8th JULY 2007
29th June | Sunday
1st July | Tuesday
3rd July | Thursday
5th July | Sunday
8th July | Tuesday
10th July | Friday
13th July | Sunday
In the morning, we packed the tents away and
got the bikes ready for the next dash. The bikes
were being admired by a young Spanish couple
in their 30's. He was stripped to the waist
and had the requisite Massey Ferguson tattoo
that Harley owners the world over seem to have
to wear along with the goatee and shaved head.
He explained that he had a Hog but that he had
come on holiday in his car, for some reason
that never became clear. I explained with many
hand signals and scattered Spanish that in the
UK, Harley owners never wave; that they are
inclined to be very elitist. He couldn't get
over this and, to be fair, was a nice chap.
He then disappeared and, as if to make amends
for his brethren, gave us a Harley Davidson
bag which Bill now has. We thanked him and gave
him that funny handshake thing that Harley owners
seem to like. He was made up. He explained that
he and his wife were coming to the Aces Café
in 2009. I wonder if he meant the one in London
or the Headquarters of the Lonely Bob Fan Club
We were waved off and, after another wrong turning
or two, were soon on the way to Gibraltar via
the coast road. After a few miles, we pulled
over and Henry began a pre-agreed oil change
routine. We agreed that bill's bike could do
without as the oil was being replenished often
enough to make it not worth changing it. All
went well and we cleaned up and continued on
We hadn't gone much further when Henry decided
that the call of the surf was too great and
we turned off to have a paddle in the Atlantic.
If Leslie is reading this, only Bill and I looked
at the girl with the dental floss bikini bottoms.
If Naomi's reading this it was Henry and me.
If Frances is reading this, she knows it was
me. Bill and I had a paddle whilst Henry went
the whole hog and did his Baywatch impression.
I still can't see the resemblance to Pamela
Anderson? We dried off and carried on along
As we approached Tarifa, we noticed, through
the haze, the peak of the Atlas Mountains in
Morocco. We could now claim that our bikes had
seen Africa! The views were awesome as we climbed
the mountain on the Spanish foothold of Hercules
right foot and looked out towards another continent.
We stopped for tea and some photos and then
it was on, past Algeceiras and around the bay
to Gibraltar. The road seemed to go on for ages
and ages. The Spanish being true to form, there
wasn't a single signpost for Gibraltar.
I never ceases to amaze me when an entire nation
decides to act in such a childish manner. I
know that they would like Gibraltar back, but
acting like a two year old isn't going to make
it happen, is it? But, more of that later!
We were soon greeted with stupendous views of
The Rock. I'm surprised that the Spanish Authorities
didn't have them air-brushed out or the view
blocked from the road with advertising hoardings.
We had no problems at the border. We were waved
straight through and we were in. We rode down
to the southernmost headland, Europa Point,
where there is now an enormous Mosque. We parked
up the bikes and took some photos. It must have
been that time of day as the P.A. on the minaret
sparked up with the wailing sound extolling
the greatness of their prophet. I remember thinking
you'll have to shout louder than that old chum.
They'll never hear you in Morocco with just
30-watt horn speakers.
We wound our way back into the town and found
a pub where they were serving Sunday lunch!
Sorted. It's a shame that we had to make it
such a whistle-stop visit. It would have been
nice to visit the Rock and see the apes. Still,
we had Bill.
We started to make our way back into Spain and
cleared the Gibraltar customs with no problem.
When we entered the Spanish customs area however,
it was a different matter. We were all waved
over to one side and fingers were pointed to
every bag and case that we had. open..open,
We all knew that the only thing to do was comply
and this is what we did. Resistance is futile.
We set about pissing them off as much as we
could with compliance and looks of innocence.
Before long they got bored and started to pick
on another Brit. This one was in a camper, much
more fun. We were waved off and Henry and I
started our bikes.
That's when it happened..
Bill's bike would not start. Electric boot or
kick start brought the same response. Nothing.
We started to investigate and after 5 minutes
were getting nowhere. That's when the border
guard showed his caring side. With a wave of
his hand he ushered us out of the shade of the
covered customs inspection area and out into
the blazing 33 degree afternoon sun. Arsehole.
A sentiment backed up by the fact that they
didn't stop a single vehicle with Spanish plates
all the time we were there.
We toiled on for 10 minutes and then spotted
some shade alongside the customs office. We
moved the bikes there and Henry soon had it
down to a blocked jet in the carb.
What's do you think the problem is, Henry? asked
Henry, without looking up barked Crap in the
Do you really think that's going to help? enquired
The jet was soon cleared and the carburetor
reattached. The bike started second or third
Bill looked up and muttered Bloody Dago petrol!
Henry and I were in tears!
We soon got underway again in the direction
of Ronda. Another site from the Price Parts
Camping Almanac. We went part way by motorway
and then cut overland to take in the scenic
route. We ended up going round in a huge arc
but I wouldn't have missed the views for anything.
We stopped in a pic-nic area for tiffin. Bill
just wanted some shade.
We made it to the site at around 5 p.m. and
booked in with the proprietor. He ruminated
for a long time with regards to which pitch
we could have. He finally decided on pitch number
77. We raided some provisions from his meagre
store and made our way to pitch 77. We were
surprised to see that we could have had any
of the pitches from 20 to 99. They were all
empty! Strange man. Saying that, he did raid
the restaurant kitchen for me and come up with
After some supper of chicken and pasta, Henry
and I made our way to the bar for a beer and
found that they had internet access. We logged
on and left a few comments on the Lonely Bob's
Fan Club site and looked at some of the pictures
that I had sent back to Frances she had managed
We noticed that the bar was starting to clear
down so we made our way back to the tents and
STATSISTICS - DAY 10:
250 miles Conil De la Frontera Ronda
MONDAY 9th AUGUST 2007
2,031 miles in total
Average 203 miles per day
Up and away, nice and early. Making our way
to a place called Valdepeňas. More views
to die for. Fields and fields of olive trees.
All planted out like soldiers. Little villages
of white-washed houses nailed to the sides of
steep hills looking as if the're grou7ped together
We stopped in a town, along the way, to find
some lunch. It was a busy town and the streets
were cobbled, as usual. We stopped in traffic
and all of a sudden, there was a rumpus behind
me. I looked in my mirrors and poor Bill was
on his side again! I blew my horn to stop Henry
and got off to help Bill. A crowd had gathered
and Bill, who was a little stunned and was in
the arms of a beautiful young woman. No wonder
he was stunned! Several people were collecting
the various tins of food that had spilled from
his luggage and were discussing what "corned
beef" was. We got his bike upright and
parked up and let Bill get up in his own time.
I thought that about 45 minutes would suit him
but he was back on his feet in no time at all.
No permanent damage done although, he had bruised
his ribs a little. We dusted him off and decided
to get ourselves a coffee and a sandwich.
We finished lunch and soon got back on track.
We were making good progress up the motorway,
with me riding at the back, when a car passed
me and the amount of gesticulating and pointing
told me that the old luggage problem was back!
We were just entering a long tunnel so there
was nothing to do but carry on. The other side
of the tunnel, I went to the front and then
pulled over onto the hard shoulder. We examined
the problem and lashed it up enough to get off
at the next junction.
We found some shade and decided that radical
surgery was the only way out of this mess. The
rear seat was removed. The top box was removed
from the rack and bolted to the brackets for
the rear seat. The broken rack was mended with
3 metres of washing line and 24 cable ties.
The panniers that had come adrift were reattached
to the rack. The rear light and indicator assembly
was cable tied to the bottom of the rack. Job
done! You know you're getting old when the Pit
Crew begin to look so old.
We had a site looked out from the book but,
try as we may, we couldn't find it. It was supposed
to be right on top of one of the junctions on
the Motorway adjacent to a large Angel of the
North type statue. We had all the right landmarks
but just couldn't find the site. Then, all of
a sudden, there it was. Behind locked gates.
Bearing in mind that all we needed was a flat
piece of grass / ground, it did cross my mind
to see if we could find another way in but we
decided to see if we could find an alternative
Back into the town, down a lovely avenue which
was lined with giant amphora, the large terra
cotta vessels that they use to store wine and
olive oil, although not at the same time. These
were huge, some 3 metres tall. It was whilst
admiring these that I failed to spot the speed
That's when it happened... again..
My luggage problem had reappeared. I had just
about had enough. I was all for calling the
A.A. and calling it quits! Henry prevailed,
yet again and more cable ties and string soon
had me back on the road again. We decided to
head back to the motorway and look out one of
the many wagon drivers lodge type hotels for
the night. We were so tired that we plumped
for the first one we came across. We ended up
with two twin rooms. Bill and I shared and Henry
went in the other.
We ate in the attached restaurant / bar. Another
mistake! Pollo & Patata Frito. Chicken and
Take two or three scabby chicken portions out
of the cat's bowl. Attack them with a meat cleaver
snapping them into bite sized pieces leaving
shards of bone that can pierce gums. Add large
one cup of very roughly chopped garlic. Add
to this two or three very small new potatoes
chopped to the size of rice grains. Fry the
lot in some stale olive oil. Slop-up onto three
plates. Go home for the night.
On the good side, the beer was cold and the
bread wasn't stale.
STATSISTICS - DAY 11:
264 miles Ronda - Valdepenas
2295 miles in total
Average 209 miles per day