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Thread: Spanish & French Pyrenees ride

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    vfrT
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    Default Spanish & French Pyrenees ride



    Hey Y'all

    I just came back from a 2-weeks ride with 3 other riding mates through the Spanish and French Pyrenees. What a ride through incredible mountains sceneries and roads. The weather ranged from 29 deg C in the city to 2 deg in at the top where we frolicked in the snow.
    Thanks to the heated grips on the bikes, we survived those extreme weather and thick fog that reduce visibility down to 5m.

    How we did it. Quite simple really. Just do it (sic).
    1. Decide on the best period of the yer to do it. Summer is best as it will not be too cold.

    2. No visa required for Singaporeans. You can ride through any of the EU countries without even knowing it. We start at Barcelona and rode through Andorra and to France (Lourdes) and back to Barcelona in a East-North-West-East loop without encountering any border checks. Sometimes you wont even know that you've crossed over.

    3. Plan on at least 7 days of riding as there are just too much distraction from the great sceneries. Do not attempt to rake up mileage as it would be a waste.

    3. Pack lightly but bring warm clothings for the mountain temperature which can come down quite a bit. We met rain and snow up there on 2 different days but by and large the weather was great for the rest.

    4. Book your air ticket early for cheaper rates. Barcelona,Spain is a good start point as its close to the French and Andorra border; also Barcelona is a very motorcycle friendly city.

    5. Rent your motorcycle on line. Most of us got our bikes (BMWs) from Moto Espana altho there are other choices. Mike (the boss) is a Scot and is a great bloke - that's him in one of the photos posted. He will pick and sent you from yr hotel or airport. His bikes are in top condition. See http://www.motoespana.com for more details.

    6. Book your hotels online early for best rates. Spanish 2-star and 3 stars offer good value but rates fluctuates frequently, so book early. You can book hotels enroute when you start your ride.

    7. Stay flexible and enjoy where the road takes you. You will find yourself struggling to enjoy the curves and being distracted by the scenery. I nearly went of the road many times haha.

    Oh and Andorra is a small principality sandwiched between Spain and France but offer a huge number of motorcycle accessories and clothing shops tax free. You will freak out when you get there if you are bike gear junky (eg www.motocard.com).

    Cheers
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    Last edited by vfrT; 04-07-2010 at 07:18 PM.

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    vfrT
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    More pics from the trip. Note that the map of our route is just the big picture. We made many detours to the smaller roads enroute.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by vfrT; 04-07-2010 at 10:14 PM.

     

     
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    PaLmEr
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    beautiful!

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    SilverBullet
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    Very very nice trip and well done to the three of U.
    So its a Free n Easy road trip between Spain & France border towns without any guide and U guys just explore on yr own?
    Can share what is yr 2 week trip cost per rider/pillion ie airfare, bike rental, lodgings/Hotels etc...tks

    Cheers

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    vfrT
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverBullet View Post
    Very very nice trip and well done to the three of U.
    So its a Free n Easy road trip between Spain & France border towns without any guide and U guys just explore on yr own?
    Can share what is yr 2 week trip cost per rider/pillion ie airfare, bike rental, lodgings/Hotels etc...tks

    Cheers
    Hey Silver

    Yes, its a completely free & easy. All of us fly there on our own on different days, but picked up our bikes from the rental on around the same day. Also we split up on different days if the mood strikes us and hook up again in any town or city a couple of days later.

    A GPS is invaluable. I rented my Europe map from Eastgear in Horne road. The maps are good for point to point but they are not updated for some of the smaller roads and we did get "lost" abit but it just means more adventure for us as we explore "new" places. Before starting out over there, the first thing you need to do is to pick up a good road map of Spain from the any of the petrol stations. The Michelin map is reasonable and it covers Spain plus a bit of Southern France - which is good enough for our needs.

    Cost:
    Airfare: $1760 econ via KLM. Plan early so that you can take advantage of better rates. My was not firmed up until 2 weeks before the trip.

    Hotels: Varies from 21Eur to 80Eur per night for 2 and 3 star hotels. The Edelweiss hotel in one of the photos posted is a 2-star hotel in Lourdes, France cost me only 21 Eur - but its a small room without windows - although it s clean. (We were amaze that it is rated a 2-star.) So you can easily find reasonably priced rooms most anywhere if you remain flexible.

    Expect to pay on average 50Eur if you want nice comfortable hotels. Hostels are plentiful and considerably cheaper but we like hotels better. Do book in advance online for better rates. But we leave most of our rooms open as we have no fix plans and stayed flexible. Its much more interesting this way.

    Petrol cost varies from 1.12 to 1.20 Eur / liter.

    Toll: Most of the roads are toll free except the major motoway. These are clearly labelled in the road maps.
    Food is abit more pricey compared to Sg. Spirits are cheap.
    Bike rental: Refer to www.motoespana.com for the rates. its very transparent and no hidden charges; and no worries about rat bikes- they're all top condition bikes. I hired a BMW F800ST for 599 eur which translate into SGD1064 for 7 days.

    Overall, it cost me about $5,000 (incl airfare, bike rental, petrol, toll, hotels & food) for the whole trip but its well worth it.

    A Euro ride II is brewing for Austria next summer ..

    Every keen touring bikers must do at least one Euro ride in his life-time. its incredible.
    Last edited by vfrT; 30-01-2011 at 04:16 PM. Reason: wrong location

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    SilverBullet
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    Hi vfrT,

    Thanks for the insight and info...will be one of the Must Do Ride Trip for me.
    My only ride overseas beside Thailand and Cambodia is Australia...Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Philip Island and Sydney. The Great Ocean Road ride is magnificent with nice ocean view.

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    seismic52
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    Hey Silver, When your missus gives you time off it's something you have to do, or even better bring her along! For next year we're planning a trip in the Alps starting in Vienna.

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    seismic52
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    So what's up with the pic with the chicks? Nice long legs etc, but could be anywhere?

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    vfrT
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    Quote Originally Posted by seismic52 View Post
    So what's up with the pic with the chicks? Nice long legs etc, but could be anywhere?
    Just to show what you missed when you headed home early. These birdies were at the Barcelona Art Museum which I visited when I sent Fria back to the Summer solstice party the night before.

    Make sure you finish with us next time eh.

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    vfrT
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    thanx for reading!
    Last edited by vfrT; 03-12-2011 at 11:13 PM.

     

     

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