Sunday, January 28, 2018

Routes Roads and Reviews Our Motorbiking Trip France and Spain 2017

Routes, Roads and Reviews Our Motorbiking Trip 
France and Spain

Hi folks....

As promised I want to finalise this motorbiking trip by sharing with you my opinion of the places we stayed at whilst we were on our trip.

Throughout this blog I am adding some of the pictures of the roads we rode to give you an insight into how awesome the roads are.

(Click on link above to see more great rides!)

I do emphasise that this is purely my opinion with the reviews, I haven't included our friends opinions. They may agree or disagree with what I am about to say.

I have also included the route for you all as it was written by Jeff, so no fancy wording added by me just written as Jeff wrote it on paper and put it into his tank bag for ease of reference whilst riding.

Lets get started then.

First up I want to share with you our experience of Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Caen.

Our outward journey was excellent. I honestly could not fault it. 

On time and the garage was to say the least unbelievably organised, efficient and the staff were fast.

It's always quite daunting leaving the bike to the guys in the garage to safely ensure the bike is tied down (not sure if that's the right wording for it) but without fail they manage to secure the bikes all of them quickly and efficiently.

I have said this before in previous blogs, even though I know they have to put the blue cushion on the seat and then put the pulleys over and down to the ground, it does seem like they pull those pulleys so tight, I worry they may damage the seat.

We have a gel seat on the Suzuki Bandit, not cheap, I know someone who would be well upset if it got damaged!

That said, in all the years that we have been using Brittany Ferries they have never failed to please us.

We were met by one of the crew who gave us our decking card explaining what level your vehicles on and the deck your room is on and wished us a safe trip, this to me is a very good and important part of customer services in my mind and I for one appreciate the attention they give on boarding.

The room a four berth cabin with a window was perfect for two bikers with lids and a tank bag in hand.

Beds made up ready, shower room and toilet clean with clean towels provided for showering and no problems at all found.

Plenty of room for our onward journey.

Yes we were lucky the sailing was brilliant not to choppy and after a few drinks at the bar we returned to the cabin and slept soundly.

The bar staff were attentive and smiley.

As I said earlier, hubby and I have been many times on Brittany Ferries and I cannot fault the service.

We have I will say had a lot choppier crossings on other occasions but thats another story for another day!

In the morning you are woken by a gentle signature tune with the crew informing you when you will be arriving at Caen France and what the weather is doing which is well handy for us bikers.

This message as some of you know lets us know whether wets are needed or not.

There's a short wait before you can get down into the garage and it's always a pleasure to join the bike again.

More and more Motorbikes are using Brittany Ferries and the garage is normally quite full and bustling with bikers packing there gear away and getting ready for the off.

So many different stories all positive to share with you about our experiences with Brittany Ferries.

Touching lightly on one was from Portsmouth to Santander and to get off the Brittany Ferry on a Motorbike was to say a challenge for my hubby an understatement.

With me on the back riding up a steep ramp his riding skills and the other bikers skills were tested to the limit!

I'll share the full story with you on another day.

And on another occasion we overslept and were the last to leave the garage!

Ahh memories!

Anyway back to this trip.

Once off the ferry the passport control was great, to say we sailed through (did you get what I did there!) It was great.

So, here we go with my ratings.

I'm going to rate in 10 categories throughout the blog with a smiley face rating which are:-

1☺ being poor
2☺ ☺ being acceptable
3 ☺☺☺ being good
4☺☺☺☺ being very good 
5☺☺☺☺☺ being excellent
😉 represents 1/2 point

The 10 categories are:-

Biker Friendly
Room Condition
Service & Staff
Small Stuff done right
Booking Experience
Overall Experience

So, first up then to get my ratings is Brittany Ferries

Biker Friendly ☺☺☺☺☺
Parking ☺☺☺☺☺
Location ☺☺☺☺☺
Price ☺☺☺☺
Room Condition ☺☺☺☺☺
Service & Staff ☺☺☺☺☺
Cleanliness ☺☺☺☺☺
Small Stuff done right ☺☺☺☺☺
Booking Experience ☺☺☺☺☺
Overall Experience ☺☺☺☺☺

My rating of 4 smiley faces for the price is purely because I feel that Motorbikes should be cheaper as they do not take up as much room in the ferry garage as the cars, caravans, trailers, etc, etc.

Well done Brittany Ferries I love sailing to France with you. Thank you for the experience.
Just off the ferry checking the route
Next up

Well, has become the most favourite website out there for me and hubby for booking our B&B's whilst touring.

We have used many times and the user experience in my opinion is the best.

There is an array of B&B's to choose from and with the reviews provided by the general public also added the site provides you with everything you need.

Whilst your making your decisions the website lets you know how many people are viewing the site at the same time as you. Hence letting you know that if you want to stay there best to get moving on with it!

The filters are extremely useful especially for us lovely lot, Motorbikers are generally looking for secure parking and the location is quite important too if your planning a route. 

Yes the other filters are handy too, but those two in my eye as a biker are the most important.

The pricing and ratings of the B&B's are clear and concise and the fact that you don't have to pay when you book for a lot of them is excellent and if you cancel as you change your mind it's with no charge.

Here are my ratings for

Booking Experience ☺☺☺☺☺
Overall Experience☺☺☺☺☺
Biker Friendly☺☺☺☺

I have only included these three categories as the others apply with each individual booking through for the B&B's we stayed in.

My rating for Biker friendly is because I would love to see a filter that actually states biker friendly for ease of reference.

So well done we will definitely be using your site yet again in the very near future and for many years to come.

Ok, so moving on, here is the first part of the route:-

  • From Ouistreham Ferry Terminal
  • Out on D514/D515 to Caen and the Caen Ring Road
  • Join N814 Ring Road (initially signposted Paris, Rouen) But keep on N814 and Avoid the A13 motorway (Mondeville)
  • Turn off J13 to Join N158 to Falaise
  • Join A88/A28 to Alencon and (Le Mans)
  • Join A11 (s/w Angers, Nantes)
  • Leave A11 and Join A85 near J12 to Saumur
  • Leave J3 Saumur
  • Join D347/D938 to Parthenay
  • Join D743 to (Niort)
  • Join A83 J10 (S/East Saintes Bordeaux.
  • Join A10 (South) to Saintes.
  • Leave J35 and join D137 (Pons)
  • Turn Right D125

First overnight stop:-
Maison Schuler
6A Rue de la Borderie,
Berneuil, 17460
(near Preguillac)

We arrived at Maison Schuler late afternoon, the sun was shining and we had been riding for a while, so very relieved when we found the B&B.

Note the word found, it was a little difficult to find but not to much of a problem.

There was a large driveway not under cover but in view of the house and not on a main road so adequate for the bikes.

The gardens were very attractive as well and there was an outside area for us to sit and relax with a glass of wine and beer for our hubbies, so very welcoming it was too.

The house looked truly amazing, very french and gave the impression that it was saying come in your welcome.

The owner was welcoming although I did find him to be a little lets say 'shy', which I found quite unusual at the time as most B&B owners are to say the least shy.

He gave us our keys and then showed us to our room.

Maison Schuler

Beautiful surroundings

The car park outside of Maison Schuler

Jackie loved the swing in the peaceful setting!

We called this my Princess room at Maison Schuler
Well, the picture above was our room and it was impressive. Very clean and looked as if it had just been renovated, there was an ensuite shower too and a small area with a settee and a small table and chairs to relax at with a kettle and a selection of coffee, tea, sugar and milk.

I would say for individuals in cars this room would be a lovely surprise to stay in, me at first felt a little under dressed with my leathers on, if you get my meaning!

Everything we needed was here and we were very pleased with the B&B.

The evening meal was also pretty impressive three courses and cooked by the owner. Attention to detail
to please was noticed.

The owner was still very quite and I thought maybe it could be because it was the end of the season.

There was a lounge area that we could retire into and we did, very comfortable and enjoyable surroundings to round up the day.

Breakfast too was very good, a selection of fruit, yoghurts, baguette and cereals plus plenty of coffee and juice.

Funnily enough it seemed that the owner relaxed only when it was time for us to leave, at that time hubby had a really long chat with him, it seems that maybe it was because it was the end of the season.

Yes, our experience at the Maison Schuler had been a good one and one that I would recommend.

So this is the tricky bit, I want to make my reviews as truthful as I possibly can.

Here are my ratings for Maison Schuler:-

Biker Friendly ☺☺☺☺☺
Parking ☺☺☺☺😉
Location ☺☺☺☺
Price ☺☺☺☺☺
Room Condition ☺☺☺☺☺
Service & Staff ☺☺☺☺
Cleanliness ☺☺☺☺☺
Small Stuff done right ☺☺☺☺
Booking Experience ☺☺☺☺☺
Overall Experience ☺☺☺☺☺

My reason for giving 4 smiley faces in 2 of the categories and one with 4 smileys and 1 wink which represents 1/2 so 4 1/2 are as follows:-

Location, there was quite a ride up a road with new houses on one side and open land on the other, if the road had been signposted at the beginning of entering the road it would have been a little easier to find.

Service & Staff, I think maybe the owner could have been a little friendlier when he first set eyes on us, whether it was because we were on Motorbikes I do not know, but I did sense a little bit of awkwardness.

Small stuff done right,  although it was put right quickly and efficiently, not enough sugar for the coffee in the room (sweet tooth me!)

So, I have been very fair with my ratings and I hope Maison Schuler and are pleased.

Continuing on with the route:-
  • From D137 join A10 J36 (South) to Pons Bordeaux
  • At Bordeaux follow signs for Bayonne to get on the A63
  • After 24km (15miles) bear right onto A660 to Arcachon
  • At La Teste-de-Buch South of Arcachon turn left onto D259
  • After 4.3km turn left onto D218 to Biscarrosse - Plage
  • At above leave on the D146 into Biscarrosse
  • Leave above on D/46/D652 to Parentis
  • Turn Right onto D652 to Gastes then D87 to Mimizan
  • Continue on D652 to St. Julien, St. Girons, Leon, Vieux-Boucau-Les-Bains
  • D652 onto D79 Hossegor
  • D152 then D652 to Capbreton.
  • Then Labenne

Next up our Base for the 8 days (was going to be 10 but we spent 2 touring Spain)

Avenue de R'Ocean,

The campsite was very easy to find and on a main road and I was amazed at how big it was.

We have stayed at many Eurocamps and this was by far the biggest.

We went to the main reception to let them know that we had arrived and they pointed us in the direction of the Eurocamp office to collect our keys.

After a short wait tired and ready to collapse after our ride the rep arrived and gave us a run down on the site and it's amenities.

At all of our previous visits in Europe to Eurocamp sites on the Motorbike the courier would take you to your mobile home and check that you are satisfied with where you would be staying but on this occasion we were all sent on our merry way to find our homes ourselves.

The mobile home was clean but I felt crammed in and was a little disappointed, when I say crammed in I mean that seperating us from the mobile home opposite was a small road, so, to close, you could see into each others homes so not ideal.

The inside of the mobile home was clean, large enough and the linen and packs we had pre-ordered were all correct.

Overall, I was content, until I went across to check on our friends who were behind us in a seperate home.

Unfortunately they were not pleased with their home.

As I am reviewing my experience only, I am not going to make comments on behalf of our friends, I am quite sure that they have had their say direct with Eurocamp.

The pool area was lovely and when we arrived it was the holiday season for the spanish and everywhere you turned there were children having fun.

At the end of our stay we spent a little time around the pool, the children had gone and the pool area was lovely, sounds like I don't like kids doesn't it but that is not true at all, it was just too crammed for my liking.

The bar area was very busy until the end of the season and the restaurant was clean and busy too.

Food was good but again I felt it was the end of the season and the staff had been working very hard all season and I did feel they were ready for a rest.

There was a shop on the site which didn't quite have everything on offer, again, I think this was due to it being the end of the season.

The bike hire shop was a different story, the guy was great, ensured we had the right size bike and smiled happily whilst serving us.

Reviewing this site is really difficult for me, reason, every other site that we have stayed at has been above average and I only wish that I had written about those tours first as the reviews would have been very good, but I have to be honest, so here it goes.

My ratings for Eurocamp, Sylvamar:-

Biker Friendly ☺☺
Parking ☺☺
Location ☺☺☺☺☺
Price ☺☺☺☺☺
Room Condition ☺☺☺☺☺
Service & Staff ☺☺☺
Cleanliness ☺☺☺☺☺
Small Stuff done right ☺☺☺☺☺
Booking Experience ☺☺☺☺😉
Overall Experience ☺☺☺

Ok, so now I have to explain my 2 smiley's and 3 smiley's:-

I gave Biker friendly and Parking a 2 smileys because at this site you couldn't park your bike alongside the mobile home. Every other site we have been to you have been able to do that and it gives great peace of mind for a biker.

I gave Service and Staff a 3 smileys because I really noticed the difference on this site to how the staff treated the customers, they were lets say not bothered, it was totally obvious to me that they wanted to finish the season.

I have given the booking experience a 4 1/2 smileys, and I want to explain why. As I said earlier we have stayed at many sites and Eurocamp have this on record, maybe I'm wrong but I would have liked it if Eurocamp had mentioned that this site is considerably larger than the other sites that we had stayed at, perhaps you may think I'm wrong and that enough information is in the brochure, but, that said just a little prompt to remind us that the sites we usually stay on are much much smaller would have been going that extra mile. Perhaps as a customer I am expecting to much but if you went to a shop and booked a holiday the travel agent would point everything out.

It's such a shame that I have had to rate this camp with an array of different smileys but I have said that I am going to do this truthfully, our friends ratings are I am sure going to rate completely different to me.

Back to our onward tour:-

  • Labenne ->Bayonne A63
  • Bayonne > Pau (Tarbes) (D1) A64 (exit J11) Lourdes
  • Pau > Lourdes D817
  • Lordes > Argeles-Gazost D821
  • Argele - G > Col d'Soulor D918
  • Col-D-Aubisque - Eaux-Bonnes
  • Col - du - Portalet
  • Biescas
  • Torla
  • Broto

Overnight Stop:-
Hotel La Posada
Los Arcos
S/N 22370

Ok, moving on to our 2nd B&B booked with this is my review:-

Wow! When we arrived we were absolutely shattered, we had a great days riding and were not disappointed to see our next B&B.

So we all went up a few steps to the reception area which was very spanish inside and cosy after parking our bikes just around the corner until we found out where the bikes were going to be parked up too as the road outside was full of cars.

After booking in it became apparent that, wait for it, this B&B had a secure underground garage. To say Jeff and Mike were pleased I think they were over the moon!

So with the bikes parked away for the night we went up to check out the room.

The room was very basic, spanishy with old dark wood furniture, and big enough for two bikers and all their gear, I liked it.

It was clean and very different to Maison Schuler and that was what I always look for wherever we travel is new experiences.

There were no coffee or tea facilities and I missed that but we did know as it stated it on the website.

The bathroom was clean and towels were provided.

There wasn't a restaraunt at this B&B although they did provide breakfast and had made us aware of this when we booked so we were prepared to find somewhere to eat when we wandered around the small, spanishy village full of views and charm.

We slept soundly in a really comfy bed and woke refreshed.

Breakfast was basic but very nice, usual things, coffee which was very welcomed (as I hadn't had my fix in the room) orange juice, baguettes, toast, little cakes, jam and it was good value for money.

The Motorbikes had also slept soundly in their secure garage and yes it does make a difference to us bikers knowing that it's locked away securely.

So, here it goes with my ratings for Hotel La Posada, Broto, Spain:-

Biker Friendly ☺☺☺☺☺
Parking ☺☺☺☺☺
Location ☺☺☺☺☺
Price ☺☺☺☺☺
Room Condition ☺☺☺☺☺
Service & Staff ☺☺☺☺☺
Cleanliness ☺☺☺☺☺
Small Stuff done right ☺☺☺☺☺
Booking Experience ☺☺☺☺☺
Overall Experience ☺☺☺☺☺

Well, it has to be said that La Poseda was a perfect B&B for Bikers and their Motorbikes and I can highly recommend it.

So, thank you yet again this one was spot on! No thrills, just charm, comfort, security and everything you need when your a biker.

Moving on....

Continuing the tour....

  • >Broto > Ainsa N260
  • >Turn right C138/N123 > Barbastro
  • >N240 Huesca
  • >A132 > Ayerbe
  • >Turn left > A125
  • >Ejea de los Cabaleros
  • >Turn right onto A127 to Sadaba
  • >Turn left to Santa Ursula
  • >Ainsa Turn Right C138
  • >N123 Barbastro
  • >N240 Huesca
  • >A132 to Ayerbe>turn left>A12
  • >Turn right Ejea de Los Caballeros
  • >Sadaba

Next stop Logis Hostal Rural also booked through here it goes with my review:-

Overnight stop:-
Logis Hostal Rural
Txapi Txuri
Santa Ursula
63 Murillo el Fruto

After a fab day riding, sun shining all day we were very very relieved and pleased to get to this B&B.

The B&B was very rural and it was on a main road with a small shelter on the opposite side of the road with another dusty road alongside it (if you get what I mean).

From the outside the B&B which again was booked through looked charming with a grape vine growing up and around the front entrance.

Whether we had arrived to early I don't know but the front door was closed and Mike had to call the owner on the phone to let us in. Bazaar....

Once we were in the owner was very attentive and greeted us welcomingly showing us to our rooms.

The B&B was full of character and offered it's own spanish charm, the room was clean, very smart and the window overlooked the road and I could see Mikes bike parked in the dusty covered car area.

Jeff had decided to park his motorbike  up the side road and in a sought of type of bit of ground opposite the B&B as it wasn't so dusty.

We all went down to the bar and sat in what can only be called a rural garden and drank our drinks.

The B&B had a restaraunt which I for one was grateful for as the thought of having to find somewhere to eat after a hard ride did not appeal.

The meal was very good and service was very very friendly.

Breakfast was also very good, coffee, tea, croissants and jam, orange juice, very refreshing.

Mike decided to park his bike under the cover

And Jeff decided to park his away from the dusty track

This is my review for the Logis Hostal Rural, Santa Ursula, Spain:-

Biker Friendly ☺☺☺☺
Parking ☺☺
Location ☺☺☺
Price ☺☺☺☺☺
Room Condition ☺☺☺☺☺
Service & Staff ☺☺☺☺
Cleanliness ☺☺☺☺☺
Small Stuff done right ☺☺☺☺☺
Booking Experience ☺☺☺☺☺
Overall Experience ☺☺☺☺☺

Overall this B&B had everything, charm, friendliness, spanish feel but I just had to lower the smiley ratings for the parking and location. The parking was not good for Motorbikes, bikers are very fussy when it comes to dusty roads as we all know and the location was so remote, not even a shop in site!!

Customer and staff I gave a 4 smiley face rating as there was no one there to greet us on arrival.

Back to Labenne for rest.

More Routes...

  • Sylvamar to Monte-de-Marsan
  • Head south - left towards D126
  • slight right towards D126
  • Turn left onto D126
  • At roundabout, continue straight stay D126
  • Stay on D126
  • Turn left onto D810
  • Stay on D810 heading to A63 Bordeaux/Dax
  • Take D28 heading A63/ Capbreton Hossegor
  • Use right lane to take A63 slip road to Dax/Monte-De-Marsan/Bordeaux
  • Keep left at fork signs A63 Dax/Arcachon/Bordeaux/Monte-De-Marsan
  • Merge onto A63
  • 16km take exit 9 towards D824 Monte-de-Marsan
  • D824 Monte-De-Marsan
  • D933 To Marmand
  • D933 Bergerac
  • N21 Perigueux
  • D939 to Angouleme

Next to review is Hotel-Saint-Antoine, Angouleme another booked through

Overnight stop:-
2 Rue du Gond

This B&B again booked through was in a completely different type of setting being that it was on the edge of a town.

You crossed a bridge and it was right on a corner of a street with no parking, quite tricky to park at first.

We went into the reception area which was very formal and had a business like feel to it.

The receptionist was quick and efficient although there were a group of business people waiting to be booked in at the same time as us, a very formal hotel.

After being given our keys we went up in a lift to our room which was very nice, clean, nice bed, not very frenchy, good sized bathroom, with a window over looking the garden down below.

I could just about see the bikes parked behind a wall just past the garden.

The garden was nice, some lovely plants growing and colourful seats and chairs, shame it was raining.

The hotel didn't serve evening meals so we went for a wander for our dinner which wasn't a problem.

There were no coffee and tea facilities in the room but we were aware of this as had this stated in the description.

The breakfast in the morning was lovely, self serve which we hadn't had all holiday and it was great to be able to pick and choose what you wanted.

A really good selection was on offer of cheese, ham, cereals, toast, hard boiled eggs, jams, coffee, tea and juices. I was very impressed with breakfast.

Going back to the parking, it worked but it wasn't ideal, but it was a hotel and I think maybe it was a business hotel.

Absolutely no attention was provided by the staff.

This is my review for Hotel-Saint-Antoine, Angouloume

Biker Friendly ☺☺☺
Parking ☺☺☺
Location ☺☺☺
Price ☺☺☺☺
Room Condition ☺☺☺☺☺
Service & Staff ☺☺
Cleanliness ☺☺☺☺☺
Small Stuff done right ☺☺☺☺☺
Booking Experience ☺☺☺☺☺

Overall Experience ☺☺☺

My reason for giving 3 smiley faces for parking, location and overall experience, the B&B had no private parking and the location of the parking could only just be seen by the room window, if our room had of been at the other side of the building we would not have been able to see the bikes, hence, not quite right for a biker.

Service and Staff has been given  2 smiley's as no attention was given hence the overall experience being given 3 smiley faces.

  • Angouleme > Poitiers N10/D910
  • D347 > Montreuil Bellay
  • D347 > Saumur
  • D767 - Noyant/D307 Le Lude
  • D305 - Vaas

Our next B&B took us to Vaas the last booked through, a very quaint little village, a real pleasure to the eye.

Overnight stop:- 
Le Vedaquais
Place de la Liberte

The parking was behind the actual B&B and was totally out of site. The Motorbikes couldn't be seen.

We were greeted when we arrived and the reception area was small but attractive.

Once shown to our rooms, I have to say that this particular B&B had everything you needed, enough room for your gear, tea, coffee, kettle, milk facilities and sugar.

The bathroom was lovely and had clean towels, soap and shampoo.

There was plenty of seating too, which was lovely, a small window looked over the roof tops, I liked the feel of this place.

In the evening we had a lovely meal, service was good, and the restaurant was very busy.

The only problem was the noise at night, your have to click on the link to find out the full story but unfortunately it ruined the stay.

There was breakfast included in the price but unfortunately due to the lack of sleep we were not up to breakfast so are unable to rate it.

My review for Le Vedaquais is as follows:-

Biker Friendly ☺☺☺
Parking ☺☺☺
Location ☺☺☺
Price ☺☺☺☺
Room Condition ☺☺☺☺☺
Service & Staff ☺☺
Cleanliness ☺☺☺☺☺
Small Stuff done right ☺☺☺☺☺
Booking Experience ☺☺☺☺☺

Overall Experience ☺☺☺

So I have given 3 smiley's for parking and service and staff, this is due to not being able to see the Motorbikes from our room and because when we needed the owner in the middle of the night to address the dripping leak problem his phone was switched off!

I had to give the overall experience a 3 smiley's because we got absolutely zero sleep.


  • D307 from Vaas to Le Mans Track Museum
  • A28 to Alencon (Rouen)
  • Exit J17 to join
  • A88 to Argentan, Falaise
  • Join N158 > Ouistreham
  • Join N814 Ring road (Paris, Rouen)
  • Avoid A13 Motorway
  • Mondeville
  • Leave N814 Ring Road
  • on Exit J3 to Join D515/D514

Well, that's the reviews done and that wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

Amazing isn't it if we had been in a car I maybe would have rated the B&B's differently.

Being on a Motorbike we have to take into account the bike. done a marvellous job for us all and I can't praise them enough.

All that's left for me to do now is to thank my love hubby for all the work he put in to make our tour as special as all of the other tours that we have done.

Those other tours I'll share with you later.

And to our friends Mike and Jackie, I hope your first trip touring Europe with us on a Motorbike was an eye opener for you and that you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Great company, great food, excellent riding and an all round brilliant trip.

So, what next I hear you say....

Well, whilst I'm writing this, hubby is planning this year's trip.

So will just have to wait and see.....


Motogp is due to start very soon....

I have loads of pictures of yours, you my followers to share with other like minded folk like me....

So keep your eyes peeled......

for Motorbikesandme

sharing with you....


Roundup of Motogp News From Around the Web

That's it for now folks, hope you enjoy the pictures, keep yours coming until next time....

Ride safe, look after eachother....

Yet another bad hair day!!!! Absolutely exhausted!!!