Since 2000 I have made an annual pilgrimage to Spain on my Moto Guzzi motorcycle.
My first Spanish travel book (Back Roads of Spain) was published in 2009. It was mostly a collection of ten years of annual articles about my motorcycle trips to Spain, many of which appeared in ‘Gambalunga’ the magazine of GB Moto Guzzi Club. That book was about each experience. In the years since I have spent a lot of time giving advice and ideas to people who were going to Spain. I finally decided a new book was due to give more of a practical guide to what I believe is the right way to get the most from visiting Spain:- be flexible, massacre the language, go the back roads, and out of the way places on a whim, and most important of all be open to the experience.
Pre-order here to get signed and unsigned copies. If you would like a dedication order through my Amazon Seller page.
This is an excellent guide book for the traveller in Spain. In April and May of this year l spent six weeks and 4800 miles on my motorbike following some of the routes that Duncan had explored and described so lucidly. If you want to ride a motorbike or even a car around Spain avoiding the tourist traps this should be an essential part of your packing.
by Guy Hale
Duncan was born in Wimbledon but at the age of three his family moved to a mixed fruit farm in the middle of 100 acres of Rhodesian bush. An unusual early childhood was spent nearly always barefoot, often with only the company of a younger sister and the African children of farm workers. He spent a lot of time off in the bush learning self-reliance and about the natural world.
Between the mid-60s and mid-70s the family lived a somewhat bohemian existence on a smallholding in Suffolk. Mother teaching and Father an Artist in oils. Duncan hunted rabbits and pheasants for the table and by the age of thirteen occasionally slept out in the hedgerows.
At the age of eighteen he left Bedales School with one and a half ‘A’ levels and a lot of happy experiences. Through family connections he got a job on a sugar-cane farm in Zululand, South Africa.
In the following years he worked at Dressing Props on Feature Film, then as a high-tensile fencer in Scotland. A cabinet-maker in Suffolk and a boat-fitter and engineer in Greece as well as a general carpenter and builder. He became in his own words – “A Jack of all trades”.
In 1980, almost by accident, he took a degree in Visual Art at Aberystwyth University. And in the years after graduation has added Stage and Lighting Designer, Tour Guide and now Writer to his C.V.
He lives in Aberystwyth with his wife, and has a son and two step-children plus five assorted grandchildren.
He has been a motorcyclist since an early age. Every year since 1999 he has travelled in Europe on his Moto Guzzi.
It was 1985 when I first visited Spain, I loved it and had an overriding sense of ‘coming home’, I just felt so at ease with the people, culture and climate. Perhaps some of this was down to my childhood in the Mediterranean climate of what is now Zimbabwe. But it was more than that, I lived and worked in Greece, loved it but it didn’t reach into me the way Spain has done. In the late 80’s I did some building work in a small mountain village near Alcoy (Valencia) which widened my appreciation of the Spanish lifestyle and sense of community.
In Spain I have been privileged to receive, “me casa, su casa.” Literally ‘my house, is your house’, this is a very genuine friendship offering, and I value it highly.