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spain in june..so many questions

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cugsy View Drop Down
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    Posted: 07 Jan 2018 at 16:07
OK, after 2 years of trying to get away and go to spain on the bike I might finally be doing it. Wifey has a cruise to go on and I'm playing my joker card.  Me, the bike and a tent.
 First question - which bike? I'd prefer the old cali but the new honda NC 750 might just be more reliable and a saner choice (Honda european cover).  And being a cheapskate I'm wondering which route to take. I could do the easy thing and cough up for the ferry to Santander and ride the pyrenees and up to Geneva.  Then again, is it cheaper to get the chunnel and ride to southern france along the pyrenees and off to geneva.  
  I've probably got 7-9 days and don't want to waste them looking at motorways. Camping suits me and I've got the kit. But, do my old bones need a hotel every now and then ? Bit of both? Last week in june would be about right with the weather not too hot and hopefully the passes open....might even be dry riding to southampton.
 Is it a better experience to ride through france and not sit on a boat for over a day? or do I get a head start and bite the £200 bullet for the ferry to be dropped off in spain?  I could just wing it and bugger off to dover..see where the mood takes me?
Honda nc750x ...hmm - a superdream for the 21st century? ZZZZZZ But the goozi is back running..yesserii jim bob. Fun time
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Dave P. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave P. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2018 at 16:26
I'm confused, you mention riding the Pyrenees then up to Geneva.So you're going to Switzerland too??
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cugsy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cugsy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2018 at 16:47
Sorry. Spain pyrenees and up to alps via chamonix and around lake geneva and home
Honda nc750x ...hmm - a superdream for the 21st century? ZZZZZZ But the goozi is back running..yesserii jim bob. Fun time
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Dave P. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave P. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2018 at 17:02
If you ride down to the Pyrenees through France, do the length of the Pyrenes then back across to the Alps and on to Geneva you'll have to be motoring to pack it all into your time schedule.I've done the Pyrenees by the boat to Santander route and overland.If you want to maximise your riding time in the mountains and across Languedoc towards the Alps then I reckon the boat is the best option.It may be costly but it will reduce your fuel bill and accommodation costs even though you intend to camp.
You'll also arrive in Spain warm and dry.It rains a lot in Northern and Central France !!
Whichever way you do it, enjoy.
TO LIVE OUTSIDE THE LAW YOU MUST BE HONEST.

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cugsy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cugsy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2018 at 18:33
Yep - it's a balance twixt ferry cost and legging down to the pyrenees from the chunnel. Ferry then...
Honda nc750x ...hmm - a superdream for the 21st century? ZZZZZZ But the goozi is back running..yesserii jim bob. Fun time
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Brian UK View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian UK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2018 at 21:19
Wow, that's one hell of a journey. Be careful not to over estimate the distance you can do in a day on those small mountain roads.
Campsites are plentiful and generally cheap, but you might need a bit of time at the end of the day to find one with space though in France most towns have a municipal site which rarely fill up, and are good and cheap. Don't know Spain.
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Dave P. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave P. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jan 2018 at 21:38
As Brian says, campsites in France are plentiful.Spain is rather different, unless you're in the mountains campsites are comparatively rare.What the Spanish call campsites we would call caravan sites or perhaps holiday parks.As you will be in the Pyrenees you shouldn't have a problem.
TO LIVE OUTSIDE THE LAW YOU MUST BE HONEST.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V7Chris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2018 at 07:28
Originally posted by Dave P. Dave P. wrote:

If you ride down to the Pyrenees through France, do the length of the Pyrenes then back across to the Alps and on to Geneva you'll have to be motoring to pack it all into your time schedule.I've done the Pyrenees by the boat to Santander route and overland.If you want to maximise your riding time in the mountains and across Languedoc towards the Alps then I reckon the boat is the best option.It may be costly but it will reduce your fuel bill and accommodation costs even though you intend to camp.
You'll also arrive in Spain warm and dry.It rains a lot in Northern and Central France !!
Whichever way you do it, enjoy.

Having done both, I agree with Dave if you can afford it, take the long ferry outwards to Santander and a short crossing back to Dover
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tarquin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2018 at 09:32
Sounds a lovely trip Cugsy.

My main advice to anyone is , don't be overly ambitious as to how much riding that you think you can comfortably achieve in any given day or in total.

Your trip is certainly feasible but it needs to be at a pace that is enjoyable and relaxing if you are going to get the best out of it.

Enjoy it, take photos and let's see where you went
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cyclobutch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2018 at 10:26
I'd ferry down one-way to Bilbao or Santander. Then do some wriggly bits in Spain before riding North for Calais along whatever routes you fancy. Take the tent regardless and then if you do just fancy a hotel one or two night just book in wherever you can find something. Winging it leads to more fun and better stories when you get back. I'd tour the old Guzzi if it was serviced and running right, but don't quote me on that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote iansoady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2018 at 10:36
It's a while since I've done a long trip in France but in a week I used to go to either the Alps or the Pyrenees but not both. The usual plan would be leave work on Friday afternoon and make my way down to Portsmouth for the overnight ferry (usually to Cherbourg). Up early and then follow a more-or less straight line using only N and D roads either towards Pau (Pyrenees) or Bourg-en-Bresse (Alps).  I would reckon on no more than 250 miles per day on my "unreliable" Norton Commando - but I would be staying in small hotels (Logis de France being favourite) rather than camping so that saves on time as well as generally ensuring a decent dinner and a good night's sleep!

A couple of days in the chosen mountain region then returning by a similar route to the outgoing for the Saturday night return ferry to Portsmouth, getting home (Brum) by lunchtime on the Sunday.

I've also done the out to Santander / Bilbao and return from northern France route but much prefer France to Spain. I enjoy riding through rural France almost as much as the mountains TBH.

Having visited both several times I do prefer the Pyrenees to the Alps but the latter are of course more dramatic. Early June should see all passes open.

In the Pyrenees I liked to follow the Tour de France passes - Aubisque, Tourmalet, Peyresourde etc. In the Alps, the Col d'Iseran is spectacular and can be combined with the Telegraphe, Galibier, Croix de Fer etc for a dramatic round trip.

I always use the IGN (French Ordnance Survey) 1:1,000,000 map which is excellent for a good overview of where you are and has enough detail for the roads you need for a longish trip.
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Dave P. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave P. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2018 at 10:59
This thread is giving me itchy feet
TO LIVE OUTSIDE THE LAW YOU MUST BE HONEST.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote V7Chris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2018 at 11:02
Originally posted by Dave P. Dave P. wrote:

This thread is giving me itchy feet

+1
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Dave P. View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dave P. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2018 at 11:08
This year it's replacement windows and re-rendering the house.No major trips.
TO LIVE OUTSIDE THE LAW YOU MUST BE HONEST.

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1970 T120 Bonnie. 2009 500 Bullet.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian UK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jan 2018 at 13:43
Oh, and please note, the French Police Nationale and Gendarmerie have been ordered to crack down on speeding and road safety in general, just be aware.
And theoretically any fines from speed cameras in Europe can now be enforced in the UK.
Brian.

Better 5 minutes late in this world than years early in the next.
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