Well, my wish for no rain in Spain was granted! Lovely warm weather saw us into Santander just after midday. The beaches were golden whilst the hills beyond looked brooding with high cloud. Unfortunately Harley and I with over a hundred other motorbikes were stuck on the lower vehicle deck for over forty five minutes whilst all of the other vehicles were disembarked! It was like a sauna, only with motorbikes in there with you as well, not pleasant!
Once we were released, the Spanish authorities could not have assisted more and we all flew through passport control and customs without any further hold up. Harley and I hit the Cantabrian Autopista and sped eastwards. Traffic was ok, a little busy round Bilbao but soon thin to almost nothing on the AP68 as we headed towards the red soils of Rioja and the Ebro valley. The Region of Rioja is rightly famous for its splendid red wines, made largely from the tempranillo grape and acres of vines can be seen stretching away for miles. Now I have seen quite a few wine producing areas around the place, but Rioja takes the prize for the sheer scale of the cultivation. The vines are small, but boy are there a lot of them!
The road was quite simply fantastic, lots of European cash has been invested in the Spanish transport network and the roads have got to be amongst the best anywhere, a real joy to ride.
“I’m just glad to be here, happy to be alive.”