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