it was time to head off towards our hotel in Cazalla de la Sierra.

After a long and exciting day we enjoyed a relaxing meal and a few beers at the hotel, and there were plenty of laughs  about our misbehaving navigational systems!

Cazella De la Sierra to Granada
Today we rode from Cazella De la Sierra towards Granada and for some of our Magellanites, it was one of the best days yet! The temperature was a fab 30 degrees as we rode through the countryside, with olive trees littering the fields as far as the eye could see under the brilliant sunshine.

As we travelled along, the smell of olives changed as we went from region to region. We were treated to new and more vivid smells the further we went. Some smelling like chocolate. Yum!…

The roads throughout the day were fabulous. Views and unadulterated roads, free from traffic kept everyone entertained and even though a roundabout caused a few issues with one bike seeing more tarmac than planned, we all finally arrived at our hotel for our next 2 nights in Granada safe and sound.

As with all of our tours there is always time to see iconic places, scenery and sample the culture of our surroundings. On our rest day some eager beavers took to the roads again and travelled around the Sierra Nevada, sending pictures to me of their stops and describing the route as the best they had ever ridden, whilst others had a more relaxing day off the bikes in Granada.

The sights at the Alhambra were amazing and whilst walking around the city we took time to sit in the sun with coffee and amazing food! While Alan chose to sort his shoes out….. a rest day well spent!

Several Magellanites made their way to Play Granada, where we had arranged for Segway tours of the city. This was so funny! Seeing hardened bikers, that were no strangers to hanging off a motorbike at 60 miles an hour, yet on an 8 mile an hour machine the concentration on their faces was a picture!

After a bit of tuition they were off with their tour guide to learn a bit of the city’s history, whilst holding all of the local traffic up! Several cobbled streets and a few dicey corners only saw one mishap and we all got back to base in one piece.

Sadly the next day we had to leave the wonderful city of Granada. After managing to find a tyre fitters first thing in the morning, as one of our crew needed a new tyre, we were on the road by 10!  Amazing service I thought, a new tyre fitted at 9.30am, on the road within half an hour and the tyre scrubbed in by dinner, fabulous!

As we left Granada, we knew we were in for some scenery that is out of this world, and we were not disappointed. Some long roads that went straight ahead as far as the eye could see, broken up with a few long sweeping bends. It resembled something you would expect from Route 66. The scenery was immense, stretching from horizon to horizon, full of vibrant colours and landscapes. It was so amazing that we had to stop to record a quick video for our Facebook page!

After our epic ride, we arrived at our hotel for the night in Cuenca, but not before a few Magellan rebels got stopped by the local constabulary!

Riding up to the hotel, we knew that we were in for something spectacular. As we neared, it was revealed in all of it’s glory and splendour. Even though all of the hotels had been fabulous on our trip, this one had that ‘WOW factor’ where every rider, on arriving, didn’t rush to get their room key, but stayed outside to take in the views.

Overlooking Cuenca, the hotel (an old monastery), had a suspended bridge across to the village, which provided a fabulous back drop and photo opportunity for us all to pose for Felix’s new toy! A drone!

Leaving the beautiful hotel we started the journey towards Segovia, and as we made our way on yet more fabulous roads, encased in astounding beauty we just had to keep stopping and taking photos everywhere!

Francos Tomb was the setting for a leisurely coffee stop and a look around the fantastic buildings with their historical relics and artwork.

Heading back to Santander the next day saw half of our group take the longer route across the Picos mountains and onto the Pots and Pans road again. It’s one of those roads that never gets old! Secretly,  the roads around Riaño are some of my favourite ever!

The other half of the group took a more leisurely route, which enabled them to have a long lunch at a fabulous restaurant next to the lake and make the most of sitting in the sun for a well deserved break.

Arriving in Santander came all to quick! Sailing away from Spain and waving goodbye left a tear in many an eye of the group, friendships and memories had been made! After another evening of laughter, amazing ferry entertainment and plenty of G&T’s we arrived in not sunny Plymouth!

What a fabulous tour! It is always a pleasure as the guide to share trips and experiences with a group and I had another tear in my eye as they all left the ferry and made their way home.

Toby
Tour Guide

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