Out of the Cage - A Spring Ride across Europe 2021

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Don T, May 30, 2021.

  1. fortrider

    fortrider Been here awhile Supporter

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    I also want to thank you for the RR. We also cannot wait to return to the EU, and in particular Spain. Such beautiful country and welcoming people. We have a ride planned in August and hoping life is opening up to all. For now, your adventures are getting us by and staying sane. Excellent.
    #81
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  2. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ - Scandinavia.
    In the morning we started out with a pleasant and scenic ride along the northern boundary of The Picos. As we left the mountains behind the temperatures soon started to rise. It was turning into a really hot day. For the most part we stuck to the main roads as we needed wind to keep us cool.

    Early in the afternoon we crossed the border to France, picked up something to eat and enjoyed a long siesta in the shade by the beach.
    A short but hot ride later we arrived at a B&B on the outskirts of Tarnos. The host offered us the use of his pool. That earned him a 10/10.

    Beautiful morning ride along The Picos.
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    Siesta by the beach.
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    Iron Wolf workout by the pool.
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    It was early in the season and the water was pretty cold, but nothing beats a dip on a hot day.
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    Arenas de Cabrales (E) - Tarnos (F): 380 km.
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    To be continued...
    #82
  3. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    If you got the vaccine there shouldn't be any problems visiting Europe - and if you haven't got the vaccine you could probably get by with a fresh negative PCR test on arrival.

    Like you I enjoy travelling in Spain - but not during the summer months when it's extremely hot and often very crowded with tourists. I find that spring and fall is a much more pleasant time to visit.
    #83
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  4. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    The weather had changed completely during the night. It drizzled as we packed the bikes in the morning. We hadn’t been on the road long when it started raining in earnest. It kept up all day. My riding gear kept me dry. Katrine was not that lucky. When we arrived at the day’s destination, a B&B a bit north of Limoges, she was soaked and cold.

    Our hosts, an elderly French couple, took pity on Katrine and spoiled us rotten. They hung our gear to dry in the boiler room, supplied Katrine with a warm blanket and served coffee and homemade cake in the living room.

    The weather forecast promised the same kind of weather the following day. Katrine needed to recuperate. We decided to stay for 2 nights. The hosts continued to pamper us throughout our stay. A few examples: At one point while we were out of the house the hostess had spent an hour drying our gloves with a hair dryer to make sure they were completely dry. Several times her husband offered us a glass of wine. They kept offering us delicious homemade treats.

    Finally out of the rain.
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    Coffee and homemade cake in Rilhac-Rancon.
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    Katrine didn't want to venture outside more that day, but we needed supplies. I combined a jog through the countryside with a shopping trip.
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    The local boulangerie had a huge selection of food to choose from.
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    Katrine approved my choises.
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    Breakfast - most of it homemade.
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    On our rest day we went for a long walk in the morning.
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    - and visited the boulangerie again.
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    Our hosts were incredibly welcoming and cordial. They did not run their B&B for the money - they obviously had plenty of those. They did it for the company. They retired a couple of years ago after a long carrier as jewelers with shops around the world. Their main store had been located at Saint Barthélemy in the Caribbean. For years they had mingled with the elite of society and royalty from around the world. It was a pleasure spending time with them.
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    Tarnos (F) - Rilhac-Rancon (F): 439 km.
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    To be continued...
    #84
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  5. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Well fed and rested after a very pleasant stay in Rilhac-Rancon it was good to be back in the saddle. We continued our journey north through the French countryside. It was a nice but uneventful day’s ride.

    In the afternoon we entered The Champagne Region. We decided to spend the night in Reims.
    The offerings for decent priced accommodation were slim. We ended up staying at a B&B in a dodgy neighborhood. If the host hadn’t offered secure parking for our bikes in her garage, we would have moved on. A lot of young men were hanging around on the corners.

    In the evening we walked to the historic old center of the city. We came across 4 guys involved in a fist fight. It was three against one – the three guys received a beating.
    As we passed into the old part of town, the atmosphere changed completely. Downtown Reims was tranquil and classy.

    Not much traffic on the roads.
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    Vineyards in The Champagne Region.
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    Reims.
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    Best Chinese dinner ever - with a view to the cathedral.
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    Porte de Mars - an ancient Roman triumphal arch. It dates from the third century AD, and was the widest arch in the Roman world.
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    Rilhac-Rancon (F) - Reims (F): 506 km.
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    To be continued...
    #85
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  6. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    We had a short day’s ride ahead of us. Early in the afternoon we arrived at Baton Rouge - a motorcycle hotel in The Ardennes. The place is owned and run by our friends Ben and Hetty. It was good to see them again. The place was fully booked, but they had prepared accommodation for us in an old dormitory they no longer use for paying guests. It was very cozy.

    All afternoon the four of us hung out in the bar and kitchen while we exchanged stories and Hetty prepared dinner. She also treated us with freshly baked cake. After dinner the conversation continued in the bar. We had a great time.

    Breakfast at the B&B in Reims. It was like a small piece of Nepal - the hostess' home country. Despite the less than ideal location it was a nice place to stay.

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    Baton Rouge.
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    The old dormitory.
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    Hanging out with Ben, Hetty and the dogs.

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    Reims (F) – Vielsalm (B): 247 km.
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    To be continued...
    #86
    mart´n, NaMi, spokester and 11 others like this.
  7. Essbee

    Essbee Been here awhile

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    Really enjoying this!

    That Porte de Mars reminds me of the the Porte Nigra in Trier....well, the arches at the bottom anyway.

    I love how you guys have traversed across Europe but have remained away from all the busy touristy places, right up my alley! Thank you!
    #87
    Don T likes this.
  8. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Due to corona there wasn't any busy touristy places in Europe last month. It was a wonderful experience.
    #88
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  9. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    It was pouring down when we hit the road in the morning. Luckily the weather soon improved significantly. We had decided to ride all the way home today. It would be the longest day of the entire trip. We only stopped ones between Baton Rouge and the ferry port in Puttgarden – more than 700 km in less than 7 hours. A ferry crossing and another 100 kilometers riding later we reach our house. It was good to be home.

    At the ferry port in Puttgarden.
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    Vielsalm (B) - Skaverup (DK): 801 km.
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    To be continued...
    #89
    mart´n, NaMi, fulviapaulo and 6 others like this.
  10. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Epilog:

    This was the first time in almost 2 years that Katrine and I travel together. We had missed it sorely.
    We had a great trip, even though it took a bit of effort to rediscover the rhythm of traveling together.

    Besides enjoying traveling again and exploring new places, we also used this trip to test out gear, ideas and routines for when we set out on the big trip in 2023. We learned a lot.

    Luggage setup, packing list and navigation is sorted. Riding gear isn’t there yet and need a bit more consideration and testing…

    I sold my camera a while ago because I wanted to replace it with another one. I never got around to buy a new camera prior to this trip. As a result we only had our phones (Samsung S10) for pictures.
    Several have made positive comments about the pictures in the ride report, but I have learned that not having a dedicated camera doesn’t work for me!
    · A phone is more awkward to handle and it’s difficult to get a secure grip in tricky situations.
    · Getting the phone ready to take a picture takes longer than with a camera.
    · I often missed a better optical zoom than my phone could offer.
    · Using the phone for more than snap shots really drains the battery.
    · Last but not least – a dedicated camera with good optics and a decent sized sensor have the potential to provide better pictures than any phone.

    When we arrived home Katrine’s bike had almost 80.000 km on the clock and my T12 is approaching 150.000 km. Both bikes performed flawlessly as expected given the low mileage.

    During the trip I often wondered: “Could I do this on a 300 Rally”? 90% of the time the answer was yes – and the last 10% is the riding I hope to avoid altogether when we travel without a deadline.
    We will be giving up something in terms of comfort, but I’m convinced it will be offset by the many benefits of riding smaller and lighter bikes – not least when we travel off the tarmac, which we plan to do extensively.

    I’ve attached a GPX file as promised. It consists of 2 long tracks in Spain, 3 shorter ones in Portugal and several waypoints. Use it as you see fit.

    If you have any questions about anything mentioned in this ride report just shoot. I’ll do my best to provide an answer.

    Thank you for tagging along.

    The entire track:
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    Attached Files:

    #90
  11. Saso

    Saso Happily sporting the DRD4 gene Supporter

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    Thanks for taking us along, Tonny. Great writeup and photography as usual. Can't wait for the big one in '23!
    #91
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  12. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Neither can we :evil
    #92
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  13. olderigetfasteriam

    olderigetfasteriam Long timer

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    Such a great RR. Scenery, great bikes, food (oh my the food), great writing and pics. Not sure if you noticed or not but I believe Katrine is getting younger. Keep an eye on that.

    Thanks for the ride along!
    #93
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  14. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur Supporter

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    Another fantastic RR. Hoping to see you both in '23!
    #94
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  15. Essbee

    Essbee Been here awhile

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    This has been a really lovely and informative RR, thank you!
    #95
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  16. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    You might be right about Katrine getting younger :hmmmmm Thank you for the heads up :-)
    #96
  17. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Of cause we'll visit when we hit your neck of the woods! :thumb
    #97
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  18. Don T

    Don T Roaming Viking

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    Thank you - and you are welcome.
    #98
  19. Slickrick

    Slickrick Been here awhile Supporter

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    Awesome report, thanks for tracks & info. Your welcome to stay with us in Palm Springs, California, shop/tools if needed.
    #99
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  20. EarsFlappn

    EarsFlappn Adventurer Supporter

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    Curious what camera/s you are considering?


    Suzanne