BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Andorra, Spain, France.
Three countries in one day, and a great ride.


We finally got out of Soldeu this morning. We said our farewells to Mario and his team, gave Crazy Cat Woman a big hug goodbye, and headed off into Andorra la Vella to buy a new camera.Yes, after I dropped ours the other day we have decided we have to get a fill in camera until ours is repaired. We can't go for a couple of weeks here without a camera.

We went into a large electrical shop that sells just about everything and were immediately offered assistance. The salesman was great. He didn't speak a word of English, but with much pointing and gesticulating, he worked out what we wanted. He showed us a couple of options and explained every feature of the cameras to us. He even took us out into the street to show us how good the (optical) zoom and screen displays were. Sold! We handed over the money, and bought a memory card as well. We can now store 2,200 photos on the camera. That's a bit over four days at the rate we're taking photos. That said, we couldn't used the camera today because it required charging, so the few photos we took were with my phone.

I always take it easy on the bike with Suzanne on the back as she's precious cargo. I'm also taking it easy because an R1200GSA with all the gear we are carrying isn't a sports bike, was one of the best rides ever. From Adrall to Sort in Spain the road just winds it's way up a mountain chain, then back down again. I was happily riding along at my usual pace and taking it easy, then I don't know what happened. We passed a car and the bike decided it wanted to play. We had an unbelievably good, fun ride into Sort. It was only fifty kilometres, but it was just bend after bend of brilliant riding road. Just perfect. We stopped at Sort and I was exhausted, and my hands, wrists, elbows, and knees all ached. It was an extremely satisfying ride. (Google map the route and zoom in boys.) 

We sat down in Sort to a huge feed of pork, chips, bacon, and eggs for a measly five Euros. It went down a treat.

 Trip planning for the next leg. Hmm, two hours and ten minutes to cover 107 kilometres. Just like home...NOT!

 Pretty happy with the chicken strips considering we're riding an overloaded, giant trail bike, two up.

 Kayaking is big here. Part of the Olympic (I think) kayak course running through town.

We left at around three o'clock and after a while started climbing again, and climbing, and climbing. Before we knew it we were back above the snow line carving switchbacks and riding to Bossost on top of a mountain at 3,031 feet. Bossost is a ski town and the main ski area was packed with people. Suzanne described it as being "Like three high schools all coming out at once. People just walking anywhere and everywhere." I must admit I do enjoy the odd strange look when we ride through a ski area on a motorcycle. I might take a ski jacket and snow board to the Isle of Man next time and see if i get the same reaction. I didn't like the huge traffic jam we encountered heading into Bossost though.

We turned left just before town to take a short cut to Luchon. A bit of work with Google Maps over lunch showed me we'd save an hour by ignoring the sat nav and taking this route. The sun was now disappearing behind the mountains and painted a stunning picture. I hate stopping once we're rolling, but when an opportunity presents itself to take a photo of something like this, I'll make an exception. It was breathtaking. I'm so disappointed our camera is broken and I had to take this with my phone.

We rode the switch backs across the top of another mountain in fading light This was a low one at only just over 2,000 feet, and arrived in Luchon in the dark. 

A bit of a ride around town and Suzanne snagged a room in the third hotel she tried. We were offered the backyard of the bike to park the bike and accepted, but it was a really tight squeeze getting in there. 

We headed out for dinner and walk around town. With all the Christmas lights up it's a very pretty place.

Pre dinner drink. 
After today's ride,  that didn't even touch the sides.

 They do Christmas lights so well over here.

Flat out in the middle of the main street.

We found a gift shop with a live in Alsatian who was very friendly. So friendly that it followed us around the shop wanting us to throw it's tennis ball. I thought that wasn't such a good idea, being in a shop full of breakables. 

As we wearily made our way back to the hotel, a huge bonus presented itself to us. There was a laundromat right across the road from the hotel.

Tomorrow, clean clothes again. Yay!

No comments:

Post a Comment