Tuesday 30 June 2015

In Fair Verona: Shakespearean Cities and The Lakes

Italy, 5th – 8th May 2015

Lake Garda as seen from Salò

Exploring Verona

After tackling Venice, the next target on our list was Verona.  The day after Venice, we didn’t do a great deal in terms of seeing things after leaving the campsite at midday.  Instead, our time was taken up with visiting an Interspar to stock up our cupboards and then making progress travelling back west across Italy, which was slow going thanks to travelling through a

Monday 29 June 2015

Amongst the Canals and Backstreets: Exploring Venice

Italy, 1st– 4th May 2015

One of the Venetian Canals
After our second night in Feltre, we were ready to move on to tackle Venice.  With a motorhome, I found there are two main options for getting into the city: a train, or a water bus (vaporetto).  The vaporetto option would have involved travelling to Punta Sabbioni on the end of the headland that protects the Venetian lagoon, and staying on a campsite.  Alternatively we found that the city of Treviso, as well as having two free motorhome Aires, has a regular train service into Venice that takes around half an hour at a cost of €3.30 for a one-way ticket.  Both Aires were a 20-30 minute walk from the train station, and so we decided it would be an ideal base point for visiting Venice as it was the cheaper option.

We went to look at the two free Sostas (Aires) in Treviso and decided to stay in the more popular quieter one

Saturday 27 June 2015

The Reschen Pass and the stupidity of a Traveller: Navigating Austria and Italy

Southern Germany to Northern Italy, 28th – 30th April 2015

Hello readers, Jo here.

The Wallet Incident

After our overnight stay in Ottobeuren, we were fairly close to the border into Austria, and so we could have quite easily crossed through Austria and been somewhere in Italy, our intended destination, before the end of the day.  So we got the pots washed, secured all the drawers and cabinets, closed all windows, and were almost good to go.  Shoes on, phones hooked up in the cab ready to charge, wallets ready if we need them—ah, wallets.

Nürburgring and Eura Mobil: Travelling South Through Germany

France to Germany, 25th - 27th April 2015

Hello Everyone,

The second leg of our trip started nice and early in order to get the ferry into Calais, which got us across to the content around 10:30am (GMT+1).  From there, our first task was to take care of tracking down some very important, life-saving essentials.  Yes, of course I am talking about croissants—as if that was ever in dispute.  So after making our way to the

A Detour to the Lakes

A view of Ullswater Lake

Cumbria, England, 12th - 14th April 2015

Whilst we needed to travel all the way to Carlisle we thought we may as well make a short trip out of it by having a couple of nights in the Lakes and it was a chance to give the van a test run after having not been used for living in for the past couple of months or so since we got back to the UK. As it had been stood during cold weather and in snow it was useful to check

Friday 26 June 2015

Time at Home

England, January to April 2015

After arriving home at the end of January because of Matt’s PhD commitments, our plan was to spend a few weeks with family whilst Matt finished his work, and then get the van sorted and be on the road again around the beginning of March.  However, the timescale for getting his PhD responsibilities sorted took longer than anticipated as well as making the time

The Journey Back: Algarve to East Midlands

Portugal, Spain and France, 15th – 20th January 2015

The Rock Incident

As we had to get back to the UK, on the 15th we finally started our long journey home.  We left the Aire on schedule after doing our water tanks, but things rapidly went downhill on our way out of Alvor.  We were driving down a fairly narrow road that had two lanes, but there was a box van coming the other way with very wide wing mirrors, so we moved to the side of the road to get out of its way.  In a fantastic stroke of bad luck, the one spot that we pulled to the side at also happened to

Hunting Wi-Fi and an Alvor Mini-Break

Portugal, 12th – 14th January 2015

Pursuit of Communication

We eventually left Bordeira as we needed to get our return ferry booked as well as pay off our travel credit card, so we wanted to visit a point with WiFi.  We went to the Aire in Lagos and parked up for an hour or so to use their WiFi point, however we found the signal strength to be very weak and the connection wasn’t secure, making it difficult to use for larger tasks.  The site was by a stadium and overlooked by a lot of main roads, and although the road noise wasn’t too much of a

Salema, Sagres, and an adventure in Laundry

Portugal, 7th – 11th January 2015

Albufeira Part 2

Albufeira Harbour
 The next day in Albufeira we decided to explore the harbour area, as we had driven past a neighbourhood that had a load of buildings in pastel colours that looked very unusual compared to the rest of the town.  The buildings were apartments and the whole harbour was built in the same style, with pale colours and lots of geometric shapes that looked very smart.  The harbour was quiet over the winter but was very clean and rather upmarket.

From here we went to the main shopping centre in Albufeira as we needed to get a replacement inner tube for Matt’s bike.  The centre...

Raposeira Beaches and into Albufeira

Portugal, 3rd – 6th January 2015

Shame we left the bodyboard at home!
The view from the van
The next day when we woke up Matt went out for a short walk along the beach and took some photographs, and then later on both of us went out for a bit of a longer walk.  There were some pretty big waves and not many obstructions in the water so the beach was popular with surfers.  Matt went in the water for a dip after lunch for the first time and played in the surf (although he was one of the few people crazy enough to go in without a wetsuit in January!).  It was quite a relaxed spot but we needed to stock up on food supplies and there was

Tuesday 23 June 2015

Exploring the Southwest Coast of Portugal

Portugal, 31st December 2014 – 2nd January 2015

View from the van at Praia de Amado
The beach at Praia de Amado

In the morning we went for a walk along the beach of Praia de Amado, which was a significantly quieter as most of the surfing vans hadn’t stayed overnight and the next round hadn’t yet arrived.  There was another dirt track leading away from the beach that a few vehicles seemed to be using, so we decided to give it a try and found it to be a coastal road that joined

Entering Portugal: The Sunny Algarve

Spain and Portugal, 27th – 30th December 2014

Struggling with the Weather

The start of our journey into Spain wasn’t particularly pleasant, as the rain was so heavy at times that visibility was really limited.  Near the Spanish border we were going to stop at the Aire in Biarritz and park up for a short period while we planned our route, but upon getting to the entrance we discovered that they have now installed barriers at the entrance

Christmas at Mimizan

France, Christmas 2014: 25th – 27th December

Christmas Day

Our Christmas day spot at Biscarrosse Plage
Some cards and presents from family and friends
Well this marked our first Christmas away from home!  To try and get in the festive spirit we had a Poundland Christmas tree and a strip of tinsel around the top of the cab, as well as a few Christmas cards we received before we left and

Journey Beginnings: Yorkshire, UK - Biscarosse Plage, FR

England and France, 20th – 24th December 2014

Leaving the UK

The start of our journey was in the same vein as most of the things we do: massively behind schedule.  We had the van taken to be weighed on the Friday before our Sunday ferry, only to discover that we needed to ditch approximately 220kg of weight to be under the 3.5 tonne weight limit after we’d spent a couple of weeks packing the van.  Having left Matt’s house,

Monday 22 June 2015

The First Post

Welcome to the start of our blog.

An introduction and our trip plans can be seen on the Introduction page and all blog posts can be navigated by date posted using the Blog Archive or by the relevant country categories using the links down the right hand side of each page. To start reading about our travels now click on Newer Post below.

Thanks, Matt