Latest posts by Warren (see all)

I have had to split my ride report for this tour into two parts as it was too many photos for WordPress, the blogging platform I use to display.

Potes to Logrono

I don’t feel too bad next morning, some pain from the Shingles. I have a big box of Ibuprofen which I start on. I set off and soon am back in showers. I ride through with little rain touching me but as a photographer am getting weary of the grey skies.

The guys on Adventure bikes, which account for 90% of the other riders all have their PVC rain suits on and probably are perspiring inside. Very glad I chose to rent The Spaceship. Warm and dry on this 9 degree morning.

Some nice roads but I only stop for a photo when there is a break in grey skies.

Route 184

No blue here but this is such an interesting old pass I have to post it.

Route 281
Sorry another scene my phone struggled to capture.

The weather looks dull but actually to the naked eye the scenery was still enjoyable and the roads are just damp in patches so quite enjoyable riding eeven if my phone makes everything look less appealing.

Another mushy photo. Tiny phone sensors struggle in dull light.

Late morning I ride over a mountain pass that reminded me of Japan. The road was enshrouded by a thick forest and had wooden railings for most of it’s length which must have cost a fortune, that sort of expenditure and the wet mossy road took me back.

Balcón de La Cardosa, route 280

This view point looks back at the hills I rode through and is wet in every photo I see riders post so I did not feel too bad. All the same I was wanting to get down off the mountain as I was tired of the cold and wet roads.

I scored a break in the light showers about lunch time and stop at a small roadside park which has a memorial to a flying boat air service that operated from the nearby Del Ebro lake and thought fellow blogger Flyboy would have found this interesting then push on through light showers shielded by the spaceship.

I came to a small hamlet called Las Cabanas, the same name as the most beautiful beach I visited when riding El Nido, Philippines in 2014 which seems a lifetime ago now. Turned out to be a good omen as I finally rode into sunshine and dry roads.

When planning todays route I wanted to reach Logrono but did not want to ride highways so made a few detours not knowing what to expect. My first is onto route 5203 which turned out to be a superb motorcycling road, great curves and excellent scenery.

I stop to smell the flowers and soak up some sun on route 5203

Before Logrono I take another detour route 3202.

Above two photos same location looking forward blue skies and looking back at rain I escaped.

Balcon De La Rioja

My detour roads keep getting better.

Excellent riding on roads skirting the vast vineyards of the famous wine region of Rioja.

Despite those skies I only just made it to my hotel in Logrono before the rain. I chose to stay downtown to do a walk around the bars tonight but rain has set in and it has turned very cold.

The rain is making it difficult to get clothes dry if I wash. I had to use a hair dryer other night to get socks and underwear dry and am spraying my base layer thermal shirts with anti bacterial freshener and wearing them two days waiting for a room with a heater I can use to dry them after washing. Cold days mean no perspiration so it’s not really a problem to extend the use of some items but I prefer clean clothes every day.

Very handy item on tour for riding gear.

Day 7 Route

Logrono to Lourdes

10 degrees and wet roads grey skies but rain has eased. Easy morning riding on two lane main roads where I use the cruise control as much as possible as my right hand is numb from vibration of engine. I run into heavy rain but am on a expressway in a 120kph zone and at that speed I ride straight through it.

Weather improves for an early lunch stop. I watch two guys blast back and forth on the main road in Porsche and Audi cars. Have not see any police speed traps or highway patrols, few speed cameras in towns is all.

Route 2040

I stop at this lake and chat to another biker. Nice guy riding a Yamaha Fazer 800 like I rented in Malaga, excellent bike. He tells me the route I am taking 2040/140 is the best in the region and indeed it is superb but difficult to photograph.

Couple of photos I grabbed that in no way capture how terrific this route is. Endless curves, good surface and mostly modern surveying.

Sorry about mushy photo again

Many small villages which could be explored but the ever lurking rain is never far away.

Mirador de Larra-Belagua, route 137

And then I reach the beginning of the Pyrenees and the scenery is wonderful.

Col de la Pierre Saint Martin on Spanish side is well surveyed.

It becomes older surveying on the French side with switchback corners. I did not linger up top as it was bitterly cold with patches of snow and starting to spit rain.

Seeing the new Spring leaves reminded me of riding in Japan. Rain chased me all the way down the French side of the pass.

I got in front of the rain to ride some of the French Pyrenees backroads before arriving at Lourdes.

Downtown is gridlock. 100’s of shops selling religious good luck tokens and many sick people in wheelchairs with nurses wheeling them to the cathedral to pray for a miracle. I am not a believer. I chose to stop here because there were apartments available with a washing machine however it starts pouring rain making drying clothes then difficult.

The rain sets in and tomorrows forecast is lousy. Time to sample some French wine and edit some photos from the ride.

Day 8 Route

Lourdes to Lourdes Ainsa

Some sentences should never be uttered when on a motorcycle tour.

  1. “At least it is not raining”. If spoken this will guarantee rain starts.
  2. “I still have plenty of fuel”. That gas station you passed will be the last.
  3. “Today will be a early finish”. This tempts fate to play the joker as happened today.

I have had to cut 100km of good motorcycle roads. It is just too wet in the mountains and would be miserable. This let me tell myself “today will be an early finish”

I ride south west to ascend the Col de Soulor and the road is closed. My short day just evaporated, all the way back to Lourdes I go.

Not going that direction

Hitting the detour button on a Garmin is useless. Fortunately I have cell tower reception so task Google maps with the job and get underway.

My detour gives me this lunch stop beside a beautiful river. My top box is well stocked most days with food so I need not bother myself with language barriers at restaurants.

The road back to Spain starts in a narrow ravine with very old road but then opens and improves.

The road then climbs.

And climbs further until the summit which is the border with Spain.

Col du Pourtalet

Quite good surveying on this pass being a modern road. I prefer riding this type of pass to the more famous older passes with their narrow tight corners.

Very scenic on the Spanish side and it looks like the afternoon will be free of rain. Finally a photo with colours not washed out.

I finish the day riding the famous N260. I like these fast sweepers.

Route 260

Staying in another small town. Try to get dinner but told no food until later. Sigh. If you tour here choose to stop in larger towns with more options.


Day 9 original unaltered route

Ainsa to Bergas

I am riding the famous N260 route all of today. I have read great things about this road so passed up some other routes to dedicate the entire day to it.

Setting off it seems like I might get some sun but this soon disappears and I am back to grey skies and spitting rain. The N260 so far in the west has not impressed me. Lots of roadworks. Cracked tarmac. Old surveying.

Showers all morning but I get a reprieve at lunch and stop in a section of the route that runs through a canyon.

I arrive to one of the best sections which is a high mountain. Fortunately rain has just stopped but the top of the mountain remains covered in clouds reducing visibility to almost nothing. The temperature which was only 13 falls to 8.

Route 260

Above just before I disappear into the clouds and emerge 45 minutes later below. Unfortunately I have missed the best part of route 260.

Once down off the mountain I expected the temperature to warm up a few degrees however it feels like it is getting even colder. I stop for a rest and some fruit cake and coffee. It has turned bitterly cold now and the rain is picking up. Time to rethink rest of my route.

Eek! another mushy phone photo

Fortunately I can exit this area via a long toll road tunnel that will express me south to the other side of the mountains but I will miss the rest of the N260. At the toll booth I find dozens of other riders all doing the same and know I’ve made the right decision.

Hot shower once I check in and I collapse. Solo moto touring overseas can be demanding enough when you are well and weather behaves but this tour has been challenging and I am looking forward to winding things up tomorrow. Don’t wait until you are retirement age to start on your bucket list.

Day 10 original route

Bergas to Barcelona

I set off with mid layer fleece and rain liners installed but finally last day the weather returns to what the averages say it should have been on this whole tour, 24 degrees and I am soon removing everything.

The excellent route 4241

Today’s route is half a day of curves on some good roads I read about then half a day to get into Barcelona and return bike.

Dry roads so I put the K1600 into Dynamic mode while riding the 4241 route. Despite having 160hp the inline 6 needs to be wound up same as a high horsepower four. Personally since I no longer ride fast having a high powered bike where accessing it’s power thanks to gearing is not possible at road legal speeds seems impractical. Especially for Australia with our heavy fines and risk of criminal charges.

On the other hand the Goldwing is very enjoyable at road legal speeds. It’s massive torque engine thrusts you forward from idle like a jet airliner at take off. I will write a more detailed post on my K1600 experience with a comparison to the Goldwing after this.

Route 401.

I have half a day of curves then I must make my way into Barcelona. I end up cutting my route short but not for rain this time. I had a couple of close calls riding route 401 which is really just one lane wide and has many blind corners. Oncoming fast bikes nearly hit me then a oncoming car ran me off the road. Only dangerous events of the 11 days of riding both happened 10 minutes apart on this road so I turned off it ASAP.

The K1600’s internal GPS gave me a new route from Cambrils and then once into the nearest town I had some lunch and then used Google to guide me into Barcelona.

Easy return of the bike. I recommend IMT Bike without hesitation. Professional company. Bike was perfect condition, new Metzeler RoadTec 01 tyres, full luggage, GPS, breakdown service and tyre repair kit all included no extra cost.

My hotel was a mere 5 minutes walk away which gave me a stress free tour wrap up.

Some of the fine wines of the tour.

Day 11 original route

The weather was unseasonal but I never had a full day of rain just showers I could ride through. I was forced to cut some of the good motorcycle roads but there were still many left to enjoy. What saved this trip was being on a big tourer. I rarely felt cold and never got wet aboard the Spaceship. So glad I did not rent the Multistrada V4 I had originally tried to book through Hertz (who messed me around). Would have been very cold and miserable on any ADV bike.

I am off to the cancer centre shortly to see what fate holds for me. I think I have given life (as I like to live it) a good nudge in the 12 month window of health I have had since chemo. I rode two fantastic tours in USA, then Poland to Romania, Georgia and the jaw dropping scenery of Pakistan. After this I went to Tasmania then Mexico and Colombia before my brass monkey tour in New Zealand and now Sardinia, Portugal and Spain.

My once long ride bucket list has only a few items left. I might even be finished travelling this part of the world (for now). I have an idea to revisit the Alps and ride the German motorcycle touring route but I have already been there by bike, car and rail. Scandinavia and the UK are another idea which again I’ve already seen so I think revisiting these can wait. ‘My road is forever new’ is something you see every time visiting my blog. It’s a line from a poem by Yun Dong-ju. Exploring totally new places on a motorcycle is something I enjoy best. Health permitting, after this break I will set off to new destinations next year.

Thanks for reading.

Helmet hair beats office hair


  1. “Don’t wait until you are retirement age to start on your bucket list.” – wise words. Thanks for sharing Warren.

    • The best thing I have done in life is take every opportunity to travel.
      The experiences you have when younger can never be bought later no matter how much money you have.
      And so much travel I did even just 10 years ago I am already past the age I would try do those rides now.

  2. Warren, I didn’t know you had a blog till you mentioned it on mine. Hey, you do a heck of a lot more fabulous riding than I do! Wow! The only riding I have done outside the US is a couple trips to Canada. Good for you to be able to do all this.

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