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Old 01-26-2010, 05:39 AM   #16
Avispao
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Near to Salamanca is Peña de Francia, and the village of La Alberca. Outstanding and pictoresques views, and good road too.

If you like old romanic churches and walls, you should make a walk inside Zamora. And in Leon you can't lose its cathedral and the "Húmedo" (its the zone near the cathedral where you ask for a wine or beer and the give you a big tapa for free). If you want a good meal, go to the village of Valdemimbre, south of Leon. There are some subterranean restaurants in caves with very good meat.

Once in Leon, the best thing is to go to Riaño and then to Puerto de Pontón to Cangas de Onís. Then east through Cabrales to Santander. There's a lot to see, do, eat and ride here, but you would need a month or two in Asturias to see as it deserves (i'm from Asturias, )
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:19 AM   #17
LoweJinx OP
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Updated Spain Trip Map

Thanks to all of you for the advice you have given thus far.

So this is how the trip is starting to shape up.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...,14.567871&z=6

Please let me know if we're heading through areas that you're familiar with. By just a quick look at the map pin points, you can get a general Idea in what we're interested in seeing and doing.

Thanks.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:18 PM   #18
fulviapaulo
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Hi!

Quite a collection of POIs

During the weekend I'll take a look and figure out some thoughts and ideas. Nevertheless feel free to ask anything and count on my help for the northern part of the country! (May will be a b**chy month but we'll see)

Talk to you soon.

Cheers
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:18 PM   #19
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I look forward to your continued input. You must be one of only a handful of ADV member with information around the area. I assumed that the Spanish community was a bit larger.

Are there any motorsports events that you know of around my planned viit? I know that MotoGp is elsewhere as is World SBK. Anything at Estoril or Cataluna? Wishful thinking , Huh?.

"May will be a B**chy month". What does that mean? I know what it means to my wife, but...

Saluto. See, I'm brushing up on mi Espanol.
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:43 AM   #20
WIBO
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You'll find any number of twisties etc here....



Also try www.viamichelin.com and click on Driving Directions to find an accurate estimation of distances and especially drive times. Here you'll also find links to hotels and eating places.
As stated Michelin maps (and website maps)have all scenic routes highlighted in Green.

The route you've chosen from the likes of Biarritz and to the mountains is a great ride although not immediately mountainous,but with splendid mountain views as you skirt along by them...you WILL NOT be disappointed with that one...Stop in Oloron Sainte Marie for lunch(if your timings let you leave the Biarritz area in the morning)

Your map route too is spot on for going past my neck of the woods.The part of route going from Louvie Juzon to Laruns (start to climb after Laruns )to Gabas via Col du Pourtalet and the drop into Spain is a brilliant ride.Again you WILL NOT be disappointed.

Weather here will usually be good...usually about 20-25 C. Fixed speed cameras are sign posted well in advance...for info there's a BMW dealer in Pau if you need anything. Bearn Moto is their name. If you need basic gear/kit on your travels in France and Spain there's a franchise of camping/walking/running and general sports stuff called Decathlon...you see blue signs for these in most big towns ...a good place to get eg t shirts socks etc etc Their own 'Blue Product' lines are good value. www.decathlon.fr or see what they do in English at www.decathlon.co.uk

www.pagesjaunes.fr is also the French yellow pages website...you can get it in English and of course can find anything you'll need in there.

If you see hotel signs for a company called Campanile (it most big towns)be mindful too that they usually have a separate place beside the main hotels for food...you can get a good meal there for about €10 each... also Formule 1 hotels are a chain of cheap hotels that cater for travellers ...usually sighted close to autoroute junctions www.hotelformule1.com These should be in any GPS also.

Also there's a chain of supermarkets here called Auchan...there's usually a company called Flunch attached to these(and other supermarkets too)here you get a great meal with a meat dish for a set price (€5-€8)and a buffet carousel for the vegetables...eat as much as you want of these!!

Think too to use any bank card during banks hours so that if the machine eats it you can enter the bank and ask to get it back out. On that,banks open on Saturday morning until 1200hrs here but are closed on Sundays and Mondays. Most local places here take lunch from 1200-1400hrs so factor this in to any shopping you need to do. As always the bigger supermarkets etc will open through out lunch,as will any Decathlon store.
Most places will be closed on a Sunday here so fuel up on a Saturday...and only some supermarkets(to buy fuel and in bigger towns) will only be open on a Sunday morning until 1200hrs.....

People here work to live and not live to work so things will be slower to arrive and will be more relaxed and pleasant without any fuss..

For info too...car drivers are very kind to motorbikes....they'll see you coming and usually veer over slightly to let you pass...it's not uncommon to have a row of 20 or so cars all veer over to allow you to pass!!...just put your right foot out as you pass any car to say thanks is order of the day




By the by the road to Ronda is indeed a good one....take a lunch there and be mindfull of the short bridge that you pass over in the town centre,is Roman,(you could miss knowing about it easily)and was where they used to toss prisoners and slaves over....a feat of engineering and a great viewpoint...

Tarragona(south of Barcelona) has a Roman amphitheatre for info


Any beach at Tarifa is good for a picnic lunch a quick swim and to watch the numerous kite surfers,for info


These guys do a great ride out if interested, www.redtread.com for info


Enjoy your time here

:)
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WIBO screwed with this post 02-13-2010 at 03:10 AM
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Old 02-13-2010, 06:12 AM   #21
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...and the lord said, "ask and ye shall receive". But that's ridiculous.

Those are exactly the kind of tips one needs when planning a trip like this. Just enough info to enjoy the "planning part" of the trip, with out having made the journey before I've left home. Make sense? Armed with the right information so as to not waste precious time flappin' about.

Translated means, thanks.

Our intention is to try to leave the route in an organic as possible. Come to the fork in the road. Left or right? From 6000 miles away, town "X" on a map, is in 2-D. I have no way to really know what's a time killer, and what's worthy of going out of the way to see (like the bridge where they used to toss prisoners off). Are there some towns or areas along my general route that I should be avoiding for whatever reason. Perhaps over industrialized or similar?

Some of the larger urban areas along our general route that we may be at going through, if only for lunch or an overnight might be:

Tarragona
Valencia
Malaga
Cadiz
Jerex
Sevilla
Portimao
Badajoz
Porto
Salamanca
Leon
Gijon
Santander

To name just a few. Any worth avoiding?

So for now I must slip back into reality. Again thanks for the little journey.
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Old 02-14-2010, 01:30 AM   #22
WIBO
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Glad to be of assistance....you'll have a great trip...

Before I say anything more...I forgot to mention,there's two routes into Spain from Oloron Sainte Marie...don't take the tunnel (Col du Somport) .... not as good a ride as Col du Pourtalet....



When traveling along from Santander to France you'll find the autoroute is a great one(for an autoroute).....it slithers past and through little mini mountains with long sweeping fast banked curves...a fluid ride....great!!.....arrive at the border and just roll on through into France...(be mindfull of having Euros stashed easily as there'll be the odd toll booth)

Back over to the Spanish side....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronda

Scroll down to see pictures of that bridge..although short it's a high one...various moto magazines use this road to do road tests...

The main coastal route from Barcelona south and when arriving close to Taragonna,you'll see the odd stone arch....there's one directly beside a 5 star campsite(with it being in the central reservation..can't miss it)...you'll see it battle scarred by history....even with the odd bullet hole!!

After that be mindful that the coastal route will be a main tourist/transport feed to the south. This means it will be quite busy.....it'll speed up later...(see below)

What I would say too is that the part of the route along by Malaga Marbella Estepona Gibraltar is a main British tourist trap......

It's an affluent place and therefore busy. You'll find English spoken but will find that the route there will be a fast route through and linking each town.

This route is non stop and is peppered with short slips on and off of it...just be cautious......as it's fast(did I mention that before lol)...and then faster...oh and then a 'blue hair' will pull out...

One thing is would say is that when you arrive in this general area,to avoid the mad tourists in hire cars, when heading south choose to take any toll road(you can't miss where it'll fork giving you the choice and they're not too long a distance).......they're cheap and let you cover good fluid distance without the hassle of going through each town....next thing you know you'll be close to Tarifa having avoided the worst...

Decide whether you take in Gibraltar...even if just for a lunch and just to see how surreal it is as one minute you're in Spain and the next in the UK...English cops and English shops etc..



When you pass by Puerto Banus you can take the short slip off to see one of Dali's sculptures on a round a bout...or find parking and walk a short distance to the port (you need a private vehicle pass to drive into it)take a lunch,people watch and take in the various enormous motorcruisers berthed there...if that's what you're into


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Ban%C3%BAs

I see too that you have 'almost' listed Cartegena on your travels....if time allows you could take in the Guns of Cabino Tinoso or "The Guns of Navarronne" as in the inspiration of the film...


There'll be an old military gate usually closed over...swing it open and ride up to see the guns....this has not been made into a tourist trap so you find it a bit run down etc...if you do decide to go take a wee torch to enable you to see underneath the passageways to the generator rooms etc. and magazines...a great picnic stop with a great view over the

http://www.casakidd.com/html/the_guns.html


See page four in this (and other pages) http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=167989

There's also a military museum in Cartegena.

Bear in mind too that if you're using a GPS it will calculate the shortest route as a mathematical equation without taking into account what the road size is and what curves exist.....if a slower road is 1 second faster it'll choose it...Best to scroll out and see that you're using main routes to each town. This is especially relevant when cutting through mountainous roads...the GPS will take you the shortest route,even with the twisties,but that longer main route will be better where the ride is more fluid,that finds you arriving 5 mins later that the twisty one..make any sense??...


When I make a road trip the first thing I do is to see what main towns are en route,as you have done. I will then do a wikipedia search of same to make sure I'm not missing anything that I might have an interest in,eg,any Romain ruins or miltary stuff. I'd hate to thing I'd passed some famous place unknowingly lol...... and where my buddies will laugh uncontrollably at me for not knowng lol...

I find this allows me to make a rough plan and with all things in between,I can just simply wing it......


:)
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The Suit:What would you condsider to be your greatest weakness?
Me: Honesty.
The Suit: Honesty? I don't think honesty could be construed as a weakness.
Me: I don't give a fuck what you think.

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Old 02-14-2010, 06:00 AM   #23
LoweJinx OP
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Bear in mind too that if you're using a GPS it will calculate the shortest route as a mathematical equation without taking into account what the road size is and what curves exist.....if a slower road is 1 second faster it'll choose it...Best to scroll out and see that you're using main routes to each town. This is especially relevant when cutting through mountainous roads...the GPS will take you the shortest route,even with the twisties,but that longer main route will be better where the ride is more fluid,that finds you arriving 5 mins later that the twisty one..make any sense??... Uh, no!


But your other tips are great. The Guns of Navarronne? No way. All of these POI's are now on my map.

So, should we seriously consider avoiding that whole Valencia - Marbella region? I'm sure it's beautiful with it's "coastal scenery" (wink, wink) and all, but is it just too congested even in May?

As you see the route is starting start to take shape. Does it look over ambitious for a 3 week tour? I know there are a tone of POI's marked, but we obviously don't intend to hit the all. Nor do we intend to hit all of the cities either. Only the ones that fall with in our path.

I do set up my route planning in a similar fashion as you. Chart the larger cities that have some interest to me for one reason or another, and then fill in the gaps with smaller towns and places of interest.

Hope to hear more.

Thanks
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Old 02-14-2010, 11:20 AM   #24
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Hi ...

It's always busy as it's a main route along the coast...I came home that way after returning from Morocco in January and it was'nt too busy...May,should be the same as most Brits take holidays around July and August...
Just be mindful that's all....

......the coast along there is quite built up with apts and the likes...take this into account when passing through....still,the topless beaches will be the whole length of the coast line....I would ride the road and see what you think...if it's too much then just wing it and re plan a parallel route if need be.....

As I am heading the same route on Saturday to go back to Morocco I will be better able to advise on how busy the route is and anything different beginning of March...

For info I drive over Col du Pourtalet to Zaragoza to Madrid to Jaen where we will find an hotel...just an indication of the distances that can be covered in a day by Land Rover....the next day will see us in Tarifa for the 1700hrs sailing to Tanger...this is also taking into account stopping to let the kids scoot about,for any adults to smoke and to take a long lunch etc...

Three weeks for your trip.... don't know what distances can be covered to allow you to actually see stuff......maybe cut it back a bit??

Just to let the cat amongst the pigeons...did you think about taking a detour to the Millau Aquaduct....new tallest bridge in the world... a bit out of your way though...anyway...just sayin' as they say...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millau_Viaduct





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The Suit:What would you condsider to be your greatest weakness?
Me: Honesty.
The Suit: Honesty? I don't think honesty could be construed as a weakness.
Me: I don't give a fuck what you think.

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Old 02-14-2010, 03:59 PM   #25
fulviapaulo
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Cheers gentlemen!

Well, I suppose Wibo just placed the threshold of quality of inputs in this thread a bit too high Great info and as far as I know of some places in Spain he has a lot of points correct!

I too would avoid the coastal roads in Spain and as such, would definitely avoid the southern (Algarve) roads. The N125 road is crowded as hell even during winter as it is the only road connecting all algarve cities besides the highway (with toll)! On the contrary the southwestern coast is pretty much traffic-easy and the scenery is fantastic. So, my advise would be to skip Algarve (knowing that there are things worth being seen) even risking being unfair to that region. It's too spoilled although getting better...


Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina

Having said this, not sure if these region would be my priority if I was on your shoes. Probably not worth of such a detour although it sure deserves a visit! I guess you understand what I mean. Right?

Regarding northern Portugal, I'd change the route you planned. This is, more or less, what I'd thought.
http://www.google.com/maps/mm?ie=UTF8&z=4
(bear with me but I'm sure I've done something wrong so, if you don't see nothin' just let me know)

Not much to say today but keep asking...

Cheers

PS: May will be a hard month at the office No second meaning intended although wifes tend to have that
PPS: Foreign language lesson! In Spain you use "saludos" in Portugal "cumprimentos" but it all depends on the occasion.
PPPS: Wibo, I'm going to Morocco in April so, wanting to see your pics! More if you are going in a LR I miss mine
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Old 02-14-2010, 04:05 PM   #26
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Hi again Lowejinx,

Just checked your map, I have seen that you plan a route from Santiago de Compostela to La Coruna, via Dumbria - Vimianzo, I think you are taking a big detour but missing the best part of that area (the coast), so here goes my piece of advise: instead of going to Negreira, leave the highway AG-56 near Bertamirans, and head for Noia. As you aproach Noia make a right when you find the road AC 550 (heading for Muros), Muros is a lovely fishing village where you can sample awesome seafood, then follow the coast up to Fisterra (westernmost point in Spain and endpoint of the Camino de Santiago, visit the lighthouse there, a short ride from the village), this road is very scenic has little traffic, and I am sure you´ll like it.
From Fisterra, depending on how hurried you are, you can drive back to Cee and take the road AC 552 to Vimianzo, or take secondary roads along the coast. Again, if you have time, there is a beautiful ride to be made along the coast: from Vimianzo make a left at the crossroads for Arou / Camelle, there ask for the dirttrack that goes from Arou to Camariñas along the coast (you have to switch to the satellite view in Google maps in order to see the track, there can be some sand patch, but is an easy track), anyway if you are riding this part of your trip on a weekend, contact me and I can guide you and show you around if you wish, also if you are planning to stay in La Coruna (where I live) or in Lugo (my hometown).
Near La Coruna your route passes near Betanzos, that is a cozy medieval village which main square gets full of bikers saturday and sunday evenings, nice place for a beer!.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:18 AM   #28
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OK, where to begin...

Fujviapaulo:

I totally understand your advice and it it well taken however, here at home I live at the beach for a reason. I love all things aquatic including... beaches, sailboats, motorboats, dinghies, & BIKINIS. Or half Bikinis as the case might be.

As our route is only just starting to take form, and even though only "penciled in", it clearly follows quite a bit of coast line. I think that WIBO had the best advise. Ride along the coast until it becomes TOO much, then bail out for a secondary interior route.

I spent a month down in the Algarve in my youth and have a great desire to recapture some of that lost feeling. You say "avoid the Algarve and take the scenic secondary roads". But then you said the southwestern coast is pretty "traffic easy". I'm a bit confused. Can you clarify.

P.S. Your google map link in your earlier post didn't load.

Navel:
As I said, maps are printed in 2-D. It's the help I get from you and others that turns the 2-D into 3-D. If my current route shows us going through some less than ideal locations, or missing a valuable swath here or there, it's only because no one has shown me the light. So now that you've shown me the light, check my map again.

That area in the westernmost reaches of Spain look like they are absolutely beautiful. Again, can't wait!

Am I biting a bit more than I can chew by zig-zagging back and forth between Salamanca and Porto? I heard the Douro River Road is very picturesque. Instead of going west from Sal. to Porto and then back east again, should I pick just one route? Make sense?

P.S. As I get closer to our dates, I'll see if we can't land in the A Coruna area on a weekend. I'd love a guide for some of those roads.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:32 PM   #29
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Hi!

Well I guess its just my non-loving beach ego just talking Everything I told you and may tell in the future is challengeable and it's just an opinion and should be considered that way! Please ask and contest all of my statements... Besides I just go to the beach 'cause my wife loves it and it's good for our kids Now, back to business.

The southwestern coast I talked about is in Alentejo as you can see in the pic (as I put in my previous mail)

It has a lot less traffic and is to a great extent, unspoilt and free of english spoken expats.

I made another try to google maps (just hope you get it )
http://maps.google.pt/maps/ms?hl=pt-...704238a768&z=8

and also
http://maps.google.pt/maps/ms?hl=pt-...9,5.817261&z=8
2 ways of getting to the Salamanca area.

Regarding the Galicia area, Navel will be a better man than I to assess and modify my route,which I'm sure he will.

I know that in broad terms, both these routes mean some sort of detour or "waste" of time - not being the fastest most direct path - so, if you prefer I can pinpoint some places I suggest instead of drawing not-so practical routes.

As always your inputs and thoughts are very important and also help us to draw in some way "your" track.

Hope I made myself clear! Not in one of my most inspired days

Cheers
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:08 PM   #30
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I think that the route you drew would be more optimal. and less redundant. I'll include that modification to my map.

Why the big bypass of Faro? Too crowded or industrial?
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