where should I go in November?

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Northumberlander
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Joined: 31 Aug 2010, 5:09pm

Re: where should I go in November?

Postby Northumberlander » 2 Sep 2010, 3:22pm

Thanks for some very thoughtful and thought-provoking responses. The bit of fun about Sunderland, Hartlepool or Darlington ignores the crucial point concerning my climatic preferences of course. And the bit about feats of survival and endurance. And do you know how infrequent those trains have become?

You must forgive me if I implied that I needed to know where it's warm in November! What I was especially interested to hear were the suggestions of tours undertaken in places which might work for me, even in November. Thailand is an interesting idea - my 'fear' of flying is based solely on accounts I've read of baggage handlers who see bikes as something they have to try a little harder to break or bend... but maybe that's unlikely. But if I DID decide to fly, a month in NZ would make it worthwhile. Don't know anything about that - yet. North or South island? Riding from where to where? Easy to find modest accommodation (won't be taking camping gear)? I'll do some digging. Same questions will apply to my non-existent knowledge of Thailand.

Maybe Majorca and a hired bike is a good solution too, thanks for that. It's certainly a good deal simpler, if less ambitious perhaps. I too remember successfully doing that 'blending in' thing in a youth hostel - although part of this trip for me is to deliberately seek solitude, so long evenings wouldn't be a problem.

Thanks for the French ideas too. lots of food for thought, and good resources for idling away time researching. Appreciate it, thanks.

eileithyia
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Re: where should I go in November?

Postby eileithyia » 2 Sep 2010, 5:11pm

Nice to know our advice is appreciated.
I have not been to NZ but know plenty who have, no doubt plenty will be along to give advice. I have heard comments like; 'Nearly did not come back' to 'It's a long way to go see similar scenery that can be found in europe'

Couple of friends have gone in January a couple of years running and they hire a tandem once there, I could find out where from if you wish.
Have heard that South Island is more spectacular than north, the friend who nearly did not come back spent 1 month north and 2 months south and reckoned that was about the right balance. Do remember that the south west does have wet weather coming in.

Have flown with bike both in the pre-package days and recently in the some sort of package/covering compulsory and had no problems.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

TwoPlusTen
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Re: where should I go in November?

Postby TwoPlusTen » 2 Sep 2010, 10:47pm

I have been to New Zealand, albeit without a bike. Amazing place.

Scenically, South Island is much better. The scenery is amazing (if often wet, there's nothing between it and South America, basically) and you'll certainly get fit cycling there because it's very up-and-down.

North Island will be warmer - Auckland is on the same latitude south as Malaga is north, and Invercargill in the south is... a long way down :)

If you do go to New Zealand - and time and money no great object - I'd fly into Auckland and spend a few days there, then go up to Ninety-Mile beach and Cape Reinga. Come back down; get on your bike and go round the Coromandel Peninsula, then take it down through Hamilton and Rotorua, past Lake Taupo and down the east coast. That's wine country.

Spend a couple of days in Wellington. Not sure if you can take bikes on the InterIslander ferry - although I'm sure you can - and then head down the east coast towards Christchurch. That'll take several days as you'll no doubt want to go whale-watching in Kaikoura.

I would say do Arthur's pass but it's a bit of a desolate route if anything goes wrong and 250km from Christchurch to Hokitika (coast to coast).

The west coast is the more scenic coast. Really take your time here - you'll have to. It's also vastly up and down and often wet, but the scenery is really worth it. If you catch Milford Sound on a fine day - you've been really lucky. It doesn't happen often.

PM me if you want to discuss in more detail.

My comments about Darlington still stand though :twisted:

rualexander
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Re: where should I go in November?

Postby rualexander » 2 Sep 2010, 11:11pm

November is not usually a particularly good month for weather in New Zealand, although you can get lucky.
With only a month, or less if you take travelling and jet lag time into account, it's questionable whether it's worth paying the price to go to NZ, and it would be better to concentrate on the South Island if cycling.
The main east coastal route on the South Island can be busy with traffic so its not great from that point of view but the northern half is indeed very scenic.
The West Coast is superb and relatively traffic free most of the time and is actually mostly pretty flat between Greymouth and Haast, it can be wet, but it can also be gloriously sunny, just depends on your luck when you are there.
Other areas of the South Island are very dry, e.g. Central Otago, the Mackenzie basin, etc.
Basically, the South Island has so many good cycling areas that it's hard to go wrong, although if you read around on forums you will find a lot of people moaning about the standard of drivers and the traffic, but I've never really found any problems as long as you plan your route to avoid the busiest roads.

TwoPlusTen
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Re: where should I go in November?

Postby TwoPlusTen » 2 Sep 2010, 11:18pm

rualexander wrote: [...] if you read around on forums you will find a lot of people moaning about the standard of drivers and the traffic, but I've never really found any problems as long as you plan your route to avoid the busiest roads.

The standard of driving in NZ is not very high generally. Out in the sticks it can be very low. Traffic is worst in Auckland, and congestion there is legendary (you'll walk up Symonds Street or the K Road faster than you'll drive it in rush-hour).

To many Aucklanders, anything "south of the Bombay Hills" (which is a lot of the country) is a bit... odd. But we know better :)

eileithyia
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Re: where should I go in November?

Postby eileithyia » 3 Sep 2010, 9:43am

Arthur's Pass; the friend who went NZ for 3 months had a white Christmas at this YH, think about it.........

Standards of driving, can't comment as never been but have also heard it is quite poor, also on a TV prog a couple of years ago I gathered this info...... 1. You can drive at 15 2. Insurance is not compulsory.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

simonhill
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Re: where should I go in November?

Postby simonhill » 3 Sep 2010, 10:17am

Look carefully at the weather in NZ in November - it can be a bit unpleasant. I thought about going then and was advised by a Kiwi not to, favouring Jan - April instead.

Also, NZ is pretty expensive at the moment.

Its not only the drivers but also the roads and traffic. Most roads are barely what we would call A roads - just simple 2 lane country roads. On these they have a lots of big cars (4X4s) and many double trailer trucks. The log variety being the worst. If you are used to cycling in UK it wount be too much of a shocjk, but not always very pleasant. SDome of the macho truckers don't take kindly to cyclist 'taking' their roadspace.

rualexander
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Re: where should I go in November?

Postby rualexander » 3 Sep 2010, 10:42am

eileithyia wrote:Arthur's Pass; the friend who went NZ for 3 months had a white Christmas at this YH, think about it.........

Standards of driving, can't comment as never been but have also heard it is quite poor, also on a TV prog a couple of years ago I gathered this info...... 1. You can drive at 15 2. Insurance is not compulsory.


I was a relief manager at Arthur's Pass YHA in 2000/2001, fantastic wee hostel, no white christmas when I was there, nice and sunny!
You can start learning to drive at 15 but you can't get a full licence until well after that, probably by around 17 for most, so much the same as here really, the driving test is of a similar or higher standard to the UK.
Insurance isn't compulsory but there have been moves to make it so, however most people do have at least 3rd party insurance because it is dirt cheap compared to here (when I was there I insured my car fully comp for about £5 a month!). NZ has some unusual (for anyone looking at it from the UK) laws regarding insurance, compensation, and legal stuff, but it's the way they do it, so you just have to accept that if you want to visit.

Anyway, I wouldn't go there for just November, so where else can the OP go?

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GraceJ
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Re: where should I go in November?

Postby GraceJ » 15 Sep 2010, 5:46pm

I agree with the people who wrote, "Morocco"!
Beautiful scenery, friendly people and inexpensive hotels.

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toyotakev
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Joined: 11 Jan 2007, 3:23pm

Re: where should I go in November?

Postby toyotakev » 23 Sep 2010, 9:37pm

hi
Sicily is usually ok in november, as should be corsica, malta( bit small, but accessable via ferry from palermo,so you could do both?) sicilian trains operate a roll on roll off at messina!
Crete or morocco should be other good bets for reasonable( ie non english type weather!!)
kevin

alfredm
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Joined: 18 Nov 2010, 12:07pm

Re: where should I go in November?

Postby alfredm » 23 Nov 2010, 3:02pm

Last year I have been to Amsterdam in November and I really liked it there. This is such a beautiful city and there are also numerous of things you can do. During my visit there I lived in an Amsterdam Jordaan Apartment and really liked it because the price was okay. It is great to explore this amazing city by bike. I also wanted to visit the Netherlands this November but unfortunately something else cropped up. Hopefully I can soon visit Amsterdam again and explore the Netherlands by bike.

Ann Kennedy
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Joined: 29 Jun 2008, 12:58pm

Re: where should I go in November?

Postby Ann Kennedy » 4 Dec 2010, 5:47pm

So where did you go and how was it? Hope you had fun!!