Sounds like an interesting trip. My experience of many such trips, is you never allow enough time. As it's quite a way it might be worth thinking of including two nights somewhere for a rest from the car?
Have a great time.
........Have a good trip but I'll echo what someone else said , miss a couple of places and take a couple of days out of the car .
Like the other posters.... Looks like a great trip but a hell of a lot of driving and a lot to do in 15 days.....
As you all rightly point out, it is a lot to cover in so little time. The original route I planned down to the Algarve that had the break in the middle was over 4.5k miles in the same time frame! Each part of the planning seemed to involve a 'If we're here we might as well....
' moment - If we're crossing the Alps we might as well get to the coast. If we're on the Italian coast we might as well go along the French Riviera. If we're going across the French Riviera we might as well go to Andorra
Tbh I've already chopped a lot out and some days sadly will be done with one eye on the clock. I fully expect there will be a few more trips planned for the future with focused motorway / major roads used to get there and back and then some more leisurely days inbetween to explore the areas that have the biggest impact during this trip in more detail.
There are 4 or 5 days where we should be done driving by mid afternoon so I'll try to use those as a chance to wind down a little.
Beware of the seemingly broken down car on the side of the road in France , usually a 208 , berlingo or Megan in white or blue ! Invariably it's a speed trap , I used to live in France and I've spent years up and down through France and they French now consider the gendarmes little more than tax collectors.
No speeding through the villages , most have cameras ...
Thanks Paul. I've read a lot of similar things during my planning and research. I'll do my best not to get caught!
Hopefully, in an slk, it won't be as troublesome, as, on a bike you have to pack everything into your panniers again, and it never seems to quite fit !!
Last year the slk satnav, kept sending me miles out of my way on motorways, when i didn't want to go that way anyway ! This year, i have a Tomtom410 motorcycle satnav. You can plan routes, at home on your computer (nice large screen), then sync them to your satnav, ensuring that you get the route you want. We stayed in La Rochelle last year. There are numerous public car parks, but because it's an old town, that somehow avoided bombing in the war, the streets are not much good for parking in. It's a great place to stay, walk in and have a nice meal by the harbour. you will enjoy it, and there's plenty to do. In the centre of town, is the "musee le bunker"(see picture), It was home to the submarine crews from La Rochelle during ww11. It is well worth a visit, and only been open for a year or so. I don't think that you can visit the sub pens here. We also went to Rochefort, it's extremely quiet, and there's not much to see or going on, so not worth a visit unless you are spending a week or so in La Rochelle. I'm quite sure you will have a fantastic time. If you go over one of the alpine passes, be sure to stop at a cafe on the top if you get the oppotunity. In 1988 we didn't stop, as time the the next place was always in the back of your mind, it's one of my few regrets. Regards, Robbie.
Thanks Robbie! Had plenty of experience stuffing panniers over the years and yeah, I won't miss that
The "musee le bunker" sounds like a good idea in La Rochelle. On my route I've got it penciled in to drive down the road next to the sub pens in La Rochelle to a point where I can get some photos but you are correct, those particular ones aren't open to or accessible to the public. Shame really as they were the ones I was most interested in initially. Rochefort is just down on our route as a comfort break.
Definitely planning to stop at the summit of the Grand St. Bernard pass and any other summits that have somewhere to park up. I've set rest stops every couple of hours or so along each days route as well so we can keep ourselves 'fueled up'.
I'll be using my TomTom for navigation. I've been using an online site called Furkot
to plan the route. Really nice site that allows you to specify layers containing points of interest, hotels, restaurants etc. over the map. Just by specifying maximum hours or miles to drive in a day, as well as fuel ranges and various other factors it does most of the work for you. You can then add additional waypoints, actual rest stops and other features to customise the route. As you add elements it re-plans the rest of your entire trip. Each day or section can then be exported as a GPX track (other options exist) to import into TomTom MyDrive, do a few final tweaks and then upload to the satnav as a route. Doing it this way, and checking some sections in Google Streetview, I've been able to plan the exact roads that I want to travel on so the TomTom won't over zealously send me off on a motorway or down some mud track but should still be able to re-route me if necessary. I'm also going to add each of the planned stops as favourites in the satnav as a fall back and print off the GPS co-ordinates on a cheat sheet so we can put them into Google on one of our phones if the satnav packs up. I've done a few test routes over the last couple of weeks to experiment with different aspects of the process using the generated GPX tracks and got it down to something I'm happy with.
I'll be videoing the entire journey on 2 cameras so expecting to generate something in excess of 2.5TB of footage to work through on my return