Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hola para Leon, Spain!

Wednesday Sept. 14th

Dear Family & Friends,

Amazing what a difference a day can make!! Today we woke up to a beautiful clear morning, cooler temperatures, and the smell of fresh rain from the night before.. 
Our plan is to ride to the city of Leon.. Talk about old cities, this city was founded in 29BC, yes that is not a typo, 29BC!
There were two ways to get there. Hop on the freeway and be there in a few hours or ride the coast and take most of the day.. It was an obvious choice.
We had a nice breakfast at the hotel, loaded up our bikes, and headed up the coast. We were not disappointed!! The air was clean and fresh from the previous nights rain and the temperature was in the mid 60s, refreshing after having been riding in the high 90s! When riding a motorcycle you can always dress warmer, but it is hard to cool off so this was a welcome relief.
The road along the coast twisted and turned right along the water’s edge. We passed pristine beaches, old fishing towns, Medieval castles and towns, and dramatic views of the mountains.. There was a light breeze causing the waves to foam and froth making for stunning views. After several hours riding west along the coast we turned inland. Leon is about 200 miles SW of the coast. Once we left the coast and started climbing the mountains it got dramatically colder! 
Within  an hour we stopped and put our electric riding jackets on. Within minutes we were warm and cozy. It is like riding wrapped in an electric blanket.
The irony is I consternated for weeks about what jacket to bring, a heavy, medium or light weight jacket. My concern was the first and last week riding in England and northern France would be cold and rainy and that Spain and Italy would be hot. So far it has been the reverse, actually warmer and dryer north and colder and wetter in Spain. Leon had a high today of 59 even though the supposed average temperature for this time of year is 82, go figure.
The coastal mountain ranges in northern Spain are green and lush with quaint towns and villages as well as modern small cities. It was so odd to ride along and see old village buildings up to a 1000 years old and then just down the road ultra modern clean factories.
Once we passed over the mountains we came to the inner part of Spain which is semi-arid high plateaus. It really looked just like northern and central California. Now you can understand why the Spanish settled in California. They probably sailed around for 6 months, got off the boat in California and figured they were lost all that time and wound up back home..
We arrived in a cold cloudy Leon around 4:30pm and were really glad we finally pre-booked a room. No wondering around looking for a place to stay.. When we got there the hotel directed us to underground parking. There is an electric door they activate to let you in and out. So once we were in the door shut. We unloaded and went to the only door in the small underground room. We pulled and pulled and could not get it open. We tried out keys to no avail. We pushed several buttons around the door but still nothing. At this point we were tired and cold and in no mood to deal with this so we started knocking and knocking on the door. Finally I started hitting the door really hard and at that point the door gently swung open….. See what fatigue can do to you?? It was a push, not a pull door.. :(

We checked in and rested up for a few hours. We have learned that the evening activities start late in Spain. You cannot even order diner before 8pm. 
Around 7pm we went out to explore the town. Unfortunately by then it was even more cold and cloudy. I took a few photos and we found a nice bar and downed a couple of glasses of good Spanish wine. By then it was diner time and we ordered Pallea. Now I know for sure we are in Spain, Pallea is practically the national food of Spain and one of my favorites. By the time we finished dinner and another glass of wine it was raining pretty hard outside so we decided no more site seeing and headed back to the hotel. If the weather is good in the morning we will see some more of Leon.
For all the time we have it seems like we are rushing from one city to the next. Hopefully soon the pace will slow down when Kim gets here. Tomorrow it is off to Porto, Portugal. This town was highly recommend to me by a world class traveler (Thanks Clem) and from what I can see on line it looks great.
Check out my blog for more stories and photos.


Truth in advertising... some of these photos are file photos, not ones I took. I couldn't stop everywhere and the weather wasn't always good so I downloaded a few photos so you could see what I say..

The North Coast of Spain.. Not a bad place to ride motorcycles...

Some of the sea side towns we passed through.

Our morning view as we left our hotel..

Lord Leib, king of the road.

Fully  loaded and this bike still handles great! Stopping for a relief break.

Your not in the USA anymore.. No squatty potties here.. You squat wether you want to or not.

Not a bad coast line?

A view from the bar we were enjoy wine and Pallea at...

Duane first taste of Pallea. He must of liked it, he finished it..

Downtown Leon.

He was like a little boy,,, couldn't stop playing with the water faucet.

Human vanity is the same the world over.. No one ever lost money selling to peoples vanity.. I did like the instant six pack abs product. I couldn't read the box so I don't know how it works but I was tempted.....

The bar and restaurant we had wine and Pallea.

Now here is a novel idea. A child care room attached to the bar with a large door so the parents can keep an eye on their children and the children can watch their parents get wasted...

Well at least a rainy night makes the streets look pretty.

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