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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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  #1  
Old 6 Jul 2009
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Help to find suitable off road tour for female travelling alone

Hello everyone, I am looking for help to find the right off road adventure. I don't mind where in the world it is (the more unusual the better!).

I ride a crf 230 green laning at home in Devon England and am looking for a predominently off road tour, not a big dual sport tour.

Can anyone recommend one they have been on?

I did look at one africa one in October but it turns out Prince Wills and Harry did it and at £5K, I thought a bit expensive.

This is going to be a trip of a lifetime for me so I realise it will cost. I am travelling solo and don't really know anyone to do a trip with, hence going on a tour as opposed to a self organised trip.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Pol
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  #2  
Old 6 Jul 2009
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Hi, first off how long are you planning on going for and are you taking your own bike? If you're looking at 6 months+, you'd be cheaper to bring your own bike or buy there (ie USA or Australia).

Have you considered South America? I only spent about 5/6 months there but totally loved it. Off road or just plain old bad roads, it's all there.

BTW, if its a trip of a life time you are after, I'd seriously reconsider going down the organised tour route but each to their own. After a few days travelling on your own, you'll be wondering what all the fuss was about. You also meet a lot more people on your own, plus there are quite a few solo female travellers here.
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  #3  
Old 6 Jul 2009
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Hi Mike, wasn't planning to take my own bike, my mechanical knowlege is rubbish and from a safety angle, I just don't know that I have posess enough knowledge and or skills (yet!) to go it alone.

I'm not planning a long trip, was thinking more on the lines of a couple of weeks of hard core off road guided tour and then staying on in the country afterwards for a month or so.

Maybe I am going at this from all the wrong angle!!

You've definitely given me some food for thought, that's for sure.

Thanks for your advice. Looking forward to hearing anymore.
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  #4  
Old 6 Jul 2009
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trip idea

hi i have read (but cant remember where) that its possible to ride from around calias to the med using mainly off road tracks would make a fantastic journey have fun steve
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  #5  
Old 6 Jul 2009
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I'm just back from a couple of days in France. If you do use a Garmin Zumo in France then have it guide you to a location in the hinterland on the shortest route possible (not the fastest).

It will route you over forest tracks, dirt roads and a lot of other fun stuff. Might not be a once in a lifetime adventure but it sure makes for a lot of dirt track fun. I'm already thinking about going from Germany to the Atlantic and then maybe to the Mediterranean next year

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  #6  
Old 7 Jul 2009
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It may not float your boat, but,,,

Pol,
There are a group of us from another forum heading off down through Portugal, south and then back north through Spain, we're looking at mainly dirt trails, wild camping and as few tarmac sections as possible

It's a 10 day run sceduled for May 2010, ferry into northern Spain and ferry back to blighty.

It's a prelude to our Dakar challange in 2011 (just to make sure we all get on together!)

You are welcome to tag along.
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  #7  
Old 7 Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by ssbon View Post
hi i have read (but cant remember where) that its possible to ride from around calias to the med using mainly off road tracks would make a fantastic journey have fun steve
Are you thinking of something called the Sentiers des Douaniers? If so tt's possible to walk and cycle round from Calais to the Med, but motorbike it and you'll find you're being pursued by some very irate farmers and you're trying to lift your bike up and down stairs, fences, walls etc. And you'd need amazing bike handling skills on some of the cliff-top paths round me.

Haven't heard of a bike-able version though, but maybe my Zumo will help me out?

Polly, you might try contacting XT Girl on here a while back she was trying to organise a couple of weeks in the Sahara, but then it went quiet, I think there weren't enough people? But who knows she might be up for it.

And what happened to your London - Capetown ideas? I guess they didn't get done after all?
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Old 7 Jul 2009
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It might be worth having a word with Bill Oates of Moto Morocco. He can arrange the hire of a mid-range offroad bike to join one of his tours with you flying into Marrakech on Easy Jet.

Another resource in Morocco is Peter Buitelaar of BikersHome who might be able to suggest or offer something.

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  #9  
Old 7 Jul 2009
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Thanks Steve and Buebo, all helpful stuff.

GasUp, sounds like a great trip, had a look at your website too, like your attitude to riding and I'm very grateful for the invite and interested, only immediate draw backs I'd imagine are that I'd need to get a bigger bike for that trip and then I'm going into weightier territory...I had an XR Baja for a bit and struggled like mad picking that bugger up. I don't want to be a burden to anyone. Still, there's a bit of time between now and your trip so I will do some thinking and looking at some other bike options, see how I get on and perhaps I can hear some more about your plans. Also, I'm kinda looking for something at the end of the summer, need an incentive in front of me for this year ideally!

Alexlebrit, hello, how are you? Will definitely contact XTgirl, thanks for the tip.

London-Capetown sadly got shelved as did the boyfriend I was going with! Heyho, next plan eh!

Tim, thank you very much for the two links, I'm going to contact them right away. Thinking about it maybe I have seen Moto Morocco advertised in TBM..been a while since I looked at that.

Thanks very much indeed everyone, you have all been very helpful...I'll let you know where it leads me! At least I know that SOMETHING is going to be possible....and its very exciting.
Pol
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  #10  
Old 7 Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by Pollygee View Post
Alexlebrit, hello, how are you? Will definitely contact XTgirl, thanks for the tip.

London-Capetown sadly got shelved as did the boyfriend I was going with! Heyho, next plan eh!...

...Pol
Err, very well, sat in garden wondering about where to go as well. I did wonder if the bf had got shelved too, but you know, didn't like to ask and all that.
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Old 8 Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by Pollygee View Post
GasUp, ...
... only immediate draw backs I'd imagine are that I'd need to get a bigger bike for that trip and then I'm going into weightier territory...

Pol
We're doing it on XT's, couple of Z's and an R. A smaller bike is more of an advantage than a hinderance I'd say! Lois Pryce has done north to south (Americas and Europe -> South Africa) on a bikes less than 250cc!

Anyway, I must get that website updated, it's nearly a year out of date

The offer stands, if you feel the need, or even if you want to do your own thing with some help closer to hand, no worries.

We're all here for each other - or that's how I like to think anyway
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  #12  
Old 8 Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by GasUp View Post
A smaller bike is more of an advantage than a hinderance I'd say!
I wouldn't worry about the bike. A 250 will keep up with a 650 until you hit wide open tarmac, and then you'd need a 650 rider intent on loosing you. If you can pick up a 250 you can learn to pick up a 650 with the right method. Your 250 works for you, a bike matching others in a group has advantages with spares and mechanical knowledge. You go with what's comfortable IF you are with the right group.

One of the best trips and one of the worst I ever did was a club thing. On tarmac they rode like the Sunday afternoon trainee organ donors/roadkill we get in the Dales with the result the distance per day was low and stressful. Off road a big proportion couldn't get out of first gear. If you are going for a group trip, IMHO make sure it's the right group rather than taking pot luck with a tour type thing. GasUp sounds like someone with a good attitude.

Andy
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  #13  
Old 8 Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
If you can pick up a 250 you can learn to pick up a 650 with the right method.
I was messing about with some video stuff after last years run, you can see how easy it is to pick up a bike, and this ones fully loaded. I'm no Gym worshiper either!

http://www.smokingtailpipes.com/Video/Eur08-Sweden.wmv

It's about a minute and a half in -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
GasUp sounds like someone with a good attitude.

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  #14  
Old 8 Jul 2009
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Thanks Andy, helpful and wise words, I a now over my bike inferiority complex!! I also have made a decision whereby I can get the best out of both the real adventure riding and the tour side

I'm doing both!

Enduro Africa called me saying someone has dropped out of this years trip, so I said yes...what the hell, I'll have a blast even if it probably is a bit of a girls way of experiencing some adventure riding (you don't even carry your own kit!!). Its using the same bike I ride here and even though it is fully backed up and costs an arm and a leg (for a good charity though)...I have 3 months to work on some sponsorship to pay for some of it..it'll be great to get away soon, no stress, doing some riding and will boost my confidence in readiness for next year...

So although I'm taking the fairies option, Enduro Africa is going to be a warm up for a real unsupported, unguided trip next year. It will give me some time to get a bit more maintenance savvy, perhaps practise riding and picking up other bigger bikes and hopefully with all your kind help on the Hubb, get a trip planned, with the right bike and some like minded people!!

Thank you everyone for your help, I am very excited indeed....I feel like a very lucky person today.
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Old 8 Jul 2009
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Well that's good news and don't forget to tell us where to send out money for your sponsorship - I've got at least €0.27 in change you can have.


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