This was an incredibly eventful day...
Pyrenees: Day 4, Jaca - Barcelona (via Monserrat) - 30th August 2013 (278 miles)
What should have been probably a 9 hour trip actually ended up taking the entire day and here is why.
We left the campsite, Camping Gavin, and headed back down the familiar bendy road. The aim was to head to Monserrat to see the views and monastery and then continue to Barcelona. Not too long after we headed off we started noticing some problems with the Dakar. There was a fair bit of smoke coming from the bike and appeared to be losing coolant rather quickly. So we stopped at a garage to buy some water to fill the bike up and keep us hydrated.
This was a route full of bendy and straight roads and lots of views and so we stopped a few times to take some pictures. We also went through a valley and in parts were out in quite desert-like areas.
We were heading through a bunch of mountains when we had to stop due to the Dakar overheating again. It was about lunch time at this point so me and Emma boiled some water for some mug shots and Rob took a look at Casey's bike. After managing to get the bike started, Casey went ahead to keep the bike running. I believe I overtook as I had the Sat Nav and noticed after a few minutes that nobody was coming up behind me. I headed back down the mountain and found Casey's bike on the ground, although Casey seemed OK.
What happened was that Casey temporarily forgot that we were in Spain and continued on the wrong side of the road. As a car approached he swerved to avoid it, going over the side. Luckily it was a short drop, especially considering our surroundings. The car driver stopped and helped us get Casey's bike back to the side of the road. Unfortunately though Casey's clutch lever snapped off in the fall. With a bit of improvisation Emma managed to cable tie an SV clutch lever to get him out of trouble. We then carried on, although spirits were being dented with still a fair amount of distance to travel.
Further along we stopped to take some more photos. The lay-by however had a bit of gravel. As Rob went to put his side stand down, it appeared to slip and the bike went over. Not good on a nice and shiny limited edition 600 GSXR... The front fairing panel cracked and had to be taped up as a temporary measure. We pressed on, but the amount of problems and the difficulty of the journey really started to take its toll.
As we got closer to the monastery we encountered a bit of rain but this didn't really last too long. I started to gain confidence in my pilot road standards at this point compared to the Bridgestone's I had previously. We got half way up the mountain and pulled over. Casey's bike was really causing issues and worse still it was starting to get dark. Me and Emma left the other two to look at the bike (mainly letting the GS cool down) and quickly popped to the top to take some photos. We couldn't get into the monastery as we wanted to, but did take some photos from as far up as we could get. You have to pay to go into the monastery but you are allowed 15 minutes free to pop in and take in the views.
We grabbed the other two on the way back down and rode one last time to the campsite, arriving somewhere around 9pm. I can't remember exactly what happened, but I remember Emma staying to sort out the tent whilst I went to find the other two and bring them to the site. But once we were all settled we grabbed some cheap pizza on site and breathed a sigh of relief that we made it. At least in Barcelona we would be able to sort the GS out...