David and Wendy – Late August tour 2018
I have toured Spain a couple of times with Wendy sitting stoically on the pillion. We normally just go where the whim takes us and get by with my 6 words of Spanish and a lot of pointing. This year I decided to find out what I was missing by signing up for a couple of days with Hugh at Sierra Alma and what a good decision it proved to be. My hope was that I could relax for a couple of days and let someone else do all the thinking, planning, choosing and talking as well as see places that only a “local” would know about. My hope was confirmed – It was fantastic!
Hugh clearly knows the area in a level of detail which can only be achieved by years of careful reconnaissance. How he retains it all without the use of notes or GPS is beyond me ( something for the British Medical Association -Hugh).
One day we had a wonderful and challenging ride through the hills – don’t ask me where as that was the whole point of having Hugh as a guide. The road surfaces were as smooth as silk as is often the case in Spain, although it was a bit bumpy on a stretch that we were warned about in advance. Those parts are always difficult for the pillion and I mentioned it to Hugh.
On the second day Hugh, bearing that in mind, took us on a route that was equally exciting and without a single bump! Despite missing the tiny country lanes it still proved to be a fantastically engaging ride. Maintaining 70mph speeds round the sweeping bends is one of the biking experiences that tempt us crowded Brits to cross the channel. Central Spain appears to be deserted of traffic. Amazing! The pleasure of Hugh’s routes were maintained throughout the day.
As we were staying in Salamanca centre, Hugh was also happy to help with restaurant recommendations and also a great place for breakfast called Los Mellizos, run by his good friend Manolo. He even helped me at the chemist to get some treatment I needed.
I have experience of travelling “unsupported” in various continents and for this I’ve learned that you miss a lot simply because you don’t know what’s where. The “few bucks” you pay a local guide are well worth it for the experiences you gain as they become part of your travelling stories. In the case of Sierra Alma Touring I would certainly say we got exactly what we wanted. They do precisely “what it says on the tin!”
David Mathers – Motorcycle traveller and writer.