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100% Waterproof

7 April 2013

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Enjoying a chilly London over Easter


Waiting to unload at Santander, we were virtuallly last off, and then into the rain

We had a few days to kill over Easter while we waited on tenterhooks, it gave us a couple of days to spend with family before our uncertain future.

We just made it to our preferred ferry from Portsmouth to Spain, the final piece of the planning puzzle, the Greencard insurance arriving late morning, nevertheless our departure time from Wimbledon was 1.00, the latest we were prepared to wait. The ferry journey over was calm and uneventful save for an excellent meal in the restaurant served Fawlty Towers style, an absolute delight. We had 24 hours to kill on the boat so I thought I would familiarise myself with some essential Spanish and Portuguese


The Triumph has broken down “la Triumph motocicleta tiene roto”

My passports been stolen “mi passpotrs fue robado”

The Triumph has broken down again “la Triumph motocicleta tiene roto otra vez”

Not again “no otra vez”


The Triumph has broken down “A Triumph motocicleta colapsou”

My passports been stolen “Meus passaporte foram roubados”

The Triumph has broken down again “A Triumph motocicleta colapsou outra vez”

Not again “não outra vez”

It was raining when we were disgorged from the boat in Santander where we stayed for the night.

It was still raining in the morning when we woke up, and it rained all the way to Burgos, which was a pity because the scenery was quite beautiful despite the rain. It was also a pity because our 100% waterproof kit wasn’t 100% waterproof so by the time we reached Burgos in the early afternoon my fingertips were cold, even with the heated grips. Burgos was a lovely town and the cathedral quite remarkable.

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Spring in Burgos

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Lovely Burgos

It was 1 degree the next morning when we ventured outside for a coffee, and to check on the bike which was parked on the footpath a couple of blocks away. By the time we had packed up and left the hotel it was 2 degrees, but fine and sunny. We had on all our warmest kit and headed out of town for Madrid. We picked up the motorway and dialed in 130 kph. It was an excellent road. We stopped for fuel and coffee on a slip road after an hour’s riding and pushed on, passing the silhouette of a giant black bull in the process. Ahead of lay some beautiful snow capped mountains (Sierra de Guardarrama) which I figured we’d go around, but the highway went through them and on to the plateau that cradles Madrid. There were snow ploughs everywhere but no snow on the road. Annie tensed up as we went through areas that had been salted, but there was almost no ice, just a couple of minor patches and so we made it safely through. Navigating the motorway exits in Madrid was another matter, I got the correct interchange to get off but it took three passes, each from a different direction before I finally hit the target. Just one stop to check street names and maps and a short while later we were at Inez and David’s place. It was a sunny if cool afternoon.

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Enjoying the scenery in Plaza Mayor, Madrid!

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Jamon Jamon, it must be Spain!

We’ve enjoyed a couple of days in Madrid, a wonderful city, and a trip to Chinchon, a remarkable medieval town. The weather has primarily been sunny if a little chilly, the food and the company has been great and we’re beginning to get some idea about ordering coffee and food. We spent a full day walking around Madrid, capped off by a visit to the Museo Nacional de Prado, an awesome gallery with an overwhelming assortment of paintings, the Reuben’s, Goya’s and The Garden of Unearthly delights by Hieronymous Bosch were highlights. Tomorrow we head off to Salamanca, provided we can find our way out of the Madrid motorway maze, we’ll be sad to leave before seeing more of this exciting city, but at the same time we are looking forward to riding some quiet country roads, weather willing.

We still haven’t got a good name for our bike yet, I’m leaning toward Don Quixote’s horse Rosinante, or his offsider Sancho Panza’s donkey named Dapples. Any more suggestions?

Many thanks to David and Inez for looking after us and for introducing us to Spain and to Madrid


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