Canadian riding through España and Morocco

Discussion in 'EMEA' started by jackalsour, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    Hello all

    I'd like to put out a request for any suggestions of scenic back roads/trails or things to see in Spain and Morocco.

    I've followed several Morocco ride reports and looked up some previous discussion here, but I don't know much about Spain. I have 4-weeks departing from Germany the last week of March (so the Pyrénées will still be buried :(: ) I've ridden through France a few times already, so I'm more interested in Spain/Morocco this time. I'd like to try my new 50/50 tires if I can find some good gravel roads in Spain, otherwise I'm planning to follow the Mediterranean coast down (not right on the coast if traffic is bad) If I have time on the way back, I'd like to see a bit of Portugal and the northern coast of Spain as well.

    Specific prep so far:
    New 50/50 Mitas E-07 tires
    Spare tubes and tire repair kit
    Downloaded Openstreetmaps data for my Garmin
    Saving general POIs to navigate to

    Still need:
    Fork seal protection for sand?

    Bike today
    [​IMG]

    Found a sweet site I can upload my actual POIs so far with the OSM map or Google map display

    <iframe width="425" height="350" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src="https://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?msid=202550724757933181695.0004d812f44edb9179971&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=32.62087,1.669922&amp;spn=20.042448,39.506836&amp;t=h&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href="https://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?msid=202550724757933181695.0004d812f44edb9179971&amp;msa=0&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;ll=32.62087,1.669922&amp;spn=20.042448,39.506836&amp;t=h&amp;source=embed" style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left">Morocco Plan</a> in a larger map</small>


    It won't embed?

    Map on Dualsportmaps
    #1
  2. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    Fes is great, Marrakech is a tourist trap.

    Enjoy.
    #2
  3. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    I hope to be on the same route in late March, when returning from Morocco. However, I've once ridden the route along the Mediterranean coast and will never do it again: My impression was an endless chain of holiday resorts, connected by landfills. Spain was so much more interesting, once I headed a few miles away from the coast.
    #3
  4. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    Thanks. I figured this as well. A lot of the roads inland look twisty. I read Spain has some gravel tracks but not sure where to find them
    #4
  5. PHILinFRANCE

    PHILinFRANCE Long timer

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    Hi mate if you, ve got 4 weeks l, d get down tnrough France 2 days,to lets say Carrcason, great area the Cathars region have a couple of days here , loads to see.

    Then turn west and do a trans Pyrenees to north west Spain, lets say 4 days

    From here follow the coast down to Portugal cutting in country , get to the fast cat crossing to Morocco 5 day...ish

    When in Morocco get as far south as you can into the Atlas and desert , you love it. 10 days


    Give yourself 4 days to get home
    #5
  6. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    Yea, I'm banking about 6 or 7 days to get to Morocco. I'm leaving in 2 weeks though, won't the Pyrénées still be snowed in? The Atlas mountains and scenic small gravel roads are what I'm focused on. I'll go to see the dunes but I think I would enjoy the Atlas region more.
    #6
  7. PHILinFRANCE

    PHILinFRANCE Long timer

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    Opppps silly me ! forgot about the white stuff, you, re passing a fair way east of us (Gourdon 46350) but if your route changes you,re more than welcome to call in and stay at ours.

    Have a good one mate
    Phil

    ps , done Morocco a couple of times so ask any questions you want
    #7
  8. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    How is the Route Napoléon? It's my plan for the ride back if I have time, but a bit of a detour

    I found a place to upload my POIs. Looking for any scenic trails to mark, that are possible for a solo F800GS
    #8
  9. PHILinFRANCE

    PHILinFRANCE Long timer

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    Not done it yet, well only a small bit when passing east to west but plan trying to get it in this year because by all accounts it very good.

    Bare in mind rural France will be all but closed when you get there so no tourists and empty roads :clap

    All chemins (track/trails) are open to public use UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, most are well used by farm vehicules and signed with a RED MARKER, easily doable solo on the BM

    Phil
    #9
  10. RTLover

    RTLover Long timer

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    Since you've already done the Grandes Alpes, Napoléon might be a bit tame, but it is relatively fast and scenic. That said, you could cut off from the Route north of Aspres-S.-Buech onto D539, Col de Grimone, to Die. From there, go north on D518 to the Col de Rousset and then play around in the area before rejoining the Route.

    Edit: Looks like you know Ronda as well, especially the run down to Marbella.
    #10
  11. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    Added those to my map. Thanks!
    #11
  12. betitou

    betitou Thumperized!

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    Hi here! :D
    I wanted to recommend you some roads around the center, but I see you're looking for gravel roads.
    You won't find many gravel roads to cover long distance stages, since some Spanish regions have every non-paved road forbidden for vehicles.
    Anyways, you can bet your money against the law! And do as much off-road as you want. The minimun ticket is 600 €, but the country-side law enforcement is very weak lately, and you have many possibilities to get away with it. :evil

    BTW, how's your spanish? I could get you some forums so you could get some tracks.

    If you're interested in paved roads, mountain passes or sightseeing spots around Madrid region, just tell!
    #12
  13. betitou

    betitou Thumperized!

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    BTW! Haven't been there, but IMO you shouldn't miss Dades Gòrges:

    [​IMG]

    Not off-road, but dusty enough to push those Mitas to the limit :D
    #13
  14. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    Yes! Dades Gorge will be a highlight for sure!

    I can't get my map to embed here but I have a few spots in Spain mapped so far http://www.dualsportmaps.com/?link=108870

    I've spent a few weeks in Albacete but I don't speak much Spanish. I just managed to order tapas and beer with some gestures :rofl I don't want to break any law really... I heard somewhere that Spain has a lot of scenic gravel roads but I imagine most are covered in snow

    If you have a few of the best spots for Madrid I will add them to the map :D If all goes well I should have time to make a pass through Madrid on the way home. I guess it depends how I can get past the Pyrénées in mid-April as well
    #14
  15. betitou

    betitou Thumperized!

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    I'll try to sum up my "Spanish day tripping reports" with spot mapped pics :D

    Canencia Pass http://goo.gl/maps/LpjK3
    Surrounded by trees like this ones. I don't have a good pic of the road. Is narrow and very twisted :evil
    [​IMG]

    Entrepeñas Dam http://goo.gl/maps/m2WEr
    Is a very worn paved road.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Mijares Pass http://goo.gl/maps/BZGO5
    Another worn road, twisted to the limit, very funny! Those 3 pieces of road you see, are the same road :D
    [​IMG]

    El Pico Pass http://goo.gl/maps/U4aai
    Good paved, very twisted road.
    [​IMG]

    All the above pictures were mine.
    Now I'll mark some spots that I know but don't have pics. I'll try to get 'em from the web...

    El Burguillo Dam http://goo.gl/maps/Rk0MU
    Beautiful road, you have access to the dam via non-paved roads :evil
    Going into Navaluenga town, you have to your left the "Pit Lane" bar, bikers friendly!
    You can take there a fried egg, fries and a piece of bread, plus your drink, for 2.50 €
    [​IMG]

    Puebla de la Sierra Pass http://goo.gl/maps/nLIsm
    No delimiter marks on the road, so you can ride from apex to apex as long as you don't see any vehicle coming :lol3
    There's a great landscape from above.
    [​IMG]


    The landscapes here around Madrid aren't as good as in the Alps, but on this roads you will find loads of bikers going and coming (only if sunny :wink:).

    I tried my best with my English, I hope it was enough.
    And I hope this info is useful to you! :thumb
    #15
  16. betitou

    betitou Thumperized!

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    There are plenty, but I don't know them... :cry
    Laws keep me away from them, since I have no experience off-road...

    I have a friend the has gone from Madrid to Portugal (west) without touching paved roads. The same from Madrid to Asturias (north) and from Madrid to Granada (south-east); but he's been riding off-road since he was a child and knows the best where to go and how to avoid a fine. I can't follow his DRZ 400 path with my DL 650... :cry

    He's gone to Morocco twice. I'll ask him where to get some tracks.
    #16
  17. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    Well I have no qualms with paved roads either! What would be a few of the highlights in your area? What options are there to get to France if there's snow?..
    #17
  18. betitou

    betitou Thumperized!

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    #18
  19. Jim K.

    Jim K. Long timer

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    I'm guessing that if you are coming from Deutchland in March, the high Pyranees will be still snowed in, no? If you are coming down by Perpignon, you will be passing through some very nice areas in the Girona province. I've spent some time there & I can recommend a few. I'm sure you have been told many times about the N-260. It begins up in the Girona area, but is not so interesting there. It gets better as it rolls west . The roads in the Cap Creus Nat'l Parc are fantastic, & well worth a few hours of exploration, especially since it will not be too far off your route. The village of Cadaques, on the cape is quite pretty & has the home of Dali (His museum is nearby in Figueres). If you are lokking for a place to stop in this area I can HIGHLY recommend the hotel Niu del Sol in a tiny town called Palau-Saverdera, just south of the Cap Creus Parc. The owner, Sra. Merced will treat you like family. (actually better than my family treats me!) Of course you will pass near Barcelona, but you must stay away! If you stop here for only a day you will be there a month! There is too much to see & do & enjoy there! If you do fall to temptation & stop in Barca there is a fine motorcycle museum in the tangle of small alleys in the old city,near the cathedral.I found it once, but I could never find it again, so just wander there until you run across it. There is maybe 100-150 bikes from the great days of spanish motorcycle building. One word of advice.....you will be visiting CATALUNYA in this area, not Espania. Learning a few words of Catalan will earn you some goodwill! Unfortunately I can only say Merry Christmas! (Bon Nadal)
    #19
  20. jackalsour

    jackalsour Dreamer

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    Thanks guys! I have added your suggestions to my GPS, just hasn't been uploaded here yet.

    Today I visited the local Touratech store and installed some handguards and neoprene fork seal protection (after what happened to the F800 in Morocco with Colebatch..) Can never be too prepared

    [​IMG]
    #20