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Paris > Lisbon V1

Old 02-02-24, 08:48 AM
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There is nothing more beautiful to ride ALONE for hours and hours without motorised traffic!





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Old 02-02-24, 09:36 AM
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^^^ Under tobacco skies... great pics as usual. Asturias?

Spain is a great country for wildcamping, technically forbidden* as in most of Europe but empty countryside and mountain ranges galore ó with the exception of some fenced off terrain that you see here and there, I suppose for private hunting. There's a decent amount of camping sites as well (Archies app or iOverlander or...).

* It's a regional competence, in Catalunya you can do it legally.
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Old 02-02-24, 10:25 AM
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hi CMAW no, the route is in Pais Vasco. thanks
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Old 02-02-24, 06:07 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by str
There is nothing more beautiful to ride ALONE for hours and hours without motorised traffic!
it is something very special, I agree.
I experienced this last summer in Scotland.
absolutely loved it.

oh, and yes, walking up super steep bits seems to expend less energy than riding I find.
I did this sometimes in Scotland also.

Last edited by djb; 02-02-24 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 02-03-24, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
it is something very special, I agree.
I experienced this last summer in Scotland.
absolutely loved it.

oh, and yes, walking up super steep bits seems to expend less energy than riding I find.
I did this sometimes in Scotland also.
very nice
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Old 02-04-24, 03:43 AM
  #31  
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How were the midges in Scotland? I am considering a tour to Scotland this summer, but have heard horror stories. Obviously it wasnít a deal breaker for you 😊
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Old 02-04-24, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by imi
How were the midges in Scotland? I am considering a tour to Scotland this summer, but have heard horror stories. Obviously it wasnít a deal breaker for you 😊
Even though I grew up in Canada doing outdoor activities and so have lots of experience with bad bug situations, being eaten alive on canoe trips and hiking, I was surprised by midges. They are a special breed, and quite annoying.
I'm used to using bug nets, but you really need to close off the bottom of a head net near your shoulders and neck because they are so small, and so many, that they easily get in if you don't close it fully.
In the end, it was not a problem for me, but for inexperienced people who didn't grow up with this sort of thing, it could be an additional challenge.

I know folks who freak out with a few mosquitos or black flies, if you are like that, Scotland could be problematic.

Scotland is also cool, windy and rainy, with quickly changing weather being very common.

A lot of roads are very narrow and windy, with 80 or 100kph speed limits and people drive fast.

Be prepared mentally for all these things.
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Old 02-04-24, 08:44 AM
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Thanks for that info djb! Yes, Iím not sure if Scotland is the right choice for me. Iím so used to touring in southern europe in the summer, but the changing climate has become a very real consideration for july and august. Northern europe and scandinavia donít have the same charm for me, though I have often ridden through to get to France
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Old 02-04-24, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by str
very nice
Thanks, but although I did two little trips while there last August, I really mostly did family visiting and my bike rides were pretty sedate. I never really was gone long enough to get really touring fit.
Plus I really noticed I'm older now, and my actual fitness over reached how I thought I was--didn't help that I did short trips, so was just starting to get tougher and then I would head back to stay with my family.

But that's okay, the priority was being with family, the biking was a bonus.
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Old 02-04-24, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by imi
How were the midges in Scotland? I am considering a tour to Scotland this summer, but have heard horror stories. Obviously it wasnít a deal breaker for you 😊
Haven't seen any.

(1) Last Spring was unusually dry; (2) I was fairly early in the season; (3) I didn't ride the western coast, where they are supposed to be more prevalent.

Additionally, I was told that midges do not bother you while you ride, or at all if it is windy. You can also purchase something called Smidges if I am not mistaken, and electronic mosquito repellent (AKA ThermaCell) are said to be effective.

Wonderful country. Enjoy!
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Old 02-04-24, 02:57 PM
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I toured on the west coast of Scotland during the first half of June and I don't recall any midges. We had virtually no rain, however.
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Old 02-04-24, 03:21 PM
  #37  
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The wee midgies do like and need wet damp ground.
if there is wind they can't fly, and certain areas are more known for them.
So it can apparently vary from area to area, time of year and if it's been wet a lot of not.....

I have only limited knowledge with them though.

I still believe it's better to be aware of them, and be aware of how to deal with them.
Bug net, Long sleeved clothes, light colours and if you want, use bug juice like "Smidge"
Generally riding I was okay, no worse than riding in Canada with mosquitoes or black flies.
I did eat in my tent sometimes when they were bad.
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Old 02-04-24, 09:26 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by djb
I know folks who freak out with a few mosquitos or black flies, if you are like that, Scotland could be problematic.
Sounds like Minnesota.
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Old 02-04-24, 11:02 PM
  #39  
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At a campground one day, I chatted with a cyclist who showed me a photo of himself from not too many days earlier-- with a bug net on and just a cloud of them around him, all over the head net. Another couple were there who had been hiking quite seriously in Scotland and they showed us photos of similar clouds around their tent.
We were all indoors in a kitchen type building having our supper and chatting ,couldn't really eat outside as they were bad at that "midgie hour" and location.
I never had it that bad by any means, but again, as a fairly experienced Canadian with bad bug situations, their photos and accounts looked pretty darn bad.
The worst I had was hike a biking through boggy single track with no wind, so just had to get through it until I could ride again.
I forget the mph or kph cutoff speed, but it's fairly low.
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Old 02-04-24, 11:15 PM
  #40  
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An article that gives info and whatnot about the little buggers

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-65939262.amp
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Old 02-05-24, 07:07 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by axolotl
I toured on the west coast of Scotland during the first half of June and I don't recall any midges. We had virtually no rain, however.
I was there in Aug and right where my sister and mom live, they werent a problem, even though it had been quite a wet summer. This was west of Inverness ish.
On the Isle of Lewis and on the mainland where I got the ferry over to the island, they would come out at the end of the day.
I always remember at a campground, these two guys, probably American, getting out of their tent and then into the kitchen building, and it was hilarious listening to them , "ok, one, two three---open the zipper, quick out out! zip it shut zip it shut!!" and then the next morning seeing them coming into the kitchen building with sort of the same urgency and drama.
I get the "making it snappy" thing, grew up being like that with tents and black flies, but it was pretty obvious these two guys probably hadn't had experiences like I have had, and were pretty frazzled by the whole midge experience.

I found the bites to be a sharp little sting, and while I had red spots on my face or legs, I didnt react too too much, although I recall somewhere on one leg being swollen for a day or so and finally realizing it was from getting bit a bunch during a slow sloggy section wearing shorts and bare legs. Even though I did have a bottle of Smidge, I didnt use it , was saving it if absolutely necessary. Dont like getting that sort of stuff on my rain gear, and also in case I didnt shower if I had had to wild camp.

I'm glad you didnt run into them.

PS, Indy, yup from what Ive heard about Minnesota, very much like Ontario and Quebec.

Last edited by djb; 02-05-24 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 02-06-24, 02:16 AM
  #42  
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bloody midges
A standard issue mesh inner tent won't keep them out, no? How do you know your specific tent will be ok?
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Old 02-06-24, 08:06 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by CMAW
A standard issue mesh inner tent won't keep them out, no? How do you know your specific tent will be ok?
my standard tent with regular old standard mesh kept them out.
My head net is a pretty standard North American one, the ones that are only mesh, so they roll up into a tiny little ball about the size of a small pill bottle, I dunno maybe 1 inch by 3 inches.
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Old 02-06-24, 03:59 PM
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I can't answer any of your questions, I did Lisbon to Granada with REI Travel. They provided the bike, most meals, all lodging, van with trailer for luggage and bike hauling etc., and a guide. So, on camping and routes, I am clueless.

I was warned by REI that pickpocketing was common in Lisbon, thus I was extra careful there.

If you are interested in historic architecture, there is a lot to see on that trip.

Do not forget a cork screw.
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Old 02-07-24, 05:30 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I was warned by REI that pickpocketing was common in Lisbon,
Be very careful in Paris train stations too. Not just pickpockets, but teams of bag snatchers who will distract you in all manner of ways, then steal your bags.
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