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Alex & Stef: Corsica, Sardinia & Sicily-Your Thoughts!?


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#1 beemerdons

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 11:09 AM

Global Rider Alex: Since your last post to me regarding adding Sicily to my trip to Corsica and Sardinia I have been kicking a route and schedule around.

I would like your input and the input of FJR Forum Friend Stef on my route:

Saturday, May 30, 2009 and Sunday: Flight from Phoenix to Rome, Italia.

Monday: Secure the rental bike from a vendor recommended by Alex and Stef. Run the Coast Road from Roma to Livorno. Question for Stef and Alex: Can this Mediterranean Route be run in a full day’s time on Monday?

Tuesday: Take the ferry from Livorno to Bastia, Corsica - spend the night.

Wednesday: Spend the night in Ajaccio. A & S: Any recommended roads?

Thursday: Spend the night in Bonifacio. A & S: Your road suggestions?

Friday: Take the ferry to Sardinia, spend the night in Sassari. Restaurants?

Saturday: Ride to Cagliari. Any road and restaurant recommendations?

Sunday: Take the ferry to Trapani, Sicily and spend the night in Marsala.

Monday: Ride to Palermo. Would love your routing and rest stop ideas!

Tuesday: Ride to Siracusa. Once again how would you go and where to eat?

Wednesday: Ferry crossing from Messina to Villa San Giovanni and stay in Vibo Valentia. Do you recommend a better place to spend the “boot” night?

Thursday: Autostrada to Napoli. Looks like this is a real “grinder” of a day!

Friday: This would be my “lay” day, where if I was behind schedule, and I was running out of time/miles, I could catch up on any glitches on this day!

Saturday: Arrive back in Rome by 1600 hrs - turn in the bike and kick back.

Sunday: Fly back to Phoenix, where it’ll be damn flat, dry and 115 degrees!


#2 Just Passing Thru

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 05:19 PM

QUOTE (beemerdons @ Dec 29 2007, 02:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Global Rider Alex: Since your last post to me regarding adding Sicily to my trip to Corsica and Sardinia I have been kicking a route and schedule around.


Holy Cow, Don, you don't waste any time. wink.gif

If you plan to do all that in two weeks, actually less, I'm sure it can be done, but you'll be blowing through it all. It all depends on your touring style. I was in Corsica for 8 days, and that wasn't enough for me. I could have been there two weeks. But then, I like to drive all the D series of roads. The N series roads are boring.

When I mentioned Sicily, I only did so because you can ferry hop from one island to the other; Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily. To be honest, I think you are biting off too much. Corsica and Sardinia in under two weeks will keep you entertained. I could spend two weeks in Sicily by itself.


QUOTE (beemerdons @ Dec 29 2007, 02:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Monday: Run the Coast Road from Roma to Livorno. Question for Stef and Alex: Can this Mediterranean Route be run in a full day’s time on Monday?


Well we're talking 333 kms (207 miles). I haven't been on that road yet; Livorno is as far south as I've been. All I know is that backroads can be slow going especially if you have a town every few kilometers. In a day, no sweat. Remember also that you'll probably want to spend the night on the ferry in Livorno. It saves you rushing the next morning to the ferry port, fighting traffic and all. After all, you have to spend the night somewhere. Bording takes place at 20:00. The cabins have showers. The bar closes at 22:00 not leaving you much time, so pack some granny bars and bottled water. The ferry leaves at 09:00 the next morning. Breakfast is included in the room rate.

I used Moby Lines to get to Corsica, and I used Corsica Ferries to get me back to Italy.

QUOTE (beemerdons @ Dec 29 2007, 02:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Tuesday: Take the ferry from Livorno to Bastia, Corsica - spend the night.

Wednesday: Spend the night in Ajaccio. A & S: Any recommended roads?

Thursday: Spend the night in Bonifacio. A & S: Your road suggestions?


The ferry arrives in Bastia at 13:00 so you have a good portion of the day left to ride. I'd check into Hotel Maxime in St. Florent (Bastia is too busy) and then head out to ride Cap Corse. You'll be pushing it, but they don't eat dinner anywhere till past 19:30.

Road recommendations? Best off getting the Michelin 345 Local, 1:150 000 map which provides great detail. Whatever you do, don't take the N193 from Bastia to Ajaccio...boring! Ride the coast from St. Florent to Calvi to Porto to Propriano to Bonifacio. Taking that route will have you miss some of the great inland roads...maybe you can take a few detours. wink.gif BTW, the west coast is mountainous and curvy; the east coast is flat and straight.

I stayed at Hotel Maxime in St. Florent, Hotel Beach in Propriano and Hotel Mare e Festa in Solenzara. I know of a place in Porto as well. I think I have waypoints for the places I've stayed. E-mail me if you want them. I also have the waypoint for the Livorno ferry port.

I can't help you with the Sardinian and Sicilian portion of your tour as I haven't been there yet. I tour bite sized sections of Europe and get to know them inside out.

BTW, I wouldn't go June through August...too hot in my opinion, unless mid June 2006 was unusually hot.


Lookie...lookie...the Golfe de Porto...

As you can see, the west coast is mountainous. This pic was taken from the D81; les Calanche. The town of Porto is in that bay towards the right. Hotel le Belvedere is located there. I didn't stay there, but it was recommended by the owner of Hotel Maxime.

#3 beemerdons

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 06:50 PM

Guten Abend Alex, I spent the afternoon after my earlier post working with www.mapquest.com - Europe and I reached the same conclusion that you have. Way too many kilometers in too short a period of time. I would be just be blowing through!

So, Sicily will have to be explored in some other year. I am going to concentrate on Corsica and Sardinia. Also, as you know from our previous correspondence, I like using Ad-Mo Bike Rentals; I have used them before, with very great success.

At this point in time it looks like I would be better served by using the Ad-Mo Agency in Florence, rather than flying to Rome.

I do like Rome, but I also love Toscana. I spent a month in Siena in year 2000; and I'd like to revisit Firenze and Arezzo.

#4 Hit the Road Jack

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Posted 29 December 2007 - 09:31 PM

Made several deployments to Sigonella, Sicily while in the VP Navy many years ago. Also visited Olbia, Sardinia.

If I were to return on a motorcycle, I would want at least a week on Sicily and probably four or five days on Sardinia.

And another month for the boot of Italy!

#5 beemerdons

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 04:56 AM

QUOTE (Hit the Road Jack @ Dec 29 2007, 10:31 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Made several deployments to Sigonella, Sicily while in the VP Navy many years ago. Also visited Olbia, Sardinia.

If I were to return on a motorcycle, I would want at least a week on Sicily and probably four or five days on Sardinia.

And another month for the boot of Italy!


Were you able to get into the interior of Sardinia from Olbia? I know that I will be departing Sardinia from the port of Olbia and arriving on the island at the port of Santa Teresa Gallura. What really caught my eye Hit the Road Jack looking at my Michelin road map of Sardinia were all the lakes that are in the interior of the island, all seeming to be connected by roads.

My last trip to the Alps was aboard a R1150RT, but my trip to the Alps before that was on a BMW R1200GS. North to South on Sardinia are these lakes: Lago del Coghinas, Lago Omodeo and Lago di Mulargia; I could connect them by dirt on a GS!

Another subject Hit the Road Jack: Are you and Kay still planning to ride to Mexico with us in February? Please let me know!


#6 Just Passing Thru

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 06:22 AM

QUOTE (beemerdons @ Dec 29 2007, 09:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
At this point in time it looks like I would be better served by using the Ad-Mo Agency in Florence, rather than flying to Rome.


My thoughts as well.

Since you use AdMo as often as you do, you might try to sway them into a better rental deal. As you may already know, renting an R1200 GS from them in Italy runs €255 more per week then when renting the same motorcycle from them in Spain.

I wonder why? Does AdMo actually own the motorcycles they rent, or are they a go-between? I would think the latter.


QUOTE (beemerdons @ Dec 30 2007, 07:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My last trip to the Alps was aboard a R1150RT, but my trip to the Alps before that was on a BMW R1200GS. North to South on Sardinia are these lakes: Lago del Coghinas, Lago Omodeo and Lago di Mulargia; I could connect them by dirt on a GS!


If you plan on going in June and if its as hot there as when I was there, you want as little fairing as possible and the GS would be the way to go. Even the hand protectors on my GS Adventure were too much "fairing"; my hands were cooking. Bring light weight summer gloves.


#7 beemerdons

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 08:22 AM

You are correct in Ad-Mo being a go-between, it turns out that when I ride the Pyrenees with Stef and the Italian FJR Forum Crew this May, my R1200GS will actually be provided by Scott Moreno of Iberian Moto-Tours who bought it from the factory.

Roberta of Ad-Mo, who used to work for Edelweiss and booked my Andalucia trip back in 2006, will extend a group discount.

I've already heeded your advice concerning the heat of June; I'll go the two weeks before Memorial Day; get a "free" day!



#8 teerex51

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Posted 30 December 2007 - 12:56 PM

Ciao Don

I have been busy lately and kind of remiss in replying to your questions.
Just a couple bullet points:

- Roma to Livorno: a great ride and totally doable in a day. Leave Rome on the motorway to Civitavecchia: the surface roads are a mess in the "Greater Rome" area. OTOH, you can pick and choose between the ancient Aurelia Highway (State Road 1) and a newer 4-lane that run parallel from Civitavecchia on North. A half-hour South of Livorno, hit the northbound motorway and avoid traffic into the town center and the ferry harbor.

- Sicily to points north. I'd avoid the roads entirely, unless I wanted to take my time visiting places between Messina and Rome. If I were to run that tour I'd take a ferry from Sicily to Rome.

We can talk about Corsica in May if you want.

Stef

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