Turkey Motorcycle Tour Day 68 – Pamplona to Castro Urdiales

3 October 2011

I really should have got up earlier and taken another short walk around Pamplona. But I didn’t. I slept until 0800 and was packed and on the road around 1000, distracted momentarily by Top Gear repeats on the TV dubbed in Spanish, but eager to continue my Turkey motorcycle tour.

Bilbao was the target today – or thereabouts. But my GPS programming let me down today. I should have split the route from Andorra la Valla into two smaller routes to be sure I passed through the roads and towns I had wanted to.  Probably something like this would have been a better option, albeit a long day in the saddle.

I think this would have been a more interesting route - maybe next time

I think this would have been a more interesting route – maybe next time

Unfortunately it ended up being a motorway slog – but good Spanish motorways – so I ended up missing Hondarrabia, San Sebastian and the coastal road to Bilbao.

I stopped enroute and contemplated a detour but ended up heading straight for the ferry port. I’d booked the ticket last night so it was locked in now. Tuesday at 1030 the ferry would leave headed for Portsmouth. By early Wednesday morning I’d be back in the UK and only a few hours from London.

Perhaps being a little anal, I just wanted to see where I’d need to be in the morning. And it ended up not being where the GPS took me to. Apparently it had recently moved. This knowledge could be the difference between making or missing the ferry. As far as I’m concerned this validated the recon mission.

The ferry terminal is some way out of Bilbao, and much closer to the coast (this makes perfect sense). Bilbao is a big city and likely worthy of more attention than I’d allowed. But I was on the home straight now. No distractions.

Now I needed to find somewhere to stay tonight, close to the ferry port. I took the coastal road west towards Santander. After about 30 minutes of coastal meander with nothing promising on offer I arrived at Castro Urdiales. Now this place was more like it. Only about 20 minutes to the ferry in the morning on the motorway, nice town right on the Bay of Biscay – perfect.

After settling into to one of the few hotels in town (this was a little surprising but at least they had a room available and parking for the Family Truckster), I took a walk around town. Here’s what I saw.

Tomorrow would be my last on the continent and the penultimate day of my Turkey motorcycle tour – sadly I’d be back in London and back to reality on Wednesday.

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Distance travelled today 133 miles (214km), cumulative 10,883 miles (17,514km).

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