Chris and Clyde had long dreamed of a life on the open road. This came to fruition in Oct 17 after purchasing a suitable long term touring 'van and Chris retiring from work.
We worked hard preparing to leave our home as we had decided to rent it out for a few years. We booked a ferry from Portsmouth to Caen but otherwise we had no plan except to head for warmer climes to kick start our adventure.
The plan is simply to amble around Europe (that includes the UK), and Scandinavia, for a few years exploring as the fancy takes us. Previous travelling experience has been unplanned and reactionary and we see no reason to change our modus operandii. We have studied full timers’ blogs and listened to the wisdom of more experienced folk but, ultimately, we will have to follow our own path. That is part of the fun after all!!
This blog is for our family and friends to enjoy as well as providing a record for us. It is not intended to look professional or contain fancy links to all sorts of things. No doubt it will evolve as we go along. The posts will be sporadic as we will be relying on free Wifi. Please be patient!
Having enjoyed one trip along the winding roads, we decided to visit Morella. This involved a trip back along the same winding road and was equally exciting.
Morella is an ancient walled town overlooked by a castle. It s located in the province of Castellon. The views from the village are stunning.
The village is a member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Spain. There are 44 villages in the Association and they have all signed up to the agreement to preserve the character and history of the villages. The villages have to undergo a rigorous process to be accepted into the scheme and it is the responsibility of all the inhabitants to ensure the standards are maintained. This will ensure a steady flow of visitors that will support local businesses.
We stayed on an aire which was located within a reasonable walk of the village and had amazing views of the castle.
We had a very pleasant amble around the ancient streets with their traditional shops and restaurants. It was definitely a place that we would recommend.
The eager anticipation of the trip to Spain could not be denied any longer. We were now approaching it from a different starting point and decided to head down the N121 which would take us through the Pyrenees, around Pamplona and eventually to Pensicola. It is a jolly long way so, we decided to break the journey at Vera Moncaya – the usual hill village complete with monastery.
After a pleasant stopover (the beer in the little bar frequented by many locals was very welcome), we headed on across the sierra Moncayo. The road was long and twisty and then steep and twisty!
The driver remained calm and was rewarded once we arrived at Peniscola with a soothing dram. We just happened to have packed suitable nerve repairing licquor.
Pensicola has an amazing old town and castle on a promontary. Well worth a visit.
The sea front is also a delight and I suspect it gets quite busy in the Summer. The castle is really what makes this place so special.
The weather was still beautiful in France so we made a split second decision to delay Spain and go to St Jean de Luz. We were lucky to find space on a very pleasant campsite overlooking Ellamardie Plage.
It was a 40 minute walk along the cliffs into the town or a quick bus trip.
We decided to go into the town the next day as it was our anniversary and we would treat ourselves to a nice lunch. Unfortunately there was nowhere we really fancied so, after a stroll around the town, we had an ice cream and wandered along the promenade to await the bus back.
All was not lost as there was a little bistro at the edge of the campsite and we had an interesting tapas meal instead. Washed down with plenty of house white of course!
While at La Rochelle we decided to get organised and plotted a route to Toulouse via Bordeaux for two nights.We selected a site near Toulouse no 119 I closed the site book and Chris asked me to mark it so she could enter the co-ordinates in the morning.
Following morning sat nav set, off we went, half an hour into journey Chris said ” she ( Jane sat nav) is sending us in an odd direction and I cant find those road numbers”. An hour later I took a wrong turn onto a toll road and Chris was able to locate where we were, 200 KM in the wrong direction!
Last night when Chris asked me to mark site 119 in the site I opened the book and marked 119 not realizing that each region of France had sites marked 1 2 3 etc I marked the wrong 119, so we decided to press on and finally arrived at a large Aire among sand dunes, climbing the dunes we found ourselves looking at the Bay Of Biscay 10 foot waves , surfers and miles and miles of sandy beach called Capbreton so we stayed two nights and altered our entire plan.
We decided to head for the Ile de Re, but on the way decided on La Rochelle. There were 3 Aires to choose from and we could find none of them. However, we did spot a row of motorhomes on a car park overlooking the marina and joined them for the night. Very pleasant and free!
Next day I was accosted by an officious frenchman wearing a visivest who advised me that overnight parking was interdite. Not wishing to incur his wrath in the shape of a fine we made another effort to find the new official aire and headed there for a night. It was OK as it had free wifi and we caught up with some admin. (Not this blog, obviously).