Maastricht to Barcelona
May 13 to June
06/10/2005 Monique taking her brand new Trek for
the first shake-down ride.
of all I would like to introduce my wife Monique. She prefers to
stay anonymous on the net so that's all the information she'll give
up, sorry :-(
Well finally then, after several months of nonstop
brain washing, she finally gave in and agreed to come along on a
tour to Spain.
Seriously, as we both like new adventures, are
willing to try different ways to enjoy our vacations, and seeing
that I had such a good time cycling to Greece, she decided to give
bicycle touring a try.
We chose Spain over Greece for a couple of
reason's. First its the cost. We cycle to Spain and fly out,
Barcelona to Brussels 19 euro PP and 30 euro per bike. For Greece we
needed a return flight (min. 54 euro per person each way) bikes were
the same price (30 euro per bike each way), also the logistics did
not suit us, its difficult to cycle around Athens and getting to and
from the airport is an experience on its own, secondly we've never
Again using my trusty old Auto Route Express (Europe
98) and doing a lot of research on the net, we came up with the
route you see lower down the page. Its roughly 1500 kms and we plan
on taking 28 day's for the trip, so we will have a quite a few rest
days in-between. This is just a rough idea, the route might change
some in the coming months, but we feel the kms are just about right.
One area that we want to pass through is the (Massive Central)
Mountains of France, according to many journals I have read its a
very beautiful area to visit.
Also, if we feel fit enough, we
would also like to visit Andorra, that's a bit more climbing into
the Pyrenees though.
We'll just have to see how fit we are when
we get near that area.
So taking advantage of
first minute sale, we booked our return tickets to Brussels. I feel
just as excited as my first tour. I just cant wait for May.
doesn't mean that we wont be cycling around Greece in the future. I
still believe Greece (especially the north), is very beautiful to
tour around in, only if we could find cheaper tickets to and from
About the Route
After reading about this
who rode from Eindhoven, Holland to Barcelona using a book by
(Onbegrends Fietsen van Amsterdam naar Barcelona), we decided to do
the route also.
It is two books Amsterdam to Cluny, France and
part 2 from Cluny to Barcelona, and they are not cheap. We got part
1 as a gift so it wasn't so painful.
It's +/-2000kms and we have
28 days to get there, with some rest days in-between.
+/-700 kms seem relatively flat which will give us some time to get
used to riding, so it's a fairly easy route.
It's a well traveled
route with many km's of car free roads, there are many campsites
along the way, so we wont have to worry much about the quantity
and/or quality of the campsites, a problem I had last year.
are many other options on this route, and it will still be possible
for us to visit Andorra if we wanted to, we will see later on the
ride whether we have time and are fit to do the 5%, 35km climb.
I have a feeling though that if we see the Mediterranean sea we wont
go back to the hills :-)
The plan right now is to follow the blue
line but we could still change our minds later on and do some red or
the green line into Andorra.
I should mention that we don't
intend to go anywhere near Lyon, far too big of a city, so that
section we will definitely avoid.
And now we wait for May the
In memory of our good friend
who sadly passed away during our tour.