After a lot of thinking about the summer trip, I concluded that I could make it much easier when I start from home instead of Spain. It would be more or less the same distance and it would be two additional countries to cross. Also, I would avoid the high mountains of the Pyrenees. Starting from home would be a very relaxed beginning of the trip as well. Here is the new route:
Eurovelo 4 is passing Venlo in the Netherland and will go on all the way to Brittany. So I guess, I will follow this route for the first two weeks through the Netherlands, Belgium and the north of France. Then, the plan is basically the same as before: taking the ferry to Plymouth, riding north through Wales to get to the ferry to Dublin. It will be a rather short time on Ireland but better than not visiting at all. After cycling to Belfast I will take the next ferry to Scotland. This should be the more adventurous (and a pretty big) part of the trip. I was planning to cross some of the closer island as well but I have to check the ferry schedules first. Then it will be a long and probably pretty rainy trip to the north end of Scotland and back again, with final destination Edinburgh.
And this is the altitude profile:
It doesn’t look to hard in comparison to last years’ North Cape trip. But there are some serious hills on the way. The first two weeks until Brittany should be the easiest part. After crossing the channel, the first 400m-peak will be the crossing of Dartmoor. I could avoid this hill but I am looking forward to this area. Further on, Wales will be tough but the Irish roads will be easy again. Scotland looks pretty tough as well but no very high hills at least. The last challenge will be the area south of the Speyside with the highest point of the trip. I hope I don’t have to try too many whiskeys in this area…
So this is the plan! I am really looking forward to the summer. But I am a bit unsure about the distance. For some reason, the trip estimates are differing between 3500 and 4100km in different calculations. When I cycle for five to six weeks and manage 100km per day then it should work. But you never know what happens on the way.. But I am probably planning too much already. I should just go.