I'm a Yank in Spain running a different kind of bull: La Balita Roja, my trusty 2011 Royal Enfield 500 cc Electra, and now also a 1986 BMW K75C that was later tweaked into a K75RT for distance touring. Spain has thousands of miles of fantastic byways for bikers. The food and wines aren't bad, either. So here are roads I've taken, tapas, Spanish wines, food, bikes and bikers I've had the pleasure of meeting along the way.
-John (a.k.a. Jónico)
Monday, June 25, 2012
Cruising Down the River Sil: A weekend in Galicia
We went up to Galicia this weekend to some friends' estate near Monforte de Lemos. After years of talking about it, we finally did the river cruise up the canyon of the River Sil, along teh "Ribeira Sacra" wine region where the vineyards are planted in terraces set on nearly vertical canyon cliff walls along the northern banks. The river also marks the border between the provinces of Lugo and Ourense. So it was fun to be able to say I walked from Lugo to Ourense and back, all before lunchtime!
The grapevines are terraced into the canyon walls:
The southern banks are lush with native hardwoods: chestnuts, oaks, walnuts. Pines and cypress trees abound, too.
A lot of the vineyards are only accessible by boat from the river:
Here Javi and I are on the river:
One of the nicer old stone bodegas in the middle of the vineyard:
You can see all sorts of faces and images in the rocks.
For 60 years or more after the Spanish Civil War, most of the vineyards were abandoned and left to grow wild. But new movements in wine-making have brought vintners back to restoring and replanting the typical mencía grapes (for reds) and godellos (for whites).
And of course one motorcycle picture, my friend Javier Bolivar's BMW K1200GT, which I really like the idea of; extremely practical tourer:
And then we picked cherries and red currents before coming back to Madrid.