Spain Motorcycle Tour - Day 3 - Valladolid to Guadalupe
From: Valladolid Via: Avila To: Guadalupe Distance: 207 miles Date: Friday 28th August
A slow start today after sleeping in followed by responding to work emails for an hour over breakfast.
We have no route planned, just our destination, which is the norm. We just set the Sat Nav to non motorway routes or twisty road options depending on what we feel like and then we just enjoy the ride.
About lunch time, we should hit a fairly decent size town, called Avila, so we plan to stop to see if there is anywhere we can get lunch there.
This morning the roads dead straight with very little, almost no traffic. We spend the morning crossing flat plains, after an hour or so the seemingly endless fields of sunflowers subside and we start to notice that the land is becoming more arid.
Just before midday we ride over the crest of a hill and see the town of Avila laid out in front of us. To our surprise, aka lack of research, the town we picked purely because it looked like a convenient place between A and B to get some lunch turns out to be a rather stunning walled medieval city with history going back to the 5th century BC.
After doing larger miles on previous trips we made sure that our Spanish tour was all about easy mileage and having the time and flexibility to explore. Avila looked like a place worth spending some time.
We find a place to park the bikes and wandered into and round the town, taking photos and then found a nice place to eat a lazy lunch. Finally we found a museum that led us up onto the ramparts so we could admire the view and walk a lap of the town.
By the time we get back to the bikes, the temperature is really climbing. We left Valladolid at 20c and in the afternoon sun the bikes gauge is showing 36c.
As we head south towards Guadalupe the countryside begins to look like its from a classic cowboy movie.
Climbing high and quickly from the valley we reach 1352 meters above sea level at the Puerto del Pico, the gateway to the Picos and divide between northern and southern plateaus. We stop to take some photos before rising some glorious twisties for the last 40 miles to Guadalupe.
Setting the sat nav to the specific GPS coordinates (Alisa warned me that the hotel was hard to find) we headed into town. She wasn't wrong. The town of Guadalupe is narrow, and full of steep, slippy, cobbled streets. Each time we turned a corner it led into and even tighter street. I was convinced that we would be reduced to turning back, dropping a bike or having to ride up or down some steps.
Finally after some impressive riding from Alisa, getting her long, low, slow steering touring bike round the tight, steep streets we got to the hotel a little hot & bothered - but relieved to have made it without dropping the bikes!
Our hotel for the night El Hotel Hospedería Monasterio de Guadalupe is a hotel based in an old monastery. the rooms are the old monks cells and the building is designed with cloisters around a central courtyard. After the hot ride, it's an oasis of calm and a truly lovely place to spend an evening and night. It's an amazing building and quite simple hotel. The best 87 Euro we're likely to spend this holiday.
We stay for drinks in the bar and dinner in the courtyard and really feel like we are on holiday now.