BMW R1200GSA vs Moto Guzzi Stelvio NTX

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Malaga. Can Simon go out to play?

Yes he can!

Sunday 10/2/13

Suzanne has been saying for ages that I should get out on the bike by myself and have some fun. I haven't up until today. Not because I don't want too, but my riding style changes when I'm by myself. With my precious cargo (Suzanne) on the back I ride carefully and responsibly (I know, hard to believe isn't it?). By myself I tend to push a little harder and ride a little faster, and possibly be a little irresponsible sometimes. We have a long way to ride and the last thing we want is for something to happen to the bike. (Suzanne will say "Or you").  Also riding "normally" wears out tyres and brakes a lot faster than we have been. Self control isn't one of my strong points, so I've resisted the temptation to go out solo. Until today.

I was right. I shouldn't do it. Don't worry, nothing happened, but I really should take it a bit easier on the Big Mykolajenko Wheelbarrow.

I plotted a two hundred kilometre ride through the twisty roads around Malaga. Google maps said it would take just over four hours. Is that a challenge? There is a little game I play on the bike. When the sat nav says we will arrive at a certain time, I try to beat it and get there earlier. We can usually do it, sometimes only by a minute or two, but we can do it. So how long did today's ride take? Not long at all.

I took all the luggage off the bike and rode out of the hotel garage on a totally different beast. It was responsive and turned like a dream. This is going to be fun.... Within minutes I was climbing a mountain on the sorts of roads motorcyclists dream about, and having a ball.

This was about half way up.
I saw a little dirt track and went to investigate.

At the top of the mountain I found Torca de Antequera. The rock formations around there were just unbelievable. Some of them look like they have been purposefully stacked there

These rocks were everywhere.

The place was alive with hikers, tourists, kids, and of course, dogs. Ah Spain, take your dogs anywhere, even National Parks. While I was there I decided I should have breakfast?

A TV star's quote, and a film came to mind when this arrived.
"Hello Breakfast" (with a lisp) Sylvester the cat.
and "Gone in Sixty Seconds".

My view over breakfast.

Interesting eh?

Part of the road to get up the mountain.

After a nice breakfast and a great coffee, it was back to the business at hand. Having fun. The roads got better on the other side of the mountain and stayed good all day. After a while I realised I'd only been using about half the BM's throttle for the last seven months. When you twist it wide open the big bike gets up and goes.

There was also a little sightseeing to be done. Not much though. It was eyes on the road.

Castles, churches, and cathedrals, at every turn.

Roads from heaven. The funny thing about this photo is that from where i took it, the road disappeared off to the right before joining up with this. 

The roads continued like this for kilometre after kilometre. A couple of times I felt the bike squirm a bit on the back end and just thought it must have been something on the road. Then I exited one corner after a little bridge and the back end stepped out and slid on the way out. On the bitumen. OK, time to back it off a little. I need my ballast on the back to settle the bike down. I think you could comfortably ride at double the speed limit in most of the places I went today, sometimes triple. That's my guess anyway.

I saw a sign that said Lobo Park and turned off the road to investigate. Lobo Park is a wolf park and is open to the public for guided walks through the park. It looked really good, but I wasn't game to go without Suzanne. I guess I'll just have to ride up here again with Suzanne. You can see more about the park here...

Back on the road and I came across some small sections of road work. No problem, just throttle on and ride through the gravel. That was the case with the first three or four, but then I hit one that was really soft and the bike was all over the place. I'm glad I was on the gas. This riding solo is hard work.

Hmm, what's that on the road? It looks like animal poo. Where there's animal poo, you usually find animals. Additionally animal poo offers very little traction, so I slowed down. Just as well because around the next bend I was greeted by this...

A woman was herding her goats down the road. I'm glad I wasn't travelling the other way. At least the poo gave me some warning.

More sightseeing.

Back to today's task of having fun. The road was now so good it was race track standard. I was carving bend after bend and at one stage actually laughing out loud like a maniac in my helmet. It was by far the best part of the day.

I rolled into Coin and when I slowed down I realised how parched I was, and how sore my knees and elbows were. Adrenalin does a great job of hiding things. A can of Coke and a small packet of biscuits (seventy five cents thank you very much) for lunch and I was on the home straight.

Another twenty ks of fun stuff and then it was onto the main road into Malaga for about six ks. What a fantastic ride, and I'll just HAVE to do it again to take Suzanne up to Lobo Park.

The Italian restaurant was our target for dinner, but it wasn't open. Drats. We went to the Contemporary Art Gallery across the river from our hotel, and this time an art gallery visit was enjoyable. It had some really cool exhibits.

My attempt at "Life imitates art".

Sometimes I just don't get it.

Sometimes I do.

Awesome charcoal work.

This work is done by a guy named Rinus Van de Velde. It's charcoal and measures about two and a half by four metres. It is stunning as you walk into the room.

At the other end of the spectrum is this little sculpture.
It's about three inches high.

Admiring all this artwork made us hungry so we found a little cafe near the hotel that provided an excellent meal. Lots of food that was tasty, and cheap. You can't ask for more than that.

How's this for seafood soup?

Suzanne enjoyed her's. So did her white t shirt.

Tomorrow will be our last day in Malaga. We'll visit Lobo Park in the morning, then tomorrow afternoon board the ferry for Morocco.

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