Posted on

Adventure Overland Show September 2018

We will be attending the Adventure Overland late summer show on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd September 2018 at Stafford upon Avon Racecourse.

We will be on stand A4 outside the racecourse pavilion with our friends from All Terrain Services. Look for the white Toyota Hilux.

Come along and have a chat about our 4×4 tag along tours in Wales, The Pyrenees, Galicia, Morocco and Albania.

We can also offer 4×4 Adventure Campers rental options for our tours or independent travel. Email or ask us for more details at the show:

Adam@offroadadventuretravel.com

Our friends from All Terrain Services will be with us to discuss your training needs. Expedition training, winch courses and bush mechanic workshops.

We look forward to seeing you.

Click here for our next tours dates

Posted on

Wild Wales 4×4 Explorer Tours 2018 – 10% off.

Our explorer tours in the UK commence on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September.

As a thank you to our loyal website followers, we’re offering a 10% discount on all one or two day 4×4 UK Explorer Tours during 2018.

Use code EXPLOREWALES10 at the checkout on our website.

Only valid for use on our 4×4 UK Tours. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers.

Posted on

4×4 from Tor to Andorra and La Seu D’Urgell – Tobacco Road Smugglers Route

We left the village of Llavorsi, popular for rafting and other river activities, and headed north east through Alins towards Tor.

The narrow, single track, winding tarmac road lined with occasional wooden barriers to protect us from the steep drops, took us past mountain beehives and followed the course of the stream.

An historic and popular route used to access Andorra, known as Tobacco Road or the Smuggler’s Route, so named for obvious reasons. The surface changed from tarmac to concrete and then to a dusty rocky track into the hamlet of Tor.

We arrived at Casa Sisqueta, a rustic farmhouse, where coffee and complimentary cake was served.

A Dutch couple arrived on a trike, ‘It’s not the best of tracks for a smooth ride!’…

…while a thirsty Spaniard on his trials bike drank a bottle of cerveza before riding off to his destination.

A wolf-like dog was vigilantly guarding from his wooden kennel behind the cafe, a cat was lapping up the crystal clear water from the stream and some chickens were making the most of their penthouse suite!

Back on to the trail, we meandered up the stony track which took us along the lush, green valley.

A small river to ford, before negotiating many hairpin bends on the track towards Andorra.

Fortunately, no other vehicles came to meet us, but a band of horses who knew the rules of the road kept to their right hand side!

We arrived at the border between Spain and Andorra where the road instantly changed to smooth, wide tarmac. The highest pass of the trip so far at around 2100 metres afforded spectacular views of the ski resorts and high mountain peaks of Andorra.

A long winding tarmac descent took us through Pal and La Massana before climbing the Col De Canillo for a small detour for lunch, passing tobacco crops on the way.

Port D’Envalira, at over 2400 metres, afforded fantastic views over the Grandvalira ski area, one of the largest in Europe.

The go-kart track and village of Pas de la Casa could be seen in the shadow of the mountains.

La Terrasse served a delicious paella for lunch, overlooked by ski slopes and cable cars.

Entertainment was provided by two locals wheeling a fridge down the steep slope!

We strolled around the busy resort and took advantage of the duty free goods on offer before resuming our journey.

How strange to see snow ploughs in the centre of roundabouts when temperatures are in the 80’s.

The journey took us through the upmarket resort of Soldeu El Tarter. All of this hustle and bustle is a far cry from the solitude of the mountains.

After passing the capital of Andorra La Vella, the route climbed to the Adventure Eco Park at Naturlandia which hosts a mixture of wildlife and the world’s longest alpine toboggan run at 5.3kms. If only we’d skipped the shopping and arrived before closing time for the last ride of the day!

Over the border with Catalunya along dusty, narrow tracks passing the sleepy villages of Bescaran and Estamariu. A sense of hiraeth for my fellow Welsh traveller was ignited by the sight of an Ifor Williams trailer!

By early evening, we arrived at the medieval town of La Seu D’Urgell, where an abundance of Tesla statues was exaggerated by the lack of the actual cars!

A spontaneous moment had led to a luxurious birthday treat at the majestic Parador Hotel!

Nos da 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Posted on

Crossing the Val D’Aran, Spain by 4×4

Today’s journey left the beautiful town of Luchon in France and went through the Val D’Aran to Llavorsi, Catalunya, Spain.

A picture is worth a thousand words…

The open gravel track at the ski resort of Baqueira Beret narrowed through pine forests.

After a day of breathtaking scenery and a siesta by the babbling River Noguera Pallaresa, we bimbled down the valley and set up camp for the night at Camping Riberies, Llavorsi.

Perfecto!

This is an ideal location for those with an adventurous spirit who want to explore the additional activities in the area e.g. white water rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, horse riding and hiking trails.

For your information, our next 4×4 tour in this region starts on Saturday 4th August 2018.

Click for more information

Posted on

Back to France for a taste of Le Tour de France

After a few days on the trails it was time to keep the tyres on the tarmac!

What a stunning journey from Ainsa to Bagneres de Luchon via the Bielsa- Aragnouet tunnel which is over 3kms long.

A 10 degree drop in temperature and driving through the clouds made a noticeable difference from the dry conditions of previous days.

The climb to the Col de Peyresourde had many cyclists following in the steps of the Tour de France which had passed through only a few days earlier.

Good luck to Geraint Thomas!

A relaxing drive down the mountain to Bagneres de Louchon through the hairpin bends made me glad I wasn’t cycling in the opposite direction!

Such exertion required some afternoon relaxation with a local tipple.

À votre santé

For information on our next 4×4 tours click here

Posted on

Our 4×4 Adventure in the Sierra de Guara, Aragon.

Our American clients, Nathan and Susannah, were eager to make tracks from Camping Castillo de Loarre to explore the Aragon region of Spain, as it was their last day off road before heading back to Paris.

The newly built tunnels and Autovia took us north from Huesca towards Sabiñánigo to a height of 4379 feet, giving us spectacular views of the Pyrenees mountain peaks. We headed east towards the remote village of Laguarta, in the heart of the Sierra y Cañones de Guara Natural Park.

Imposing rock bordered the narrow, winding road which climbed through varying terrain and followed the path of the Rio Guarga.

We resisted the guidance of a local cow, who was keen to encourage the use of local facilities…

… but our next helpful guide wasn’t kidding around when directing us off the beaten track!

A dusty forest track, river fording and a long rock crawl climb added excitement to the journey. The tall pine trees provided some cover from the scorching sun.

We passed the ruins of the abandoned village of Torrolluela del Obico.

After a picnic near Alquézar with views over the canyon we moved on to our final few trails. Once again, climbing steep rocky tracks with olive trees alongside.

The Ermita (chapel) de San Benito provided a high point with stunning views over the striking blue waters of the lakes in the valley below.

A steep descent to the base of the valley proved challenging with many sharp bends and a loose surface.

It was time to bid farewell to Nathan and Susannah, great travelling companions who take away new experiences and memories from their off road adventure.

Hasta la vista.

Posted on

4×4 from Navarre to Aragon

Tonight’s blog comes from the comfort of a jungle hammock in the shadow of Castillo de Loarre, Aragon, one of the oldest Romanesque castles in Spain.

Our journey to camp has taken us through pine forests, high plains and some of the most amazing scenery in this region. This included Mirador de Los Buitres and the Mallos de Riglos, where vultures entertained us by soaring gracefully above the rugged valley, searching for carrion.

The imposing Castillo de Marcuello dominated the skyline on this route. A solitary wall, weather beaten, stands on the hilltop.

Our journey to this province took us from the town of Berdún where it seems that people like living on the edge!

Through Puente la Reina de Jaca and to a much welcomed refreshing dip in the mineral rich Rio Gállego near Murillo de Gállego.

Fago to Berdún was dusty and rocky, but the route provided stunning views and the opportunity to take a break amongst the flora and fauna of ‘butterfly meadow’…

The day started from Escaroz with a steep ascent through a pine forest leading to open pasture with distant views of some of the high peaks of the Pyrenees.

The Land Rover Defender and Toyota Hilux negotiated narrow trails, washouts, landslides, fallen trees and even puddles filled with frogs!

Today’s off road adventure ended with a huge rustic meal at the friendly Camping Castillo.

Buen Provecho!

Posted on

Crossing the French-Spanish Pyrenees border by 4×4

Back into the village of St. Étienne-de-Baïgorry for supplies: fresh baguette, cafe au lait and pain au chocolat while our American clients bought a gateaux Basque for our elevenses.

Stocked up for the day, we headed south through the forest to the Roncevaux Pass where a battle between the Napoleonic and Anglo-Portuguese armies took place 205 years ago to the day.

We joined the Camino de Santiago de Compostella, the pilgrim route from Pau to Galicia, passing many heavily laden walkers on the way and one Spanish stallion in the mist!

We drove the broken asphalt track to rise above the clouds, revealing stunning views of the valleys below.

At an altitude of 4769 feet (1566 metres) we stopped at Ortzanzurieta which is marked by an unusual plaque!

Dangerousroads.org mentions this route as one of the world’s most spectacular roads.

Our descent took us back onto the Camino de Santiago de Compostella and the low lying cloud where we were met by ghostly figures in the mist.

Before long, our route took us further afield and through rougher terrain. Only cows with bells on kept the hills alive with the sound of music!

Our route broke through the mist onto challenging tracks, pitted with washouts and steep descents. The Land Rover Defender coped well with the rough terrain.

The foundry and munitions factory at Orbaizieta provided an insight into local history and how the iron ore, wood and plentiful water supply was beneficial to the area. It also provided a welcome chance for us to stretch our legs.

Our final route of the day provided lush woodland tracks before our descent along hairpin bends into Ochagavía.

Camping Osate in this beautiful village is our rest stop for the night.

Buena Salud/Cheers!

Posted on

The Pyrenees 4×4 Adventure tour begins

36 hours at sea on Brittany Ferries Cap Finistere with fellow adventurers on the way to Bilbao.

Enjoyed a gourmet meal while being entertained by dolphins leaping alongside our ship.

An early arrival in Bilbao and being one of the first off the ferry meant a quick departure from this industrial port town. Within an hour we turn off the Autovia and head east into the foothills of the Pyrenees.

The winding roads and crystal clear rivers guided us on our adventure through the breathtaking mountains which were shrouded in low cloud. As the roads narrowed, the village of Erratzu displayed the stunning alpine style scenery and traditional Basque homes.

The hairpin bends climbed to the Col d’Ispeguy at 672 metres and the border between Spain and France. What an ideal vista to admire over a spot of lunch! Can you spot our sticker?

The long steep descent took us into the beautiful village of St Étienne-de-Baïgorry.

…and on to our first campsite in St Jean Pied de Port. Camping municipal Plaza Berri perfectly located within a 5 minute walk of this medieval town and citadel in the middle of the Basque Country.

St Jean Pied de Port is a popular resting place for pilgrims from the north following the Camino de Santiago de Compostella.

A walk around the walled town with its cobbled streets and a climb to the citadel viewing points revealed a wonderful panoramic view of the valley and surrounding mountains.

Plenty of places to stop off for delicious crepes and strong local cider!

Bonne santé