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  #1  
Old 11 Nov 2006
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Europe, 6 Months

Hi

I'm looking for someone for company, saftey reasons for a trip found Europe starting feb ish 07. France, spain, portugal, italy, austria, slovakia, romaina, poland, czech republic, germany, but i'm flexable to better ideas!

I'm 21, first big trip and pretty skint, planning to sleep in forests and live on boiled potatoes. Riding a Honda XR250R (for fuel economy) and plan to get some easy offroading in (never tried before). More interested in history, scenery and adventure than blasting down autoroutes.

If your interested or just have some advice please get in touch
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  #2  
Old 11 Nov 2006
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euro feb 07

Can't do the jolly with you but can offer a few words of advice!

Carefull in the czech woods near the german borders, there are a lot of armed police, I was at gunpoint feb last year, they are worried about armed/dangerous eastern europeans trying to get into gemany on the many hidden footpaths. They were ok after a while, but It was quite tense initially. the local czech hunters tend to be armed as well!

It also gets cold, like -25c cold. they also dont like fires in the woods either. I was obviously being carefull, so got to keep it going.

The German roads are usually fine, even in winter, but go east from there, Ice is common. all the cars have chains and snow tyres in winter.
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  #3  
Old 11 Nov 2006
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good luck, i write this from spain 1 month into my 6 month trip from the UK Two tips, get as much money together as you can as life camping rough will be VERY VERY hard, it is nice to get a bed and a shower now and again esp. if the weather is bad. Set a daily budget and stick to it, treat yourself when you have made a saving by rough camping. You will need to eat well to avoid exhaustion and illness. Hope your prep goes well and above all enjoy !! Greg
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  #4  
Old 11 Nov 2006
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Hey

I think I am available at about Feb/Mar time in Europe. I too am 21 and also an absolute novice, and like to travel as light as possible and as pikey as possible! Perfect.

Where exactly are you coming from?

I'm on a slightly bigger bike, a DRZ 400, but I too like to bimble along, I've grown out of the fast as you can go sportsbike malarky.

Joel
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  #5  
Old 11 Nov 2006
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Boy, you must be tough. I wouldn't consider camping WITH hot showers before April/May at the earliest. If you see a truck stop on a highway you may be able to get a hot shower. Dto. for indoor pools.

I'd leave a couple of months later, that gets you into October at the end which is OK in the South. Note that free camping is illegal in some countries, notably Germany. Given the German mentality, make sure you either stay well out of sight, or, better still, try asking a farmer for permission. It will not normally be refused and you are safe then.

Have fun !
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  #6  
Old 12 Nov 2006
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Nope

Not tough, just stupid! Any fool can be unfomfortable. And you don't get any more foolish than me. Though with a decent bag and bivy , Western Europe is rarely too cold to sleep, and that's warm enough in my eyes! it's just the damn wind and rain that can make it miserable. I have no knowledge of Eastern Europe, but I'm thinking that's going to be a bit chilly even for a block like me!

Joel
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  #7  
Old 12 Nov 2006
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Had a two week trip through Europe a couple of months ago and would be interested in going for another ride sometime soon. Most campsites are rubbish and/or closed that time of year, so camping sauvage may be a wise option anyway. I'm a little older (27), but nearly as inexperienced so I'm up for it. Give me ideas of dates and destinations and I can give you a firmer reply.

Unfortunately, I have a job, so could only do part of the trip.

Ditto on the Autoroutes. The worst day of my trip was the afternoon I got stuck on the new Autoroute from Rouen to Le Mans. Won't be doing that again.
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Old 13 Nov 2006
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Me too

I am also slaving for the wage, so can't go for that long, but I have saved up all my years holiday (which gets handily renewed in April) so can manage at the very least a month.

Where exactly are you in England?

Joel
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Old 13 Nov 2006
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Great! Thanks very much everyone for the advice, I had no idea this post would be so productive! Has anyone done 'free camping' on a nightly basis? is it hard to find places? How dodgy is it safety wise?
I'm pretty poor and a vegan so a lot of clothing and bags are off limit (down, leather some glues, companies etc) any suggestions on staying warm?

Hi muvafuka, I'm not sure yet, i just printed of a map of europe, i'll try and figure out some dates and post them up.

Hi Joel Its good to know there are others as daft as me around!
Im currently sleeping on a friends floor in wales, wheres you?

Thanks again,

Ben

p.s. if people only want to meet up for bits of the trip thats ok.
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Old 13 Nov 2006
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That was a bit vague, I'm near Brecon in wales. I keep forgetting wales is a whole country, its just so damn small...
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Old 13 Nov 2006
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This is exacctly what I'm planning to do, but your going a bit early for me - I plan to set off when It's a bit warmer ie about April / May.

Burdy - I've got a DRZ400SM, what model is yours ? only had it a few weeks but it's great fun, and after a few modifications I'm sure it'll be a good tourer.
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Old 13 Nov 2006
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camping

Winter campers tend to be given a bit more leeway when it comes to overnighting aldente... So long as you aren't starting large fires to keep warm and leaving rubbish, you will probably even get offers of accomodation en-route if it is seriously cold. The winter biking fraternity has a lot of camerarderie.
The best tactic is to wait until late afternoon, spot a good overnight bivvy, then go somewhere like a cafe for a couple of hours, warm up, use the facilities (subtly) have a mug of coffee then back to the bivvy spot for a nights kip with an early getaway. Always worked for me.
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Old 13 Nov 2006
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Free camping can be had if you head onto the Peage in France and stay at a service station/rest area, many are truck stops, so are open all night with coffee machines, sell warm food and have hot showers.

Fine if you don't mind artics trundling past all night!

Have a good trip.

Phil
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  #14  
Old 14 Nov 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shandydrinker
Free camping can be had if you head onto the Peage in France and stay at a service station/rest area, many are truck stops, so are open all night with coffee machines, sell warm food and have hot showers.

Fine if you don't mind artics trundling past all night!

Have a good trip.

Phil
You can also do this at the many 'aires' or laybyes on major non peage routes.
it is better to be at the back where it is more secluded and out of the way.
a tip. examing carefully (with a torch if necessary ) where you are to pitch your tent as many people let their dogs out at these rest stops I would suggest you do not light any fires and stick to gaz or fuel for cooking.
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  #15  
Old 15 Nov 2006
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evening

Quote:
Hi Joel Its good to know there are others as daft as me around!
That's one thing you can always rely on on a board like this!

I've 'free camped' in this country a fair bit, but have no knowledge of Europe mainland. On own, I think camping can be a bit dodgy, I haven't always felt safe, but in a group or even just a pair, I'm sure safety is upped tenfold.

As for sleeping bags, I'm no vegan, so not sure how they stand, but Snugpak have always worked for me. They're not the cheapest, but small and warm. Failing that, a British Army issue bag and bivvy is warm as fook, just a bit big.

I'm working near Lincoln at the moment, but it changes quite regularly, I am pretty much of no fixed abode - which makes it so much easier to leave.

Quote:
Burdy - I've got a DRZ400SM, what model is yours ? only had it a few weeks but it's great fun, and after a few modifications I'm sure it'll be a good tourer.
I'm riding an 'S,' I've only had it for 2000 miles (after p/xing my old sports bike) but I'm enjoying it. I can ride it below 100 mph and have fun - a revelation! Good for my license and my life expectancy. Just wish the tank was not so damn bone! I cant't justify £350 for an Aquiline when that money could be a month spent living in India.

Quote:
The best tactic is to wait until late afternoon, spot a good overnight bivvy, then go somewhere like a cafe for a couple of hours, warm up, use the facilities
Glad I'm not the only one to do this. Makes me feel like a total pikey - but makes so much sense!

Joel
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