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Samurai Route

Route through Teruel and preparations for Japan

Article written by my partner on the samurai route

Route through Teruel and preparations for Japan
23 March 2010

By Vicente Malpica

I have spent many years traveling by motorcycle everywhere, the sensations you feel when you start a trip have never left me, that's why I keep traveling. So it was that Monday, it was a beautiful morning in mid-March, one of those that seems that everything has stopped, the wind was sleeping, the sun was shining, and the atmosphere was calm, like the temperature, ideal for traveling by motorcycle.

I hadn't ridden my beloved globetrotting motorcycle for about 4 months. Imagine, what a great situation, a few days off, good weather and a reunion with good friends, so began this route by the Turolense area.

I headed east on the N-420 towards Teruel, the sensations were indescribable.  I love riding a motorcycle, and I feel a fantastic "I don't know what" when I drive the bike, it's amazing.

Seeing beautiful landscapes, along the banks of the river Cabriel, I was gradually driving until I reached Villel, a small town located a few kilometers from Teruel.

I thought I had arrived first, but it was not so, Juan, one of my best friends, was at the exit of the village waiting for us, I had not seen him for a long time, and it was gratifying to meet him again. We greeted each other, he showed me his new "trail" bike, a great Yamaha Ténéré 660 and we went to the bar to have a drink.

We were still waiting for the rest of the group, in the modest bar restaurant that is next to the national road, Manolo and his workmate Javi.

We started talking about motorcycles, of course! and about life, work, travel, and many things. We heard engine noises, we looked at each other and our thoughts met, Villa and Javier, we jumped out of the chairs and went outside, that's how it was, Manolo and Javier had just arrived. We went to the dining room and after a good wine, good homemade food and chatting, the time flew by. The route could not start better :-)

After lunch we set off, we did a few km to Más de Jacinto, where we found a small gas station in the village, and we started the route, everything was OK!

We wanted to get to Javalambre, to the ski resort, and for this, we chose a good local route that passes through where almost no one ever passes.

We took the road to Riodeva, to reach Camarena de la Sierra, all this very idyllic area, full of pine forests and small mountains south-west of Teruel.

The afternoon was going very well, the coolness was beginning to appear, the sun was giving signs to say goodbye and we still had a little route to the summit.

The roads were half right. I mean that there were places where the road was still almost covered by snowdrifts, but slowly and with good hands we went through.

The presence of people in these moors is almost null, some locals with a C15 van and a tractor, and little else.

We arrived at the top by a nice curvilinear road, already in better conditions, and we noticed a more influx of people to the ski resort. We stopped for a while to take some pictures, see the place and chat just enough, as the cold was beginning to take its toll on us (+5 indicated to us that night was approaching), so we went buzzing down.

The descent was short because the road is in better condition and we went to the Collado del Gavilán and the N-234, near La Puebla de Valverde. The rest was a piece of cake, a little bit of national highway and Teruel.


Joan had explained to me that he would be in Pamplona for work and that he would be with us on Tuesday. Well, that was the agreement, but in the end, he lightened the pace and well into the night, almost 24 hours, of that same Monday, he appeared in Teruel, after passing a strong wind and colder than a penguin, (in truth my partner of adventures is a great guy and tough as stones :-)

We were on our way back from a bar in the center of Teruel, where we had eaten some good plates of sausages, ham and other local food when Joan arrived.

It's a strange sensation that I feel every time we meet, Joan is a good friend and very adventurous, like the rest of my friends, his company is very pleasant and that of all.

We all went to the residence to "get into the envelope", and the truth is that it took us a short time to go to those dreamlike worlds of fantasy, where all the bikes and roads are made of light...

On Tuesday we all woke up a bit "tired", so many changes in a short time are noticeable, but with a huge desire to do kms.

We had a good breakfast in a bar next to the residence and, after taking a look at the bikes, which were frozen at that time, (about 10 h.), we put the ON and rode through the Sierra de Gúdar.

The day was sunnier than the previous one, something glorious was foreseen, although until well into the day, we felt the coldness of the morning.

We took directions to Formiche Alto and Castellar, mountain road, beautiful scenery, and a relaxed walk. I almost didn't remember what it was like to ride with 5 bikers, because I usually ride alone, at most, one more, but the feeling was very good.

The sun began to press more and more, the muscles to unwind and after small stops, talks at the roadside, laughter and good vibes, the route was running, a day of motorcycles, friends and landscapes.


The Sierra de Gúdar is an idyllic place, as it does not have too many tourists and its people and landscapes bring you sensations that other places do not give you, highly recommended, Teruel, exists!

We decided to eat in a small village called Linares de Mora, and while there tasting the good delicacies of the area, Javier's sister-in-law appeared, a teacher in the area, where she told us how the children of those lands are, the peace that reigns in those mountains and the amount of snow and cold that have passed this winter, interesting...

As time goes by, I don't even remember the hours we spent in that nice restaurant, the fact is that when we left, the sun seemed to indicate that either we would lighten our pace, or we would be cold at night on our way back.

Unanimously, as always, we decided to do a good piece of dirt track, so that it is not said that we carry trails and do not even touch the ground.

It came in handy for Joan and me since we will soon do thousands of kilometers of dirt and adapting to these terrains is very important.

The route was to reach Castelvispal, and then dirt road to Puertomingalvo.

A trail is indeed a trail, the little way to Castelvispal went well, with broken road and gravel, for no change, also shady areas where snow and ice made an appearance.

Then we started the piece of the trail-land route that, at first, we thought would be only "ripio" (dirt), as the Argentinians say, and then became pieces of mud, ice and snow.

Carefully we all went through and, not without seeing the immensity of the mountains of this area and what nature offers us, wherever we go, fantastic!

In Puertomingalvo the road becomes again with asphalt and spoiled, very entertaining downhill towards Castillo de Villamalefa and Zucaina, where the landscapes are indescribable.


Already in Castellon lands, we followed the route without stopping too much, since the night was approaching us. A stop at the Arenós reservoir and after a few good photos, we continue to Olba, Rubielos de Mora and Mora de Rubielos.

In the latter town, we refueled our faithful trail bikes and, at that moment a mishap occurred:

Well, Javier warns us, alarmed, that his bike, F650, (like my old bike) had noticed a kind of explosion in the antifreeze tank and liquid of the same was seen on the ground.

Well, nothing, hands to work, we disassembled a little his bike, carefully removed the radiator cap, and we could see that the valve that has the same was not going well.

We opened it and put it back, in turn, we checked the tank-expansion vessel, which was empty, then carefully closed the radiator cap, filled the said expansion vessel and now more relaxed, took Teruel course, preceding us all.

The night had already caught us, but the temperature remained a few degrees above zero, great.

Little by little, we advanced towards the small Aragonese city, where we finished the route.

That night we did not feel like going to the center, all somewhat tired of having done some 239 kms. of curves and more curves, so near the residence there was a Pizzeria, where we ate some good pizzas and a few "beers", to go to sleep early.

And what goes around comes around, and with the illusion and dreams of more and more routes to come, we said goodbye that Wednesday morning, in which each one of us took a different direction.

Joan and I headed west, N420 towards Cuenca, to Torrebaja, where, after some funny pictures, we said goodbye until the next one, which if all goes well will be very soon.

Regarding the trip to Japan, the negotiations continue. We have new sponsors, thanks from here to Seva's Publicity and Casbas Creaciones.

And to say that KM. Cero continues to make international insurance for the whole trip.

Visas for Russia and Mongolia, we are working on it, a little complicated the issue, especially the Russian, but not impossible.

The gasoline in Mongolia is a mess, we still do not know for sure, if it is led or unleaded, to remove the catalytic converter to the bike or not, we will find out for sure.

The ATA license, almost about to do it, to be able to take our motorcycles out of Europe and the truth little more, struggling to get more support day by day and that, eager to leave and embark on a journey.

Thank you very much to all of you for everything you do for us, a big hug.

Joan and Vicente

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