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Resume - Road Trip [France - Portugal]

Discussion in 'Road Trips' started by Ricardo187, Mar 6, 2014.

This thread is being watched by 5 users.
  1. Ricardo187

    Ricardo187 Member

    Oct 16, 2013
    Hey there, fellow drivers and automotive lovers. I've gone through a quite long travel, from France to Portugal and obviously, from Portugal back to France. It was 1600km to each side, I drove a total of 5000km during the last week.

    It took me about 14-15 hours to complete each travel, with the pull overs included. When going from France to Portugal, I got out at 2am, arriving at Spain by the morning. I took the highway all the way so there wasn't much traffic. I was surprised how cheap it was. 58 euros was all I paid for 1550km of highway. There are some things I'd like to point, some notes I took during the way.

    At France, you have perfect pullover stations. Clean bathrooms, big and modern 24/7's with coffee machines and other drinks, just like a small supermarket.

    At Spain, the toilettes are really, really dirty and smell truly bad, though unlike France, you don't pay 1.60/l for petrol but 1.40/l, at the date of today.

    Portugal has the best of the two worlds, honestly. Most toilets are clean and petrol is around 1.50/l.

    What I have to say about the long travel is that it is tiring on the start but by the end, you don't feel tired anymore. What I mean is, in the first three hours, I could drive with no problems. After that, I start feeling sleepy for a while, and that's when I usually pull over for five minutes, drink a coffee and keep going. After 7-8 hours, I don't feel sleepy anymore, it's all about some pain around my legs/feet and sometimes my back. I didn't do any stops longer than 15 minutes and that was already too long for me.

    Something I recommend is having some candies near you. I had some, of different kinds, at the driver's door. Whenever I start to feel more distracted, I take something to eat. It's good if the highway has some traffic too, so you have someone to overtake, stay entertained, etc.

    One thing to worry about is speed. After some hours, usually 9-10, you tend to go faster and faster. I started by doing ~120-130kmph, by the end I was driving at 150-160kmph. I believe I was caught by a radar, at 137kmph where the limit was 130kmph, at France. It's quite hard to break that speed because you start getting tired, want to arrive and most importantly, don't feel how fast it is. 160kmph feels like 100-120kmph, after driving for hours. You feel really comfortable doing such speed and fail to realize how dangerous it is.

    Regardless of that all, I enjoyed the long trip and am willing to repeat as soon as possible.
  2. Flexin

    Flexin Admin Staff Member Founding Member Top Event

    Apr 25, 2012
    Truck Driver
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    Sounds like a cool trip. Did you take any pics?

    I find I drive the same speed all the time. Sometimes I can drive for long periods without and issue. Other times I get tired faster. The sun tires me out if I didn't get enough sleep. I have pulled over before to take a half hour nap and then moved on my way. Its better to stop rather then speed up. I was so tired driving home from work one day that I went to pull over and nap about 5 minutes from home. I didn't feel like I could drive any farther. My mother knew I was tired and called me right when I was pulling over. She talked to me for a half hour. She was letting me go and wanted to make sure I was ok. I said I was going to take a nap but I'm good now so I drove home.

    When I was younger I was bad at driving no matter what. Its only X amount of time or distance away. I will be fine for that long. Its not worth it. Its best to nap, go for a jog or what ever. The extra time resting is a lot shorter then a hospital visit can be.

    Glad you had a great time. What were you driving and did you calculate your fuel mileage?

  3. Ricardo187

    Ricardo187 Member

    Oct 16, 2013
    I didn't take pictures, I rarely do.

    Well, I consider that speed "safe" at french highways. Pretty much every drivers do these speeds as the highways are pretty good and straight.

    About the fuel mileage and the car I was driving, it was the Renault Clio 1.4, 16v, 98HP. I spent 230 euros in petrol for the 1600 km. Spent about 143 litters as I was paying ~1.60 per litter. About 8-9/100km, basically.
  4. justusforus

    justusforus Member Founding Member

    Aug 30, 2013
    I have always heard about European road trips, but usually for the scenery and not the bathrooms! I guess that is a consideration and the other story told over here is about the speed of the drivers. Here in the US, I have "made time" on a trip, but I do like to meander sometimes and see the sites.

    I too would have enjoyed pictures but maybe could ask what are some of the sights to see along the way?
  5. Ricardo187

    Ricardo187 Member

    Oct 16, 2013
    Well, the scenery is different in the three countries. Portugal is more about mountain and you often find yourself driving in such an inclination that you either have to brake with the engine or have a strong engine if you want to go fast when driving uphill. Portugal was the place where I spent more fuel, having medias of 9-10 litters per 100 kilometers.

    Spain is bored to a certain point. Most of it is straight, a lot of fields. When you come near France, you have the pirineus, a big mountain. It's very beautiful but also fuel consuming.

    France is a mix of that all. For me, the most beautiful of all the way.
  6. Yvette4887

    Yvette4887 Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    I find road trips to be fun and tiring as well. I drove with my sister to Arkansas which I believe was an 8 hour drive. She drove first and then me, but I was not much help since I do not like sleeping in the car. I always like to be alert cause I might mess something. When it came time for me to drive, I believe maybe an hour or two of driving I became sleepy. I tried to hold it together, but I could me see feeling tired, my eyes crossing, I was picking up speed, and the lines were moving about. Plus on the dirve to Arkansas there is not much to see but empty fields and a little town. Music did not help and I did not have any candy or anything to drink at that time, so I had no choice but to pull over a the next rest stop and pass the driving over to my sister.

    This June, the family is suppose to be doing to Orlando and we are driving. There will be four drivers in the car so hopefully I will get some sleep in before my shift. But for people like me who get excited about the trip and do not wan to mess nothing it is hard to take a nap.
  7. rosa

    rosa Active Member Top Contributor

    Jan 20, 2014
    I've always liked to go on long road trips,especially outside of my country. That trip sounds like an amazing one. I have gone on long trips beyond city to city before, still that only lasts for a few hours and we're back home before the night is through. My wish is to go on a super long trip with my family, get to just appreciate the scenery,take lovely pictures, enjoy the foods and just have lots of fun together. Hopefully, we'll spend more than a day and meet up with some old friends too.
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