Holiday Time...

Spain, May/June 2013

Idea was to take in some Cathar country then head south as we had nearly two weeks, enough time to cover lots of ground. Didn't start well though - it poured and first site to see - Château de Montségur - was a washout: soaked through we couldn't even make out the castle in the low cloud. Carcassonne that afternoon was pretty but pricey, and next morning weather still looked set foul so we decided on a run to the sun, skirting the rain with a hack down the med coast then inland - and ended up in sunny Alcaniz after a long and windy ride, worth every mile as sunshine was everyday's order thereafter.

'Planning' was as per our tried and tested regime. Check out the weather on morning TV, then at breakfast scan the maps for interesting roads in a sunny direction and disposition, entering sensible waypoints in the Garmin. Around lunch time check map again for overnighting destinations in striking distance and use the Rough Guide to choose a winner. Works well - Aguilas is a great little resort, Guadalupe (the Spanish named the island after it, oh yes) and Cazorla are buzzing little towns in beautiful country. Riding highlights included Sierra Nevada (both town and mountain range), Sierra Seguna, plus, of course, the Picos. And my Duc ran well for the full 2,400 miles, though seemed less planted than usual on some of the roads, plus, as ever, hairpins were not her natural habitat. Unlike Geoff's Fazer which flew around the nadgery stuff.

We eventually ran aground in Tarifa and found it barely changed since our 2006 visit; we even stayed in the same hotel. The old town was as beguiling and moorish as ever, the biggest change was on the beach: same crusty bunch living out of RVs and camper vans, but kite surfing now - wind surfing is soooo passé. And only other big difference was the lack of Internet cafés - the rise of free wifi hotspots means next time I'll be taking a tablet. Or maybe not. Do I really need email and FB when I'm away?