SPAIN DAY 2: Ponferrada to Salamanca

The feeling of waking up and putting your biker gear on knowing you’re riding the adventure is a nice thought to start the day with. I looked out the window and noticed it was raining, I checked the weather report for my planned destination – Vigo. Vigo is west of Ponferrada and just above Portugal. My original intention was to ride through Portugal but I decided to save that one for another day. The weather was poor and wet all the way to Vigo, so I assessed my options and decided to skip it.

My third destination was supposed to be Salamanca which is about 3/4 hours south of Ponferrada. This would change my route a little bit, but that’s why I only planned my route in the morning. I decided to head there instead of Vigo, the weather was much better in Salamanca. The further south you go in Spain the hotter it gets. But, I still had a long and wet ride ahead…

Motorbiking Spain

I put almost every piece of clothing I had on, I had water proof bottoms but only a leather jacket which can be argued as waterproof. The water seeps through the leather and makes the jacket a lot heavier. I hit the road and it was cold and wet, a bikers worse nightmare. I had to embrace the conditions and power through. I avoided the highways again and kept a stead speed on the long and winding roads, often passing rural farming towns. The scenery was pleasant but the conditions meant I couldn’t enjoy them.

Motorbiking Spain

Cold, wet and annoyed. After 2/3 hours of riding on a desolate road I finally came across a mall with a McDonalds. I stopped and ordered a burger, I took off much of my gear in an attempt to dry them but it was wishful thinking. I event brought a cheap jumper from a nearby shop for more warmth. I spent a good hour sitting down in Maccas and enjoying the heating, when I was ready, I hit the road again. I only had another hour ahead of me.

I shifted through the gears and made up the miles, slowly closing in on Salamanca. I hit the highway for the last 50km and made it to my hotel. It wasn’t an eventful road and because of the weather it wasn’t a very enjoyable one. But I had made it to my destination safely and I’ve heard a lot of good things about Salamanca. The worse part of my journey was over and now I had the sun, the flat roads and the vast scenery to look forward to.

Salamanca is the capital of the Castile and León region. Once ruled by the Celts, Romans, Muslims and Spanish, this impressive place is known for its ornate sandstone architecture and the Universidad de Salamanca. The University was founded in the 1100s; it continues to contribute to the city’s vibrancy with its international student population. The old city of Salamanca is bustling with beautiful buildings, quaint restaurants and plenty to see including the Roman Bridge, the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca, the Old Cathedral and San Marcos.

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Convento de San Esteban, Salamanca

Where I stayed

I stayed at the Gran Hotel Corona Sol, which only cost me £35 for the night. It’s only a 2 minute walk to the old quarter of Salamanca. It was perfect for the night, secure parking, good Wi-Fi and a nice big bed. For that price I was very happy, there are nice hotels in the old quarter but if you’re a lone wolf biker like me, then this will do the job nicely.

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Roman Bridge, Salamanca