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To Picos on MT-10 via Wales
17th Sep 2017
Posted: X Plane 15/10/2017

Keen and inspired (by website Admin Andy). I set off for the Picos de Europa mountains on my MT-10.

So, I selected Spain’s Picos Mountains as this year’s destination on my Yamaha MT10. I’d done a Euro tour trip to the Harz mountains, Germany last year as a spare of the moment trip. This year I was a little more organised... They Picos were/are fantastic. The N-621 road down to Riaño is class.


Day 1 (15 C sun breeze)
Belfast, Dublin boat to Holyhead, Wales.

Day 1 In Brief: Sunday 17th September 2017 I made it to Barmouth in Wales dry; a minor miracle :-)


In Detail: He-Ha (& he ha again...) Head-off day it was here. So it was 11:00am and it was time to go and head-off on the mighty brilliant Yamaha MT-10 for Touring holiday trip to Northern Spain. It began with heading to get the boat from Dublin Port to go thru Wales etc for Portsmouth and Ship to Santander. New biking jeans and new neat waterproof Alpine-star shoes already a-dawned onto me; I was ready for the road. He ha.


It’s at this point (these moments) that you really get to re-thinking; like, ok is all the planning, the preparation and all the packing really done ok?? I’d say as long as you (no I mean me / I has) all of the essential packed such as: Passport, V5 Doc, E111 medical card, Euro Breakdown Cover, Euro travel-cards, driving license, insurance docs, puncture kit, mini air compressor etc all with you then any other stuff can be sorted on-route or when away. So as I was happy that all this was ok so I head-off it was and off I rode to fuel up the beast for the approx 115 miles down to Dublin Port. I Rode down the, (as boring as having water for soup), dull main road to Dublin Port. The weather was in an ok mood being nice and dry and warm enough too, (yup, I know that is real unusual for Ireland - don’t I know it). So enjoyed that. And had pre planned Euro coins in the tank bag for the toll bridge and Dublin port toll tunnel.

(Bad note): Cruise control is fairly handy, not-recommended, for handless riding to remove me gloves and get coins out ready as you roll up for the toll payments booths. Anyhow, I did not crash and did not do a lunch stop either just some snack bars and I checked in about 13:55 behind some classic, some not starting, vintage cars. Punishment for not being ages early, but optioning the last 5 minutes before last check in, was to have to wait and let all the cars go on first and then be put at the back of boat, ah well, i was/is on holiday so I chilled. And The Boat sailed on time at 14:30 and got into (he-ha, he ha dry) Holyhead at around 16:30.


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So I had an approx 2 hour ride to my B&B in the seaside town of Barmouth and arrived after 7pm with the light beginning to fade a bit. Barmouth was, is a real nice surprise, a super coastal part of Wales.

The Yam was going great and I had a few front wheel ups over crests on the way down and the Nitron R3 Shock was working a real treat even with the bike all toured up; although having no tent this year as I was traveling light-ish helps keep the sporty fun sunny side up, lol.

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Now at the B&B. And The German lady, with a slightly racy picture of herself - when she was younger lol - on the hall wall, that run the B&B was great. I thought what a dynamic world we live in; how does someone from Germany end up running a listed guest house in Wales, go figure.

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Anyhow, the MT was brilliant on the rides down so I hid it, complete with its new ECU, behind and under some overgrown bushes and I went off for dinner thinking 2 hours on a boat was grand but I would have 24 hours on a ship to Spain ahead of me.

All was class and A1 good. Gee I love trips on the bike especially with blue or dry skies, Happy nice good day!


  • Belfast, UK
    386.5 : 240.2 miles 41
  • Tolka Quay, Branch Road South, North Dock, Dublin, Co. Dublin, Ireland
    165.6 : 102.9 miles 46
  • Clock, Holyhead LL65 4PT, UK
    293.7 : 182.5 miles 53
  • 3 Peniel Terrace, Nantmor, Caernarfon LL55 4YH, UK
    347.8 : 216.1 miles 50
  • Porkington Terrace, Barmouth LL42 1LX, UK
    386.5 : 240.2 miles 41

Day 2 (dry, brief drizzle)
Down Wales diagonally to Bristol

Woke up with a very light hangover, to Barmouth enjoying a nice warm and more importantly a DRY day. So I headed off to Bristol hoping to remain dry; which is a real big ask in Wales.


Had a good nice brisk ride down thru some grand twisty roads like the B4518; which is off the A470 goes threw Staylittle and passed nice little reservoir. Wales takes a bit of time to get down threw the towns etc.

I arrived in Bristol for my super accommodating great overnight stop with family there. Well feed and looked after there and 100% dry. All good. Hooray.


  • Barmouth, UK
    250.6 : 155.7 miles 58
  • 2 Esgair Goch, Staylittle, Llanbrynmair SY19 7BU, UK
    64 : 39.8 miles 5
  • Dolybont, St Harmon, Rhayader LD6 5LZ, UK
    89.7 : 55.7 miles 39
  • Bristol, UK
    250.6 : 155.7 miles 58

Day 3 (17 C sunny)
Portsmouth to boat / Bay of Biscay / Santander

Left a nice sunny Bristol before midday. I got off the M4 motorway ASAP... And I Headed down passed nice thatched cottages thru the lovely tiny village of Wherwell.


On route I got stung in the chest, stomach and in my belly button ouch by a wasp that had flew inside my shirt. I pulled over got off and flicked the git out and thought if this is the worst thing that happens to me on this trip then I’ll be well happy with that...

I Arrived in Portsmouth for the Ship in good time and went to get some Euro cash in the local Post Office and few eat mars bars, lol. I Boarded the ship and with my iPad and GoPro firmly in hand I headed up for the cabin and searched out the restaurant then the bar.


  • Bristol, UK
    168.2 : 104.5 miles 54
  • Chippenham, UK
    44.1 : 27.4 miles 36
  • Andover Station, Andover SP10, UK
    105.7 : 65.7 miles 44
  • White Lion, Wherwell, Andover SP11 7JF, UK
    113.5 : 70.5 miles 57
  • Fair Oak, Eastleigh SO50, UK
    140.9 : 87.6 miles 23
  • Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth, UK
    168.2 : 104.5 miles 54

Day 4 (24 C Sun)
Santander to Hostal Poncebos at the north of Picos de Europa mountains

The Boat docked in a tad late and took its time to off load; so got off it a little late tho I still made it to Hostal Poncebos just before/at dusk.


The AS-114 on the way is an amazing fast flowing road in and a great introduction. The tiny road up to Poncebos was tight in places. About half an hour later some English guys on bikes checked in. One of them had skimmed off around the Armco barrier on the way up in the dark, Opps, he and bike were ok. Few dents in pride and faring. I Had a few beers with them and it was then time for big Zzzzz’s bed.


Day 5 (24 C Sun)
Potes / Fuente dé

Flowed along the magic AS-114 west then up the winding CO4 to Lakes Covadonga & Enrol. On the way I tried a first route up to lakes that turned out to be a dead end and a big horned cow did not like the grumbling burbling noises of the MT-10 and there was a stand off for a while. When the way turned out to be a dead end I had to repass the big beast cow from hell on the way back down, lol. Ah well the next main road up along was closed to cars but the bike did go round the barrier and up.


And after a real nice lunch I headed back east along that flowing AS-114 and down the magical N621 to Potes. And then up the flowable nice CA-185 to a really great posh hotel del Oso which is just a few miles down below Fuente dè (cable car station).


  • 33554, Asturias, Spain
    182.1 : 113.2 miles 9
  • 33550 Cangas de Onís, Asturias, Spain
    42.4 : 26.3 miles 59
  • 33556 Cangas de Onís, Asturias, Spain
    59.1 : 36.7 miles 24
  • 39588 Fuente Dé, Cantabria, Spain
    182.1 : 113.2 miles 9

Day 6 (19 C Misty am)
Potes

Day off From touring on the bike. But still scooting around on the bike in holiday mode.


Walked Hills near Fuente dè.


Day 7 (21 C Scorcher)
Round Bottom of Picos up to Gijón

I call this Super Super Saturday... I went up the Fuente dé cable car first thing at 10am.

Then I Rode the purely magical N-621 south on down to the fabulous wee town of Riaño. I Doubled back up the N-621 for about 10 miles or more to make a left detour

https://youtu.be/C2NSrTSTrXQ

at / near to Portilla and I took the truley amazing LE-243/2703 detour / alternative route up thru Portillia village to Posada dè Valdeón onto the cracker LE-2711. Where I asked a kind Spainish lady In a camper van for some water / aqua and she filled my 500 cc bottle. 30 minutes later I helped her pick up her smashed drivers mirror bits from a mirror to mirror collision.

https://youtu.be/g2aqi6P4Ihw

I continued on the delightful scenic mountain road which comes out onto the N-625. I Headed up north up the N-625 up onto more great roads such as the AS-260...

Wow. Wow wow wow.....

WOW.


  • 39588 Fuente Dé, Cantabria, Spain
    212 : 131.7 miles 22
  • 24915 Posada de Valdeón, León, Spain
    79.9 : 49.6 miles 45
  • 33550 Cangas de Onís, Asturias, Spain
    94.2 : 58.5 miles 4
  • 33342 Gobiendes, Asturias, Spain
    166.1 : 103.2 miles 47
  • Gijón, Asturias, Spain
    212 : 131.7 miles 22

Day 8 (22 C)
Ponferrada

Nice fast & almost completely empty roads :-)


And super Awesome weather to top it off... Road flowed down more open country.


Had a lovely seafood soup and salmon dinner in the Main Street of Cangas del Narcea


  • Gijón, Asturias, Spain
    256.4 : 159.3 miles 5
  • Calle Puente Colgante, 33800 Cangas del Narcea, Asturias, Spain
    119.4 : 74.2 miles 35

Day 9 (23 C Dry)
Cambarco

Wow what a route.

LE-331 / LE-333 are gem: https://youtu.be/D3IojI2qaKA

It and CL-635, then up N-625 to LE-2711 to Posada dè Valdeón onto LE-2703/243 down to Portillia and up N-621 had everything.

What a place.

Love love love LOVE Riaño Petrol Station


  • Ponferrada, León, Spain
    291.8 : 181.3 miles 6
  • La Magdalena, León, Spain
    94.2 : 58.5 miles 17
  • 24996 Acebedo, León, Spain
    193.2 : 120.0 miles 60
  • 24915 Posada de Valdeón, León, Spain
    228.5 : 142.0 miles 41
  • 39571 Cambarco, Cantabria, Spain
    291.8 : 181.3 miles 6

Day 10 (25 C Sun)
Fuente dè / Potes / Cambarco

Day off Touring up at Fuente dé.


Day 11 (27 C Scorcher)
Santander

Routed myself south along tight class CA-184 from Ojedo then onto great CL-627 then east and then up north.

Just when I thought that it couldn’t get any better, it did! Wow!


I eat in Santander contented and boarded the ship for Plymouth.


  • 39571 Cambarco, Cantabria, Spain
    226.6 : 140.8 miles 58
  • 34800 Aguilar de Campoo, Palencia, Spain
    79.6 : 49.5 miles 27
  • 39518 Los Tojos, Cantabria, Spain
    158.3 : 98.4 miles 51
  • Santander, Cantabria, Spain
    226.6 : 140.8 miles 58

Day 12 (Sunny Dry)
Bristol

Off the ship at Plymouth’s rush hour and headed direct up the M5 motorway to gatecrash in again with family in Bristol.


Arrived in Bristol dry as bone to a super tasty home-made Chilli con carne. Again so well looked after at cousins place a massive thanks and a tremendous mega thumbs up!


Day 13 (Wet am Dry pm)
Bristol

Day off bike washing it and checking the bike over.


And got to Thinking back that the last day on Spain was the warmest 27 degrees C and what an amazing route the CL-627 was and that was an unexpected gem of a ride. Great trip.


Holiday not over yet tho there was the pub to go to for dinner.


Day 14 (Wet, wet, wet)
Dublin via Holyhead from Bristol Up Wales

Departed from Bristol at around 9:30. And I rode over the biking free toll Bridge into Wales and Diagonaly up thru Wales.


The Rain started about midday and when I got near Holyhead the rain eventually stopped. So I got wet gear off and all sorted out for arriving to the port.


Got the Boat to Dublin was all was grand and I stayed in a hotel just out of Dublin for the night; which was great.


  • Bristol, UK
    561.7 : 349.0 miles 5
  • Coach House, Minllyn, Dinas Mawddwy, Machynlleth SY20 9LP, UK
    219.6 : 136.5 miles 10
  • Town Hall, Llanidloes SY18, UK
    264.1 : 164.1 miles 57
  • 2 Fron Felan, Penygroes, Caernarfon LL54 6PU, UK
    384.5 : 238.9 miles 51
  • Clock, Holyhead LL65 4PT, UK
    419.5 : 260.7 miles 28
  • Dublin, Ireland
    561.7 : 349.0 miles 5

Day 15 (Rain Drizzle, lol)
Dublin up home to Belfast

Homeward bound it was in damp (typical home) conditions...

Home all safe and sound. And the worst thing was that wasp sting on day 3 in England, lol.

Cracker trip...

Saved the best videos to last: https://youtu.be/fYJQl9RzWtM

https://youtu.be/jdgazsGRChk

https://youtu.be/D9Kq_4FgLRI

Final edits: https://youtu.be/asU74eTQ-WM

I loved it.

Cheers.



  • Dublin, Ireland
    165.6 : 102.9 miles 52
  • Belfast, UK
    165.6 : 102.9 miles 52

Comments

A full ride of the AS-117 be top notch. You guys will have a ball there. Enjoy. Here’s my lastest reminder: https://youtu.be/fYJQl9RzWtM

The AS117 is gonna be done in full next trip , great road. We are heading down to the Rio Douro valley in Portugal as the roads are incredible in northern Portugal and it’s even cheaper than Spain!

Nice one Dave. Especially the “not too sure went coming back”. Class, go for it. Thumbs up.

Looks like we did very similar trip - going back myself in May, one way ticket to Santander as not too sure when coming back or where from

Cheers guys. Yep day 5 was great, local guy told me about the lakes. Day 7 was out of this world.