21st June – 23rd June 2016
Weather Hot and Humid around 30 degrees (dare I say too hot!!)
When arriving in Spain some 3 months ago we really didn’t see ourselves staying for more than around 6 weeks, but with a delay of a month in a hotel when our keys went missing we find ourselves still here nearing the end of June.
I have to admit though that despite a couple of down days weather wise of late it is now getting a little too hot for us to bear. Please don’t misunderstand me we are certainly not complaining about having sunshine in abundance but we are sleeping in a biscuit tin on wheels without air con!
After waving our latest visitors goodbye we had to make a trip back to Barcelona to try and get a refund on our latest key ordering attempt which has taken 21 days. We were fortunate that the receptionist at the campsite in Tossa was an English native but also spoke fluent Spanish and Catalan so was able to call the Peugeot dealer on our behalf and get them to agree to refund us as they were still unable to give us an arrival date. Once again we navigated the central streets of Barcelona to get to the dealer which is on a small side road with just an entrance just about wide enough to get Boris down. After a little tooing and froing our card was refunded and we could begin our journey further north towards the French border. Exiting the garage was not as easy though with cars parked tight on either side of the entrance and opposite Paul manoeuvred back and forth several times (OK about 40) with me standing outside telling him there was no way he was going to make it. With just millimetres to spare though he eventually did with big admiration from me.
Our stop over for the night was a free aire some 12kms north of Tossa De Mar called San Feliu De Guixols (GPS N41,78020 E3,02303) (I have no idea how to pronounce this place). A small town with a nice sandy beach and a huge monastery. It felt like more of a working town than a tourist town although we did hear plenty of French being spoken whilst there so I could be wrong. After a couple of hours chilling on the beach following our long drive we had books and maps out deciding where to head next.
The following day we got Boris back on the road and headed north up the beautiful coast line of the Bay of Roses. The Costa Brava has really surprised me as in the main it has managed to shake of its cheesy feel from the 80’s and now has some classy coastal resorts as well as stunning coastal scenery.
Another long driving day which involved us trying to find somewhere suitable to park for the night, after several false starts we arrived at the destination of Roses (GPS N42.16 04.35 E03.10,4484) and located a large car park not too far from the centre. Along with a fellow motorhomer from France we finally parked up for the night at around 3pm. The weather was incredibly hot and humid so we hibernated until around 6pm when we felt able to cope with the heat. Roses is a sizeable tourist town with a largish beach and small marina and what looked like a girls paradise of shops to meander around. Unfortunately though it was just too hot and sticky to even contemplate trying any clothes on so maybe another time! After a short stroll around we stopped for a couple of ice cold beers on route back to Boris (well we have to cool down somehow).
The evening was spent with maps and guide books spread across the table to decide on our first stop over in France . We decided on Coulloire not too far across the border and are now getting very excited about entering a new country. Although we have never been to France in our motorhome we know from others it is one of the most motorhome friendly countries in Europe with over 3000 aires (dedicated parking places for motorhomes). Our only real time in France other than skiing was a 3 week holiday around 12 years ago in August where we toured and camped, unfortunately though the UK had a heatwave and France had nothing but rain resulting in not only a night in a hotel but stew being cooked to warm us up. Although our memories aren’t the best in terms of weather what we saw of the country was beautiful and for us its almost unexplored. We are the first to admit that we don’t even have a clue about French geography so will be relying heavily on our rough guide and any knowledge/tips others may give us.
Having entered Spain some 3 months ago with a little trepidation after having met some fellow Brits on route in Portugal who had informed us that you could no longer wild camp as the police fine motorhomers and move them on and HAD to stay on campsites or aires. With a serious lack of aires we thought we would mainly have to stay on sites which we prefer not to do as they just feel a little to regimented for us. Our experience though now having spent the time there was the complete opposite. We mainly wild camped our way throughout the country and not once were we moved on. We stayed in some amazing places that we would have never got to or taken the time to visit if we hadn’t gone in our motorhome. Although we experienced crime 1st hand whilst there, we have used the experience to learn and are certainly now more vigilant. If you are thinking of taking your motorhome through Spain just do it and don’t listen to too many stories beforehand – after all if we’d have listened to our fellow travellers advise we may have avoided the country all together.
Adios Spain – we will be back
Andi & Paul x