Lost Gold Mines of Rodalquilar

I can’t stand sitting around and looking at this giant dirt bike playground anymore. Today, the bikes come off the trailer.

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When we were in Switzerland and Italy, we took both my CBR900 and Philipp’s Bol’Dor with us. They were both incredibly heavy and the weight dragged us down quite a bit, but there was no way that we wanted to miss out on riding in the Alps and the Dolomites. But this time, we knew that we would need motorcycles that were lighter and could handle driving off-road, since our ultimate goal on this trip is Morocco. We searched for awhile and eventually found these two yellow Suzuki SP370’s. Good handling, all-terrain tires, kick-start only, durable and still technically vintage motorcycles (built in 1978). Perfect.

Today we finally got the chance to see what they are made of. We wanted to visit the lost gold mines of Rodalquilar and the narrow dirt mountain roads were the perfect testing grounds. We set off right after breakfast.

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The ride up was fantastic. All of the rock was deep, earthy red. The roads were pebbly and uneven, so the back wheel did a lot of wiggling around which is always a little scary at first. It always takes me a few minutes to get back in the off-road zone: don’t touch the front brake, ride out the wiggling, stick out the foot when taking sharp turns, counterweight instead of lean, keep ass off seat.

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When we arrived at the mines we parked and walked around for a few hours. I can’t believe that this place is just sitting here with almost no signs, no fences, and no one watching. We walked into the first opening that we came across; an entrance drilled into the side of the mountain. We took a few steps inside and the first thing we came across was a giant, gaping hole.

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And this was only the first of many. If this place were in America, there would be signs with disclaimers everywhere, sections roped-off, the long narrow passageways lit and you would need to pay a tour guide to get in. Here, there is nothing at all to warn you that there are giant 20 meter deep holes lying around that you could easily die in. If you decide to walk into a dark mine and not watch your ass, it’s your problem.

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We walked around for hours with mouths gaping wide open the whole time. The colors were just incredible.

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Towards evening we ripped ourselves away and rode back down to the beach.

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Soup with potatoes and chorizo on the fire, a beer, and the sunset. All in all, fabulous day.
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