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  • Dave Reeve

ARNY Off Road Spanish Raid January 2017

Four of us, myself, Lance, Jeff and Andy booked with for two days’ trail riding in the hills above Malaga. We flew out of Leeds Bradford Airport on a Friday, leaving behind an inch of snow and three hours later were in the Spanish sunshine being collected by Gustavo, the hotel owner, for the hour’s drive to Trailblazers base in Canillas de Albaida, one of the many Pueblos Blancos of Andalucia. The hotel Posada la Plaza was clean tidy and the rooms were comfortable with adequate heating to deal with the near zero night temperatures. There was a sun terrace on the roof with sauna and hot tub.

The following day it was just two minutes walk to the garage where we were met by Graham Ross our guide and Trailblazers founder. The garage was in a far from finished building, and work had apparently stopped, like many projects in Spain, due to the recession. We were allocated bikes and a full kit of clothing and equipment. Everything was rather dusty and the clothing well worn, but at least clean. I was on a Beta 400 and the others were on similarly powered KTMs. We were joined by Janek, an Estonian guy who was keen to be on, and was supplied with, a two stroke.

After a brief safety talk and exultations by Graham not to injure ourselves we bump started our machines and headed for the trails. Last year Lance and I went with Dust Devils (see previous report) and this time were looking for less terror and more enjoyment, and Graham obliged with trails more suited to our capabilities. The sun was shining but it was by no means warm, especially on shaded sides of the valleys, however by mid-morning I was shedding the layers and drinking plenty of water. Following Janek on the descents I was glad of my four stroke’s engine breaking as his rear wheel was constantly locking up. The trails were, on the whole a car’s width and not too rutted but with some steep drop offs should the worst happen. Thankfully it did not. Lunches were included in the price and there was more than enough to eat. In fact, on the first day I could have done with a siesta to sleep off the meal. We reached one high point giving superb views of the coast and Gibraltar in the distance. Riding finished about 4.30pm. and then it was to the local bar for liquid refreshment.

The restaurant across the square, also owned by Gustavo provided an excellent evening meal with a varied choice, and good wine selection. This was in contrast to the breakfasts which were awful, basically bread with jam/cheese/ ham and had to pay extra for your second cup of coffee!

The second days riding was similar to the first, perhaps a bit more challenging, and we covered more ground. The two days were, for me, certainly a confidence booster. I’m sure that whatever your level there would be trails to suit you.

We landed back in Leeds in thick fog and said our goodbyes but are already planning our next raid.

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