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Topic: Edelweiss Tour of Southern Spain 11/08  (Read 4449 times)

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« on: November 22, 2008, 02:22:37 PM »

Day 1 Fort Worth to Malaga

Due to some schedule changes by Delta, IDR and I would spend 10 hours of Quality Airport time at JFK today. We both decided that anything over a 5 hour layover was cruel and unusual punishment!










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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2008, 02:23:20 PM »

Day 2 Malaga

Arrived in Malaga at 12:30 pm. While Mikeal was changing money at the airport I ran into one of the Edelweiss guides by accident. They were looking to pick up a couple people that had signed up for a 4 hour mountain riding school. We wound up getting a ride to the hotel in the Edelweiss van.






Upon arrival the Edelweiss guides were servicing bikes in the parking lot and getting ready for our tour.





The view from our room:







After getting settled in we went for a walk around the Hotel:









The plan for dinner was to find a place to walk to. We get lost and wound up eating dinner at the Hotel.



We hit the hay early and slept in Sunday Morning. This worked good as we were rested and semi-acclimated to the 7 hour time change.
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2008, 02:23:52 PM »

Day 3 Malaga

At 9:30 am we headed to the conference room to go over all of the paperwork and get our bikes. We got there early to make sure that Mikeal received his chosen bike, a Ducati Multistrada. Yesterday, we learned that the bike fleet was one Multistrada short as one had been totaled on the previous tour.

After getting our bikes we went to work hooking up the electrical items we brought with us.







Since the tour started on Monday we were told that we weren’t supposed to ride the bikes but no one would mind if we rode the around the neighborhood. We defined neighborhood as a 40 mile ride to test out the bikes and my GPS with the map of Europe loaded.

We had a fun surprise early in our short test ride when a pretty young lady on a scooter blew by us like we were standing still in a residential area we were riding through.









After we got back to the hotel we relaxed until the first official Edelweiss Briefing.







Our guides, Andy, Caroline, and Axel.



Tomorrow we would hit the road for the week.
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2008, 02:24:28 PM »

Day 4 Malaga to Cordoba

Edelweiss sets up two routes for each day a long route and short route. Edelweiss describes the long route as follows:

“ For those who like to move, there’s the second, typically longer “sports rider” route through even more spectacular mountain passes and breathtaking scenery.”

We would ride the long routes all week. For ease of  putting this report together a lot of the info for each day is straight out of the Edelweiss Tour Book.  

After heading up in the mountains the roads became very curvy and challenging. Curvy enough that I gave myself motion sickness! Hate it when that happens! LOL









We took a quick detour up to El Torcal, a spectacular limestone rock formation south of Antequera that provides a splendid view over the whole region down to the Sea.











On the road to Cordoba:









After arriving in Cordoba we walked through the main Plaza over to the Mezquita before dark. The Mezquita is one of the most magnificent Islamic buildings there is. Romans founded Cordoba in the 169 BC. In 711 AD the city fell to Islamic Invaders. In 929 Cordoba was the largest city in Western Europe. After the city fell to the Castilla’s Fernando III in 1236 the population fell off.

The main Plaza, the Mezquita and the surrounding area:













Tomorrow we get to go in the Mezquita before hitting the road.
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2008, 02:25:06 PM »

Day 5 Cordoba to Sevilla

Today would be the least technical riding day of the trip. The weather was cloudy and cool but with no rain.

Olives and olives and more olives would be the theme today. Since the Roman times olives have been an important part of Andalusion cuisine. A third of Europe’s olive production comes from this small area. Since olives are harvested in the winter, the smell of olive oil was in the air for many miles.



Before we hit the road for the day we took a walk over to the Mezquita to take a look inside.







500 year old olive tree still happily producing olives.























Today’s ride started out with a bang. Alec, from NJ had some trouble getting up the ramp from the underground parking garage on his Multistrada. I only got an after photo of  the event. When I was reaching for my camera Alec and the bike started sliding down the ramp towards me. Mikeal helped Alec right the bike and gave him a push to get started up the ramp. Alec would ride the rest of the day with no right foot peg.



 

The rest of the day was uneventful.




Attempted repair of foot peg at first, stop.



Back on the road to Sevilla












After arriving in Sevilla our tired guides went to find a Ducati shop to get replacement parts for the wounded Multistrada. Mikeal and I went for a walk.





Old City meets new.

















Our Hotel



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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2008, 02:26:27 PM »

Day 6 Sevilla to Ronda

The ride today was simply spectacular. Words and photos do not do justice the ride we took. For those of you familiar with the Deals Gap area, try to envision 190 miles of Deals Gap area riding except in many places narrower roads, more elevation changes, and better scenery.

Morning Briefing:





Coffee stop









Back on the road.













Note the road up high that we will soon be riding.







































All this great riding and we still aren’t at lunch yet. I have no photo’s of the last stretch of road before lunch. It was 20 kilometers of perfect, narrow, twisty, blacktop through a forest with no traffic at all. Oh well, I guess if you want to see this road you will have to ride Southern Spain yourselves.

At the first intersection we stopped at Road house for a family style lunch of venison. Even those that don’t like venison had seconds. It is a family run business that relies on a generator for electricity when needed.









To Ronda we go.



If you look close at some of the trees you will notice that the bark is missing from the bottom of the trees. It has been stripped off because these are Cork Trees.









After the next stop we were fast running out of day light and therefore Axel our guide turned up the wick finishing our ride in to Ronda.











Ronda in the distance.



After arriving, sunset from our Hotel.














« Last Edit: November 22, 2008, 02:34:22 PM by bikerider » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2008, 02:28:04 PM »

Day 7 Ronda

Today is an official “Rest Day” which meant a few different options. A couple people took the short route back to Sevilla to go Sky Diving. There was also a short day loop, one at quick but more relaxed pace, and one at a blistering pace. A few decided to venture off on their own towards Gibraltar. There was also the option of a guided walking tour of Ronda. We opted for the guided walking tour and then did some exploring on the bikes afterwards. Ronda was just historic to miss.

Ronda is located on top of a sheer limestone cliff. The nearly unconquerable town was one of the last Moorish bastions in Spain. The “Puerto Nuevo”, a bridge spanning the 300 ft deep Tajo gorge, connects the “new” and old parts of town. The bridge was built in the 1750’s. Ronda is also one of the most famous bull fighting cities in the world.

More history on Ronda can be found here:

http://www.turismoderonda.es/geografiahistoria/eng/historia.htm

The sites of Ronda:









With Pepe our tour guide.













The new bridge





If you look close the first bridge is the second newest and little bridge you can see under the arch of the closest bridge is the oldest bridge.













Ruins of an old Arabian bath.











We actually met cars on some of these streets!

























http://good-times.webshots.com/video/3088880040058042965mTiCvJ








After lunch we headed back towards the Hotel for a short ride. Our goal was to get to the bottom of the cliff to look up at it. After an hour or so we found our way to the bottom.















On the 5th take this self timer photo came out pretty good.



This is the road at the bottom.













This area is famous for Salt Cured pig. 30 month cured meat was priced at a princely $45 Euros a kilo.



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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2008, 02:28:45 PM »

Day 8 Ronda to Malaga

This would be our last but second best day of riding for the week. Our route immediately started out twisty and just got better and better as the day went on. We looped from Ronda down to the coast back to up to Ronda on rode that appears to have been designed by motorcyclists and then off to Malaga.

























Rock of Gibraltar and the African Coast in the back ground.





Coffee and snack break











Only took one photo of this awesome road. It was 50 kilometers back up to Ronda. Our guide told us “to have fun, but he was not paying any speeding ticket fines”. Traffic was heavy in places which made for some real fun passing on the inside of the left handers. I sure wish people here treated motorcycles the same way as people in other parts of the world.  In no time flat we were back to Ronda.



At the second Roundabout in Ronda we lost the group for a while. It was fun catching up with them.

















Lunch time near El Burgo











Dropping down in to Malaga





Unpacking the bike after a glorious week of riding.





Cheers to an excellent ride with our new friends!!


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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2008, 02:29:17 PM »

Day 9 Malaga  to Fort Worth

Our vacation was now over and it was time for the long trip back home. Little did we know how long it would really take to get back home! LOL



The Edelweiss crew washing bikes for the next tour.



We said our goodbyes and left for the airport.





We landed at JFK 30 minutes early and cleared immigration and customs quickly only to find out our flight to DFW was cancelled. After a bunch of messing around we boarded the same aircraft we took from Malaga and headed to Atlanta knowing we would be spending the night there with no luggage. We got to hotel and to bed for a few hours at midnight.

At 5:30 am we were up and getting ready to go back to the airport. We arrived in DFW at about 10 am with no luggage. Linda picked us up, as Mikeal’s wife was gone on a business trip. Linda looked at us in shock as we stood in stinky clothes after traveling for 30+ hours when asked her to take us the International Motorcycle show in Dallas before going home.

After the show Mikeal treated us to lunch on the way to his house. I arrived at home 3:30pm. My luggage arrived Monday at 11:30 am.

All in all it was an awesome trip.

Things observed:

1.   Riding in foreign lands is very enjoyable. I highly recommend it I have now ridden in Spain twice now. The roads are great and there isn’t much traffic, especially compared to the Alps.
2.   Even when gas was almost $4 bucks a gallon it was still cheap here. We paid $1 Euro ($1.30) per liter even after the price had dropped almost 50% in Spain
3.   Although extremely ugly (LOL), my Wee Strom performed flawlessly on the trip. It worked great in the mountains but was some what underpowered on the few fast section we rode.  At lunch one day Axel, our guide, was asking me about the Strom. He went on to tell me that 2 out of the last 3 years the Touring Operater’s in Europe have voted it the “Master touring Bike” for rental fleets. It doesn’t break or take much maintenance in a rental fleet and everyone that rents them likes them.
4.   To those that always say, “I would love to take a trip like that but I can’t afford it and don’t have enough time”, need to change their priorities in life. You don’t know what you are missing.

Linda and I are planning a Tour of Tuscany next October.
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2008, 02:34:30 PM »

That roadhouse on the way to Ronda has the absolutely finest gazpacho I have ever sampled.  If you ever get back there in the summertime give it a try.
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2008, 08:40:44 PM »

Thanks for an enjoyable ride report! You rode a great part of Spain.

One correction: about Ronda, I'm sure you meant to say it was famous for bull fighting, not bull riding!
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2008, 09:53:31 PM »


Thanks for an enjoyable ride report! You rode a great part of Spain.

One correction: about Ronda, I'm sure you meant to say it was famous for bull fighting, not bull riding!


You are correct. It is fixed.
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2008, 11:17:59 PM »

most excellent  Clap

that's a lotta picture taking!

Thanks for taking the time and stoping to take pictures for us  Bigok
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2008, 11:53:21 PM »

I love the roads to Ronda from the south, particularly the one toward Gibraltar.  I am surprised you didn't make comment on either, they are spectacular!
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2008, 07:48:46 AM »

Awesome report.  Makes me even more anxious to do something like that myself.
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« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2008, 01:05:09 PM »

Great pics and report. Thanks for sharing. I like these roads specially San Pedro de Alcántara to Ronda. I think you have had a good weather, I was last january in Ronda and it isn't the same: cold, rain and fog. The next trip come to Almería. Wink
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« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2008, 04:52:43 PM »

Ignacio, mi amigo, cómo es usted y cómo es su familia? Debo venir le veo otra vez alguna vez, ha sido demasiado largo.
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« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2008, 10:20:49 AM »

Great report and photos! It looked like an incredible experience. Spain is on my very short list and this is another push. Thanks. Cool
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« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2008, 02:22:38 PM »

Hello Steve (Servicerifle), we are all very well, thanks for asking. You know you have a place at home for you when you want, but take more time to spend riding in Spain. I`m preparing a little trip in January of 3000kms. around Spain and southern Portugal. Ride safe and enjoy your bike(s) the Triumph and BMW. Wink
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« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2008, 03:26:12 PM »

Great Ride Report.  

Being from North Carolina.   I love the pic where you are wearing a Deal's Gap Tail of the Dragon shirt !!     Thumbsup
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