I started planning my summer’s motorcycle trip about a month ago – but now, even over the past 7 days, everything has changed and its not clear now how possible any travel will be by late July which is when I plan to leave. Initially I wanted to explore one of the TETs and decided on riding across the Netherlands to the start of the German TET. I read that much of it, strangely, is on sealed roads so it seemed like a good introduction, heading over to Poland where I have been intrigued to dip my toe. But I felt a little unenthusiastic about it and rethought. I started by asking myself what makes a good bike trip: this is what it is – its actually very clear.
1. good weather; it need not be hot and sunny but needs to be at least not raining
2. Nice places to stay, almost more than the actual riding. This is nice small campsites, tent only ideally, could be adult only which adds something civilised to the atmosphere. Need to check out Germany for these. I know they are to be found in France. After one evening’s research Germany does not seem promising for these kinds of sites – like the ones I found and stayed at in France.
3. Some lovely small local roads to ride – need not be mountain passes. Getting there on motorways is fine and unavoidable.
So having checked the weather across Germany, summer is quite a wet time of year and there is more rain in the South East down in Bavaria than in the north which is surprising so no clear steer here.
I am so glad I asked myself those three questions because I quickly, hastily maybe, decided to go to Spain and try to find and explore a small part of the TET there. I booked a crossing on Brittany Ferries last night (it was last night when I first wrote this) – not easy to line up the different sailing dates of the ferries as some some sailings appeared to be fully booked already and it is excruciatingly expensive. It looked like £680 but then I realised I had collapsed the trip down to only 6 nights away so I amended the booking back up to 11 nights in Spain. That shot the price up to an eye watering £788. I was feeling that I’d made a mistake but on reading just briefly some online discussion about TET Spain I am suddenly hugely excited. I’ve done the right thing to not go to northern Germany. I looked at one German campsite, recommended by a UK camping outfit but it was ghastly – I could see on Google Earth right next to a sewage plant and with terrible reviews – the owners spend all day smoking at the bar with the permanent residents. That, unfairly, put me off the whole country’s campsites. I have to say that I have never found a campsite in Germany as nice as those in France and possibly Spain.
So – I need to do some heavy preparation for TET Spain – its good to have such a focus. One of the things I do will be to buy bifocal sunglasses to read my GPS! Why didn’t I think of it before? Another is recommended tyres.
Just downloaded an OSM for Garmin from here: http://garmin.openstreetmap.nl/
That was then, this is now. Brittany Ferries seems to have cancelled most if not all of its sailings and Spain is experiencing the worst Covid19 death rate in Europe apart from Italy. So it seems uncertain that it will be advisable to travel there by late July. If not I will probably, like many other people, decide to stay in the UK and try my new lightweight set up here.