The Riojan pilot Jose Mª Peña He has contested on two occasions what could be described as “The last great adventure”, the Dakar rally, but when the crew met for coffee they always ended up planning new trips and adventures. Route 66 or the Panamericana were some of the proposals for their next destinations until they realized that the oldest known adventure route passes through the door of our house, the Santiago’s road.
We needed to challenge ourselves, add difficulties to our route and it occurred to us that the least suitable motorcycle to go on the roads would be a scooter. We present the idea to TGB Spain, and they loved the idea. The brand entrusted us with 6 scooters of its Express model, a model that is usually a work tool for delivery people, maintenance services or food chains at home.
THE CHALLENGE BEGINS
We are heading to Roncesvalles to start our particular Camino de Santiago, arriving at our starting point before sunrise. Until the day before the temperatures on the peninsula had been exceptionally warm, but that morning the thermometers were in the negative five degrees. But the sky was magnificent. At the end of the day, the odometers told us that we had traveled 146 hard kilometers.
The next morning, Jose Mª made us get up early, since the program included the marathon stage, our goal was to reach Sahagun, but since everything went smoothly, we managed to reach Lion, thus completing 305 kms. Upon entering Burgos lands, on the ascent to the La Pedraja pass, complications begin. The water that fell days ago leaves large puddles riddled with ruts, and despite being noon, they remain frozen.
Through Atapuerca, the roads continue in the stone age, even worse. Slabs and ice are not good companions for the tires on our Express. We crossed Burgos to go to Castrojeriz, a town that left us with important memories; Before reaching it, a section of mud caused the wheel arches of our scooters to become clogged and later in a rapid ascent with very loose dirt there were two off-track exits, fortunately without consequences for machines or riders.
We left León with the thermometers terrifying us with a negative 9 degrees, but the sun did not want to miss this new section either. Water courses that would normally be forded, this morning were impossible, they were completely frozen. On Astorga begins one of the most beautiful areas of the road with such significant enclaves as the Cruz de Hierro, El Acebo and a vertiginous descent to Molinaseca, to enter El Bierzo and reach its capital Ponferrada.
The next difficulty we encountered in ascending to the first Galician enclave, Or Cebreiro, with its historical and artistic ensemble. A little further on, the ice continues to do its thing and some uphill ramps also put our physical condition and the clutches of the Express to the test, as we have to upload the bikes by hand. Later on, a fall when entering a muddy area forces us to make a relay among the pilgrims, and again we are faced with roads in poor condition with a lot of ice, which delay our progress.
At dusk we managed to reach Portomarin, to enjoy a well-deserved rest after 222 kilometers. The proximity to Santiago spurs our spirits and before dawn we are ready to leave for an extremely fun stage that adds twisty roads, paths between eucalyptus forests and fast areas to reach the Monto do Gozo, from where we already saw our first objective, Santiago de Compostela. Visiting our employer is mandatory and with the permission of the local police we agree with our TGB to the Obradoiro square.
We decided to continue this route that had its goal in Finisterre, the end of the ancient known world. A road trip with the consequent fun of riding in a group and with identical performance mounts, and that gave us the only technical incident of the entire trip, a puncture in the rear tire of one of the motorcycles. It is paradoxical that after 800 kilometers on roads, it is the asphalt that deteriorates a tire designed specifically for it.
Things of meigas?
For Pedro Pablo Armas
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