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Sunday, 10 January 2010

The Malaga Interlude

We had to wait a few days for the tyres we ordered to arrive at our hostel, Casa Babylon. We have killed time by hanging out with the other guests and the guys who own / work there.

Casa Babylon is a great little hostel. Very chilled and we all cook and eat together which gives it a family like atmosphere. Mike and I take the roles of long lost simple country cousins owing to our lack of Spanish. Mike has fed the masses with a couple of tasty risottos and soup. There are Spanish, Argentinians, a Croatian and Luca the Italiano (el Padrino). It's a cool place. The Spanish owner Guellermo has a huge dog, Chango, some old breed of Spanish cattle dog which were apparently trained to protect herds of cattle from packs of wolves back in the day.

Our tyres arrived on Thursday. Result! We have gone for Continental TK80s. I am already carrying a spare front and rear and ordered a further rear counting on the general rule of thumb that I should get twice the wear from my front tyre. Mike ordered two rears and a front. He currently has Metzler Saharas on his bike which will be great on the sand but not so good in the mud. My road tyres are pretty worn but I will use them on the tarmac for as long as possible before changing them.

The arrival of our tyres coincided with the arrival of something else. Chronic diarrhoea for Mike. We suspect a kebab place in the centro historico (I went for the pizza luckily). Poor fella had a nasty bout and it would be 3 days before he would see his symptoms ease. Agreeing that Mike was in no state to ride we passed the time planning some of the routes we would take in Morocco.

I also made up some fische, cards with our personal, passport and vehicle details translated into French. Useful for the whole of West Afica. Whilst doing so I noticed Mike's passport expires in September. Doh! Schoolboy. Many countries require your passport has at least six months before expiry before issuing visas which would effectively see his passport expire in March . We made the decision it was not worth the risk and leaving Europe before he had a new one so DHL'd an application to London.

So, the Malaga interlude continues... A tad frustrating maybe, but it gave us the opportunity to do some exploring around Malaga. Guellermo rides a Honda NX650 'Dominator', a light powerful trailee, and offered to take us up for a ride in the mountains.

So, Mike popped a few Immodium and we set off. A winding, sweeping road on the tarmac and plenty of offraod tracks to play around on. Awesome!

The Dominator was wearing Michelin T63 offroad tyres, the KTM, Saharas, and I had my worn Metzler road tyres. I was a bit worried as to how the heavier AT would cope on the stony, sometimes muddy trails but she performed admirably.

We explored the trails in the hills for half the day taking in some great scenery and some fun offroad riding. We successfully negotiated two river crossings a couple of tricky bits. Guellermo has been riding for 20 years and made it all look easy on his Dommie. Mike too looked pretty comfortable. However I did manage to drop the AT! Climbing a rocky section of the trail I somehow managed to hit neutral when changing from second to first at low speed. Momentum lost, I went over. No damage done and it was all caught on camera! Check the video below for some footage of the ride and me toppling over.

At the end of the day we rode down the mountain to the beach for a well earned beer and to take a few obligatory sunset pics. Sweet.


  1. Great action movie Simon.
    Hope Mike is better now and good luck for your next stage to Morocco.
    Check out our latest postings.Dad and the troops.

  2. Ha ha ha Babe, your ginger beard is so sexy!
    Have fun, and remember to stay away from those argentinians (specially hostel dweller argentinians)...we ain't good, you know ;o)

    Love that dog too! it's huge.I hope it won't take much longer for the passport to arrive. Ciao, your monkey.

  3. Loving reading about all your great aventuras!! I felt nervous watching the video - glad you didn't tumble cliff side!! Not sure about that facial hair though?
    All well here - Gemma a real chatter box!
    luv and hugs xx

  4. Please tel me you didn't feed the hostel peeps hummus. Please please please please.

    It's a long way to go and a short time to get there....your gonna do what they said could not be done.

    Enjoy Morroco.

  5. Hey!! I see the ipod has worked a treat! It takes a good video clip eh? Maybe you should velcro it on to your jacket a little lower than we originally thought as it faces up to the sky a little too much at times! You have to master your bike Simo, tame your beast! That must be the millionth time you have dropped it now!! ;o) Good luck x