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Home Travel StoriesNorthern Spain 2018

Getting Ready For Spain

By Sharon Parker

This year for once I am going to be prepared. So in February I ordered some Spanish books. I will speak the lingo before I go. I sorted out travel insurance in February as well.
Then things began to go pear shaped. My already poorly daughter got even sicker. Thus began emergency trips to hospitals and hospitals stays. Priorities changed and my focus moved from Spain to home.

So rather than months of relaxed and thoughtful preparation things got squashed into odd free hours or minutes here and there. I am not complaining, it is life, it's not fair and it's not right it just is.
I did manage with my mobile mechanical wizard Ren to fit a cigarette lighter to my bike. This gave me the ability to charge a power pack for my phone and to use the amazing boy toyz mini straighteners I found. Yes they are for boys because it says so and they are blue. We then sorted out power to my sat nav we had bought. Nothing fancy just a car one with a waterproof case.

The power socket now fitted to Sharon's Kwakker
Next an oil and filter change done by my own fair hands under the watchful eye of Ren. That was the bike all prepped and ready.

Even though preparations were made it was far from certain I would be going to Spain. My daughter's health was still a major concern. However she was insistent I should go. Still I felt guilty, yes it had been hard, yes I had lost weight, yes the break would do me good because I know I have to be well myself to look after others. I know all this but I still felt bad. 

Both daughters have had a rough time of late, their beautiful Nan had recently lost her battle with cancer. She had beaten it twice such was the power of her fighting spirit. However the third time around cancer claimed yet another of its far too many victims. They had already lost their other Gran as young children so the loss of Nan was keenly felt. As I said it ain't right it just is.

Beth came out of hospital about a week before our planned departure. In that time I decided I would like a new sleeping bag. I wanted to be able to get all my sleeping equipment into one of my 20 litre Kriega bags. Currently it has to go in the 30 litre  middle bag. It would be better to have all my heavier items it the centre bag and the lighter sleeping stuff in one of the side bags. 

Trouble being my sleeping bag was too big and bulky so a smaller one had to be found. I will write up about the sleeping bag dilemma in a separate post for now it's suffice to say I got a new sleeping bag, a new liner and a couple of emergency foil blankets. Sleeping equipment sorted.

The new small sleeping bag 2 lilos and a tiny sleeping bag liner
All I need for a good night's sleep. Hopefully 

I also could not decide which motorbike jacket to take. My warmer winter textile or my newish leather jacket. The hi-viz for the textile was grubby so I ordered a new one. It came but it was too big, Doh! I ordered another in a different style in a flap because I was running out of time now and it came, minus the zip opening I wanted. Double doh. The Velcro fastening worked just fine so with no time left I kept it as a make do. 

In the event after all that faff I decide to take my leather which already had a newish hi-viz that fitted so the new hi-viz was never needed in the end. Triple DOH! Ahh well I am amazed in the very limited time I had available I had managed to get myself organised at all, albeit a bit haphazardly. 

As usual the part I kept putting off was the packing. I hate packing, I'm rubbish at it and I always take what's not needed and leave behind what is. To make things worse the Spanish weather wasn't behaving itself so as well as my bikini it looks like I will require woolly jumpers too. 

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Building Up To EspaƱa In the prologue to their journey Ren can't help but feel that the forthcoming journey might be a costly disaster. Forever the optimist.
Getting Ready For Spain Sharon is determined to be ready, organised and prepared for her forthcoming trip to Spain. However life is even more determined to ruin her plans.
Bodging Daaan Saaaf Ren bears witness to an impossible event. Then there's some last minute bodging to be done.
Motorway Miles And Muses Sharon's derriere proves more than tough enough for the big ride across England. Can she manage to lose them emotional luggage while securing her physical luggage though?
To The Ferry What are the chances of Sharon getting out of bed very early twice in the same week. Well she'd better had otherwise the Muppet's will miss the ferry.
Ocean Blue Sharon's more excited than nervous but this is the first time the Kwakker has been aboard ship. That's if customs let her on board.
Lost Off The Ferry The great adventurer and motorcyclist Ren is proving that he is in fact a useless idiot. He can't ride and he can't find a campsite that is open. Oh what will become of the BAT muppets?
Campsite Conundrum Sharon is having way too much fun while Ren is trying to find a place to sleep. Well someone has to be happy when Ren's such a grump.
Discovering The Picos After a troublesome first day in Spain hopefully Sharon and Ren's luck will improve. Thing is they have a 187km detour to reach their destination. There have been worse detours though.
Heaven's Mirror Putting fear and doubt to bed for a while Sharon enjoys the wondrous ecstasy of nature and the joy of riding a motorcycle through it. Oh and a lot of sharp corners too.
Rain In The Picos Will the rain bring doom and gloom to the already grumpy Ren? Luckily there's enough scenery and interesting things to keep him going.
The Sound Of Silence In spite of a dire weather forecast Sharon's day in Spain is filled with the beauty of nature, fond memories and the creation of great new memories.
Riding to Burgos Is motorcycle touring a non stop stream of excitement, beauty, wonder and exploration? Erm, nope. It's a rather ordinary day on the road to Burgos.
Tin Tin It's both a good and bad day for Sharon as she travels from the delights of the mountains to the grim reality of the city and the rain. At least her hair is looking good.
Higher Than I've Ever Been In spite of the weather forecasts. In spite of no longer being in The Picos. In spite of Ren being a pessimist. In spite of all this it seems Northern Spain has more delights in store.
Magical Kingdom Sharon's having another amazing day riding around Northern Spain. She's on a high, metaphorically and literally.
Boots And Burgos Ren is suffering a footwear malfunction and it's time to go and do that city thing. Can Burgos convert Sharon and Ren into city lovers?
Burgos Bimble Sharon explores the city of Burgos, Spain. Architecture, stone masonry, pilgrims and tempting food. But can a city really endear itself to this country girl?
Lost In Luxury How to turn a fortuitous and splendid day into a nightmare. Just follow Ren and he'll sort the rest out. Still, it could be worse.
Dam Lost Fearing the weather Sharon is braced for a drenching. Thing is the weather isn't really the problem.
Gritty Northern El Bierzo There's time to explore a different part of Northern Spain today. It might not have the beauty of The Picos De Europa it is however a fascinating area.
Blink Of An Eye Sharon has an interesting day poking around north west Spain. There's a something of a shock in store for the evening.
Back To Beauty, Dodgy Caravan It's time for the dynamic muppets to saunter their way back towards the ferry and Ren is in reflective mood. Wonderful scenery, weird accommodation.
The Good, The Bad And The Musty It's a day of confusing emotions for Sharon, but life is for living. Will this evening's accommodation be as luxurious as the previous evening's?
Beautiful Potes While going to a now familiar town is hardly intrepid at least it means Ren is calm, chilled out and not lost. For once.
Head In The Clouds Sharon is calmed by the wonders of Northern Spain's wondrous scenery as she returns to the comforts of Potes.
Sun, Sand, Sea And Santander The weather has improved now it's time for the dynamic muppets to head back to the ferry. Ren is intrigued by stories or walking across Northern Spain, will we see "Walks And Travels" or W.A.T.?
Splish Splash Santander The beauty and grandeur of the The Picos means Sharon does not want to leave, ever. It's back to the city, ready to sail home. Fear not, there's still pleasures to be found.
The Ferry Home It's the dynamic muppet's last day in Spain so it's time to catch the ferry. A mixture of sadness and relief for Ren, but what about the other riders in the queue?
Final Thoughts On Spain Ren crosses the T's and dots the I's on the Spanish trip.

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