Planning and designing a new route is one of the most exciting things we do at Skedaddle. One of our guides John Walsh has created several routes including one of our more popular holidays from St. Malo to Nice. This summer he researched another French trip, the Haute Dordogne. So how does he get from the idea stage to running a trip for the first time?
First of all I sit down with a map and find a great place to start and end our trip. I’m always looking for a unique place, something a bit special. For the Haute Dordogne trip I chose Monpazier, it is the best preserved bastide town in France. You can sit in the square having a coffee and imagine how life used to be there. It has a great sense of history and you know that people sat in that square nearly a thousand years ago. There is also a practical aspect; it has to be near the airport. When you get off your flight you want to relax and begin your holiday as quickly as possible.”
It’s not just about riding and driving the route, I do a bit of bouncing on beds checking the accommodation is up to standard. Importantly, I want to know it’s friendly. It is no good having a nicely made bed if the people aren’t welcoming after a long day in the saddle.
On Skedaddle trips you get such a wide variety of people who are willing to try out new destinations. It’s really inspiring. It drives you to keep coming up with exciting new routes and contrasting places to go. I’m passionate about France, its geography and its regions, I feel my role is almost to be an ambassador and to take people to areas they wouldn’t normally go to and, maybe, change their perceptions or ideas of France. If you believe in the route you have planned and you have a passion for it, hopefully, that passion will rub off on other people.