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Offline Wilko

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Change of plan
« on: January 28, 2016, 09:49:10 pm »
Hi all, I did post that my good wife and I was planning on a 4 week trip to Sofia and then onto Varna, Bulgaria to visit her family, but due to me changing my job, this unfortunately cannot happen  :161:

So, I'm planning on going to Spain for 7 days, maybe in August, so my question is, how far can I travel doing about 6hrs a day. I have read other peoples posts on where to visit, looked at wonderful photos of their adventures. I have been to Barcelona before and would love to re-visit again, but also want to visit small interesting villages and get some nice roads in.

I live in Wolverhampton, google say's 4hrs to dover to start with, and with a 2hr ferry crossing and perhaps an hours ride into France that's the first day over, any help, advice etc etc will all be truly welcome. 

Regards Paul.
Paul Wilko

Offline cropbiker

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Re: Change of plan
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2016, 10:06:26 pm »
If you are heading Dover way then I would use the Eurotunnel rather than a ferry.

Then again. If heading to Northern Spain I would cut out France all together and take the ferry to and from Santander.

It is a longer trip to get there but you arrive in Spain nicely relaxed and fit to get some great riding in
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Online Phil

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Re: Change of plan
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2016, 11:00:16 pm »
Wilko,  I have done the Channel crossing lots of times both on the ferry and through the tunnel.  The tunnel is quicker (30 Minutes) and the ferry (75 Minutes).  I prefer the ferry as I enjoy the sea.  Usually, as I am sorting out the bike, my wife rushes up to the brasserie on the top deck (not the common restaurant where most of the tourists and truck drivers go) get a table for breakfast.   We have a hearty breakfast in relaxed surrounding served by helpful staff.  We are then set up for a few hours ride to out first stop over.  If you can ride for three hours from Calais you could reach Epernay (Motorway) in the heart of Champaign country.   A few good and reasonable hotels the town and some just outside the town with views of miles of vines.      From Epernay to Lyon take about 6 hours if you avoid the motorway.   And from Lyon to Toulouse is another 6 hours.   However, if you are down that way a visit to the Millau Viaduct is a must. (providing you have a head for heights.   A fantastic bridge built by Brit Norman Foster.   If you are lucky you will ride it looking down on clouds.  I bit scary but worth the extra miles and time. 

From Toulouse you could have a 6 hour ride to San Sebastian Lovely old town where the local gather in the evening and hang outside the bars drinking beer and eating Tapas.  Great way to unwind after a days run. 

On the other hand, the ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao, which takes 24 hours, cuts out from completely and save you a couple of day s and about 1000 miles.   We did it two years ago and had a good voyage.   Cabin, shower, food, bar, etc.   The Bay of Biscay can be a bit rough but when we went you would not know you were on a boat it was so smooth.

If I was going to Spain again I would definitely use the Portsmouth Bilbao route. 

Hey, you know, you are going to have a great time whichever rote you choose. 

Finally, the bike park on the Portsmouth ferry is below decks and the ramp down is very steep.   All ferry ramps and decks are shiny and look slippery.   Loaded with luggage and two up on a Trophy tasks a bit of nerve if you are not use to it.

Have a great trip  :821: :028: :821:


Offline skiprat

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Re: Change of plan
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2016, 11:44:35 pm »
If its 7 days out and return to Wolverhampton I would say Spain is not a realistic destination, Barcelona is a touch over 700 mile from Calais and you do have to be careful these days in France with your speed. Ferries to Spain take about 30 hours, so that's about 4 days return used up. If I had a weeks riding to plan the Black forrest Germany would be up there along with nearby parts of France. Sorting routes for myself for this June from a position of retirement so 5 weeks tour looking good  :001:   
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 11:51:41 pm by skiprat »

Offline GarminDave

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Re: Change of plan
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2016, 10:31:34 am »
Hi Wilko, your question is a bit like "How long is a piece of string?"

If I am in Iron Butt mode then 1500 miles in a 24 hour period is my limit; of course it is not sustainable on multi day trips; I do know one guy who did 7 back to back 1500 miles days but this is extreme.  Doing 1500 miles in a day means an overal average 62.5mph so your moving average will need to be in the 70's, not fun with a wife on the back.  The day is just about riding.

When I rode with my wife she had four rules:
1.  No more than 300 miles, preferably only 200
2.  No riding in the dark.
3.  No riding in the wet
4.  Have a daily focus of the ride.

Obviously being a bit flexible helps so I'd get away with higher mileage to get the trip started.  Living in the NE of England it is 350 miles to the channel ports so thats day 1.

Living in Wolverhampton you could try the Portsmouth/Bilbao or Santander crossing, then a lovely ride through the Picos d'Europa staying in Paradores to Barcelona and back same way.  She'd love you forever with a trip like that.

Enjoy the planning and my one piece of advise is be realistic in what you choose to do, you've lived in UK all your life and still not seen it all (I assume), so it is not possible to see everything Spain has to offer in 7 days.

Live in the moment and enjoy.

Love, light and kindness,

Love, light, and kindness,


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