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hi all, 1st post and newbie member....so really have questions for the group.
I will be taking the ferry from plymouth on the 30th july to santander and returning on the 20th of august.
i will be based in the fuengirola region of spain.
my questions are:
1. what to pack for legal reasons.
2. what to pack for comfort/ personal reasons.
3. what not to pack
4. good routes and approximate times for them...as hopefully want reach southern spain as quickly as possible but also want good riding there.
5. any info on activities in that area of spain whilst i am there, since last time there moto joe bar in la cala de mijas no longer really up to much.
anything else u can think that will be good to know
also whilst out there (my wife and kids are flying out) i would like some good routes to and from la cala area so i can escape the boredom of the pool and beach
Firstly Mike, to the HUBB. Good choice of Bulletin Board.....
Secondly well, your Bike and then your riding gear, and any paperwork including insurance, logbook, MOT, BREAKDOWN COVER if you have it (reccommended) and an Unlocked mobile phone with a Spanish Sim card ( available in Carrefour or other biggish supermarkets)
Please remember, although the police do this:
they also have a liking for handing out fines if WE do it or ride too fast.
for roads and places to go near Fuengirola I would head off up to Ronda if you haven't already seen it and you can always have a "virtual wander" using google earth, i find that great for finding out of the way roads and tracks for my XT destroying forays!
I know you is probably proper sensible, but remember that the Spanish, although they seem laid back, turn into real Pillocks on the road and have NO IDEA AT ALL how to enter a Motorway ( IE they STOP at the end of the slip road and wait for a gap, any size, then pull in, rather than judging and matching their own speed with the traffic...)
Anyway, now I will stop worrying you, they aint all that bad, enjoy Spain Mike, its got some of the BEST (and some of the worst) biking roads I have ridden. Thats partly why I live here.
Google 'driving in Spain' for all the legal stuff, but, just to add to Martyn's list:
The legal stuff:
- Your passport has to be carried at all times for ID, as do all the other documents he mentioned.
- Check your VIN number on your V5. It's common for the number to be wrong on British bikes (mine had 5 zero's on the document instead of the 4 zero's that are on the frame) and if you get stopped and the numbers don't match, your bike will be impounded.
- Breakdown cover is obligatory.
- If you are stopped, remember that one of the Guardia Civil will be able to speak English, but often won't let on. So while you're cursing them under your breath, he can understand you. Usually, they just want to see your licence and nothing else, but if you're missing any of the required documents you'll get a fine. The more argumentative you are with them, the more likely they are to find something to fine you for.
- If you are a tourist without assets in Spain, all fines are payable in cash “on the spot”.
- Don't drink and drive. Very tough penalties out here.
- European Health Insurance Card (E111). If you haven't got one and you (or your family) need medical treatment, you'll have to pay for it.
You're coming out during the hottest and busiest times of year. Not only are all the Brits here, but the Spanish are all on holiday too.
- If you're riding for more than an hour, a hydration pack (Camelbak or like) with an isotonic/rehydration drink.
- T-shirts that wick away the sweat quickly.
- Hat for when you take your helmet off.
- Good sunglasses or tinted visor.
- Riding gear with ventilation zips. You might find body armour more comfortable.
- Being in Fuengirola you may have to drive on the A7 (Autovía del Mediterráneo) - THE most dangerous road in Europe (you'll see why if you drive on it), so a good life insurance policy .
What not to bring:
- Warm clothes. You just won't need them, day or night.
- Malaga has a good size Decathlon, so hydration pack, t-shirts etc are cheap to buy there.
- Chocolate - it melts!!
Depends what you're looking for - rides or family days out. You'll be in one of the most dedicated tourist spots in Andalucia so there will be plenty of family days out - Selwo, Tivoli World, Torremolinos Aqua Park - remember the queues will be at their longest at that time of year. You'll be here for Malaga Feria - one of the biggest in Spain.
Rides - yep, plenty of good biking roads, but if you head in the direction of anywhere touristy, don't forget you'll get caught up in all the tourist traffic and when you're following 50 buses on a single carriageway, it's no fun. I'd stick to the roads that go nowhere remotely touristy.
You're only just over an hour away from Algeciras if you fancy a hop over to Morocco which is 35 mins on the ferry. Check your insurance covers you if you do this trip.
I agree with Martyn that the Spanish aren't the best drivers in the world - they can't reverse, think their cars are twice as wide as they are, take corners on the wrong side and generally are blind to bikes (but that's probably down to the fact that Spanish bikers/scooter riders are insane). Most bike accidents out here are the riders own fault. Expect the unexpected, have your wits about you at all times and ride safe.
Here is a real good route down to the South, We have used it 4 times with variations.
Head South towards Bourgos , turn off, On the N110 to Segovia, follow this through Avila to Plasencia.
Then take the N630 to Caceres and Meridia and on to Sevilla, its called the route del Platta , because its the route that all the South American silver took on its way north
We have stopped in all the towns going down over the years.
In Plasencia there is a good cheap hotel called El Rincon just off the main square, biker friendly, though why its called Rincon I have no idea because it is not on a corner
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