Is there any end to these great roads?!

So today we found ourselves in the pre Pyrenees. Again our prepared route was around 200km so we searched out a way that we could extend that and take in more roads we haven’t taken. Our search criteria is pretty simple – if it’s as windy as all hell then it’s in.

By late morning we found a nice little cafe where we could watch the world go by. I was a bit concerned that all we were doing today was burning through the countryside. Maybe I’ve become immune to this countryside and nothing surprises me and all I was doing was commuting from one place to another. Or I was just tuned into the bike and I was just enjoying moving through the countryside while reflecting on all the great miles and sights we had taken in to date.

One thing we wanted to see today was the – Museu Moto at Bassella, so we just needed to ensure that whatever we did allowed enough time for us to have a good look through the museum without being rushed. At our first coffee stop it was obvious that we’d have heaps of time so we set off on our detour. As it turns out these extra roads were the highlight of the day. One wound its way through wide open canyons on a wide smooth 2 lane highway, the other was a narrow unmarked twisting road that snaked it’s way up and over a number of mountain ranges. I have no idea how many it just kept going.

There was no complaints just smiles.

Into the canyon roads

Narrow, twisty, technical roads

another group enjoying the roads

The Museu Moto was set up by an avid motorcyclist enthusiast in Bassella who collected and restored bikes. When Bassella was flooded in the hydro dam construction the Moto museum was set up in the new town (Museu Moto also has bikes in Barcelona). This is a beautiful collection of primarily old English and European bikes, covering street, race, and off road bikes. A real candy shop.

Here’s a sample of a few of the bikes on show.

From the museum it was only a short ride to Cardona where we were staying. In the notes it says that there is a castle on the top of the hill which is visible from anywhere. And yes it is and our gps led us straight to it. We looked at other and with an expression ‘what we’re staying here?!’ Well I have to say that the IMTBike guys have out done themselves with this accommodation it is just mind blowing. This is a castle / fortress with history back to the 11th century, with multiple upgrades and improvements over the centuries. The last resident only moved out in the early 1900’s. It has since been converted into a Parador – luxury hotel generally built in a converted castle or monastery. While we have stayed in a number of Paradoes on this ride, this one has captured our imagination.

I would highly recommend looking at the Paradors if you are in Spain. Apparently there are books on Parador tours etc.

Parador at Cordona

the view of the city from the top

the parking for the night was up the ramp to the left…

Keith and I just hanging out enjoying the view

Only the cool kids get to park up here

a fun driveway

the dining room was very cool … but I just kept expecting the king or lord of the manor to showup.

We also caught up and enjoyed a chat with a few other bike riders who were also at the castle for the night or is that knights…? It’s great meeting bike riders from other countries and share adventure stories.

Here are a selection of other photos from the day.

action shot

overlooking crops and fields

another coffee stop. !

Keith said he was getting all arty. I think he was just taking a photo of the Olive tree

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