Trans Euro Trail – Netherlands

The Trans Euro Trail (TET) is a volunteer community that originated to promote the use of legal off-road riding throughout Europe. It had been some time since we rode our motorcycles on dirt roads so we were very excited to begin a trip through Netherlands 🇳🇱 and Belgium 🇧🇪!

We downloaded the routes from http://www.transeurotrail.org, packed our mules, and were on our way!

Getting to the Start of the NL TET
🗓: 30 Mar | 🌍: Geilenkirchen to Sögel, Germany

Map of Day 1: Windmills, Roman Temples, and Tanks?! We covered about 300 km of riding today as we made our way north to the beginning of the Netherland Trans Euro Trail (TET).

Along the way we saw this WWII memorial which seemed to translate “To the memory of the legacy”.

A unique sign of a potato of a fork that is about 10 feet tall! Although this is one big tater, Chantil, an Idahoan native, said it doesn’t compare to Idaho taters!!

Xanten, Germany

The town of Xanten (which sounds like a name for a planet in some other solar system) has an interesting history due to it’s closeness to the Rhine River and Roman trade routes.

I love the textures of patterned doors and bricks.

The Klevar Gates, built in 1393, are all that remains of the medieval city.

Uniquely painted window shutters.

Near the Klevar Gates was this unique dragon decorated with brightly colored tiles.

APX Archaeological Park

Just down the road is the APX Archaeological Park. Although I knew that Roman influence covered most of Europe, I had no idea that such a large park and museum existed in Germany.

Who needs to go to Rome to see ancient Roman Temples?

This is the Harbor Temple and was recreated to show just a portion of the grandness of the original one that stood here during the Roman era.

Many Roman artifacts contained within the museum were found among these rocks.

Although it was still early spring and many of the trees were not sprouting, it was still a beautiful day.

A map showing the extended influence and power of the Roman Empire which extended we’ll north into Great Britain.

The museum covers much of the Roman bathhouse areas and is very large with exhibits on multiple floors.

The exhibits are very interactive and meant to be enjoyed by everyone – especially the children.

Brightly colored Roman shields can be used by kids to get an idea of what it was like to be a Roman soldier.

A Roman sculpture from nearly 2000 years ago!

Roman coins! I find the history of money to be quite interesting and enjoy visiting different countries and exploring the coins and bills.

The Capital Temple would have been the central building of the city.

There was also a nice display that showed the boat and barge building process used by the Romans.

There is a game room where people can learn about the board games Romans played.

The statue of the Emperor of Rome greets visitors to the Gladiator Coliseum.

A small museum, inside the Coliseum, describes the battles that took place here for entertainment. Often animals were used like bears.

Overall, it was an interesting experience and a great way to spend a couple hours.

Sögel Tank Cemetery

We heard about this place from the website Atlas Obscura. The site mentioned that it’s a military operating area and access was limited…

“Stop! Firing range. Danger of death.” What could go wrong?!?

We saw a truck and some teenagers in the ‘cemetery’ so we decided that if the military really wanted us out they would not leave to gate open – right?

Lucky us! We got to explore the 24 tanks just sitting in an open field.

Apparently this is still a military operation area used by helicopter pilots.

The website says these are Leopard I and M47 Patton tanks.

It would be interesting to know more about the history of these tanks but not much is published.

One of my favorites places and memories for sure!

Check out DAY 2 as we officially start the NL TET!

Culturally Colorful Córdoba, Spain

🗓: 28 Jul | 🌍: Providences of Granada and Córdoba, Spain

Our motorcycle travels continue west along the southern coast of Spain as we leave the city of Granada and make our way inland to the culturally colorful city of Córdoba.

During this blog post we covered 225 km (140 miles) of pavement from Granada to Córdoba.

The July temperatures were definitely getting hotter as we continued inland. Riding a motorcycle at 80 kph on the curvy roads is one way to beat the heat.

The green hills, orchards, and yellow grasses made for some great scenery.

We passed by the town of Alcalá la Real and the La Mota Fortress.

PRECAUCIÓN – Motorcycle safety billboards are unique to each country and this one has been around Spain for quite a long time.

Montoro, Spain

We stopped for a short visit in Montoro, Spain…

…to walk among its streets…

…and to visit the Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells)

Both the exterior and interior of this home is decorated in millions of shells. It clearly is a labor of love, since each shell had to be carefully placed to create this unique home.

So many shells!

They charge a small fee (1€) for visiting the inside, but there was no one around when we arrived so we didn’t get to see the inside. You can see some photos at: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/casa-de-las-conchas

It is worth walking across the Puente de las Doncellas o de las Donadas to see the modern statues and the view of the town above.

Córdoba, Spain

The next day we enjoyed a walk around Cordoba to take in the sites and tour the amazing Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba.

Our first stop was to see the Plaza de la Corredera, with its…

…15th century construction and colorful orange painted arches…

…unique shops selling woven baskets, decorations, and…

…bull heads! Wouldn’t they look great on the front of our motorcycles?

Piggy banks for all kinds of income levels.

The inside courtyard was unusually free from tourists.

Just down the street is the Templo Romano, with reconstructed pillars. The site of this temple was not discovered until the 1950s when the city was creating an expansion project. The original Roman temple dates back to 41-54 AD.

Near the Torre De Calahorra is a colorful mural that…

…lists the Spanish names of local wildlife in the area.

The influence of the Roman Catholic Church within this region of Spain cannot be understated. Since the 1st century it had existed here and approximate 7/10 Spaniards identifying as Catholic.

The city is quite beautiful with many bright colors, painted tiles, and garden entrances.

Beautiful and bright paint and hand crafted doors.

Palm trees in all their beautiful varieties.

The Albolafia Water Mill was built in 9th century to bring water to Emir Abd al-Rahman II palace.

We came across this unique birch tree with leaves that were dark green on one side and chalky white on the other.

Looking back at the Mosque-Cathedral and Roman Bridge of Córdoba. This bridge dates back to the 1st century BCE.

The Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs was a nice place to get out of the July heat.

The impressive Hall of the Mosaics – a series of Roman mosaics, discovered underneath the Corredera. These must have taken specialized artists thousands of painstaking hours to make.

The gardens were the highlight of the Alcazar with their…

…colorful flowers…

…fountains and reflecting pools…

…statues of Christian monarchy…

…and forged wrought iron details, all made the visit to Alcazar of the Christian Monarchs memorable.

What makes Córdoba so interesting is the history and diversity of the various religious institutions. Take for example…

…the synagogue in the historic edifice of the Jewish Quarter…

…was built in 1315 and was decorated according to the best Mudejar traditions.

After the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, all but this synagogue were destroyed.

It was restored and reopened in 1985 to celebrate the 850th anniversary of Maimonides birth.

We continued to walk among the streets and enjoy the garden views…

…and many courtyards that would surprise us around each corner.

Tendillas Square and the statue of Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba.

Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba

Tickets to the Mosque-Cathedral are for a specific time and we were not allowed to enter earlier despite the noticeable lack of tourism. The cost during our visit was 11€ each.

The gates opened at 4PM and we were allowed inside the courtyard along with about 15 other people.

Bell tower from the Court of Oranges, however we didn’t come to see the courtyard – We came to see the interior of this amazing architectural building and…

…see for ourselves the most accomplished monument of Moorish architecture built by the European Moors. The famous alternating red and white voussoirs were inspired by those in the Dome of the Rock and the Aachen Cathedral, which were built almost at the same time.

The incredible hypostyle hall with its 856 double arch columns that support the high ceiling of this inspiring structure.

The mihrab edifice, with its richly gilded prayer niche. Experts feel this is a masterpiece of architectural art, with geometric and flowing designs of plants throughout the design.

A simple stained glass window…

…casts its ever-changing light on dark tile floor below.

In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral.

Córdoba and the Mosque-Cathedral are definitely worth visiting if your journeys happen to take you through southern Spain.

Join us next blog post as we learn about the tradition and nationalism of Spanish-style bull fighting.

Thanks for reading our travel blog. If you would like to help support future travel writing and videos please consider joining us at: https://www.patreon.com/viajarmoto

Enjoying the Central Southern Coast of Spain

🗓: 21 Jul | 🌍: Providences of Granada and Málaga, Spain

Map of our day’s journey: We went from Granada, to the southern coast, and back again – 229 km (142 miles).

After a one-hour ride to our destination we were greated with…

…this disappointing news – PROHIBIDO! We were really looking forward to hiking the beautiful slot canyons and cool waters of the Rio Chillar. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, this area is now off limits. Darn you COVID!! Huge bummer.

Instead of letting it ruin our day, we decided to do some exploring of the nearby region. We started by walking south through the coastal resort town of Nerja

Nerja, Spain

Beautiful entryways seem to be the standard here in this region.

Even the mail slots are beautifully decorated with brightly painted tiles.

We came across a small cemetery with high walls surrounding it. A single entryway granted access to thousands of gravesites all beautifully looked after and decorated with silk flowers.

I liked this one the best. I love the simplicity of it and could easily imagine that Alberto was a decent, hard working man, who built thousands of projects for the local community and his family.

Many walls featured simple but colorful potted plants.

The seafront promenade had…

…high-end shopping boutiques…

…quaint and cozy beaches…

…incredible views from the Balcón de Europa…

…of the beautiful blue Mediterranean.

I ended up swimming for a bit in the cool Mediterranean Sea which did a great job of cooling me off since temperatures were well above 32°C (90°F).

After a cool dip it was time to head back to the motorcycles parked to the north.

Siesta was just starting so we had the beautiful streets all to ourselves.

“The center smiles at you!” How nice.

Having a great day despite the mandatory mask requirement. Here in Spain, it’s not a political decision that is debated or contested. We don’t necessarily like it, but we just accept it, and move on with our lives.

There was wonderful artwork throughout the streets…

…like this colorful stencil…

…bright and beautiful landscaped tiled porch…

…and elegant ceramic wall hangings.

Our time in Nerja wasn’t rushed. We just walked along and let our curiosity determine where we should turn. Before long we were back at the motorcycles and riding off to our next destination.

Riding near the mountain town of Frigiliana, Spain.

Hotel Los Caracoles

We came across this place by accident. We were just enjoying the ride along the picturesque and windy roads of the MA-5105 when we came across these unique shaped buildings. We decided to ride up the steep entrance and see what they were all about.

This is the restaurant located near similar shaped bungalow-type hotel rooms. If we didn’t already have a room for the night in Granada, we would have booked a room here. It was very quite and peaceful.

This inside of the restaurant with curved ceilings, walls,…

…and unique styled circular windows…

…that let in the great views of the nearby town of Frigiliana.

There was even a colorful parrot here!

Riding down the steep driveway from the restaurant.

Torrox, Spain

As we rode a little further south, we were treated to the…

…narrow streets of Torrox, and the…

…Plaza de la Constitución, with its hundreds of colorful umbrellas blanketing the fountain courtyard with shadows.

Castillo de San Miguel, Almuñécar, Spain

Our final destination of the day was Almuñécar and the Castillo de San Miguel.

The original fortifications dates back to 1st century B.C. where it was build during the Moorish occupation.

The castle changed hands during much of its lifespan – Phoenician, Roman, Arabs and Berbers, and then Christian Spaniards.

Since it was on a hill, it offered great views of the surrounding mountains and Mediterranean.

An attached museum showed artifacts from the Phoenician and Roman occupation.

The walls became a patchwork of material as each occupation added their own particular (lack of) craftsmanship or (lack of) style.

Great views of the surrounding Mediterranean to take in and enjoy.

The castle seemed to not have any visitors for some time. As we walked around we discovered that seagulls were becoming agitated and were mewing as they flew overhead.

It turns out they were concerned because they had young gulls nearby. They youngins couldn’t fly so they just did their best to hide by staying low to the ground.

I imagine, the seagulls made the best of the isolation of a castle over the last few months due to the COVID-19 quarantine in March. With no human visiting the castle walls, I’m sure it was a perfect place to lay their eggs and enjoy some peace and solitude.

Returning to Granada

Whenever we arrive home after dark it’s either because we had a great day or a difficult day. Today we ended up having a great day!

Join us next blog post as we make our way to the charming Spanish city of Cordova…

Thanks for reading our travel blog. If you would like to help support future travel writing and videos please consider joining us at: https://www.patreon.com/viajarmoto

Hiking the Sierra Nevadas of Granada, Spain

🗓: 12 Jul | 🌍: Providence of Granada, Spain

One of the main advantages of staying at Airbnb style homes is the wonderful people you often meet. Angela, our host in Granada, did a exceptional job of making us feel at home during our stay at Granada. She is an avid hiker and invited us to join her for a few sunset walks among the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Angela organizes a sunset hike and it’s definitely worth your time and money. Check it out here: https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/369653

Prior to traveling Spain, when I thought of the Sierra Nevadas my mind immediately thinks of the mountain range in the Central Valley of California in the United States. Some years ago we hiked to the top of the highest mountain in the Sierra Nevada range – Mount Whitney. Although the hikes, we enjoyed with Angela, were not as difficult as hiking the 41,505 ft (4,421 m) to the top of Mount Whitney, they were just as memorable…

Boca de la Pescá

Our sunset hike was a 6 kilometer (3.8 mile) hike to the peak of Boca de la Pescá. We started hiking at 8 PM to coorspond with seeing the peak at sunset of 9:30 PM.

Near the trailhead is a small home with great views of the nearby mountain peaks and valleys.

Flowers, in all their beautiful colors, were in full bloom.

Kira, one of Angela’s rescue dogs, joined us for the hike. Kira is leashed, because she likes to chase the goats that climb the steep and rocky cliffs here.

Gorgeous views of the surrounding peaks.

Kira, Angela, and Chantil walking through the golden fields of wild wheat.

Fields of gold!

We came across the skull of on Ibex mountain goat.

More beautiful views during the “golden hour” of photography.

We spotted some young Ibexs playing on the rocks nearby.

It’s common for memorial plaques to be placed for hikers that have passed on from this Earthly life. This one reads “The Shadow of the Alayos guards your spirit. In memory of a good hiker and my best friend. Juan 2012”

Hiker pose. The key to a successful hiker pose: a peak, walking stick or pole, a pack, and a look of deep contemplation 😆

A nice shot of the setting sun through the forest.

Near the peak is this lookout station. The forest ranger spoke to us for a short time and explained that a dog had recently needed to be rescued from the nearby cliff because it had gone to chase some goats and couldn’t get back from the steep cliff side.

Almost sunset!

We made it to the peak just in time to watch the sun descend over the Sierra Nevadas to the west.

The mountain peaks and clouds to the east glow with a pinking hue created by the setting sun.

Enjoying the last little bit of sun and ending another beautiful day.

The city of Granada lights up the valley below.

Buenas noches Granada. Hasta mañana.

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The Gorgeous City of Granada, Spain

🗓: 05 Jul | 🌍: Granada, Spain

Our travels are now in full swing as we continue clockwise around Spain to the city of Granada, Spain. Our main reason for coming here was to visit the famous Alhambra Palace. Normally, one would have to reserve tickets weeks in advance to see this attraction, however due to COVID-19, we were able to book our tickets for the same day.

The Streets of Granada

COVID-19 is changing nearly everything about modern life. Painted signs indicate which side of the street to walk on…

…and painted reminders to maintain 2m (6.5ft) of distance between each other. The fact that their painted makes me think that the city planners expect this pandemic to last for a long while.

Our wonderful Airbnb hostess, Angela, prepared a self-guided walking tour of the area: http://angelarte.com/access/ENG/recom_eng_sight.htm

Although Google Maps says the tour take about 1 hr 20 min, we ended up taking all afternoon since we stopped and enjoyed various attractions, including the Alhambra and various sights along the way. Here is some advice – if you want to travel fast, don’t travel with a photographer.

Our tour started with the steets and shops of Calle Calderian Nueva, also known as “Little Marakech” but it was to early in the afternoon for business.

If these walls could speak they would have a history to tell.

I liked this tiny red scooter that was parked in the large balcony.

Occasionally views of the Alhambra, sitting proudly on the hill, would pop out from the streets below.

The walk up the Cuesta de los Chinos was peaceful. We both felt like it was the pefect way to reach the heart of the most visited monument in Spain – the Alhambra.

Alhambra Palace and Gardens

Passing through the archways and to the entrance of this incredible palace.

COVID-19 reminders are never to far away. We were required to wear a mask while in the palace and anytime we were near people in the garden. Fortunately there were almost no people here.

Since we had about an hour before our scheduled ticket time, we enjoyed walking around the large garden areas.

Our tickets time was 4 PM. It ended up being only us and about ten other tourist. Lucky us – no crowds.

I was impressed with how relaxing the palace was. Incredible views from the windows made me feel like I was walking in a different time. Perhaps during the 13th century when it was a royal palace of Yusuf I, the Sultan of Granada?

The circular patio of the Charles V Palace.

The Arabic influence is obvious throughout this amazing building.

The detail and craftsmanship of these 13th century artists is quite amazing.

The detail of the tile work and intricate painting.

Every window offered picturesque views of the city.

The Hall of the Ambassadors is the most majestic with its walls covered in decorative inscriptions and Arabic poems.

More details of the craftsmanship.

Window of the Hall of the Ambassadors

Court of the Myrtles with its white marble patio, myrtle bushes, and central bright green colored pond.

Detail of one of the intricate doorways inside the Court of the Myrtles.

One of the most impressive areas is the Court of the Lions with it’s open courtyard and irregular placed yet symmetric columns.

The Fountain of the Lions is an alabaster basin supported by twelve white marble lion figures.

The details of the Arabic calligraphy is impressive.

The area just outside the castle walls features walkways that provide incredible views of the hills and city below.

The gardens were full of fruit trees and beautiful flowers.

Just a short walk from the palace is Generalife – a leisure place for the royalty of Granada to get away from the affairs of the palace.

Flowers of many varieties with their beautiful colors.

Details of one of the metal doorways.

A very relaxing place…

…with pools…

…detailed stone walkways…

…flower gardens…


…and exquisite architecture.

Patio of the Irrigation Ditch

Court of the Sultana’s Cypress Tree

An artist draws in the relaxing courtyard.

We both felt extremely fortunate to enjoy this World Heritage Site without the typical summer crowds. It was especially enjoyable to be able to walk among the gardens and enjoy the peacefulness of what it might have been like in the 13th century.

More of the Streets of Granada

Our tour continued as we walked back down the Cuesta de los Chinos toward the older section of the city of Albaicín.

I love the message on this mailbox. No bills, no junkmail, just love mail.

The streets are labeled with these beautiful ceramic signs.

View of the Generalife from the street of Albaicín.

This region of Granada features Flamingo Dancing. Later that week, we scheduled a show but it was canceled due to low attendance. We’ll try to catch a Flamingo Dancing show later when we pass through Seville, Spain.

There where so many bright and colorful doorways in this region of the city. This door also featured some metalwork with a Flamingo Dancer on it.

“Without the valley and its river,
without the sonorous orchard,
they would not have dreamed of the
red towers and gardens.

Granada is the flower left
by the course of that river…”

Most of the stray cats would run away but this one seemed to actually like having its photo taken.

This scooter just seemed to be quintessentially perfect.

The Mirador de San Nicolás is a very popular spot to enjoy the postcard perfect views of the Alhambra with the Sierra Nevadas in the background.

Our tour continued along back towards the Calle Caldería Nueva with its…

…small apartment balconies…

…lazy cats…

…Moorish styled shops…

…and street art!

We ended up having a very wonderful time experiencing the Alhambra and exploring the city streets. A huge thanks to Angela for putting together the self guided tour that helped us create these wonderful memories of the gorgeous city of Granada!

Thanks for reading our travel blog. If you would like to help support future travel writing and videos please consider joining us at: https://www.patreon.com/viajarmoto

Exploring the Providence of Almaría, Spain

🗓: 28 Jun | 🌍: Providence of Almería, Spain

This weeks progress was just 330 km of riding southwest from the providence of Murcia to Almería.

Monday, 22 June

This week started with a note. A note to Maria thanking her for hosting us for the last three months. I don’t think we could have landed in a better place to weather the storm of COVID-19 in Spain. It was more difficult to leave than we imagined. Of course we wanted to continue with our travels, however we had to say goodbye to a wonderful friend and her three boys.

Our mules felt heavy as we pushed them from the garage where they spent most of their last three months. Because we only did day trips in Murcia, we kept them light. This morning they each had an extra 60 pounds of stuff: camping gear, all of our clothings, spare parts, and spare fuel/water tanks.

Although it was just mid-morning, the sun was already beating down on us and driving temperatures up to 29°C (84°F). After suiting up in our motorcycle gear, we checked over the mules, inserted the start key, and pushed the start button…

…except that Chantil’s mule wouldn’t start. Ugh! Not a great “start” to our new found freedom. We pushed her mule into the shade and began the 15-minute process of finding the jumper battery pack, removing the tail bag, popping the seat latch, and gaining access to the battery terminals. Fortunately her mule started up with the jumper pack but we still didn’t know why her battery was dead to begin with. We would find out later that day…

Our first destination was also our last picture of the region of Murcia. We wanted to visit the Mirador de La Muela and enjoy the Mountain view’s of the Sierra Espuña. It was going well until Chantil yelled that her mule had just shut down. Fortunately, she was able to coast it to the side of the road and a parking area wasn’t too far away.

We tried to jumpstart her mule once again but it ended up depleting the jumper battery pack. We decided to leave her bike and ride to the observation point together. During the ride, we could charge the jumper battery pack using my mule.

The observation point gave us a break from worrying about her bike and provided some wonderful views of the valley and the town of Alhama de Murcia below. Her mule is down there somewhere.

With a fully charged battery pack, we returned and attempted to jump start the battery. We even attempted to push start her mule but it wouldn’t turn over. In the end, we decided to purchase a new battery, reinstall it, and be on our way. Fortunately, the town of Alhama has a lead acid battery in stock for €30! It took just a short time to install the battery and we were heading south to the providence of Almaría. Finally!

Mojácar, Spain

Within 90 minutes we had reached…

…this beautiful town on a hill, near the Mediterranean sea – Mojácar!

We decided to reserve an Airbnb for our first post COVID-19 lockdown adventure since we suspected that camping wouldn’t be open until tourists were allowed into Spain starting in July. Our host, Philippe, did a great job of making us feel at home in the beautiful town of Mojácar. It turns out that he was from New York and moved here to get away from the rat-race of America. I think he enjoyed talking with other Americans as well.

Once we unpacked, we decided to take a short tour of the town and find something to eat.

All the buildings are white, except for the few that are natural colored.

The entire town is built on a large hill so walkways can be steep.

Hardly anyone was walking among the streets at 8 PM.

Window shopping

The Indalo is the symbol of the Almaría region and dates back to 2500 BC. Many say it represents a ghost that can hold and carry a rainbow in his hands.

Walking the many stairs throughout the town.

Small planters hang from white-washed walls throughout town.

A cat enjoys the warm tiles heated by the afternoon sun.

Sunset over the valley to the west.

Tuesday, 23 June

Sunrise over the Mediterranean Sea to the east.

I’m not normally a morning person, but I woke up early enough to catch the sunrise…

…and capture some pictures of the town bathed in golden morning light.

Later that afternoon we decided to take Philippe’s two dogs, Juan Carlos and Carmen, for a walk.

Hanging out with Juan Carlos and Carmen.

We walked up to the top of the hill…

…with great views of the town below.

After returning to the Airbnb, we enjoyed a short siesta nap, and then walked from the town down to the beach, where we found a fun restaurant called Hola Ola!

Chantil’s is super hungry for the…

… swordfish that was deliciously prepared. ¡Muy bien!

It was a bit after sunset before we returned to the gorgeous town of Mojácar!

Tuesday, 23 June

Although our time in Mojácar was very relaxing, we felt the need to move along and experience more of the providence of Almería. Thanks to our Airbnb host, Philippe, for his hospitality during our short stay!

Playa de los Muertos

Beach of the Dead!

We enjoyed a short hike to a overlook of the beach below.

Playa del Embarcadero

40km further south brought us to the picturesque Playa del Embarcadero.

The mules enjoying the beach breeze.

Playa del Embarcadero

Citroën HY78 Camper Van. So cool!

We ended up finding a great campsite with lots of spots available at Camping Los Escullos. After we set up camp, we hopped on the mules and rode our way to our next destination…

Los Albaricoques

Why does a large silhouette of a gunslinger welcome visitors to this small remote village?

Why are the streets named after US movie actors?

This area of Spain was made famous by the spaghetti western films of the 1960s and 70s.

Some of the most famous were The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More.

Although much of the buildings for the movie are long gone, there are a few remaining.

Honestly, I though the village of Los Albaricoques was a bust. There are a few signs and a rundown building but nothing more. Time to move on…

Cabo de Gata

This section of beach had kilometers of warm sand, a few restaurants, and lots fishing vessels weathering the Spanish heat on the beach.

Most of the fishing vessels were in need of some tender loving care.

A few fishing huts were littered between the beached boats. Based on how much junk was outside the huts, I can only imagine what the insides looked like.

Further south along the beach brought us to the overlook…

… and the famous jagged rocks of Cabo de Gata.

We enjoyed the last minutes of sunset before making our way back to camp to grab some sleep for a full day of riding to the next providence – Granada. More to come…

Thanks for reading our travel blog. If you would like to help support future travel writing and videos please consider joining us at: https://www.patreon.com/viajarmoto

Leaving Murcia Feels Bittersweet

🗓: 21 Jun | 🌍: Region of Murcia, Spain

Today is the end of the State of Alarm here in Spain! Today, the country’s borders will be reopened to Europe and free movement between regions will resume for the first time since March 14.

The last three months have had its shares of up and downs. Although we found a wonderful Airbnb to weather the pandemic, it’s has still been difficult as times. Some days I just wanted to sleep as much of it away as I could. However, most days we found ways to be productive and make the best of the time we were given.

Speaking of time; we are extremely grateful that the Spanish government has automatically authorized us another 90 days from today. For those not familiar with the travel restrictions of Europe and Schengen you can read our blog: https://viajarmoto.com/2020/02/12/schengen-planning/. There is a catch however, the 90 days only applies to Spain and may not be recognized by any of the other 22 Schengen counties. In short, we now have until the 19th September before we must leave Spain.

We’ve been playing with some ideas of how to make the best of these 90 days:

  • We’ve got A LOT that we want to see in Spain. Currently, we have 123 pushpins of places we would like to visit in Spain! Clearly we wont be able to see them all since we plan to only travel 3-4 days a week.
  • We’ve considered the idea of hiking a portion of the Carmine de Santiago. Perhaps the last 100 km of the Camino Francés which is the most popular route and will give us a week long taste of hiking this historic pilgrimage trail.
  • We would also like to travel through Portugal for at least three weeks. Although we won’t have a problem entering the country through the uncontrolled border, we may be there illegally depending on how Portugal is handling visa extensions for tourists trapped by COVID-19.

Irregardless of what option we choose, we are extremely grateful for another 90 days and plan to enjoy a summer of traveling Spain and perhaps Portugal. Life is good!

Lots to see in Spain and Portugal

Our last few days here in Murcia with Maria and her boys has been wonderful. We enjoyed a Spanish style meal at one of the best Indian restaurants I’ve ever eaten at. If your in Cartagena, stop by Restaurante Tikka and enjoy the exceptionally service and food. Maria also hosted a going away meal at her beautiful home in La Palma where we laughed, talked, and ate until well after midnight. That night, we said our “hasta luegos”, hugged, smiled, and even cried. We’ve had a wonderful time here and will remember the love and hospitality of Maria every time we think of Murcia.

Here are some pictures from our last week in Murcia:

Playa las Cañas

Sunsets in Murcia

Street Art in Los Alcázares and Cartagena

Ciudad Encantada de Bolnuevo

Playa de la Pava

John Deer in Spain

Acueducto de Perín

Exploring Offroad in Murcia

Cactus Flower

This flower blooms and lasts only a few days.

Parque Regional de las Salinas

Pink Flamingos in the wild!
The pink shrimp gives them their pink color.

Los Barros Mud Baths

Hardly no one on the beach!
Cold fruity drinks
No crowds!

People come from all over Europe to enjoy these mud baths.

Not what you think… It’s just us covering ourselves in black mud before rinsing off in the SUPER salty pools. It seemed a lot more salty than the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

As you can see, we did our best to see and enjoy as much of Murcia as we could before continuing onward.

Where to now? We will continue southwest to the next region of Andalusia and the providence of Almaría. Many more pushpins to uncover and more adventures to come…

Riding the Trans Euro Trail, Murcia, Spain

🗓: 13 Jun | 🌍: Region of Murcia, Spain

“Change is the only constant in life.” ~Heraclitus

We never intended to ride the Trans Euro Train in Spain. Our original plan was to travel mostly pavement, visiting each of the virtual push-pins from our online map of places we wanted to see in Spain. The region of Murcia had a few museums that we wanted to experience in Cartagena – The Roman Theatre and the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology.

So on March 14th, we arranged an Airbnb that was in the countryside but provided a short ride to Cartagena where we could enjoy the city’s restaurants, beaches, and museums. Unfortunately the world pandemic known as COVID-19 had vastly different plans for us and the thousands of full-time motorcycle travelers throughout the world.

Spain was especially hit hard by the pandemic. On March 14th, the prime minister declared a country-wide state of alarm which put most of Spain under a strict lock-down quarantine. It wasn’t until after 56 days, that most of Spain had contained the infection rate enough to start the deescalation phases. Phase I, which started on May 11th, brought the hope that we could once again start traveling again – even if it was restricted to the relatively small region of Murcia.

Trans Euro Trail

The Trans Euro Trail (TET) is a system of off-road oriented trails that travel through 33 European counties and total over 31,700 miles (51,000 km). “Linemen” from each country are designated to provide regular updates to the trail and GPX route which can be downloaded for free at https://transeurotrail.org/

Since travel was limited to providences, we were only allowed to enjoy a 119 mile (192 km) section of the TET that travels within the region of Murcia.

The TET route snaking through the north of Murcia

After 56 days of lockdown, we were incredibly excited to be on our BMW G650GS motorcycles and riding together once again. We packed the minimal: camera equipment, 5 liters of water, a spare tube and pump, and a lunch with a small thermos so we could enjoy a cold Pepsi halfway through the trail.

A short hour of riding on the Autovia brought us to the north of the region.

This is wine country with beautiful vineyards being tended to by local farmers.

The last bit of pavement before reaching the trailhead

Getting some dirt under the tires

Running the 50/50 branded Heidenau K60 Scout tires

Our two mules, both BMW G650GSs, enjoying a break

We didn’t know what to expect when we reached the TET. A year ago, we had ridden the TET in the Netherland and Belgium and each of these counties seemed to have their own surprising challenges. Although the Netherlands was relatively flat, there was a long section of deep sand that made travel difficult on moderate weight motorcycles with luggage. In Belgium, it was the mud. A recent rain had turned much of the route into a muddy mess that created it own unique slippery challenges.

What we found on this Spanish portion of the TET was relatively easy traveling with wide gravel and dirt roads. There were some short sections which turned into single tracks and one section with a water crossing followed by a steep climb. Although the trails weren’t too challenging, they made up for it with pure natural beauty. I found myself reminiscing; the smells, temperature, and terrain brought back summer memories of growing up in the mountains of northern Colorado.

Spring flowers along the trail

Amazing valley views would spring from between pine trees

Taking in the wonderful countyside of Murcia

Natural beauty from horizon to horizon

Abandoned homes seemed all to common along this portion of the TET. Spain was especially hit hard by the global finacial crisisof 2008–2014. Nearly one in four Spanish citizens were unemployed in 2012 which forced many property and farm forecloses.

Homes being taken back by time and nature

Enjoying the open road and moderate temperatures of late May

Life is good

The mules grazing while we enjoyed our packed lunch

I was surprised at how little of the TET route was paved. We would only occasionally ride on some pavement for a few kilometers before jointing dirt and gravel roads once again.

Watch for cows!

Riding over stone bridges

Taking a short break from filming

Open roads that were nearly all to ourselves

During the entire time we’re on the trail we didn’t see another motorcyclist or vehicle. We only ran across farmers, working the vineyards, and two hikers. As we passed the hikers, I though I heard one of them speak in English, which surprised me because English is not commonly spoken in these rural regions of Spain. A little further down the trail, and during a steep decent, Chantil dropped her mule. As I returned to help her pick it up, the hikers ran down to help and asked “Are you OK?” in perfect English. It turns out that one of them was from Miami and noticed our Florida plates as we passed by! We talked for a little while and they seemed impressed with our travels enough to say “These motorcycle came all the way from the USA? You two are crazy!” It’s a small, and crazy, world sometimes.

Enjoying wide gravel roads without other vehicles.

Overall, we had a great time on the entire Murcia portion of the TET and I would easily recommend this portion of the route to anyone riding any type of adventure motorcycle. You defiantly don’t need a lightweight dirt bike to enjoy the wide roads and beautiful views of this portion of the Spanish TET. Thanks to the lineman, Fernando Gost Bellver, for mapping and sharing this route with the motorcycle community.

Caravaca de la Cruz, Spain

As a bonus, we had the chance to park our mules, change into some tourist clothes, and enjoy the charming and historic town of Caravaca de la Cruz.

Caravaca is the fifth Holy City of Catholic Christianity; a title it shares with Rome, Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela and Camaleñ. The town is dominated by the Roman Catholic Santuario de la Vera Cruz (Sanctuary of True Cross). This Catholic sanctuary houses a miraculous cross that Catholics believe came from the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.

This town dates back to the Middle Ages so many of the streets are steep and extremely narrow with buildings aligned at various angles.

A tight fit – even for our medium sized motorcyles

Exploring the quite streets by foot during siesta

Stray cats roam the streets; kept fed by grannies in nearby flats

Sometimes you have to get off the motorcycle to experience the culture of a region. We wished that we could have explored and learned more about Caravaca, however our experience was limited to walking the streets since all the tourist sites were closed due to COVID-19.

More Travel on the Horizon

Although we were limited to the region of Murcia for this trip, it made us think about the possibility of trying to experience more of the TET throughout Spain. If all goes as expected we will be able to leave this region and continue traveling after the state of alarm ends on June 21st. We’ve already started planning to ride some portions of the TET in Southern Spain. More to come…

Street Art in the Region of Murcia, Spain

🗓: 7 Jun | 🌍: Region of Murcia, Spain

Whenever we visit a city or town, one of our favorite activities is to search for public art – especially street art and murals. Although our travel is currently limited to the region of Murcia, we discovered that there is quite a lot of artwork to see within this diverse region.

Cartagena, Spain

Our original reason for traveling to Cartagena was to visit the Roman Theatre Museum and National Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Unfortunate both museums have been closed during the nation-wide quarantine, so we decided to walk around and enjoy the streets and parks of the city.

Typography is one of my favorite art forms.

Even a bicycle rack can be artistic.

The National Museum of Underwater Archaeology

I like the tile design and bold lettering of this temporary wall.

Hidden among the streets is this interesting stairwell…

…with murals covering the walls.

The shadows create their own designs.

Stupid COVID-19!

Are airplanes considered art? I sure think so.

A wonderful colored stairwell…

…with bold lines and gradient colors.

We were especially surprised by the various artwork and sculptures contained within the Torres Park. This park also provided exceptional views of the nearby Roman Theater.

This is just one of a collection of brightly colored tile murals.

Just outside Cartagena city center is a wonderful mural dedicated to the fisherman of the region.

Bright colors blended across this long mural.

Laser cut metal was used for the fish.

Details of the colors.

The fisherman tying a knot.

Torre-Pacheco, Spain

Maria, our AirBnB hostess, took us to the nearby town of Torre-Pacheco. I was surprised by the diversity and activity in the streets on the Friday evening. I was also impressed by the quality of the murals hiding behind corners that caught my camera’s eye.

A perfect mural for a town with a high concentration of African immigrants. The struggles of immigrants, and people of different skin colors, has been on my mind a lot lately. I wonder how different our world would be if we didn’t classify people by their skin color or geographical area?

I’m not sure what the message is…

…but I love the bright greens, reds, and blues

This is part of a larger mural where the girl and this robot seem to be creating a world.

Every world must include kitty cats, dinosaurs, and street art, right?

A youthful mural of a boy getting ready for some summer fun.

This next mural surprised me! After taking the picture of the boy and snorkel I turned around and there it was…

I like the cartoon contradiction highlighting the…

…severity and stupidly of war.

Los Nietos, Spain

This beautiful mural was almost passed by without even a glance. We were traveling west and this mural is on the eastern side of the building. Fortunately, Chantil noticed it in her rear view mirror!

A large mural covering a building a wall.

Great detail!

A colorful whale swims among fish and turtle in a wall of blue.

This is a motorcycle travel blog after all, so I need to have at LEAST ONE picture of a motorcycle…

Apache and the mural.

Some details like these sea horses are created in ceramic.

Los Alcázares, Spain

I found out about this town during some online research. Los Alcázares had been recently involved in an art celebration where various mural artists were invited to paint the town with their unique and beautiful styles.

One of my favorites!

This mural is dedicated to the challenges of living on the water and the recent flooding they experienced in 2019.

I like how the artist used the ledge to create a fun painting.

A wonderful painting of a smiling child…

…with hands that are cracking and falling apart. Sad face.


A boring white home comes alive with this vibrant tree…

…and flowers!

So many murals with their own artistic style.

This mural is made entirely from colored tiles!

The Spanish bull!

Final thoughts…

The region of Murcia has it’s own style and beauty just waiting to be experienced. It’s been enjoyable spending some time in this region and getting to appreciate some of its variety. We both are extremely grateful for a colorful world full of unique artistic styles and cultures that make life so interesting. We can’t wait to experience more…

Ode to Apache – A Mule of a Motorcycle

🗓: 31 May | 🌍: Region of Murcia, Spain

This week the odometer on my 2012 BMW G650GS Sertão motorcycle passed through 50,000 miles. We were riding through the city of Cartagena, Spain. A place we’ve been since the Spanish Prime Minister declared a State of Alarm due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Passing 50,000 miles

I am often surprised that my motorcycle only has 50,000 miles because we’ve discovered some incredible places and created memories of a lifetime during those miles. It’s the quality – not the quantity!

My first and only motorcycle

I purchase the motorcycle used in San Diego county. It belonged to a young man who left the motorcycle to attend college in Texas. He asked his father to sell it for him. The price was right, at $4,999, and the mileage was low at 9,968 miles. Quite a bargain, considering a new one would set one back $8,960. The maintenance records showed the motorcycle had all the needed service done at the local BMW dealer. The bike was perfect, except for one problem; the color was white.

Stock BMW photo of new BMW G650GS Sertão

Fortunately, our other motorcycle, another BMW G650GS was red. A quick swap of the body panels and I now had a red motorcycle – my favorite color.

What’s in a name?

What to name it? I’ve often felt that motorcycles are the modern version of horses. Growing up in the mountains of Colorado, I have fond memories of our horses and I remember riding them well before I learned how to ride a bicycle. One of the first horses I rode was a palomino pony named Apache. Perfect! Apache it is!!

Apache enjoying the open country of southern Spain

Why a BMW G650GS?

Honestly, it came down to the best budget bike with fuel injection and ABS braking. I knew I didn’t want to fiddle with a carburetor and I felt the ABS was a crucial safety feature for a brand new rider like myself. BMW was one of the first manufacturers to include ABS on all their motorcycles so it quickly rose to the top of a short list.

The Bavarian colors of the BMW logo.

Another reason I chose a BMW G650GS was that the engine had a reputation for being very reliable with many folks successfully riding all over the world. Allan Karl wrote a book, titled Forks: A Quest for Culture, Cuisine, and Connection, about his journey through North America, South America, Africa, and Europe on his F650GS. He still rides his 650GS – Now with over 100,000 miles and 65 countries!

The 650cc engine is considered very reliable

Why do you call it a “Mule”?

I think the G650GS is somewhat of a Frankenstein of a motorcycle. There are parts that look like a dirt bike and parts that look like a touring bike. It kinda takes the best of those two and creates a new segment of bike called a “dual sport” or “adventure” motorcycle. The GS name is Gelände/Straße in German which means (off-road/road) so they are designed for both.

The meager 47 horsepower from the 650cc engine isn’t exactly thoroughbred fast but can propel it up to 100 MPH given enough roadway. It can run all day at 70 MPH and it sips through low-octane gas at about 55-65 MPG.

The frame of the 650GS is strong and designed to pack A LOT of weight – 415 lbs. Kinda like a mule.

So there you have it – It’s not fast, a bit ugly, and it packs a lot of weight – a mule!

A bit ugly like a mule?

What motivates you to travel the world on a motorcycle?

This is good question that can be summed up with the quote “I travel, not to run away from life, but so that life does not run away from me.” I’ve been traveling ever since I turned 18 and enlisted in the United States Navy. During my military service I got to visit countless countries and experience many different cultures. With each new discovery, my wanderlust continued to get stronger and I wanted to experience more. Fortunately, I have a wonderful wife who has the same desire to see and experience the world.

Why is Alex Chaćon’s name on your mule?

An American named Alex Chacón was one of the first motorcycle travel videos I remember watching on YouTube. He left medical school to ride a motorcycle from Texas to the southern tip of South America. It ended up changing the direction of his life and he’s been sharing his adventures for a while now. During a Horizon Unlimited event, Alex signed my bike. His signature has since faded, but I created a vinyl sticker that reminds me to live my dreams every time I see it.

Thanks Alex for helping fuel my dreams.

What’s the attraction?

So how does a mechanic tool, made of metal, plastic, and rubber, become something that I’ve become so attached to? Perhaps it’s the memories of all the places we’ve discovered together. Perhaps it’s the feeling of freedom that I experience nearly every time I sit behind the handlebars. Perhaps it’s the simplistic beauty of an engine attached to a rear wheel via a chain? It’s difficult to explain but there is an attraction. Not a human attraction, but an affinity. A natural fondness for a mechanic tool that creates fond memories.

Just a bunch of mechanical parts but an affinity exists.
In 40,000 miles I’ve been through four rear tires and three front ones.

Here is a list of some of the wonderful places we’ve traveled together:

  • Arizona’s Backcountry Discovery Route, USA.
  • Baja, Mexico.
  • From San Diego, across the USA and southeastern Canada, to Maine where he was shipped to Iceland.
  • Iceland and the Faroe Islands.
  • Much of Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and northern France.
  • Most of the UK and Ireland.
  • The Balkan countries from Greece to Croatia.
  • Many of the alpine passes throughout the Alps in Austria, Italy, and Switzerland.
  • Most recently, eastern France, and eastern and southeastern Spain.

Not bad for 40,000 miles!

40,000 miles of riding through these wonderful countries. We hope to add a lot more with future travels.

Now what?

The journey is far from over! Despite the current pandemic we’ve still got plans to see and experience as much of the world as we can on two wheels. We’ve been dreaming of this adventure for years and we’re not about to give up on it anytime soon.

There is still A LOT of the world to see!

Apache, here’s to another 50,000 miles of wonderful adventures and discoveries. Cheers!

Phase II with Ups and Downs

🗓: 26 May | 🌍: Region of Murcia, Spain

The country of Spain continues to maintain its “State of Alarm” – a condition it’s been in for 73 days now. Our region of Murcia has low enough COVID-19 cases that it has reached Phase II which means a bit more freedom for its citizens. Most notably it means local tourism can start again – albeit with reduced capacity.

Phase II regions are in green including Murcia (MU)

We’ve had a bit of a setback this week that came in the form of stripped threads on Chantil’s motorcycle. NORMALLY, stripped threads can be fixed simply with a tap and die set or by inserting new threads into the drilled section and adding a threaded insert (Heli-Coil). Notice I stressed normally – yeah, nothing normal seems to happen to our BMW motorcycles. These stripped threads go to a bolt that holds the crash bars (strong metal bars used for protecting the motorcycle body when it is dropped) onto the frame. They also bolt into a fitting that is used to support the engine laterally in the frame. In short, this fitting needs to be pulled and replaced. Unfortunately, pulling this fitting requires that the engine be shifted about two inches which requires extensive work. Work that we’re not able to do with the tools we have for basic repairs and maintenance.

So unfortunately, we had to drop Chantil’s mule off at he BMW dealer – something we don’t look forward to since BMW is considered a premium brand that comes with premium service fees. As of today, the dealer has the part on order, and the motorbike has been disassembled. Let’s hope cost isn’t too expensive.

That’s the downs for the week, how about some ups…

Spain has announced that it will automatically extend travel visas 90 days after the State of Alarm is lifted – currently scheduled for 9 June. This now means we will have until 7 September to explore a bit of Europe! Unfortunately, this announcement ONLY comes from Spain and doesn’t apply to Schengen countries. Will we be able to enter neighboring Portugal or France? This is something that we’ll have determine as things progress over the coming weeks.

Although this week wasn’t full of motorcycle adventure, we did get out and enjoy the neighboring area. It’s been wonderful to go for evening walks and experience the small farms and scenery of Southern Spain.

On one of our walks, Maria showed us an abandoned home that used to be a perfect villa surrounded by orchards and fields of fresh vegetables. The Spanish financial crisis of 2008-2014 hit most of the region especially hard, leaving many vacation homes and small businesses to slowly crumble away with time.

An elegant Spanish home is slowly crumbling away with time.
A handcrafted window and welded grate.

I’ve never lived in the country so experiencing this region is especially interesting to me.

A beautiful mural painted on the side of a farm building.
There is something quite beautiful about rows of food growing from the land.
Fresh artichokes ready to go to the market.
An artichoke, with incredible colors, just before it flowers.
Wheat, the staple seed for so many breads, crackers, and bakery sweets.
I especially love the bright colors and textures used by Spanish homes
Custom made gates with artistic elegance.
Cactus flowers in spring.
Silos to store the grain that is produced in this region.
It’s been especially nice to enjoy the evening sunsets!

Looking back at this last week of pictures has really made me appreciate how grateful I am to be experiencing this wonderful region of Southern Spain.

Until next week, where we hope to do more exploring of the Region of Murcia, Spain…

Phase 1 = More Freedom!

This week was the beginning of Phase 1 for our region of Murcia and 51 percent of the rest of Spain. Phase 1 is the first time we are allowed to ride our motorcycles for anything other than getting groceries, visiting a pharmacy, or emergencies since March 14th. Yeah, nearly two months!

🗓: 11 May | 🌍: Providence of Murcia

Just 69 km today from Cartagena (D) to El Portús (B) to Bateria de Castillitos (C) and back home.

Monday brought more excitement than a child on Christmas morning. We were FINALLY going to go for a ride together We planned to head south to enjoy a bit of the seaside and then ride to the Sierra de la Muela region where we hoped to explore the abandoned military fort Bateria de Castillitos.

We packed the mules lightly with nothing more than some water, a lunch, our video and camera equipment, first aid kit, and a tire pump. It was a wonderful feeling of freedom, that had me grinning, as I started the motorcycle, pulled the clutch lever, engaged first gear, and twisted the throttle. It was hard to believe that the day for us to begin traveling again was here!

Our first destination was El Portús, a small town located on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea. As we approached the town, we spotted a sign for “Camping Naturista” that featured sun, sea, a palm-tree, and what appeared to be a family of three – all in the buff! What could this be?

What is this sign all about?

El Portús

Apache parked at the beach near Cola Rambla.

A short dirt road later we were at the Cala Rambla del Portús. This is a small pebble-stoned beach with clear water, incredible views of the Mediterranean, and topless sunbathers.

As Americans, we are not accustomed to seeing topless sunbathers on our beaches. This kind of activity is typically only reserved for designated nudist beaches. In Spain, however, it’s common at all public beaches. Different strokes for different folks.

Cala Rambla del Portús (sans topless bathers)
Playa de la Morena – Closed due to Coronavirus
The nudist colony pool was also closed due to Coronavirus

Just a short ride later we arrived in the small town of El Portús. It looked like it would have been a nice little town to enjoy however, due to the Coronavirus and country-wide state of alarm, everything seemed to be closed.

Our two mules parked at El Portús

E-22 Towards Bateria de Castillitos

We headed back inland to find the next road to the Bateria de Castillitos. Along the way we came across some unique windmills at Molino viejo de Zabala. These windmills have been used in this area since the 16th century and we hope to get a closer look at more before we leave the Murcia region.

Southern Spanish windmill
The E-22 had a nice twisty section of motorcycle bliss

After crossing the small bridge the RM-E23 gets even narrower. Some sections of the road are about a car’s-width wide. No bueno for RVs but perfect for motorcycle traveling!

Narrow roads lead to the Bateria de Castillitos.

Bateria de Castillitos

The Bateria de Castillitos has a small parking area where we parked our mules, changed into some hiking clothes, and enjoyed walking among the ruins of a deserted military fort.

This fort was last used in the 1994 and time is slowly destroying it.
Narrow walkways are still well preserved.
A beautiful crest in Spanish colors marks the storage facility.

There are at least three different installation in the area and one could easily spend hours exploring the buildings and walking among the curved roads of this historic site.

We ended up spending three hours exploring different area and crawling through the abandoned buildings.

The walls and ceiling are crumbling with time.
There are incredible views at every vista

Signs warn “DO NOT PASS”. There was definitely a chance that a deteriorating ceiling or wall could fall down on an unsuspecting explorer.

Exploring tunnels was exciting.
A ladder leading to one of the gun emplacements but all were welded shut.

Although much of the buildings are falling apart and have become victims to graffiti there was one section that seemed to have some preserved history.

Battleships from the early 1900s

One of the stairways to the targeting bunker had walls that were painted with silhouettes of naval ships to help with identification.

Of course, some smart Alec decided to add his own boat.

The highlight was witnessing the massive 381mm guns with their 17m long barrels mounted on an enormous turret.

Big guns! These guns shot a 1 ton projectile over 35 miles!!

These guns were only used once in combat during the Spanish Civil War by the Republican Forces against Franco’s Nationalist fleet in April 1937.

One last view of the sea before returning home to Cartagena.

🗓: 14 May | 🌍: La Manga, Spain

120 km today from Cartagena (A) to La Manga (B) and Puente de la Risa (C) and back to the AirBnB

Maria, our hostess, recommended visiting the coastal tourist town of La Manga. Why not? Let’s go check it out.

We got a late start but it ended up being a perfect time to visit since most of the few locals were observing siesta from 2-4PM.

Out first stop? KWIK-E-MART! Who would have thought Springfield was in Spain!?

A tiny market that was closed due to coronavirus.
Marge Simpson – Spanish style!
Springfield, Spain?

I enjoy different architecture and this tourist area was full of unique buildings and high-rise apartments and hotels.

Love the colors!
A Mediterranean Arabic style
The peninsula is about 19 km long.

It was a bit eerie walking around and not seeing anyone on the boardwalk or restaurants. All closed.

Completely empty.
Beautiful blues in all their varieties!
Palm trees. I don’t ever want to live too far from swaying palm trees.
Chocolate and Apache taking a break from riding.
A bright blue and white tower that is used for controlling the operation of a drawbridge.
More architecture with empty balconies and closed windows.
One of our favorite sayings “Life is Good!”

On a remote section of rocky beach we discovered a mud and brick silo…

… that made for some interesting photographs of historic structures contrasted among modern hotels.

Chantil noticed a lighthouse…

…where we enjoyed a short walk along the rocky jetty…

… and enjoyed gulls soared gracefully in the clear blue skies.

After our short walk we returned to the mules and made our way down the peninsula where we joined the autovia for a short ride back to the AirBnB. Another successful outing!

Freedom is Just Over the Horizon

🗓: 08 May 2020 | ✏️: Travis Gill

Next week we’ll have been in quarantine for almost two months! If you told me that we would be in this position two months ago, I would have never believed you. Two months ago, on March 8th, we had just entered the French city of Millau and were taking the day off to catch up on social media and to see a bit of the city. Coronavirus was in the news – especially in counties like Italy, where the numbers of deaths among the elderly was climbing at an alarming rate. However, Italy seemed so far away from us. It sounds so ridiculous now, but that was our though process.

A week later, we would be in Spain – little did we know that this would be a country that, like Italy, would also be drastically effected by the pandemic. To be honest, the whole thing caught us off guard and we were surprised how fast the “state of alarm” went into effect. In as little as two days, the entire country was in lock-down and travel came to a halting stop. We’ve been stopped now for 55 days.

New cases continue to decrease since 3 April.
Death rates also continue to lower.

Building a social media presence can be challenging and a lot of work. One of the best ways to get noticed is to produce consistent content that is engaging to watch. In the movie, Field of Dreams, the main character, Ray Kinsella, has a dream in which he remembers the words “If you build it, he will come!” Ray then builds a baseball diamond in his corn fields so deceased baseball legends can come play ball in rural Iowa. What does baseball ghosts playing in a cornfield in Iowa have to do with social media success? I too, believe the mantra “If you build it, he [they] will come!”

In the short time we’ve established viajarMOTO “they” have started to come. Just this week we crossed 100 subscribers and just a few days later were at over 120. Next stop – 1,000! This is an important milestone on YouTube because we can then start monetizing and receive a little bit of income for advertising. A little bit of income translates to gas. Gas translates to more places and counties to visit. More countries translates to wonderful memories. Chantil and I are both looking forward to sharing the adventure.

An opportunity presented itself this week that came through a YouTube channel called “Spain Speaks”: https://www.spainspeaks.com. This particular episode was providing updates to the situation in Spain, but from the perspective of a Stuart, an Australian expat. Near the end of the video, Stuart mentioned that he was interesting in having interviews with folks around Spain. Perhaps expats in Spain might be interested in our story of how two Americans on motorcycles ended up in the mess of a country-wide lockdown? I submitted our story and the next day got a message from Stuart! The following day we did an interview and it was published on their site almost immediately. It ended up being quite fun and Stuart was generous enough to plug our website and our YouTube channel.

This interview is posted here: https://youtu.be/Zu8fz_HLs2I

This interview helped drive some subscribers our way and I’m grateful for that. Thanks Stuart of “Spain Speaks”! I’ll always smile when I hear “Hola amigo, ¿qué tal?”

Also, this week had even more awesomeness in that we received our first “non friend or family” supported via Patreon! A special thanks to J. Munro; your contribution made Chantil and I both beam with joy – especially on day when I was a bit down due to the quarantine. Thanks to all the other previous supporters who have helped us along the way. Much appreciated!

I created a Facebook and Instagram “story page” to thank new supporters!

Here is a review of some of the other moments we’ve enjoyed through this past week:

  • As of Monday, May 4th, Spain allowed walks and exercise for all of it’s citizens. Adults age, younger than 70, folks can go outside from 6-10AM and from 8-11PM. We’ve been enjoying a walk around the countryside every evening this week.
  • A few days ago we were out for a walk well past sunset. As we were nearing home, we heard what sounded like a baby animal. Our investigation, found a two-week-old lamb in the weeds that appeared to have been left by the flock. I quickly called Maria, our AirBnB hostess, so she could let her brothers know that we were carrying it back to her house. It was a unique experience that could only happen our here in the countryside.
  • Chantil continued to build a friendship with the two younger boys next door. This week she showed them how to make foot stilts out of a heavy-duty cardboard tube and string. They had a lot of fun walking around being tall! They also found some alternator parts that they have torn apart and removed all the copper wiring from. They will be making copper trees later this week.
  • We published a video walk-thru of our motorcycles. This video focuses on all the things we added to our “mules” before starting full-time travels. I was surprised how many things we added or customized. Check out the video here: https://youtu.be/eMH5ms4oLtM
  • “Free” money is always nice. This week we received our stimulus check via direct deposit. Having a bit of extra income is especially nice since we are using our travel savings on housing and food but not traveling.
  • The Spanish Prime Minister pushed for another extension to the State of Alarm that will last until May 24th. This is good news for tourists like us because this means or visa days will not be counted until after the 24th. If Spain had not stopped counting these days, our visa would expire as of the 26th of May. Because of the State of Alarm, we still have 72 days left. Silver linings.
Nethedo, the cute puppy that visits on occasion.
We’ve been enjoying the walks among the fields of fresh vegetables.
We rescued this baby lamb that was left behind!
Making stilts out of heavy duty cardboard tubes.
Another video post- a walk-thru of our motorcycles.
We usually walk until past sunset.
A door with a history
Flowers are in bloom
A small wrecking yard in the nearby town.
Spanish homes with bright address tiles.
Simple, but bright, Spanish homes.
A donkey roams in a small field.
John rides his bike through an underpass tunnel.
Another day on the farm.

Now for the best news of the week! It seems the region of Murcia has been allowed to advance to Phase 1 of the Coronavirus deescalation plan. Starting this Monday, May 11th, we will be able to start exploring within the region of Murcia. We already have a few trips planned to include some closer coastal roads and a multi-day section of the Trans Euro Trail (TET) that runs through the northern part of the region.

Next week we can enter Phase 1!

More adventure to come!!

Our best,
Travis and Chantil

*This blog was originally written on 08 May 2020. If you would like access to posts as soon as their published, please consider joining our Patreon page.

The Spanish State of Alarm is Taking its Toll

🗓: 25 Apr 2020 | ✏️: Travis Gill

This week was a bit tougher emotionally for me…

I think one of the main reasons for this was that the mandatory quarantine of Spain has gone on longer than I initially imagined. When it started, I felt like it would last a month before the COVID-19 virus would subside, go dormant, and we could continue on our merry way. Day 43 and this is still not the case; although the number of new cases and deaths has continued to decrease over the past two weeks.

Graph of new infection for the Murcia region of Spain.
They have been lowering over the last two weeks.
New deaths have also been lowering in Murcia.
This is the region, in Murcia, were we are currently waiting it out.

I feel another reason for the emotional dip, is that I no longer have any new material for our travel related YouTube channel. Just yesterday, I finished Episode 6.

This episode ends with us arriving to the end of our travels; just two shorts weeks after we officially began. I didn’t intend for it to end so sadly but the music and mood just felt right.

Fear not, I’ve been working on other ideas during the quarantine but they won’t be travel related. They will be about:

  • Things we are doing to keep busy during the lock-down
  • How we stay fit while traveling (and the lock-down)
  • Motorcycle maintenance to include how we do an oil change on the road
  • Various reviews to include our tent, camping gear, and riding gear

We’ve now been at the AirBnB for 6 weeks. Although the AirBnB is a nice place in the countryside, offering a wonderful courtyard to enjoy the warm Spanish sunshine, it is not where our heart is. Our heart is on travel. Wonderlust is a powerful feeling that is hard to shake. Speaking of travel, I am starting to resign to the fact that tourism in Spain will not be available in time for the summer. I cannot imagine that countries will be willing to support tourism so quickly after these previous challenging months. Spain, especially, was hit hard by the pandemic and will not put itself in a position for a second wave.

So what now? The current nationwide lockdown is still in effect until May 8th. We will just have to wait and see – taking each day as it comes. We will continue to maintain our health and spirituality. It’s been a blessing to have a courtyard to do our exercise routing three times a week. We are also grateful for the organized and well-written church lesson manuals that we can use to study and maintain our spirituality. I am especially appreciative of the Priesthood, that I call upon, to administer the Sacrament within our home. It truly has been a blessing and something I look forward to each week.

Some of the other things we did this week:

  • We built a LEGO kit called “Central Perk” from the TV series Friends. We got the idea because our hostess, Maria and her children, have been inviting us over to watch Friends, so we though it would be fun to build and give them this kit.
  • Chantil found some modeling clay, during her weekly run to the grocery store. She worked with the neighbor boys to create a small diorama of a Nintendo Animal Crossing world.
  • We shot the video for a future YouTube video highlighting all of the items that we added to our adventure motorcycles in order to ready them for full-time travel.
  • We played a lot of the Nintendo Switch. We both especially enjoyed a game called ABZU that really provided an immersive escape from the reminder of Coronavirus quarantine. I just wished it lasted longer.
  • As previously mentioned, I finished episode 6 of our travel series. It was released yesterday for “early tier” Perteonsupporters and will be released at the end of the week for others.
  • We enjoyed a relaxing walk around the countryside with our hostess, and friend, Maria.
Chantil’s diorama of a tiny Animal Crossing world!
Swimming with Blue Whales in ABZU for the Nintendo Switch

Enjoy the pictures we took of the quiet countryside. I hope they capture the feeling of warm Spanish hospitality and the Mediterranean sun.

Homes here have a long history and are often passed down from generations.
Beautiful Spanish homes with terra-cotta shingles in the country.
Even the weathered walls are beautiful here!
Spring is here and fields are abuzz with bees pollinating colorful flowers.
Bright yellow walls surrounding small farms.
Chantil gleans the fields for leftover broccoli…
…before the sheep graze it all back to dirt.
The country life is a good life!

Until next week…

Our best,
Travis and Chantil

*This blog was originally written on 25 Apr 2020. If you would like access to posts as soon as their published, please consider joining our Patreon page.

Sitting it out in Southern Spain

🗓: 16 Apr 2020 | ✏️: Travis Gill

Enjoying spring flowers

I’m writing this from a relaxing porch of a traditional Spanish home located near Cartagena. The temperature is a comfortable 21C (70F) and the skies are cloudy but not enough to block out the occasional rays of warm sunshine that sweep across my face. All around me are the comforting sounds of birds chirping from the nearby orchard where fresh sweet oranges and tart lemons grow from branches that sway in the calm breeze.

Springtime in southern Spain is about as good as I could imagine. If I didn’t have access to news, I would be perfectly content. Unfortunately, this calming feeling is only short lived. In my head, I often worry about our future and what the next weeks or months will bring. J.K. Rowling, in her book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, writes about a character named Newt Scamander whose “philosophy is that worrying means you suffer twice.” He has a point.

We watched these busy ants for a long while

What have I decided to do about it? I’ve decided to take each day as it comes and not worry about the future. Admittedly this is easier for Chantil and I because of our finances. I’ve been blessed with a successful career over the past 29 years and during the last decade we were able to build enough travel funds to support ourselves for some time. We don’t have a mortgage; our home is wherever we end up parking the motorcycles for the night. We don’t have any monthly bills except for insurances (life, healthcare, motorcycle), investments, and a cell phone. Our daily expenses are simply lodging, gas, food, and entertainment. Living simply helps us worry less.

In addition, I feel the need to slow down a little bit. Before the coronavirus pandemic, we planned to ride Europe in 10 months. It seems reasonable in planning but the first two weeks of our travels from Germany to Southern Spain was stressful for me because I felt I didn’t have the time to properly document our travels. On average, we were riding 237 km/day (147 miles/day) and although that doesn’t seem like a lot of distance, it is if you’re trying to document it for a YouTube motorcycle travel channel. Once we travel again, we will make the effort to slow down; even if it means we return to Europe for another round of travel.

Tourism just stopped overnight

I imagine that travel and tourism are low on the priority list for countries dealing with the current pandemic. Many European countries haven’t determined when they plan on ending quarantine until the number of infected is well under control. Spain is currently on a nation-wide quarantine until April 26th. The Prime Minister has hinted that this could be extended until well into May. When Spain does lift its travel ban, we will have about 70 days remaining before our travel visa expires. Our current plan it to enjoy those 70 days in Spain, Portugal, France, and possible Morocco.

The walls of a Spanish church
The bell tower of the church sans bells
Chantil wore the perfect shirt to compliment the church entrance
Bright Spanish colored!
Spanish church
Enjoying the solitude and warm sun
Spanish church windows
A green trailer sat next to the church
Broccoli season

Anyhow, this week I finished another episode of our viajarMOTO travel channel! Episode 5 is some of my most creative work yet and highlighted one of the most beautiful cities we’ve traveled in Europe. Expect it to release to the public on the 18th of April!

What else? We are still playing the Nintendo Switch. It seems that the Coronavirus has created quite a market for these video game systems! I contemplated leaving it at home since we have a limited storage on the motorcycles – I’m glad that we made the room. It has been especially nice playing some new games like: Animal Crossing, Good Work!, The Stretchers, Overcooked 2, and Bubble Bobble. Thank you Nintendo and all the developers who are keeping people sane during the quarantine!

A sticker on an old car

Thank you to each of you for reading these updates. Until next week…

Travis & Chantil

*This blog was originally written on 16 Apr 2020. If you would like access to posts as soon as their published, please consider joining our Patreon page.

Things are Continuing to Look Up

🗓: 6 Apr 2020 | ✏️: Travis Gill

Spain has been one of the countries hit especially hard by COVID-19. As of today, it is just behind the United States in number of infected cases. Considering that the country of Spain is similar in size to Texas, and twice the population, this is substantial. Spain currently has 135,000 reported cases and it’s growing each day.

However, things have started to improve. The last four days have seen reductions in the number of new cases each day. The number of daily deaths is also half of what it was four days ago. It seems that Spain has turned the curve – However, it is far from flat.

New cases have dropped the last four days.
Deaths have also dropped over the last three days.
Recoveries are also increasing.

Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánch has asked congress to approve a quarantine of Spain to extend until April 26th. Basically another three weeks of staying put. Travel will be limited to grocery and pharmacy, essential work, and emergencies. A couple of US travelers on motorcycles? Not a chance.

Today we reached out to the US consulate in Valencia and we received even more good news! Our 90-day visa requirement is not ticking – it’s been suspended while the country wide quarantine is in place. In short, we’ve only used 18 days so far. If travel resumes after April 26th, we could still continue north to the UK and then to the Scandinavian countries for summer.

More good news! I finished episode 4 of our viajarMOTO travel vlog. I expect that we will have two more video episodes before the travel ban was put into place. Something to look forward to!

Until next week!

Travis and Chantil

*This blog was originally written on 6 Apr 2020. If you would like access to posts as soon as their published, please consider joining our Patreon page.

Looking Up

🗓: 28 Mar 2020 | ✏️: Travis Gill

I wish I could start out this week’s update with incredibly beautiful pictures of southern Spain, Morocco, and Portugal! This, simply, is not the case as we continue to be part of a strict country-wide ban on non-essential travel.

Spain was especially hit hard with the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of new cases has continued to climb over the past 12 days since the travel ban was put into place. However, yesterday offered a glimmer of hope – the number of new cases went down substantially and the number of new deaths has been tapering off over the last few days as well!

New cases have been less over the last two days
The gap between new cases and recoveries is also improving

The capital city of Madrid was especially hit hard with nearly 1/3 of all of Spain’s cases. We are currently in the area of Murcia which has a substantial small portion (1.1 percent) of Spain’s COVID-19 infections.

We are fortunate to be in Murcia and not Madrid

The AirBnB, we were fortunate to have found, is in a quiet countryside. It it very relaxing, with the sounds of baaing sheep, an occasional barking dog, and teenage children playing next door. Our hostess, María, has been an incredibly generous neighbor, and friend. It’s a wonderful place to weather the uncertainty of the next few weeks.

Although things are currently great, we still have the nagging question in the back of our minds – “When will life return to the normal we had just a few weeks ago?” To be honest, I have no idea. The travel ban, currently in effect, is until 11 April. We’ll see… I personally feel that we won’t be able to travel again until early May and then it will be limited based on how each individual country chooses to deal with COVID-19.

I guess we’ll know more next week. Until then…

Ending on a positive note – we saw a wild hedgehog this week!

Sleeping soundly in his own personal ball of hedges

Travis and Chantil Gill

*This blog was originally written on 28 Mar 2020. If you would like access to posts as soon as their published, please consider joining our Patreon page.

Turning Lemons into Lemonade (with a Splash of Orange)

🗓: 22 Mar 2020 | ✏️: Travis Gill

If you spend too much time reading the news lately you may get the impression that the world is coming to and end. The COVID-19 virus has effected billions of people around this world. Schools have stopped, many people have been laid off from work or are working from home, the healthcare industry is being crushed, and the supply chain is needed now more than ever to ensure folks have the needed supplies to get through the next few months.

However, if you asked if we were stressed, we would reply “Not really! Things right now are about as good as they can be considering the current situation.”

Of course we would love to be traveling and seeing the wonderful sites of Spain and Portugal but that simply cannot be done under the current pandemic. We were only two weeks into our full-time motorcycle travel when it all of a sudden came to a complete stop. As of last Monday morning, Spain has instituted a complete travel ban. No leaving your house unless it’s for essential work, going to the supermarket or pharmacy, or for an emergency.

We are fortunate. He found a lovely AirBnB with a wonderful hostess who is looking out for us during our extended stay in the countryside near Cartagena, Spain.

We have all the essentials of life:

  • Hot water
  • Nearby markets that are still stocked with essentials (even toilet paper)
  • A small kitchen to cook meals
  • A comfy bed to sleep in
  • Laundry
  • Fresh oranges and lemons from the trees in the outdoor courtyard
  • Internet for updating news and to work on videos and blogs
  • We even downloaded the latest Animal Crossing Game for our Nintendo Switch!

As you can see, we’re doing about as well as a couple travelers, who’ve recently had their wings clipped, can be doing.

The home of our hostess and family. The courtyard is an amazing place to enjoy the warm Spanish sun.
Being in the country is definitely a blessing.
Trees full of oranges…
…and beautiful flowers in the courtyard.
A palm tree in the courtyard

We also had a productive week:

  • We made a short video about turning lemons into lemonade (see YouTube video above)
  • Wrote two blog posts covering the first two weeks of our travels
  • Posted all the photos we took over the first two weeks to our Flickr account
  • Completed two travel videos for our YouTube channel – Episode 1 and 2
  • Chantil read a book
  • Chantil also helped our hostess family build a patio table out of wooden pallets and do some gardening

In general it was a great week full of productivity, but extremely lacking on travel.

Speaking of travel, does anyone have any ideas of when they think the travel ban will be lifted in Europe? We are optimistic for a May or June timeframe.

Until next week…

Thank you for your continued support,
Travis and Chantil Gill

*This blog was originally written on 22 Mar 2020. If you would like access to posts as soon as their published, please consider joining our Patreon page.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is Changing Things

🗓: 15 Mar 2020 | ✏️: Travis Gill

It’s been an interesting week. If I had to sum it up in one word it would be CORONAVIRUS! It has hit Europe especially hard including France, and Spain – the two countries we’ve been traveling through this past week.

Map of travels from 9-15 March 2020

Although Chantil and I have discussed the virus daily, it really didn’t effect us until two days ago. We first noticed it when we arrived at a gas station and the attendants were not letting customers into the main store area. All transactions had to be from the security window with items being passed between a large metal drawer. The attendants all had gloves on for their safety. Today, this was the norm for every gas station we visited.

We’ve also been reading a lot of news and it seems Spain is starting a lock-down of the country starting tomorrow (Monday, 16 March). No travel except for work, groceries, hospital, or emergencies. So we will have to do our best and just do as the locals are doing – stay in their homes and avoid all contact with people outside their immediate families.

We were able to find a quite AirBnB in a rural farming community with a wonderful host named María. She has a wonderfully good heart because she is taking a risk letting strangers come live next door to her and her family. I think we will get to know them much better over the next month…

Enough of the negatives, let’s focus on what we enjoyed this week in France and Spain:

  • We spend a whole day in Mallau, France and enjoyed taking pictures of paragliders and dirt-bikers.
  • Rode over southern France’s Millau Viaduct – the tallest bridge in the world.
  • Enjoyed an incredible rainbow over the French town of Lodève.
  • Spent a wonderful night in Port Lligat, Spain. This really is a beautiful part of the Spanish coastline.
  • Got to learn more about the life and artwork of Salvador Dalí by visiting his home in Port Lligat and the museum in Figueres, Spain.
  • Were amazed at the tiny sculptures of the The Museo de la Miniatura in the small country of Andorra.
  • Made our way to Borja, Spain to see the legendary “monkey-Jesus” that was made famous by a severely botched restoration in 2012.
  • Walked the narrow streets of what I feel is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain – Albarracín.
  • Enjoyed taking pictures of the airplane graveyard at the Teruel Airport.
  • Revisited El Cañón – a small but beautiful canyon where we camped for a day and two nights.
  • Found refuge from the Spanish travel lock-down near Cartagena in a quite, but beautiful, farming community.

As you can see, we’ve had a great week!

Paragliders jump from the cliffs and float into the sunny blue skies overlooking the city of Millau.
Paragliders jump from the cliffs and float into the sunny blue skies overlooking the city of Millau.
Some action shots of dirt-bike riders near Millau, France
⁣The Millau Viaduct is the tallest bridge in the world. At its highest point, the bridge soars 343 meters (1,125 ft) above ground – 19 meters (62 ft) taller than the Eiffer Tower.
Early morning rain made for a remarkably bright rainbow over the French town of Lodève.
The Catalan flag flies over the Catalonia region of Spain.
Sunrise over beautiful Port Lligat.
This is the name of my mother – Gloria.
Salvador Dalí’s home in Port Lligat, Spain⁣
Salvador Dalí’s home in Port Lligat, Spain⁣
Salvador Dalí’s home in Port Lligat, Spain⁣
Salvador Dalí’s home in Port Lligat, Spain⁣
Salvador Dalí’s home in Port Lligat, Spain⁣
Salvador Dalí’s home in Port Lligat, Spain⁣
Salvador Dalí’s home in Port Lligat, Spain⁣
Salvador Dalí’s home in Port Lligat, Spain⁣
Salvador Dalí’s home in Port Lligat, Spain⁣
Dalí Theatre and Museum, Figueres, Spain
Dalí Theatre and Museum, Figueres, Spain
Dalí Theatre and Museum, Figueres, Spain
Dalí Theatre and Museum, Figueres, Spain
Dalí Theatre and Museum, Figueres, Spain
Dalí Theatre and Museum, Figueres, Spain
The streets of Figueres, Spain
The streets of Figueres, Spain
The Museo de la Miniatura, Ordino, Andorra
The Museo de la Miniatura, Ordino, Andorra
The colorful streets of Vic, Spain
The colorful streets of Vic, Spain
Independence related graffiti is defacing much of Catalan. Vic, Spain
The colorful streets of Vic, Spain
The terribly botched restoration looks like a monkey, but brings in the money!
This remote church in Borja, Spain is now quite the tourist attraction.
A painting of Cecilia Giménez to honor her terrible restoration.
The ruins of Castillo de Santa Croche, Spain
The wonderfully beautiful city of Albarracín, Spain⁣
A cat roams the streets of Albarracín, Spain⁣
The wonderfully beautiful city of Albarracín, Spain⁣
The wonderfully beautiful city of Albarracín, Spain⁣
The wonderfully beautiful city of Albarracín, Spain⁣
Spring flowers of Albarracín, Spain⁣
The airplane boneyard of Teruel Airport, Spain.
Chantil enjoyed the view of El Cañón de Talayuelas, Spain⁣
El Cañón de Talayuelas, Spain⁣
Fresh oranges and lemons from our AirBnB near Cartagena, Spain
AirBnB near Cartagena, Spain
AirBnB near Cartagena, Spain

So what do we do over the lockdown period? I will be busy downloading and organizing the last two weeks of video footage so that I can start putting together some episodes for our YouTube channel. We both will focus on our health a bit more by doing exercises and yoga more regularly. In addition, we’ll spend some time looking at other places we want to explore in Spain and Portugal once the lockdown is no longer in effect. Oh, and Nintendo will release a new Animal Crossing game on Friday (20 Mar) for the Switch! Plenty to do.

Until next week…

Thank you for following along,
Travis and Chantil Gill

*This blog was originally written on 15 Mar 2020. If you would like access to posts as soon as their published, please consider joining our Patreon page.