I had a full week holiday booked in downtown Estepoda, at a lovely resort called Costa Natura, practically on the beach (Costa del Sol) of the Spanish south coast only about 40km from Gibralter.
We debated which way to travel from Italy and madam chose a flight from Naples to Malaga with Ryanair, cheap as chips. I instead decided that the old bike and I both needed some exercise so I booked the ferry from Roma (Civitavecchia) over to Barcelona, a very boring but motorway-saving 20 hour ferry trip. My trusty Yamaha FJR1300 was prepared for the trip (just a check over really, as she is only 2 years old) and I set off from Amalfi on a very warm Thursday afternoon, destination Roma.
I stayed overnight in the very hot capital city and the next morning I attended a meeting on the south of the city. I spent the rest of the day with friends and then set off to the port town of Civitavecchia, which is some 80km north west from Roma. I rode very gently as I knew that the ferry was running behind schedule. The 20 hour ferry trip should have started at 10pm to arrive at 8pm the following evening, whereas the delay was said to be several hours. So I found a wonderful Trattoria in the city near to the port for a slow dinner, truly excellent.
I returned to the port at about 11pm and I joined the long queue of motorcyclists (at the head of the queue as bikes usually get on first) and got chatting with a group of Italian Harley riders. There were 4 Harleys with 6 guys and girls from Terni, lovely bunch. Well we stayed on the dock until 4am and then we finally boarded, in the meantime one of the Harley riders had given up on the holiday and another had returned home for his forgotten ID card. Boarding was a wonderful feeling and the ship finally set sail. We docked at Porto Torres (Sardinia) at some stage and then we finally disembarked in Barcelona at 4am Sunday, only 8 hours late!!!
Thinking that I should travel in the cool of the morning, I headed south and stopped every hour for coffee until dawn, I was cruising at just 100-110 kph until my head and the fog cleared and there was light enough to see. I was following my TomTom satnav more or less blind. Well it worked, cos at 4pm I arrived at Estepona and found the resort that we had booked, wonderful! I really did not fully appreciate the place as I got the key and went straight to bed until my alarm rang at 11pm, as madam was due to arrive at middnight.
Well the resort was totally wonderful, almost on the beach! We enjoyed the pool, the bar and the restaurant and almost never moved offsite cos it was total relax! We just took a short trip by bike to explore amazing Gibralter one day and then the following Sunday it was time to head back to Barcelona for the ferry home. I washed the bike and checked her over, the tyres just needed a bit of air and the engine oil level was perfect, I set off north at about midday and stopped for the night near Valencia in a wonderful Motel I found by chance, right next to the main road.
The going was fairly tough as the temperature soared up to 40 degrees, but luckily the heat was fairly dry so did not make me sweat TOO much!. The FJR is a big 1300cc 4 cylinder water cooled bike with 145 horses, she performed perfectly as well as consuming ZERO oil in 3000 km and returned excellent fuel consumption too, she is the most comfortable bike I have ever owned and truly great for long distances. I had the two panniers on the back but without much weight so the bike was perfectly stable even at er higher speeds officer.
Luckily on Monday the boat is always on time (Grimaldi told me that when I asked!) so after check in I headed up to find a good bar on the Ramblas and got some food and drink before boarding, and the trip home was excellent. Thanks Spain and thanks Yamaha too!!!