Terra Alta & "Vino Tinto".
Last week I took a holiday to Spain with www.trailbiketours.com.
I had a real good time while I was out there I promised the guys at Trailbike Tours that I'd give them some publicity when I get home, so here it is!!
The holiday was recommended by a friend at work after a trip to Croatia I had planned fell through two weeks after I was supposed to leave. I made a last minute call and 2 weeks later I was on the plane to Spain on a Terra Alta Tour.
The hotel I stayed in was very nice (4 Star), friendly staff, red wine was 7 euros per bottle (for info go to http://www.bcnresortmar.com then follow links to Les Oliveres Hotel).
I was greeted in the bar by Dave (Mr Trailbike Tours) and Alan (the guide) and a bottle of "Vino Tinto". 3 hours and many bottles later I eventually made it to bed.
Day 1, after breakfast I was kitted up and by 10am I was on the road with a DRZ400 to do some easy trails to break me in (as never been on a bike off-road before). It became pretty clear early on that I was a natural and we attempted some trickier stuff including a dried up riverbed full of pebbles. After a good spot of lunch, 3 courses with wine, it was off across the hills on some more trails. Upon return to the hotel we had a bottle or two of wine before getting out of our bike gear and getting showered for the evening. More vino tinto followed and we met the new arrivals for the next day.
Day 2 brought a slight hangover and an upgrade to a KTM450 (can we say KTM on this forum?) whilst the new guys got the DRZs which are supposedly more forgiving. Some more easy trails followed to give the new people a chance to get up to speed. After coming off the trails we took the last current powered ferry in Spain across the river to a small town for lunch (Miravet). After lunch we tackled some tougher trails up and over the mountains followed by a run through some olive groves and ending the day crossing on the current ferry before returning to base.
Day 3 consisted of more trails (I can't remember most of it) however we did stop on the way home on a great trail where we could practice jumps and even had the opportunity to get some photos.
Day 4 was quite a big day. It started with a run up past the windmills in the Northwest, down to a town called Tortosa and then onto the toughest trail of the week involving a fast rocky climb and some steep hairpins, really hard work but very satisfying when you eventually reach the top. The journey down was significantly easier, stopping off at a small church cut into the rock followed by a run down probably the greatest supermoto road in the world. Another good lunch in the same restaurant as day 1 (today it was full of workers which is always a good sign). The afternoon was a lot easier and ended the holiday with a run up to the "viewpoint" overlooking the whole area followed by reflection and red wine in the hotel bar.
I had a superb holiday, all the gear that was provided was good kit (Alpinestars) and the bikes were pretty good too. Thanks to Alan who was an excellent guide, set a good pace and also helped the slower people in the group when the going got tough. He also spoke fluent Spanish (having been out there for over 13 years) which got us by infinitely better than my Spanglais.
Having read the above review, I've just realised it's not the best but that's because I'm no journalist. However if you're big into enduro riding or if you've never been off-road (like me) and want to try something different its well worth a look.
I've also put a few pictures in the Picture Album titled Trailbike Tours, Spain, Nov 2006. This link should take you there.
Oh, and I don't work for Trailbike Tours, although I have started riding my Africa Twin standing up and may take it off road soon........ Chris
Chris Wightman, Edinburgh
As published on xrv.org.uk.