Thursday 19 July 2012

And into Spain...

We crossed into Spain on the 15th of July and stayed a night in San Sebastian, it was a great beach side city and there was an event going on when we got there with live music and all sort of celebrations.  We walked around for hours and got back late to the motorhome so tired.

The following day was a big driving day, we covered about 500+ kms and ended up at another beach, unfortunately the campsite was really busy and overcrowded so we were out of there early the next day.

We then stayed in a small town called Vilalba and rested from the heat, it was a really hot hot day, but we managed to park under a shaded parking area and get some rest from all the driving.

Yesterday we decided to come in land as since it is school holidays the beaches tend to be packed and we wanted some solitude.  We found a place in the mountains for camping at a great horse and equestrian center so we have decided to stay here a couple of days and just chill out.

The horses are beautiful, lots of pure breed andalusians and many others, unfortunately nobody speaks english so we are just keeping to ourselves, although we made friends with one of the girls that works here and she drove us to the store to get some chicken for tonights BBQ and fire we are going to have, with toasted marshmellows.... YUM!

We are deciding if we want to stay one or two more nights here before we cross into Portugal and head towards the general area of where the festival is.  We want to be close by a few days before to get sorted, shop and prep for the 8 day festival... thank god there will be a lake there as the temperature is due to be in the 40's!!!

All for now, you can check out the photos on my facebook also!

Saturday 14 July 2012

End of week 6!

Well things are going GREAT, although we have not been making the effort to find Internet and wifi has not been as easy as we expected as we are sticking to the national roads (avoiding toll roads) and therefore mainly stopping in small villages and towns.  Lets See.... its been almost 3 weeks since our last post so here is what we have been up to:

I think our last post was on our way to Maastricht in the south of Holland to stay with fellow couchsurfers youri and kim.  we were with them for 2 nights and had a great time, talked about a wide variety of subjects and ate some great food.  Youri also made us the most amazing milk free cake with a chocolate top, it was divine and served us well for a couple of days on the road snacking.... we also spent 4 hours walking around the city of Maastrict, it was beautiful and very old.

With CSers Youri and Kim in Maastricht
See all Maastricht photos here:

From Maastrict we travelled on to Luxembourg for a night, it was picture perfect and definitely want to go back there one day.  One great thing about Luxembourg was the petrol and cigarettes are dirt cheap!  LOL


See Luxembourg photos here:

From Luxembourg we made our way through France on our way to The Camargue National Park area in the very south of France, stopping at many places along the way, including: Charmes (quaint little town, we parked up beside a river), Conliege (very remote in the hills), St. George Esperanche (just a very small village not much to see but free over night spot) and Loriol Sur Drome (where we
stayed in a proper camping site with a pool, it was welcome as it was such a hot day).


See Charmes/Conliege/St Geroge Esp. and Loriol Sur Drome photos here:

We then met up with another couchsurfer (Horst) at his home for lunch, he shared so much information with us about The Camargue area where we were heading for a week, it came in very handy in the end too.  We had one more overnight in a free aires (camping places for motorhomes in Europe with are free or very cheap) in a town called Montelimar to stock up on groceries, water and other necessities before heading into the wild of The Camargue.

The Camarge was so freaking awesome, there are many different areas, but we heading to a very unique area where its remote but FREE!  you basically drive off the main roads and head about 10kms to the beach and that's all there is - beach!  you park on the hard sand and just set yourself up for as long as you want.  we stayed a week, some people stay for months (the area is closed during winter due to tides).  There are no services so you have to take everything you need, it was so relaxing and we just sat in the sun, read and relaxed the whole time!

The Camarge

See The Camargue photos here:

After a great week at the beach we carried on to spend the day in a very old roman town called Arles, it is also where vincent van gogh spent a lot of time.  The famous bridge he painted is located there also.  In the afternoon we carried on to Nimes to another 'real' campsite and spent 2 days there, showering lots and enjoying the pool (after a week at the beach and cold showers we missed that luxury).  Onwards we headed into the Pyrenees Mountains.


See Arles photos here:

See Nimes photos here

Carrying on we spent a night in Fanjeaux with is located on one of the religious road pilgrimages of old times, it was beautiful and I went in the most amazing church I have ever seen.


See Fanjeaux photos here:

We had one night in  Tarbes passing through more beautiful country side along the way.

See Tarbes photos here

See on the road photos through France here

Now here we are in Salies De Bearnes at a great campsite, we were going to stay only last night but have decided to stay on another night.  there was a big bonfire last night and today we are going horse riding in the mountains, cant wait!  once again there is a pool and hot showers!  LOL

From here tomorrow we continue across the top of the last part of the Pyrenees and will head into Spain.  Two weeks today the music festival we are going to in Portugal starts so we will make our way there for the 24th and gather all we will need for the 8 day festival.

The journey has been great so far and we are creating lasting family memories every day, we are so thankful that we are able to do this together and look forward to sharing more photos with you all in the future (if you are on my facebook all the photos have been uploaded there).

Anyway thats all for now, who knows when we will do a detailed update again.... LOVE YOU ALL!

Saturday 30 June 2012

First update from on the road....

OK so we are posting this a week after it was written as we have not bothered much with internet in the past week, so here is the blog we wrote last week, will post more recent stuff shortly:

Well here we are, just over 3 weeks after leaving the UK on our Europe journey.  So far we have mainly been spending time visiting Edzer's family in Holland.  As of today we 'officially' start our trip (out on our own in the big wide world).  To back track briefly, this is what we have been up to in the past 3 and a half weeks:

Our first stop after disembarking the ferry in Dunkirque (France) was to drive to Burge-Haamstead in Zeeland, Holland to visit/stay with Edzer's cousin Ton and his wife Rameda.  We stayed with them for 9 days.  It is actually an island so we did a lot of walks to the beach, over sand dunes and also some cycling (which is extremely popular in Holland).  Rameda is Thai so we had some awesome thai meals too.

After leaving Zeeland we travelled to Amsterdam for the weekend and stayed at a great campsite just out of the city (Zeeburg), it was a 10 minute walk to the tram station and then a 7 minute tram ride to Amsterdam Central Station.  We met our french friend Camille (who I met in NZ) in Amsterdam, so it was great to see her.  We also purchased our tickets to THE BOOM FESTIVAL (in Portugal - July 2012).  We enjoyed enjoyed everything about Amsterdam, but unfortunately the weather was not on our side.

After 2 days in Amsterdam, we continued to the East of Holland to stay/visit with another of Edzer's cousins, Irene and her husband Jan, in a small town called Lousden (near Armersfoort).  Much of the same as Zeeland, lots of walking (although this time in forests) and a little sightseeing.  Again the weather was not on our side.

After a week in lousden and looking forward at the weather forcast, the coming weekend was expected to be nice, so since we had to return to Zeeland before starting our 'offical europe trip'.  We decided to go back through Amsterdam again and enjoy the city in the sunshine.  And so we spent another 3 nights at the same camp site as before and thankfully the weather was this time in our favor.  We really enjoyed it much more this time and got to see more of the city and a few markets.
We then returned to Zeeland for a few days before heading off FOR REAL!  So now here we are on the road (actually typing this to copy into this blog from the dining table), Edzer is driving, Susan is Co-driver with Sir Lambalot on her knee to help.

We are en-route to maastricht in the South of Holland for a couple of days, there we will be staying with fellow CouchSurfers Youri and Kim.  It will be nice to get a locals perspective of a town we have heard so much about, and of course our first CouchSurfing experience in Europe.
After Maastricht, our plan is to head towards Marseille in the south of france, we will be camping out for a week or so at a national park area called The Camargue.  On our way we plan to travel through France following the basic route via Luxembourg - Dijon - Lyon, although this is a basic route plan and we may only pass by those towns, choosing to stay in smaller towns on the outskirts.  We may stay with Camilles parents for a night in Buxy, Burgundy and also on the 30th we have another CouchSurfing host (Horst) to stay with in an area south of Lyon.

Otherwise, our plans are flexible.  We really just want to get to The Camargue area and chill somewhere near a beach for a week and just RELAX without having to drive, set up camp and JUST BE!

Our next set location after The Camargue is the festival in Portugal which starts on the 28th of July.  We will probably head towards portugal around the 2nd week of July and travel via spain to get there.  After the festival, who knows, Europe is our oyster.... LOL!

All for now, thanks for reading and please make suggestions if you feel there is somewhere we should see on our way or if you can offer advice on wild or free camping!

Rachel, Susan, Edzer & Sir lambalot

Wednesday 16 May 2012

ETD and getting sorted!

Estimated time of departure:

We are aiming to catch the ferry from Dover to Dunkirk on Tuesday 29th May and will probably drive down to London the day before, catching the 10:00am ferry over to France.  We will then make our way up to Zeeland in The Netherlands to visit with Edzers cousin and family.  Its getting so close now and we are chomping at the bit to get going.

We have had fun going to car boot sales and markets gathering things we need to stock 'KARL' (which is what we have named our motorhome), things like plates, pans, toaster, BBQ, etc...

We are also almost finished working out a basic route to follow from The Netherlands down to Portugal where we will make our way to the "Boom Festival" at the end of July.  More on that in the next post.

Cheers for reading!

Thursday 3 May 2012

One week to go!

Mum and Papa (Susan and Edzer) arrive in the UK exactly one week from today, then the fun begins.  We hope to find and purchase a motorhome within the first week and then take another week to ensure our basic plans and supplies are on board.  Hoping to be on the road before the end of May!  Cant wait to start blogging about our actual journey!

Motorhome WiFi

I have been following Adam and Sophies blog and also reviewing their website to gather information for our up coming trip around Europe, there is so much valuable information and tips on things you just would not generally think about (especially being new to this type of travel).  I found both their "Europe by Camper" site as well as their new site on " Motorhome WiFi" extremely helpful so I wanted to share them both:

Motorhome WiFi

Europe by Camper

Cheers to Adam and Sophie