Sunday 7.8.2016 474km Total:2872km
Another long days riding but today there's some twistys planned in between to break the monotony.
After a long (and costly) ride on the motorway I turn off and head towards Cap de Creus a twisty coastal road towards a cape right by the ocean.
After the soul crushing motorway riding it was very invigorating do something other than crunch miles on dead straight roads.
The sun is absolutely scorching to the point that my head feel like a baking potato so I'm really glad I bought the cooling vest.
After a nice ride along the coast I start to waver a bit between sticking to the original plan and continuing on the very slow moving but scenic route towards a coastal road called GI-682 or if I should get back on the soul numbing but swift moving motorway.
After recharging the cooling vest the scenic route wins out and I'm glad it did because it's not for naught that this road has been named a European monument by the EU and has been nicknamed the road of a thousand bends.
It was a bit cluttered with tourist traffic but nothing that really detracted from the overall experience.
Something that did detract from the experience though was when a traffic cop stopped all traffic about halfway through because of a motorbike accident.
I don't know the extent of the damage but the rider was airlifted out in a chopper so I'm guessing it wasn't good.
The horns inside the helmet which at this point had grown pretty large shrunk pretty quick because of this and no matter really because when they started letting traffic through again we had the police as a pace car all along the rest of the way.
I guess they didn't want any more accidents that day and I didn't really mind because I was pretty intent on not becoming the victim anyway.
The rest of the way is motorways as far as the eye can see, an insanely expensive way to travel in this country.
I though Italy was expensive but that was because they didn't have any difference in the tariff between a car and a bike but today all the tolls actually registered my vehicle and I paid the bike tariff but still the overall charge came to more than 40 Euros!
Arriving at the hotel it's in a really steep hill but even if I wanted to there was absolutely nowhere to park.
I continue up to the top and just park at a corner on a plaza, obviously not a horrendous crime since a cop car rides past without so much as batting an eyelid.
Speaking about horrendous that word perfectly describes the parking situation in this town.
The hotel rents spaces in a garage situated a kilometre from the hotel and the route is so complicated the manager makes the bellboy walk me the whole way.
Normally he drives the guests vehicles and parks them but apparently he was somewhat overwhelmed by my monster bike. Not that I would have let him anyway.
So after a long day in the saddle followed by a brisk 2km walk I ride to the garage and thus have to walk the kilometre back to the hotel all over again.
Thank god there was a noodle restaurant just opposite the hotel because that was all I had any energy for and I hadn't eaten anything since lunch.
I was so beat by the time I got back to room it felt like the whole room was rotating.
If I had any doubts about the original route down to Gibraltar my mind is well and truly made up by now, I simply can't go on like this.
The mileage is just too much, I can feel myself loosing focus as the days get longer and the bragging rights of Gibraltar isn't worth shit anyway if I'll get them posthumously.
I'm almost in a bit of a panic that I just have one "rest day" to explore all of Barcelona but getting a room at anything near a reasonable price was outright impossible so I'll just have to.
I'm running out of clean clothes so somehow I manage to wash up some t-shirts and boxers before more or less passing out on the bed.
The room never stopped spinning.
Monday 8.8.2016 0km
So today I'm having to do all the touristy things you're supposed to do in Barcelona in just one day because I didn't see anything yesterday.
I was so desperate to get some rest that I booked a room at another hotel at more than twice the rate as the hotel I'm staying at now but I cancelled the reservation in the afternoon.
Barcelona offers the usual things when it comes to tourist attractions and beautiful building but my god it's the most heavily exploited destination I've been in my life.
Eventually I started wondering if there's actually any locals at all or if everyone is either working to cater tourists or are actual tourists.
I know it's a bit like the pot calling the kettle black since I'm part of the problem but after a day here I've already had enough and want to move on.
The catherdral was a real highlight but was a bit like a consolation prize since the Sagrada Familia was so popular the stopped admittance already early in the afternoon. Bummer.
Barcelona got a bit badly timed on the whole since all the museums are closed on Mondays.
Well, the culturally refined museums are, I did manage to find a museum that was open and of course it was a motorcycle museum.
I went in thinking tourist trap because it didn't look like much in the outset but what the lacked in quantity they more than made in in quality, there where some real gems in there.
I had supper at a Vietnamese restaurant.
I often try to experience the local cuisine but here it's tapas, tapas, tapas. F**ing tapas everywhere.
I don't care for tapas at all and even if I did it makes my intestines go completely nuclear.
So when I stumble upon some lovely noodles it made the choice really easy and it was truly delicious.
It wasn't a late night since I needed to replan the rest of the trip, the original route was already mentally scrapped but I had to make a physical one as well.
I start crunching the numbers distance wise and the outcome is that instead of just cutting across on the way back I'll do that now and after heading down to Valencia I'll head straight west to first Madrid and then Lisbon.
Madrid to Lisbon is somewhat of an idiot-day at 600kms but it's all motorway miles and I'll spend the whole weekend there so it doesn't really matter if it takes me all day to get there.
I know naaaaaathing, I am exploring Barcelona.
The cathedral, or as it's actually named: The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia
Sagrada Família. Regretfully I only got to admire this beaty from a distance.
Mercado de La Boqueria, a market hall by La Rambla
Museo Moto a very pleasant surprise right in the middle of town.
A Danish Nimbus
Tuesday 9.8.2016 351km - Total:3223km
I march on towards Valencia. I haven't managed to find any scenic routes along this stretch so the mileage just disappears beneath my wheels and that's lucky because this was one of the trips more pleasant surprises.
First of all this might be the first time I've ever parked legally on the sidewalk in front of the hotel entrance to check in, they had dedicated motorcycle parking just outside the entrance.
After a well needed shower I hit the town and already at the first touristy destination I'm starting to wonder why I wasted my time going to Barcelona.
After a short while walking around time I realize there's an abundance of beautiful buildings and great restaurants galore but there isn't a fraction of the tourists.
This is surely not going to last, a city this beautiful, this close to an international airport.
Better get in while the getting's good because this city is most like going to get the attention it deserves sooner rather than later.
Unfortunately the only places that I managed to see before they closed where the city gate and the cathedral but I had a really great time just walking around aimlessly admiring the architecture of the beautiful buildings which where plentiful.
At the edge of the towns main square there where street musicians that where playing classical music, I have a bit of a soft spot for that so I payed my tribute and sat down for a while enjoying the music before I looked up a restaurant and headed back to the hotel.
On my way back I quickly dive into a hobby-shop right before closing because the throttle grip have gotten loose.
Probably a combination of the heat and the extra force needed to twist it with the friction lock which I use frequently on the dead straight motorways.
But it does seem a bit of a paradox that something specifically manufactured to withstand heat loosens because of heat but with the temperatures I'm having I'm not terribly surprised that it takes its toll on the bike as well.
It's less than five minutes until closing time so when I ask a gentleman behind a desk what he thinks I should use to glue plastic that is heat resistant he yanks a package from a shelf and says this is the best and gives me a gentle push in my back towards the register.
Back at the hotel I almost give the receptionist a coronary when I give him the package with instructions and asks if he can tell my how to use it.
After a painful silence and a visible bead of sweat on his forehead he realizes that he only has to tell me what it says, he doesn't necessarily need to understand it himself and I'm not asking him to help fix my bike (just the though of bike repairs in the garage seemed utterly terrifying).
With the best glue in town I get down to the garage to glue the grip back.
Luckily it was a very simple process because a rough estimate is that the temperature in the garage was about +40°C so my problem solving skills where a bit impaired.
That the bike now responds in relation to the throttle is a welcome change, it got a bit exiting at the last stretch here when I had to guess the throttle response in relation to twisting the handle at 130+km/h.
On of the old city gates, Torres de Quart and the view from the tower.
...and the magnificent cathedral from the 1200:s.