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Big Twin Rally Castellon 2007Report and pictures by Rob Ayres
The report you get straight away, the pictures will follow.
This year has been a bit low key on the home rally front, apart from Glos MAG at the beginning of the year, The Number One, and finally the Bulldog, for two good reasons - firstly, getting the Lardtail on the road again (now in bits again for another reincarnation! ) and secondly, saving up for a full-on ten days in Spain courtesy of the Big Twin club Castellon, who are sort of like a spanish version of HRCGB, and part of the european federation.
They invited us down after last year's Kernow rally, so I rode first to a mate's home in Devon. After a night on the beer and curry, we rode on down to Plymouth, bound for Santander. It was to be a 20 1/2 hour crossing. Met up with some past friends from Devon, who were planning to tour northern Spain. In fact the ferry, the Pont Avent, was enjoying a good contingency of bikers.
The weather was pretty good, which was a bonus as the Bay of Biscay can get a bit lively. Those that have done the crossing will know what I mean!
Getting off the other end, we headed straight for the cheaper Spanish fuel, as we had both ridden down to Plymouth on fumes! (Yes, I really am that tight!) and then we got some miles under our belts before stopping for grub and a guzzle.
This was going to be a "make it up as we go along" trip, with no plan. If we made it in the one day, so be it! If not, it didn't matter, and 400 miles in sunshine was gonna be a bonus!!
We pressed on over the mountains, avoiding the dual carriageways - instead, enjoying clear, well-surfaced A grade roads, at a steady 70. We finally arrived at the site, to be met by some mates who had saved us a pitch under the trees.
Right.....wait for this, and despair of the UK attitude to bikers... The local council give the use of the site to the club, and all the fencing, the electricity, the shower blocks, toilets, and bar-b-cue! The local bars gave away free beer and food the first night, and vouchers the following nights, and there is a 5km exclusion law on the non-wearing of helmets! The town was ours.............I had died and gone to heaven!
That first night was pretty amazing, from what I can remember. The whole rally was very laid back. Oh yeah, it cost 35 euros, but for that you got a T shirt, magazines, food vouchers for three meals a day, and beer vouchers.
The Astorias club had their own Marquee, and on the Saturday night we were invited to join them to drink weird flat cider, and eat all sorts of food from their region. Amazing people. Amazing Rally.
Sunday morning was going to be the start of part two of the trip, even though we had been invited to stay at Rual's house, and four of us set off with the Lonely Planet book to discover the Spanish interior. The idea was to stop each night in a variety of Hostels, and take it pretty easy. I averaged 65-70 mpg, that's how easy!
Spain is like any other country - get away from the madness, and people are chilled out and friendly. Each Hostel made sure our bikes were locked away. One of them put them in their garage across the road, and the trip record for cheapness was a Twin en-suite room, 3 course meal, a couple of bottles of wine, all for £21! One place even gave us a bottle of wine each in the morning.
This place would blow you away. I've been invited back next year to the Astorias Rally; by that time the Chop will be finished - kinda tempting!