2018 Picos & Pyrenees - 10 days - All route days attached

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Tonibe63
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Re: 2018 Picos & Pyrenees - 10 days - All route days attached

Post by Tonibe63 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:13 pm

Difficult to give a comparison really as I do have quiet a lot of offroad experience but bear in mind I was 2up and you will be solo, smugglers is very easy if it is dry ..... maybe a 2 out of 10 (1 being the easiest). By rough comparison The Stella is maybe a 4 and Sotres Trail in the Picos is a 5 (both done 2up on 1200gs with Tourance tyres in dry weather).
There lot's of videos on youtube for The Smugglers Trail, Civis Trail(smugglers return), Stella rally etc etc.
A day off the bikes in Sort :o :o that's like going around the Cadbury factory and saying your off chocolate today.
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Hammy1
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Re: 2018 Picos & Pyrenees - 10 days - All route days attached

Post by Hammy1 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:54 pm

Thx Tonibe63,
I'm feeling reassured now and think I can cope with a 1/10; is only a day off if we are absolutely Knackered, we always have a rest day planned in but as yet have never not carried on riding!!
Thx again Sir

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Re: 2018 Picos & Pyrenees - 10 days - All route days attached

Post by RandG » Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:47 pm

The toughest day I had in the Pyrenees was one of my shortest, only 180 miles but did at least 4 Cols in France and it was roasting. Day 8 looks good but again will be hard work, where you staying in Jaca ? Lovely town, stayed there two years on the trot.

Hammy1
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Re: 2018 Picos & Pyrenees - 10 days - All route days attached

Post by Hammy1 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:47 pm

Thx RandG and I agree, so have now changed day 8 it's now 5.45 - 180; we are staying in the Gran Hotel de Jaca, have you stayed there or have any info?
Cheers

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Re: 2018 Picos & Pyrenees - 10 days - All route days attached

Post by RandG » Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:54 pm

I stayed at Hotel Jaques on both occasions, it's a very nice town.

Simon_100
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Re: 2018 Picos & Pyrenees - 10 days - All route days attached

Post by Simon_100 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:22 am

Tonibe63 wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:13 pm
... A day off the bikes in Sort :o :o that's like going around the Cadbury factory and saying your off chocolate today.
Ha ha, worse actually. I live in Tremp, just a few miles south of Sort. We visit occasionally to make a change, weekly market, various fair in wintertime, etc. but the idea of spending two nights there is gross. It's more or less just a village with lots of rich brats playing in the water - OK it's a world class slalom canoe centre - and thousand of old biddies (and not a few Spanish bikers) queuing up to buy lottery tickets from the agency there - Cat. sort = luck! - even though nobody's won much there for years despite the huge number of tickets sold ...

But if you feel the need for a day off Jaca is another matter altogether, it's a really beautiful little city - complete with a tiny cathedral - with lots of nooks and crannies to explore.

As well as looking around Jaca it would certainly be worth spending a few hours on the train, either up to Canfranc Station , or down the line to, say, Ayerbe, looking at the amazing scenery on the way. I say Ayerbe as it's quite a nice little place where you'll find good food in the bars and restaurants while you wait for your train back to Jaca - beware though, there are only about three trains per day so don't miss it!

All the other advice is top notch - do take time to ride the smaller roads and bear in mind that the Fence side can often be cloudy/foggy in the mornings but clears up after midday. talking of which, French roads are lethal between midday and one o'clock when the mothers rush home with the shopping, oftentimes picking up the kids for school, in time to put the plate on the tanker for the Monsieur to have his lunch at exactly one o'clock, after his having driven home from work like a maniac to get there in time for Madame.

In Spain on the other hand, lunch is from 13.00 - 17.00 when you more or less have all the roads to yourselves. Meanwhile the Señors take their sweet time getting home to eat, stopping for a drink with the boys at least once along the way while the Señoras ... do likewise! The kids look after themselves :lol:

Enjoy!

Simon

PS you seem to be planning to stay in quite large cities, e.g. Vittoria and Zaragoza, not good places to ride heavy bikes! Why not stay in the small towns?
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Hammy1
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Re: 2018 Picos & Pyrenees - 10 days - All route days attached

Post by Hammy1 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:41 am

Thx so much Simon_100 great info you can’t beat local knowledge; in Sort we are booked into the Hotel Florido the thinking being its was big enough to stay in for a couple of nights and was hoping that the few bars in Sort could provide a few hours entertainment, we need to be based near Sort but could you suggest where might be a better option (Tremp)?
As for staying in larger places the reasoning there is again so we can get out for an evening of food and drinks, with your local knowledge if you could suggest alternative places near those places booked I would be very grateful.
Thx again Hammy

RandG
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Re: 2018 Picos & Pyrenees - 10 days - All route days attached

Post by RandG » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:23 am

As Simon says, the French roads are much narrower and usually in poorer condition than the Spanish and often much busier, also be prepared to get caught behind a million sheep being herded down these same narrow roads.

Simon_100
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Re: 2018 Picos & Pyrenees - 10 days - All route days attached

Post by Simon_100 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:46 am

Hammy1 wrote:
Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:41 am
Thx so much Simon_100 great info you can’t beat local knowledge; in Sort we are booked into the Hotel Florido the thinking being its was big enough to stay in for a couple of nights and was hoping that the few bars in Sort could provide a few hours entertainment, we need to be based near Sort but could you suggest where might be a better option (Tremp)?
As for staying in larger places the reasoning there is again so we can get out for an evening of food and drinks, with your local knowledge if you could suggest alternative places near those places booked I would be very grateful.
Thx again Hammy
Some options, not Tremp really either. To help me think, why do you need to stay near Sort?

Meanwhile:

Day 1 - Leon - 4.00 - 160 - Leon is OK, have your drinks in an area called the 'Barrio Humido' literally the wet district, for obvious reasons 'hic' :lol:

Day 2 - Vitoria Gasteiz - I don't really know Vitoria, just wasted a lot of time driving round it going elsewhere. Think about Logroño, which I do know a bit and is really nice. It's also the 'capital' of the La Rioja wine region 'hic' :D And it's more direct line to Zaragoza from Leon but passes through ore mountainous country. Possibly better to cut down from Burgos to El Burgo de Osma, which is very picturesque and even more mountains to ride through.

Day 3 - Zaragoza - Hmm I haven't had time to look at your routes yet but I guess one Day 4 you plan to cross the Bardena Blanca 'desert'. This takes less than an hour and it's really worth doing it very early in the morning while the sun is low, so stay nearby. Tudela is said to be nice and is only fifteen minutes for the entrance to the Bardena.

Day 4 - Sort This leaves a really long slog to Sort on the N-260 so I'd go via Huesca and Barbastro and Benabarre. The first two sections are one and rather boring - well not too bad if you take the old national road from Huesca to Barbastro and on to Benabarre is a nice empty fast road with views of the high Pyrenees in the distance. From Benabarre itself you could go via Tremp on the C-1311, which is one of the best roads in Europe - I should know, my cottage is in a village half way along! :) - and then up to Tremp or if you feel good and can't wait to get into the big mountains head up the national to Pont de Suert and join the N-260 for one of its best sections to Sort.

Day 5 - Sort See my first comment above

Day 6 - Jaca Many ways to do is, all good but IMHO the best way to 'do' Tourmalet is west to east ...

Day 7 - Pamplona - another large city, if you stay there head for the oldest part of it. If your plan is to ride the Bardena on Day 8 then start at Sos del Rey Catolico. It's quite lovely but rather 'touristy' but actually none the worse for that and it's only 30 minutes away for the Bardena - but note that the northern entrance is quite had too find!

Day 8 - Potes best place to stay in the Picos but avoid the 'Desfiladero' road from Panes. Best route into the Picos is from Cervera de Pisuerga, which is actually another lovely place to stay ...

Day 9 - Ribadesella - I haven¡t any opinions on the northern coastal towns apart from recommending my favourite, Comillas, which has splendid architecture from the 19th century when the steel/coal/shipbuilding magnates from all over spain built fabulous summer mansions there. Otherwise a lit of these towns are a bit much of a muchness, lovely as they are ...

Day 10 - Santander - are you staying in Santander for a morning ferry?

Simon
Be sure to visit www.thespanishbiker.com the invaluable guide to motorcycling in Spain - plus guided rides, HISS Events* and off road touring support service



*Highly Informal Sojourns in Spain

Hammy1
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Re: 2018 Picos & Pyrenees - 10 days - All route days attached

Post by Hammy1 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:01 pm

Simon thanks so much for all this information will now spend some time adding your suggestions, seems very cheeky but if you have any road numbers I would find that useful; on the point of why staying in Sort it was really to do the Smugglers trail and have a trip into Andorra, but is by no means set in stone if you have any better suggestions? We are not staying in Santander just catching the ferry at 9.00pm; I have attached a link for this trip so that you dont need to downlaod the routes; thanks again for all this.
Mark
https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/1/edit? ... 687495&z=8

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