4. 360 miles. A long slog

So day 4 started with the rewrite of day 3 and subsequent posting. It all took much longer than anticipated so I am going to try another approach. Today’s blog is brought to you by Google docs in association with the blogger app.

  OMG I added a photo and it’s the right way up! So this is last night’s hotel, a lavish affair with marble stairs and a 3 bed room with En suite. As you can see the bike wore her PJ’s.

In the travelling world they call it the invisibility cloak as no one looks at a covered bike, it’s just a covered machine. In fact I’m surprised you can see it at all in its camo gear. Ok I’m washed and cleaned its time to get rolling, catch you later. (later) So I made it to Madrid in some pretty heavy traffic. The bike sure felt the heat and my leg got the brunt of it. I badly needed a coffee. Purchased said coffee and sat down to update my photos only to find the advertised WiFi doesn’t work. I have tried to contact Colin and Raven to see how they are getting on, I forgot to mention that they had taken refuge after a massive downpour left them soaked through. I suspect they are gaining on me as I settle into a more leisurely pace. My pace was a steady 110kph on the way here, until the traffic build up. I passed Guadalajara which looked a clean modern city but decided not to stop as Madrid was my target location. On arrival Madrid is a bustling capital city full of high rise buildings and old architecture. All very clean but stubbornly hot for a bloke in a riding suit. I don’t actually have any plans for the route from here so I dragged the map out and have found a route to Cordoba. My plans of riding the trans Portugal track have been shelved as the bike is so heavily loaded. I’m not sure it could handle off roading with all that weight, now I regret not replacing the rear shock that looks permanently compressed and sagging. I’m told the Suzuki SV650 has the same rear shock and second hand they are quite cheap. So I have had contact from Colin saying his bike is playing up and he has had to stop to repair it. They hope to make Seville by tonight. I’m not sure I will get that far but I’ll give it a go.

I didn’t make it Seville but nor did the others. Colins bike had issues with the stator rings and alternator connections. However they are fixed and on the road again. I, on the other hand, am on a campsite near Cordoba. After my posh coffee in Madrid I walked the town for about half an hour but the heat and the crowds were no place for me in riding kit with a rucksack and crash helmet to carry. I did manage to pick up a battery bank for the tablet, and once I had used the phone sat nav to get me out the city, I plugged it in to charge. The road was straight and dull, what’s more it was going to be like this for 300km. I rode until the bike demanded fuel and stopped to fuel us both.  I know the bike does about 200km per tank with a reserve of 50km. Using that almost clockwork accuracy I can judge when to fill her up before hitting the reserve. I found a shaded area at the filling station and sat down to eat my sandwich. Man it was bad. I could only make out that the box said barbecue something. I will never know what that something was and only one half got eaten. I’m not sure even the local rats would eat the other, in fact it may have been a barbecued relative. Another Red Bull lunch.

Back on the road I played with the gopro and POV stick, but really there is only so much you can do before even that gets dull. Meanwhile little Honda plodded away the kilometres. The road seemed to be cutting across a huge expanse of open land, very flat and burnt to within an inch of life. It was sauna hot in my kit despite opening all the vents on my dessert range of bike gear. The wind hit me at a 45 degree angle from the front right, causing me to have to lean to the right to keep straight. Unless overtaking a lorry when the wind died and the leaning right thing made me career towards the side of the lorry. Then as I passed the driver, again the wind hit. After a while it became easy to just lean, not lean and lean again. However the bike felt like it was struggling at times and I was getting very hungry. I ran out of water in my hydration pack and decided enough was enough. The bike was going to need fuel again soon and that would be a good time to stop. With that the engine died. I knew it was low fuel by the way she just shut down. Switching to reserve she fired up and carried on, but it was clear to see the headwind had made hard work for the engine reducing the tanks range by 25km. I filled myself up on iced coffee and yet another burger. The bike was fuelled and I even remembered to find a campsite online before setting off. It was an hour’s ride and the bike made easier work of it than I. On arrival at La Carlota it didn’t take long to find the site, get signed in and pitch my tent. The ground is rock hard and my new French neighbour kindly leant me a hammer. Luckily my tent will pitch easily with just three pegs and as there is no wind I suspect it will need no more. Next to the French family are two female bikers who went past me earlier on a Harley. They don’t speak English but I managed to get from them that they are also going to Faro for the bike meet. So far the 4 People I have met are all leather clad, leather skinned bikers. I hope I fit in! Right its time for a shower before finding the bar and night club. Alright the bar and then my bed. Colin and Raven are on the road again and riding into the evening to make up time. I am not sure they need to make up much as the Faro thing starts in 2 days and I am only 3 hours from there. Time to dig out the map and see what’s close by. Once again I promise to take more pics soon.

Author: benjackson63

A new adventure biker just starting out on my blogging adventures.

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