Picos, Pyrenees & Volcanoes Tour 21 – 28 June 2012

We meet you off the ferry in Santander with the luggage van.

“Fantastic tour. Alison and I really enjoyed the locations, the excellent organisation, the new friendships made and most importantly the riding. I have some small idea of what goes into organising these events…so to make this work as you have is a huge amount of research, preparation and organising. We were discussing on the boat on the way back and we were all really impressed. We look forward to seeing you on another one in the not too distant future”
Martin & Alison Keswick, Suzuki Hayabusa

Those who arrived the night before hit the tapas bars and ice cream parlours!

After a pre-tour briefing we head off into the Picos Mountains.

“Another amazing tour with Bike Normandy…riding awesome roads with stunning scenery…relaxing in your excellent choice of hotels with superb food and wine after a full day in the saddle…professional tour organisation and management (including ensuring no rain for the whole 8 days!)…and the part that makes these trips special for me – a truly great bunch of people to ride and socialise with…muchas gracias y hasta la vista !”
Geoff Bristow, Kawasaki GTR1400

Fantastic views from our hotel  –  with time to enjoy pre-dinner drinks

“Many thanks for a great tour. We really enjoyed ourselves, especially Northern Spain. Spectacular scenery and brilliant roads. You even organised great weather! Loved the hotel at La Bourboule. Hope to see you next year. Best wishes”
Stuart & Val Heath, Suzuki Bandit 1250

Get to know each other over dinner the first night.    Another lovely day

“Thanks for a stupendous craic overdose on the Picos Tour – I thought the 4×4 last year was brilliant but the highs this time round exceeded my expectations on all counts – I’m a Bike Normandy addict!” Geoff Keats, BMW S1000 RR

After a morning briefing we continue through the Picos on fabulous roads

“Just wanted to thank you both for the way you and John & Rita looked after us on the Picos Tour. The only way I can truly describe the tour is FANTASTIC! It started as a bike tour from Spain to Caen but after doing it it was an adventure over the most spectacular mountain ranges with breathtaking scenery I have ever seen. The best roads a biker could travel on. Not to mention the great people on the Tour so all in all FANTASTIC! (By the way, Mike has gone back to his Mrs…Two-timer!) Kind regards,”
Steve Bold, Suzuki V-Strom 650

The prettiest coffee stops before we tackle even more twisties

“Hi J&J, had a great trip, great company and a great laugh, looking forward to our next trip with you. Thanks for the pics of the happy couple – very funny ha ha!!!!!!!!! Now all I’ve got to do is arrange the date with Steve for the forthcoming wedding – ha ha!!”
Mike Sanders, Kawasaki Z1000S

Superb scenery, amazing roads and a great bunch of people

“…I had an amazing time, some of the best riding I have ever done, and had great fun…so it’s official – you are better than [competitor!]. Anyway, thanks again for the trip, it was spiritual”
Ian Butler, BMW Adventure

“We both enjoyed ourselves a lot…having read Martin’s and Ian’s comments on-line anything further from me seems a bit superfluous. You & Jen have a good business going there – hopefully we can arrange one of your short breaks but in the meantine can you fit us in on the Rouen Armada Tour?”
Patrick & Susan Newstead, BMW 1200RT

Enjoy a tapas feast for lunch whilst watching the locals
“Sorry it’s taken us so long to write and say thank you for an excellent holiday, Andy & I both really enjoyed the tour; fantastic scenery, great roads and a really nice bunch of people. Even though it was quite a large group the marker system worked brilliantly and socially the whole group got on well. We will definitely recommend Bike Normandy to our friends…Best wishes to you both”
Andy & Jane Hood, BMW GS1200
Arriving at our hotel in Logrono – take the lift down to the underground parking

A few beers & Rioja before finding the street entertainers in the backstreets

Simon can’t wait to get his next bike !

Jen calls everyone together  –  whilst another form of horse power passes by !

More fabulous scenery as we head out of Spain and into the Pyrenees

Held up for 3 hrs due to a cycle race – Jen gets told off for crossing the white line!

We finally make it to the top of the Col d’Aubisque

“Surrey”, Geoff, Simon, Brian & Geoff  The clouds clear & we briefly see the view!

Tell us something we didn’t know!        The “Fete de la Musique” in Lourdes

Stuart & Val have a smooch while Jen, Rita & Jane teach the locals the “Slosh”!

Another lovely morning at Lourdes     Ian wants to know how far to petrol ?!

Jen sets off on the Speed Triple followed by Mike on his Kawasaki Z1000SX

Chrys on her Kawasaki 636 with hubby Shaun on his Kawasaki Z1000SX

Steve on his Suzuki V-Strom 650         Patrick & Susan on their BMW 1200RT

Andy & Jane on their BMW GS1200 The van & the bikes park in Rocamadour

We all enter the Medieval City of Rocamadour for dinner

Dinner outside chez “Anne-Marie”

John G remembers what it was like to have hair thanks to a “comb over” from Simon!

Where did you get that hat?   We move into the bar next door to watch
England lose on penalties yet again!

Martin & Alison on their Hayabusa    Simon on his Triumph Trophy

Ian on his BMW Adventure                 “Trigger” waves from his Guzzie Norge

Our hotel at la Bourboule where the River Dordogne runs through the town

Our hostess Anne-Marie presents ham cooked in hay with “Fairy” cocktails

On a ride out to the Puy de Dome Jen takes photos whilst riding as pillion

The Puy de Dome                                   Martin & Alison on Suzuki Hayabusa

Father & Son – Geoff & Simon             “Surrey” on his Honda Fireblade 954

Stuart & Valerie Suzuki Bandit 1250     Geoff K on his BMW S1000RR

14 of us take the tourist train up to the top of the Puy de Dome

Super views over the volcanoes

Watch the hang-gliders take off from the top.      Surrey & Trigger

Would you do this ?

Incredible – a landslide leaves a boulder stuck under the train on the way down!

Ian, Geoff B & Valerie bide their time while Rita & Alison grab 40 winks

Finally after 1.5hrs a compressor arrives to clear the boulder!  Geoff K & Ian

The happy couple!   Steve & Mike            Picturesque coffee stop

Take cover under the parasols – or maybe not – as Martin enjoys the sunshine!

Geoff, Surrey & Mike with ice-creams    Chrys & Shaun chilling out

The heat gets too much for Patrick        He’s not alone as Steve nods off as well

This model’s got nothing on our Rita’s helmet hair-do !!

Drinks before dinner at Le Mans            The Last Supper at Le Mans

Rita gives a demonstration of the markers’ various hand signals…

Trigger shows us his party piece then Steve gives a thank-you speech

Geoff B shows why he didn’t need the vocabulary list with his own hand signals!

That’s it – all over.  Back to Caen for the ferry & the van delivers all the luggage

Apart from: A 3.5 hr delay in the Pyrenees due to a cycle race;
Apart from: 1.5 hrs stuck on a tourist train due to a landslide!
Apart from: Our new van breaking down & having to hire a van.
Apart from: John missing dinner at La Bourboule.
Apart from: Simon’s top box opening & all his stuff flying out!
Apart from: Simon’s bike falling over while he picked up his stuff!
Apart from: Simon, Surrey & Geoff getting locked out of the hotel at Le Mans at 1.30am due to forgetting to take the door code…
Apart from: A slight bike incident (which we won’t mention!)
The Tour was pretty uneventful !!!

Thanks to a great bunch of people for providing lots of laughs and making this yet another memorable Bike Normandy Tour!