After a night on the ferry I woke up pretty late in the afternoon around 1.30pm. With no escape until 7pm when we docked at Santander there wasn’t much else to do.
Chris was up earlier than me and went to look for some wildlife and ended up spotting a porpoise swimming along side the ship!
After eventually getting up from my rocking bed I went upstairs to the deck and sat around looking out the windows at the sea and met up again with the other bikers and chatted with them a while then decided to get some lunch. Fish and chips seemed fitting enough whilst at sea, Chris chose the burger, which came between two has browns instead of a bun, and without the rocket salad as advertised. Instead he was served basic green lettuce. Oh dear France. Your cuisine has fallen!
No matter. It went down well and killed some more time. We went up to the top deck after lunch and tried to spot the porpoise again but to no avail, so it was back inside to stay in the warm and browse the web like everyone else.
We decided a route to take and arranged to stay at a hotel in the town of Riaño which was around 100 miles away from Santander. Which after being cooped up in a boat for 24 hours felt like a good distance and would be nice to have a blast on the bikes for a bit!
Eventually after 24 hours the boat docked in Santander
It felt good to be finally getting off.
We went down to the cabin and each had a quick shower being getting changed and down to the belly of the boat to get the bikes. The other bikers were there so we said out goodbyes to them and were rolling out of the boat and onto solid land! Finally! No more rocking and rolling from side to side like you’re on the starship Enterprise!
I don’t get sea sick, but I prefer the land beneath my feet not to move!
So out we rolled, through the passport check and through customs and out to find the nearest petrol station so Chris and I could fill up the tanks and hit the road to Riaño. After a few miles we saw a station and pulled in, filled up the tanks and Chris’ Jerry can then rolled out of Santander and on to the back roads that would take us up through the Parque National De Picos Europa. The temperature started to drop and after 20 miles we stopped for some more fuel. Chris was curious to see how much fuel his Honda XR 600 was drinking. 1.5 litres for 20 miles. Not bad.
We pushed on for another 20 miles and stopped for a quick smoke and then on again until up through the mountains through the twisty bends and hairpins eventually riding up high enough were there were red and white snow poles along side the road! We rode up through the hairpins of which there were many and eventually rescue the plateau at 1609 metres above sea level where we stopped and I gave Chris my winter gloves as his hands were getting cold. Sadly his bike doesn’t have heated grips like mine. My hands were cold too as I was wearing my rally gloves but it was bearable with the heated grips.
The roads were icy, but luckily had been gritted so we took it easy going down the mountain. Riding down we saw deer by the side of the road and an owl flew out above us at one point! So nice to see some wildlife along the way.
We pushed on and eventually made our way down the mountain and into the town on Riaño and rolled up outside the hotel.
The hotelier was expecting us and when we pulled up he came outside and told us (in Spanish…..naturally) to take our bikes around the back to the garage! Result! We waited by the door and it opened automatically and the hotelier backed his car out and we rode our bikes inside safe and sound for the night!
We went up to the room and settled in for the night and decided on the route for tomorrow’s ride!
I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and see what this place is like in the daylight! We are right next to a huge lake so roll on sunrise!
Chris is asleep already…..
Think my snoring kept him up last night, so I’m up writing this while he gets some sleep!