Let's be honest: Who actually knows the desert of Tabernas that is a little hidden between the Sierra de Los Filabres in the north and the Sierra de Alhamilla in the south southeast of Spain. Hardly anyone? No wonder! It is an area almost free of tourists, little inhabited and hardly traveled – and yet so beautiful. The roads and paths are amazing. The contrast on the terrain is breathtaking. There is everything from dust and snow, desert and high mountains. An area where every rider must have been on two wheels once!
For this reason, Fuel Motorcycles from Barcelona, Spain, organized the "El Gringo" tour for scramblers and custom bikes. Where once cowboys rode their horses through the barren landscape, 32 riders from Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Belgium, Germany, and Great Britain were now the modern cowboys on two wheels. They covered 500 adventurous kilometers over terrain and road. Could there be anything cooler?
When they arrived, all participants were covered with all sorts of western utensils, from chaps to cowboy hats. Everything was there! Not without reason: The uniqueness of this area is also due to the fact that many spaghetti westerns were filmed here in the 1970s. Famous actors like Clint Eastwood started their career by shooting in this area. Also, Joaquin Phoenix was there a few months ago as an actor in the movie The Sisters Brothers.
Great scenery, exciting western history – the riders could hardly wait for the first meters to ride. The route started on Friday morning in Fort Bravo. The roads were full of dust and the drivers were covered with tons of it during the first 100 kilometers. At this point, the group started to climb the mountains of the Sierra Nevada (1,800 meters high) where the landscape changed completely and the big trees replaced the dry herbs and the snow and mud replaced the dust. At this point, some bikes fell behind due to mechanical problems, such as frozen clutches or minor falls. Sometime later they arrived at our meeting point with a barbecue and campfire. Some of them used their ponchos and dusters to protect themselves from the cold...this is El Gringo!
The exciting and breathtaking surroundings were also a major inspiration for the latest collection of Fuel Motorcycles. It perfectly matches the vibes of the area and its history. The line invites you to ride solo as the sun sets on the horizon, just like the first pioneers in the Wild West did. Visually it is inspired by spaghetti westerns and their characters. The duster, for example, is a very functional item. You can wear it over your motorcycle jacket and you are protected from cold or rain. The gloves are similar to those used by cowboys when riding their horses – yellow leather, short, robust and comfortable. Do you also want to ride like modern cowboys? No problem: The El Gringo Collection is now available!
The importance of functional yet stylish clothing and equipment was also shown the next day of the El Gringo Tour. After some fried eggs and a strong coffee, the route continued along with the mountain range of the Sierra Alhamilla (1.200 meters high), where snow and mud reappeared. The tracks were a mixture of fast and technical tracks/Enduros and some road links. There was a lot of pushing done to get the bikes off the mud and snow. After so much effort, the group stopped for a well-deserved lunch at a restaurant on Route 66 where the riders enjoyed the Meet and Rock & Roll concert and some time to chill out.
After lunch, some of the group headed to the old mines of Rodalquilar Almeria. In 1916, about 2,500 tons of ore was mined there, from which about 50 kilos of gold were extracted. The facilities were abandoned in the 1960s and served as the backdrop for a series of films. Visitors should be careful when exploring as warning signs indicate the danger of a crash. After the visit, the gringos drove to Fort Bravo to party and drink more in the saloon. A place where you feel like you're in a real 70s Western.
El Gringo was a trip through amazing and unique places in an unexplored part of Spain. For those Fuel Followers/customers who cannot participate in the final Scram Africa, the tour was an interesting experience of a normal Scram stage. For those who have already booked the Scram 2020, it was a good test for themselves and their bikes. To be honest: There couldn’t have been a better place than the Tabernas desert. An area where you can feel like a gringo riding through dusty paths at sunset, sleeping under the stars and drinking whiskey in the saloon! So long, Tabernas. Viva El Gringo!
Photos: Stuart Hamilton, Ricky Phoolka, Mario Herraiz João "Saudade1979" and Gus Galvani.
The new El Gringo collection from Fuel Motorcycles is now available in our online shop and at all our retail partners.