Thursday 26 November 2015

The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly on Us

Spain, 22nd – 26th November 2015

Praia de Os Castros
It seems the weather has turned off for winter here now, with some days of almost constant rain, the rest with grey skies and showers, and temperatures hovering around 15°C. My shorts have made way for trousers, I’ve had to dig out my thicker fleece and even had my woolly hat on yesterday. We didn’t make it into the Picos Mountains as it was down to 7.5°C in the evening at our campsite at the edge of them, and forecasts gave minus temperatures up there so we’ll have to do them another time. Instead we continued west to Cangas de Onis and Gijon, then continued along the coast to a couple of nice cliff top spots with great views of the stormy seas that I’m looking at now as I write this. If it wasn’t for having to return to the UK in a week and a half’s time, we’d have started making a dash south for some better weather, which is what we heard from Ellie and Matt today is their imminent plan.

Sunday 22 November 2015

Elephant Hunting in Cabárceno, Spain

Spain, 19th – 22nd November 2015

We’re currently parked up writing this from a campsite on the northern perimeter of the Picos mountains.  This marks the end of our 52 day No Campsite streak, during which period we’ve only been on electric hook-up once.  We could have lasted longer but after waking to bleak drizzly skies we knew we were going to be spending the day indoors, and the thought of getting somewhere where we could have electric and free WiFi suddenly became rather appealing.  The weather here has taken a real turn for the worse, with the past two days being a mixture of hailstorms, van-shaking thunder and temperatures in the single digits.  However, looking at the poor forecast for the UK, it doesn’t look like we’re missing a great deal back home. Before this though we've had a good couple of days at an Aire by a wildlife park and spending time with more new friends.

Thursday 19 November 2015

Pamplona and San Sebastian

Spain, 15th – 18th November 2015

From our previous spot at Sos del Ray Catalico we headed via Pamplona to San Sebastian and from there started travelling west along the northern coast, staying at a series of free Aires, except San Seb which cost a whole €3.25.

San Sebastian - Donostia

Sunday 15 November 2015

Meeting Fellow Travellers in Northern Spain

Sos del Ray Catolico

Andorra and Spain, 12th – 14th November 2015

We’re currently parked up on the outskirts of Pamplona, Spain, having left France behind and crossed two country borders.  The temperature’s dropped to 10 degrees outside now that it’s dark, but it’s been a clear sunny afternoon.  Confession: we’re feeling a little worse for wear today, having been up late with new friends and fellow motorhomers Julie and Jay of OurTour last night and maybe—maybe—having possibly consumed a little too much wine.

Saturday 14 November 2015

Last days in France

France, 7th – 11th November 2015

We’ve now finished our time passing through France, visiting several places on our way around the western corner of the south coast before going inland to head for Andorra. Picking up from where we left off last time we’d got to Aigues-Mortes, which a very well preserved fortified town that dates back to the 13th century crusades. King Louis IX traded land to get a French port on the Mediterranean shore (which at the time belonged to either the Roman Empire or Spain), eventually turning it from swamplands into a successful trade port.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

The Camargue

France, 4th – 7th November 2015

The Camargue national park is a wetlands area that covers 100,000 hectares and only reaches a maximum height of 4m above sea level.  Because it is so flat and near the sea the basin is very salty, so as well as being a major processor of salt, it is also a very important area for wildlife, particularly birds.  Three quarters of French bird species have been found in the area, but the most famous of which is probably flamingos, with the Camargue being the only site in the country in which they reproduce.  It’s quite a pleasant place to spend a few days... provided you don’t spend the night at Salin-de-Giraud, unless having your van attacked by locals is your sort of thing.

Saturday 7 November 2015

Aix-en-Provence, The Calanques and around

France, 30th October – 3rd November 2015

We had intended for one of our next posts to be a financial report to help give a guideline for motorhomers thinking about long-term travel.  However, today we’ve been blessed with a wonderous combination: a relatively cheap Aire located within a booser aerial’s reach of the tourist office’s WiFi signal.  Given that it’s much more data intensive to upload photographs than it is a couple of pie charts, I’ve opted to work on getting our travel updates back on track.  So, time to talk about our time in western Provence.

Friday 6 November 2015

The Verdon Gorge: Too Good to Leave

France, 26th – 30th October 2015

We ended up staying in the Canyon de Verdon area for a week as we liked it so much, plus were held back by a spell of bad weather. This week was a cheap one as we didn’t travel much, haven’t had any overnight costs and had most of our food in stock. Linked to this, this point marks six months away continuously travelling for us so Jo has been working on our accounts spreadsheet in preparation for a mid-term financial report post that we’ll be posting soon when it’s complete. This should give an insight into the costs involved for long term travel like this, showing how it can be done quite cheaply, and provide an aid to budgeting if you’re planning your own trip.

Thursday 5 November 2015

A Weekend Walking in the Verdon Gorge

France, 24th – 25th October 2015

We’ve enjoyed a great weekend with friends in the Canyon de Verdon, or Verdon Gorge, the widest and deepest in Europe. The scenery in the gorge is beautiful, some of the nicest we’ve seen, and it’s great walking territory. It was good to spend time with friends too, after six months on the road this is the first time we’ve seen people that we know so made a welcome change.

Monday 2 November 2015

More Time along the Côte d'Azur: St. Paul-de-Vence to St. Tropez

France, 20th – 23rd October 2015

When we’d arrived at our overnight spot at Saint-Paul-de-Vence, we really hadn’t been expecting a great deal.  After finding a lack of places to stay in a motorhome around the stretch of the Côte d’Azur between Nice and the Italian border, we’d simply been relieved just to find somewhere to spend the night that was quiet and wasn’t going to cost us a fortune.  Seeing as we were in the area, we decided we might as well find out if there was anything around and it’s safe to say we were pleasantly surprised.