Friday, 27 February 2009

Stream of Consciousness Blog. A Great Adventure

Sitting on Neils rooftop terrace in Madrid before setting off to collect the bike from the motorway in Getafe

This is a mail I received from Harry. I have only tidied it up a bit but I hope you like this and get the message.

Run down so far.

Got as far as 3 mile short of Alborache before Buñol?
Anyway had a blow out in the back wheel and pushed it up to Alborache. Slept on a bench for the night and had to hitch back to

God it´s all a blur now

Repairers couldn´t do anything so got a spray inflator and went back to Alborache to find the valve had ripped out. A guy called Vicente came to the rescue who gave me a lift further along to a garage who then came and got the bike.

Sadly 40 euros and missed the lunch break faffing about with banks. Got going at 5 and rode through the night except for a short 2 hour nap outside a service area.
Nearer to Cuenca I branched off at Utiel and took a wrong lane and finished up on the motorway. I pulled in at the service area hoping for an emergency escape only to find two cops. Bugger! They checked my papers and sent me on getting off the motorway took me off in a new direction so had to modify my plans. By error I finished up down in Iniesta and had to come up the N301.
I was still going well until I got to Toledo . You can´t get out of there to Madrid
unless you hit the motorway. I spent an hour looking for a way out and gave
up and headed out on the only rideable road for the bike direction Avila. I then couldn't find a route into Madrid went round and round in circles until in desperation I ran onto the motorway and ran out of fuel.

I´m just looking at a map and can see I could get in on the west side but
not from the south so in fear of missing the game I locked it to the barrier on the motorway on the long grass and got a bus in. Missed the Madrid gang unfortunately (This is why guys)and I am spending the day sleeping and waiting for the traffic to die down tonight so I can get the bike off the road or back on it. Heading North to
Valladolid. If I can find a way out.
My credits have run out and I´m not sure if I can top up Vodafone UK here. Help!!!!

Both phones are dead now battery wise which is why I didn't get the credit. Got your no but will have some access in Valladolid so can update then. I am at Neil's place in Madrid but setting off shortly to kick start the journey.
Just to mention Rob and his young lad, Neil who bought me a pint and use of phone
and ah god someone else and his wife.

Fantastic post!
Think my brain has had a blow out today.
More to come.

The Ride out of Madrid to Valladolid

Post addition

I got back to the bike which was still at the side of the motorway. Had to do a bit of walking to get fuel and managed to sneak it off the Mway and to safety. Riding around Getafe found a marquee that had been used for some event that night. I was straight in with the bike for a nights kip. Emerged to rush hour Getafe in the morning and bemused looks from bus stop qeues.

I thought I was doing well getting clear of Madrid until I ran into another cul de sac in the corner of two merging motorways. After going round in circles blasted down to junctions on the hard shoulder and finall escaped.
Headed to El Escorial where I indulged in the best bacon and eggs I'd tasted for weeks. Maybe cos I hadn't had any for weeks. The sun was shining and it was warm, but after heading up the Puerto de Guaderrama pass, which is nearly 5,000feet up in the mountains, the air started to cool down. The bike amazing made the ascent although it was in first gear all the way at max revs and only just crept up the last 100 metres. Got Victor Gascon from Toledo Aeroclub to take a pic and e-mail it to me. The week before the pass was under snow and according to Victors e-mail was the following weekend, so I count myself very lucky.
Got down to San Rafael and onto Juanma's in Valladolid. I was still having trouble with the reseve tap on the bike and every so often I would finish out of fuel with no reserve. This happened climbing out of San Rafael and 200 metres short of the summit of a long climb. It was the middle of nowhere but pushing the bike over the summit lo and behold there in the middle of nothing was a gas station.. Something was watching out for me up there.
It was a long dash up to Valladolid but amazingly Juanma came out to the main route and guided me into his town of Cisterniger. The lads from his motorbike club had a whip around and put me up in a hotel, but not before meeting up with Mar Juanma's wife for some grub and beer. A tour of the Motorbike club headquarters and some small repairs we settled down to the disappointment of the Middlesborough game.
Photos with Juanma Mar and Paula before heading off again


  1. Have sorted out Harry with new phone and charger (and a wind-up torch!)... He's now on his way to Valladolid. Very brave guy and a complete gentleman.

  2. (same number as before and he now has phone credit)