Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fontanars Motorbike Day 23.06.07

by Lucy Martin

After an early start, Diego and I set out on our ‘tod’ (where were you guys?) from the usual meeting point, the Jardín bar/restaurant in Castalla at 09.30.

We went from Castalla to Biar, through to La Cañada and then off to Benejama up through the mountains to Fontanars. We crossed with loads of cyclists but not many bikers (I was getting a bit worried at that stage!).

As you get to the top of the Fontanars valley there is beautiful view so we got a photo of that one!

Riding into Fontanars, we saw signs for ‘motos’, at which point we breathed a sigh of relief.

As we drew up to the area that had been set aside for the occasion, we saw 2 very long rows of motorbikes of all shapes and sizes.

We immediately enrolled and were given a t-shirt, a cap, a raffle ticket for various biking goodies (no Harleys I’m afraid) and a pass card for the ‘blue’ team. We also purchased breakfast and lunch tickets at the moderate price of 15€ a head and picked up our sandwich and drink and went to sit at the long trestle tables that had been (wisely) set up under the beech trees.

After a tasty Serrano ham sandwich and getting to know some of the locals who were delighted to have all the bikers there, we joined the blue team for a ride out around the ‘bodegas’ of the area.

The ride was lovely, it’s a really beautiful area and being a Saturday, there was hardly any traffic. We stopped at the first wine cellar only to find that the guy who was supposed to be showing us around had overslept the night before because he runs a café in the town and closed at 4 am (oh, the joys of mobile telephones!)! So we set off to the next one and had a guided tour which ended with the tasting of wines and cava.

The second bodega was equally interesting and at the third, we discovered even more things we didn’t know about wine producing and, guess what? Second bout of tasting! Just as well it was right next to the town!

This took us up to the magnificent paella that was prepared for 1,500 portions and enjoyed by all. To give you an idea of how big the pan is, see the crane needed to winch it up onto the lorry that carted it back to a town near Valencia!

Over a long lazy lunch we got to meet the health service staff who were covering the event and kindly let us take their photo. They wanted the ambulance in it so nobody was left out!

After a stroll around the town and a cup of coffee at a bar in the town, we headed our way back passing the Foncalent prison via Villena.

For those who wanted to stay on, there was entertainment until the early hours of the morning with a dance in the main square of the town.

Verdict: A thoroughly enjoyable day out and really friendly people running the event, well worth going to.

Go here for the rest of the photos.