After our training day, we headed into the mountains. The sun was shining, the sky was blue; not a cloud to spoil the view.
A wee hiccup to start, Captain Tom misplaced his bike keys. Thankfully they had been handed in. Eventually after a bit of faffing, we got on our way.
A quick petrol stop and before we knew it, we were in the mountains. Just stunning. I was very privileged to ride behind Lute for the day. Just great following such a talented rider. We take turns at riding behind our guides and being ‘tail end Charlie’.
Smooth bends without many adverse cambers. Plenty technical bends with truly breathtaking scenery. Traffic? What traffic? Thinking back on today, I think I did one overtake all day. We had the mountains to ourselves.
What a playground. One corner after another, all at a sensible pace and yes, with a mahoosive grin plastered on my face. I worked hard concentrating on the top tips learned yesterday.
Lute looked after Martin, Richard & I and Rene, the other members of the group. A coffee stop and a really good lunch stop, albeit a lost in translation moment for me. Not wanting to eat bread, I ordered an omelette. So, a cheese omelette duly arrived, stuck between 2 hunks of bread!
There were some corners that were erm… Challenging. One of the switchbacks was so tight, I was aware my toes were curling in my boots. I suppose that’s better than my upper body going all tense, however it was a real ‘uh oh’ moment. Keep chasing that point of vision and give the bike the right messages. Done.
The route today was not for the feint hearted. Bloody hell, the wee mad track we were on yesterday was enough to put the fear into an average biker.
After that day, I headed to the supermarket with 5 top blokes. Quite impressed with their ability to shop! We bought ingredients and did a massive pasta cook-in. Richard, Aziz and I did the cooking and the rest did the tidying up. Stuffed. Knackered.
The next day was the road of 1000 curves. I didn’t try to count them!
The early morning banter was flowing… “God, it’s warm in the kitchen with the sun coming through.”
So, I open the window.
“Aye, that’s the difference in the species, didn’t think of that!” Says Peter as Richard is stripping off a top. I guess you had to be there.
Then when you hear the end of a conversation:
“Martin are you happy to take up the rear?”
That wasn’t what I heard.
The start of our run today got to a chilly 15°. Well, it felt chilly. I had my vented summer gloves on. So, I whacked on my heated hand grips. Sorted.
Getting to our coffee stop, Peter (again) was complaining of cold hands. He said he was trying to tuck them under his armpits as he rode. When I said that I’d put on my heated hang grips, he nearly fell off his seat laughing. Feminine logic? Nope, common sense. He forgot he had those!!
Today was the road of 1000 bends. I spent the day riding behind Richard, who was following Lute. In all honesty, the pace was, erm, brisk and the thought did occur to me that I was going to struggle. Yesterday Lute set the pace to what I was comfortable with. Bless.
Then, the bends got more complex. At that moment something clicked in my cornering. All of a sudden, I was ‘feeling the force’ and I found a different level of confidence. Pushing and pulling on my bars, using my (aching) hips and feeling very comfortable on ‘Julie’, my wee GS. Why Julie? After Julie Andrews because her 800cc engine sings.
The road was simply devine. Beautifully smooth, no potholes. Stunning views. Just bend after bend and then a really tight hairpin or twenty. Quite the most fabulous road I have ever been on. I want Ed to take me back here and quite frankly, fly down and rent bikes so we can truly appreciate the area.
The only downer on the day, when we got back to the villa, it’d been broken into. Brian & Martin lost their laptops and quite a lot of cash. I was lucky, I had everything with me of value. They got a £5 of mine. It put a damper on what was an idyllic day.
Never mind, the police came, we had some beers and went out for dinner. Tomorrow is another day in THE most amazing place.