El Sardinero Santander 2011 (Spanish Classic Motorcycle Rally). I entered the rally for the first time this year having heard many stories of the atmosphere, the roads and the welcome of the Spanish people.
I can testify that all the tales were true and would recommend it to anyone, but my story is of a different aspect of the rally that many riders will possibly not want to think about.
On one of the daily runs through the mountains I had an accident on my 1954 Thunderbird involving a local 4x4 in which the vehicle was allegedly written-off and my Thunderbird was sadly the worse for wear, though fortunately appears repairable.
As for myself, I have no memory of the accident and ended up in the Specialist Orthopaedic Ward of Hospital Sierrallana in Torrelavega, with a broken femur, broken arm, concussion, various other cuts and bruises and some internal injuries.
I speak no Spanish but they soon found Dr Tomas Cobo who had practiced in Sheffield for 8 years and spoke excellent English. He was extremely helpful throughout my stay in the hospital.
They operated on my leg and I now set off alarms in airport security checks but the treatment I received was second to none. Our local fracture clinic has said the Spanish doctors did a fine job on me.
Although there was a language problem and only a few of the nurses spoke a smattering of English, they were very patient and understanding and treated me extremely well. I could not fault the doctors or the nursing staff.
As for the organisers of the rally, Hassan, Alex and Erune they couldn’t do enough for me. They sorted everything out with the police and made sure I wanted for nothing, refusing to take anything from me in payment.
They were true friends when I needed them. When the time for my discharge came, they picked me up from the hospital, bought me lunch and escorted me right onto the boat. Over and above the call of duty or what?
So if anyone is thinking of doing the rally next year never fear the consequences of having an accident abroad, I can testify from personal experience that you will not be alone and the care and treatment you will receive will be certainly as good as you will get anywhere in the UK. They will look after you.
With gratitude to all in Spain, Jeffrey Lynn Rogers