La Gran Juerga means two friends taking their motorcycles and have riotous party of small roads, trails, wild camping, in one word, freedom.
La Gran Juerga begins in Vigo in northwestern Spain. We headed to Portugal and crossed the International Bridge of Tui-Valença do Minho and headed towards the Peneda-Gerês National Park, where we would spend the first wild camping night. The following days we go through the National Park from west to east looking for mountain shelters to sleep in, but in the end we always end up setting up the tents in beautiful places that we find along the way.
We discover beautiful places in Peneda-Geês like waterfalls in Río Cávado, we spent several hours in the water, because that day there was a temperature of 34ºC. After we had refreshed ourselves, we continued on our way to a mountain refuge that some friends had recommended to us, but the trail was closed with a fence and a padlock, so we had to find another alternative. After 3 days of traveling, we deserved a good shower and decided to find a campsite to spend the night.
The next day, already clean and rested, we left to continue travel across the Peneda-Gerês National Park and headed north along wide mountain trails. The Spain-Portugal border in that area is winding and we entered and left both countries several times until we finally crossed at the border in Lobios, where we stopped to take some pictures of some seaplanes trying to extinguish a fire that, like us, crossed from Portugal to Spain. Later in the news we read that one of the seaplanes had crashed and both pilots had died. It was a very sad moment, because few hours before, they were flying over our heads and waving at the camera with a smile on their faces.
Then we decided to travel from south to north the Courel Mountains Geopark, a little-known paradise in which we had the opportunity to enjoy three of the four seasons of the year in a single day and to climb from the thickest fog at 260m to the suffocating 32ºC at Pico Montouto on the border with Castilla-León at 1500m above the sea level. Courel Mountains Geopark is an incredible place, in its villages time does not pass, an example is Ferramulín. There is a bar and if you want take some beers, water o whatever, you have to notify Fina, its owner, by honking from the street. Then she leaves her house, opens the bar with great affection and she gives you conversation. In addition to wonderful villages and people, O Courel, has magical sites like the geological fold of Campodola. You can read in an info poster how 300 million years ago, in a clash of tectonic plates what today is Galicia, emerged from the depths.
Those days we slept in really beautiful places, the first of them we camped in Augasmestas, at the confluence of the Sil river, the most important tributary of the Miño river, with the Lor river that rises in Prdrafita do Cebreiro and crosses the entire Geopark, a Nautical Club abandoned by the government. The second night we camped in the upper part of the mountain range, in the valley of the river Lor in a pool next to the river, we could not have found a better place.
The following days we headed west, making part of the Spanish TET, we went parallel to the Camino de Santiago. We started in Piedrafita do Cebreiro and headed west across the river Miño and ended up free camping on a very quiet river beach where we could take a bath before dinner. The TET in Galicia travels a total of 700km and crosses it from east to west and then southeast until crossing into Portugal near where we crossed to re-enter Spain. We did a 150 km stretch from Pedrafita do Cebreiro to near Santiago de Compostela. The route is a mixture of small roads, forest tracks and some technical area that we avoid when traveling with Maxi Trails and with a few extra kilos of luggage.
The next day we started heading south towards the Sierras do Cando and Candán, where after O Courel it was one of the most off-road days of our trip. The heat, present throughout the trip, began to disappear and allowed us to enjoy much more on the way. We cross the Serra do Cando wind farm and continue to a tower that is used to monitor fires in the Rías Baixas area, since from that point you can see almost all the estuaries to the west and east, practically up to Pena Trevinca, the highest point in Galicia 200km away.
Six days of travel, 1,300 km, 60% off-road, 40% on-road in two Ténéré, one with 30 years and another with a few months. It is a trip in which we only think about enjoying, disconnecting from the routine of our work and feeling free crossing the mountains and mountains that we have near our home.
WATCH THE GALLERY
We are Antón Verissimo, graphic designer an startupper with no experience in off-road, decided to buy a Ténéré in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic to explore his country. And Jacobo Bastos, film maker with a lot of experience in off-road wants to push over the edge his old Super Ténéré. Hi knows all the trails and always choose the best.
We want to share our experience with the community and make our land, Galicia and our mountains known, as beautiful and impressive as any of the best known in Spain.
This winter we want to make a trip in stages along the coast of Galicia that has more than 1,400 kilometres. On this trip we will try to go along the roads closest to the coast and thus travel all the estuaries that our country has.
We hope you enjoyed reading the story of our trip as much as we did.
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