Maestu to Vitoria-Gasteiz - I'll get on back home one of these days - CycleBlaze

October 12, 2023

Maestu to Vitoria-Gasteiz

A short so-so ride

Our hotel only had few overnight guests and we were by ourselves in the breakfast room this morning. Our host was very helpful as she smiled and tried to find the English word to describe various food items. The owners work very long hours, not only serving dinner the night before but serving us breakfast this morning. This is a very nice place to  stay if you are in Maestu.

Our hotel, Los Roturus in Maestu
Heart 2 Comment 0

The ride today was short and as a result we were in no hurry to get moving. We spent time planning our next stops and booking hotels. It is a bit concerning that according to the weather forecast our cloud free, warm days will be coming to an end by the weekend. We will need to factor this change in weather into our planning. 

We knew that today`s ride would not  compare with the great scenery of the previous two days. Scott could only find one route running between the hills to get from Maestu to Vitoria-Gasteiz and most of it was on the main highway. 

Leaving our hotel shortly after eleven there was still a chill in the air which made the uphill ride quite comfortable. We rode to the edge of the village, turn right and joined the wide shouldered A-132 highway. The road quickly began to climb  up the 200 metres at a very manageable grade. We were pleased that the traffic was light and that we were riding on a wide shoulder as we made our way to the top of the hill. Reaching the top, we added a layer for the descent.  The ride down was insanely fast (top speed around 57 kph for those of us not riding with prudence) as there were no cars to contend with on the perfect surface,  perfect grade and perfect cornering highway. Although we did not see any, unloaded road bikes must be exceeding 80kph.

Adding to the collection of peak signs.
Heart 4 Comment 0
This is what the downhill looked like. Uber fast!
Heart 5 Comment 0
Pat in a run away lane. Scott stopped here - part way down the hill and Pat, showing great prudence, eventually caught up.
Heart 5 Comment 0
Nearing the bottom of the hill the road surface changed. With a speed limit of 80kph it is not so much fun when cars speed past. We have had great success avoiding these roads so far.
Heart 2 Comment 0

After 15kms of highway riding we were very happy to switch to an unpaved, old  railway line to take us the rest of the way to Vitoria-Gasteiz. The rocky surface went to pavement then back to gravel several times over the last 10 km length. It was good way to enter the city. We found our hotel near the heart of the city and checked in early.  We think that the bottle of wine at dinner last night may have slowed us down today or maybe it was the big inviting bed but but we both enjoyed a great afternoon nap. 

The old railway line is quite extensive, going all the way back to Estella-Lizarra some 64 km in that direction. We are only 6.7km to Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Starting off on the railway track.
Heart 4 Comment 0
It was a nice meander to our destination.
Heart 6 Comment 0
Path markers.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Our lunch stop in a small park beside one of the original station houses. It had the strangest picnic tables and benches. Each table had the same four chair backs, but in a different position.
Heart 4 Comment 0
Arriving in Vitoria-Gasteiz we were immediately impressed with the leafy, tree lined pedestrian areas.
Heart 2 Comment 0

We explored Vitoria-Gasteiz in the late afternoon  stopping for some beer and pintxos as we went along. We knew that the restaurants would not open until 8 or 8:30 pm and began a random hunt to find a suitable place for dinner.  Wandering aimlessly, we passed many many many bars with lots of people drinking but there was no food on the tables except for pintxos dishes. We were hoping for a bit more.

Cathedral Maria Inmaculada of Vitoria.
Heart 2 Comment 0
The city square is in the middle of town and is called ‘La Virgen Blanca’.
Heart 3 Comment 0
Amazing wood framed windows are very common in this area. I love them but maintaining them must be a difficult job.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Famous grass sign in La Virgen Blanca Square. Vitoria-Gasteiz is the most bike friendly city in Spain.
Heart 6 Comment 1
Plaza de España, town hall.
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 3 Comment 0
More windows. So cool.
Heart 1 Comment 0
Lots of narrow, interesting, car free streets and full of bars!
Heart 2 Comment 0
Quite a few escalators take the sting out of the steep inclines.
Heart 4 Comment 0
A local craft brew house with many varieties on tap - all nicely described on the chalk board. We chose their only locally brewed cervesa - an amber ale.
Heart 3 Comment 1
Anne MathersLOL, I’d have to order the Hopefully No Cars 🤣
Reply to this comment
9 months ago
Beautiful warm night to enjoy the city.
Heart 4 Comment 0
Looking down on Virgen Blanca Square. We think there may have been a protest gathering there at this time.
Heart 2 Comment 0

We were truly getting desperate when we seriously considered  a fast food joint, but we stuck to our search. We eventually found a busy place with several empty dining tables set inside for dinner. We took a seat and were asked if we had a reservation. Of course not, but there was one seat at the long bar as well as suitable standing room right in front of a man carving  slices off a large leg of pork. Salivating over the sight of the grilled meat we pointed to large plate as our order. Adding a bowl of fresh bread, a beer and a glass of wine, we loved the experience! The whole time we were there it seemed like the man never stopped carving and when  one leg was complete, a new one was put in its place. The tables behind us for the most part remained empty. So much fun!

Bohio is known for their roast pork piled high on the plate and covered with a ladle full of drippings. Excellent with fresh bread.
Heart 3 Comment 0
The bar is where the action is!
Heart 4 Comment 0
Outside the restaurant, a lucky find for a couple of starving tourists.
Heart 1 Comment 0

We found our way back to our hotel and called it a day. Tomorrow we will be celebrating Día de la Hispanidad, a national holiday in Spain. From our first experiences it looks to be a great place to visit.

Good night.
Heart 4 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 26 km (16 miles)
Total: 695 km (432 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 7
Comment on this entry Comment 1
Rachael AndersonWe really loved this town! Sorry it was so hard for you to find food! We mostly do late lunches and either have food on hand for the evening meal or eat leftovers. Last night we had a hard time finding food in the evening but finally found something that served tapas and raciones. We have a dinner reservation tonight. I hope I can make it until 8:30 pm. At least I have snacks which I always carry with me!
Reply to this comment
9 months ago