We often recall a story from our 1st few weeks of motorhoming where we met a Yorkshireman in Albufeira Portugal who had been spending winter there for the previous 16 years. He told us in a very miffed tone about how when they return to the UK after their 5 months away each year friends & family all ask them if they have had a nice holiday, to which he explained most venomously that he constantly had to remind them “We are not on holiday when we go there, we are living there, we have to do our own laundry, cook and clean the same as you would at home, so it’s not a holiday”. We totally got the meaning of what he was trying to convey, however have giggled lots of times since repeating “this is not a holiday you know”!
This year we have really travelled in our motorhome, we’ve been through 8 countries (10 if we count twice in Italy & twice in Spain), most of which we hadn’t been to before, so have felt the need to see and do lots whilst there. Not only do you have to plan which sights you want to see, you also have to plan routes and stopovers.We’ve covered 20,000 kilometres and stayed at 191 overnight stops so far. We don’t expect any sympathy, but travelling this way can be exhausting.
Since arriving back in Spain mid October our pace has slowed down, in fact currently we’ve come to a complete stop (which is a first for us). We didn’t realise how exhausted we were until we parked up recently in a perfect little beachside stop in Altea on the Costa Blanca and stopped still for a few days (except for a couple of days in the mountains at our friends Paula & Daves place). We are not in a campsite or camperstop, but parked next to a Romanian families villa on their land for 10€ a night so feel quite at home here. We have both welcomed the break from planning where to go next and been happy to just “live” here for a while. The town has a vast promenade with lots of restaurants and bars, a daily fresh produce market as well as a weekly tourist market. There’s a pueblo (old white village) with a huge church at the centre and even more restaurants. There are cycle tracks to the neighbouring towns and villages, a train station which will take us to Denia in one direction and Benidorm in another and regular buses along the coast. We have even set up a mini gym outside Boris with some equipment they have loaned us.Maybe because we have visited Spain twice before we don’t feel quite the same need to charge off somewhere new every few days. Its actually been a welcome change to stop and get to know an area a little better, we do sometimes still have to remind ourselves that it’s ok to take our time!
Chilling in our little bit of paradise
A change in circumstances means that our future plans have altered and we now only have a month left of this trip before we head back to the UK. Our original plan had been to spend Christmas in Portugal where we were due to meet up with family then make our way back to the UK for the end March. After booking a villa big enough to park Boris on the drive, my sis and family and mum booked their flights – unfortunately the flights were with Monarch. After several days of trying to replace them they had to give up, prices had risen to exorbitant levels and so the trip was no longer feasible. Fortunately the company who we’d booked the villa through gave us a full refund, so if you ever need a villa in the Algarve please give them a try http://alantinarentals.com/, speak to Tina and let her know we recommended them, they do some fabulous deals (350€ for a 4 bed villa at Xmas with access to sports facilities and indoor pool). After several days of deliberation Paul & I finally made the decision to drive back to the U.K. for a family Christmas. We figured that this would give us the opportunity to take Boris back to the dealer to have his warranty issues sorted (fingers crossed). It did leave us with another dilemma or two though: 1) We don’t have a house to live in at present as all our properties have tenants in and 2) we would be in the UK at the coldest time of year!
So our trip to the UK will be a short one (just 3 weeks) because on 7th January we have booked flights to Thailand and will be spending 3 months between there and Cambodia. For those of you that wish to continue following our travels we have a new facebook page for our far east trip fb.me/twotouring just type this into your search bar to find us. We will update this along the way whilst Boris is having a rest and getting fixed.
In the meantime, we still have a month left of enjoying ourselves in our motorhome so watch this space…..