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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



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  • 1 Post By powder85

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  #1  
Old 21 Feb 2019
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Need advice from Barcelona to...? First solo trip 23 days August.

Hello Guys, I'll explain a bit my story so you can perhaps advice me better.

I have been riding motorcycles non stop for the last 19 years, mainly for commuting and recreative reasons, had all sorts of bikes from scooters to Yamaha R1's and Harley Davidson. Right now I own a scooter for the city a Harley 48 and a Beta 300 2 stroke enduro beast.
Last year, I was on vacation in Thailand and my friend and I decided unexpectedly to rent a couple of CB500X and do an unplanned 4 day trip around the north of Thailand. Deary me, best thing we could do. The best motorbike route I have done in my life, the roads were from Heaven, and the scenario just breathtaking. I was hooked. Couple of pics from the short trip in Thailand:





On my return to Barcelona I went straight to the BMW dealer with my blood still boiling to test ride an 18' R1200GS and a F850GS, both bikes great with their differences, but I ordered the bigger one.





Two weeks later and after letting some steam off and reading more about RTW traveling I came to the conclusion that the ligher the bike the better, specially at my 171cm - 5'7" height, and canceled the BMW.


Fast forward to the present, I want to plan my first solo trip for my August vacation but I have no idea where to go and at what pace, I have 23 days.
At first I thought jumping into Africa and doing some of the easy countries but thought it might be too much complication for so short time and having zero experience. Then I thought about a trip starting from Barcelona and going to Bulgaria through France, Italy, Slovenia, the Balcans and returning through Romania and the inner Balcans.

What are your thoughts and advices for my first trip? Any help would be much appreciated!


.
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  #2  
Old 23 Feb 2019
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Don't plan too much, just get on and ride and follow your nose. When you get tired in the afternoon, that is where you will overnight, so just find a place to stay on the internet.
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  #3  
Old 23 Feb 2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powder85 View Post
Then I thought about a trip starting from Barcelona and going to Bulgaria through France, Italy, Slovenia, the Balcans and returning through Romania and the inner Balcans.
Sounds like a great trip to me, and a smart way to really figure out what works and what doesn't on a moto trip.

I would get out a map and do some pre planning, (do you use a GPS? good tool to have.)

Look for the smaller, twisty lines on the maps, mark them somehow or put them in your GPS- that's plenty of planning. You don't have to follow your route, but it's good to have some ideas when you're deciding where to go the next day.

I like to get on line at night to plan the next day. I'll look at the weather and modify my plans accordingly. Then I'll use a hotel finder app (I use Booking.com) and reserve a room for the next night.

...........shu
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  #4  
Old 23 Feb 2019
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I agree with jonker stay flexible .
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  #5  
Old 28 Mar 2019
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From Barca do the Tran Pyrenees loop.

There are tonnes of circle loops an detour tracks all with GPX on wikiloc.

Plenty of vids for dreaming and planning on YTube.

Check out this trail!
https://www.wikiloc.com/motorcycling...e-2010-1495443 (Transpyrénéenne 2010) at #wikiloc

https://www.wikiloc.com/trail-bike-t...rineos-2023577 (Trans Pirineos) at #wikiloc

Check out the Andorra Smugglers route. Wickiloc and l've seen ride reports either on the HUBB or ADVRider.

And then there is the TET Spain...on the website you can download free the gpx points. For that matter, the TET links all the countries you listed and goes all the way to Finland or Balkans and Turkey.

Plenty to see and do.

Since you likely live in Barca (?) you know Europe is expensive, although Spain is the cheapest - before you get to Bulgaria ot Lithuania, Lat, Est.

23 days is short, that's why I recommend the Transpy loop. Otherwise you are effectively undertaking an ironbutt challenge (you say you have a 'lighter bike'?) for the country list you proposed. However I see on ADVBikeTV the boys did England to Nordkapp and back (only 1 collision and Evac) in about that timeframe.

Finally, although it's not legit, there are plenty of bivouac opportunities and plenty of people do it in the Pyrenees. Just keep it 'no trace'.

Chris
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Last edited by monnomania; 28 Mar 2019 at 05:55.
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  #6  
Old 28 Mar 2019
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FWIW in 3 weeks I'm off to Morocco.

Ferry direct Barca to Tanger Med. No special insurance or papers needed for the TIP.

Easily burn 23 days. However your Aug timeframe might be a little hot!

Some references i used for my planning include

https://sahara-overland.com/2014/12/27/morocco-routes/
And i bought Chris Scott's book but didn't need it in the end (the vagaries and complications of a group trip and clashing agendas)

Morocco Knowledgebase
This seems to be a dead resource, but we see Tim Cullen pop up from time to time on the forums

Morocco and Chefchaouen | World Wide Ride
A blog by a couple on bikes recently visited. Some nice photos.

Atlas Motorcycle Tour to the Desert - by Wheels of Morocco
There are some itinerary ideas. The Owner (i think) pops up periodically on the forums to help travellers with ideas and info.

Morocco - Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

https://advrider.com/f/forums/africa-mid-east.67/

So no need to go far away. Just look at the photos on the resources i listed. Just WOW.

Im stoked for the trip
Chris
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  #7  
Old 4 Apr 2019
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Thanks Chris for the time, Ideally I would have liked to go down to Morocco this time but I didn't plan it with enough time.

You are right about the prices in Europe, Barcelona is a pretty expensive place (tourism) and every time I go somewhere else in Spain I feel in heaven.
I'm pretty decided on the Balcan tour, to save time I'll use two ferries from Barça to Civitavecchia and from Bari to Albania. I'm already there and rested in 4 days. Still have to plan my route there.
The Pyrinees are just 2h away from home and I reserve them for short vacations.

The bike btw is gonna be the new Yamaha T7.

Tell me if you need anything in Barcelona.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monnomania View Post
FWIW in 3 weeks I'm off to Morocco.

Ferry direct Barca to Tanger Med. No special insurance or papers needed for the TIP.

Easily burn 23 days. However your Aug timeframe might be a little hot!

Some references i used for my planning include

https://sahara-overland.com/2014/12/27/morocco-routes/
And i bought Chris Scott's book but didn't need it in the end (the vagaries and complications of a group trip and clashing agendas)

Morocco Knowledgebase
This seems to be a dead resource, but we see Tim Cullen pop up from time to time on the forums

Morocco and Chefchaouen | World Wide Ride
A blog by a couple on bikes recently visited. Some nice photos.

Atlas Motorcycle Tour to the Desert - by Wheels of Morocco
There are some itinerary ideas. The Owner (i think) pops up periodically on the forums to help travellers with ideas and info.

Morocco - Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB

https://advrider.com/f/forums/africa-mid-east.67/

So no need to go far away. Just look at the photos on the resources i listed. Just WOW.

Im stoked for the trip
Chris
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  #8  
Old 14 Apr 2019
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I think you have plenty of time for your trip. Ferry is a great idea, my only concern about it is that you're missing Croatia and especially Montenegro that way, and Montenegro for me definitely was the highlight of Balkans (whereas Albania was a lowlight, but that's just me).
Maybe you might want to continue to Greece and Bulgaria from Albania, and do the Balkan coast on the way back?
Also in August it will probably be quite hot, and also coastal road will have a lot of campervan traffic. Just something to keep in mind.
Enjoy your trip!
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  #9  
Old 14 Apr 2019
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Location: Bellingham, WA, USA
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Hot all over southern Europe during August. Look for altitude and you'll do fine (although lots of other people will have the same idea, so generally crowded and expensive). With a serious commitment you can be in ex-Yugoslavia in a couple of days, then take your time exploring as far as you get in Eastern Europe.

FWIW, I haven't found the ferries allow me to arrive anyplace "rested." All that scheduling, waiting around, loading and unloading at weird times of day, uncomfortable sleeps on deck, s with other travelers.... If in a hurry, just ride the express motorways; if wandering through Italy, Greece, Croatia the ferries are nice options.

As everyone above has offered, don't stress too much about any of it unless you're trying to squeeze every last penny. Just let your personal riding style evolve, and it'll take you where you want to go.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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  #10  
Old 4 Oct 2019
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Well guys, here I am to post some pics of my first solo trip and to thank everyone who helped me.

At the end, it has been 4000km and did part of the TET. Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, quick across Croatia, Slovenia and through the Dolomiti in Italy to Torino and down to Genova. Albania was the highlight of the trip.












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