Conversations regarding where to head to for some winter sun tend to be based either around a ski-ing trip or visiting warmer climes such as the Caribbean or Australia and New Zealand but not for us! We took ourselves over to France and Spain for just shy of two weeks on a research trip, checking out hotels and new routes for tours we plan to undertake in 2019 and 2020 – the weather was mixed it’s fair to say but worth everyone of the over 4,000 miles we covered 🙂
Admittedly we had some cooler temperatures through France but when you are greeted just over the border into Spain by this sign in the foothills of the Pyrenees you know the trip was worth it. Not every Repsol garage has the good grace to decorate their signage with a motorbike but perhaps they should?! 🙂 There is still a (some may say), old fashioned feel to the majority of fuel stations in Spain where an attendant serves you, we find it rare to have automated pumps over there outside of the major cities. Ordinarily when on a tour it’s quicker to go to a multi pump station to get as many bikes filled up as possible but when it is the Spanish way you just have to go with the flow and usually there will be a cafe or bar nearby where you can take in a coffee or enjoy some local tapas and fuel the bikes at a slower pace. The fuel station facilities are always immaculate too, something some of the UK locations could learn a lesson from.
Aside from that, in Spain the fuel is a good price too, which cannot be said for France at the moment which is actually slightly more expensive than the UK based on current exchange rates and some tax levied earlier this year. They still have terrific riding roads though albeit something you should be aware of is a new legislation passed recently which comes into effect from July of this year (2018) when all national routes will be reduced from 90kph to 80kph
As for Spanish roads, well they never fail to amaze along with some of the most stunning scenery. We have ridden in America in the past and many parts of Spain remind us of the states of Colorado and Utah – no wonder a lot of “spaghetti westerns” were filmed in Spain. As can be seen from this ride near Teruel, at this time of year, you can be riding at elevations of over 5,000 ft for miles and hardly see a sole and surprisingly very little snow too considering it is February!
Which ever way you choose to soak up some valuable vitamin D over the winter we hope you enjoy yourselves and just think it’s not too long now until Spring 🙂