We are currently at Camping Les Medes in L’Estartit, Costa Brava, Griona, Catalunya, Spain and the weather in hot and sunny, with clear blue skies, a light breeze, chattering birds, and cackling seagulls. This is our second day in the camp. We spent the bulk of yesterday emptying the truck of all its contents, then cleaning it, placing a few sponsor stickers, and repacking it all in an effort to find more space, and to save a little weight. We were able to install a second seating area drawer system, enabling us to throw out on bag. We also unpackaged items we had purchased and found storage areas for each of them. Getting rid of packing material has also given us a lot more space. I utilized my years of experience packing and unpacking quad cons, to efficiently fit everything neatly in the truck. I wasn’t sure if that unwanted skill would ever be of any use, but it paid off yesterday.
We have been making our way through Europe, heading towards the port in Gibraltar where we will catch the ferry to Morocco. I will give the brief notes from the road, as well as the dates.
We drove to Kulmbach. In our rental car.
To Filderstadt, Stuttgart (about 350 km) for shopping at woick and Strauss (duvet).
Spent the night in Stuttgart, Canstatter Wasen. First night in the tent! We had -1 degree C but eventually we got warm in the tent and it wasn’t too bad.
Further south toward Switzerland. But we didn’t make it across the border and decided to spend another night in Germany. Riedsee camping is located east of the Black Forest in Donaueschingen. That night was even colder (-4) but we were prepared. We put extra layers on top of us and our yoga mats underneath. We went to bed at around 7 and got up at 4 am. We packed up everything and were on the road at 5:30 am. The tent was a bit of a struggle because everything was frozen hard, but the icy layer inside the tent looked very pretty.
We drove all the way through Switzerland. The day started quite foggy but by the time we hit the Alp Mountains the sun came through. It was tunnel after tunnel including the 17 km long Gotthard tunnel. Stopped in Milano, Italy. Went to Toyota to try to get the fuel injectors changed. Apparently no one has them in stock. Went on further south to Genova. Italy was so much warmer! We found a camping site just west of Genova – Villa Doria, for only 25 EUR/night. Ridiculous. But it was beautifully situated in the mountains, with tall trees and a lot of green bushes around. The town center and ocean was a 10-minute walk through the park.
Left Genova sometime midday. Didn’t get very far that day. We stopped in Savona, because Chris spotted Trony, the electronics store, where we bought a new camera (I had to throw mine away). Then, at Camping Edy, near Imperia, somewhere along the Italian Riviera we put up our tent. It had rained all day and didn’t stop the entire night. Together with some good wind and train tracks next to the campsite we didn’t get much sleep. And, our little gas stove resisted Chris’ attempts to get it working. Luckily the day before we did some shopping so we had crackers with cream cheese and salmon.
I think we left around 9:30 am. We made it through Monaco, and got of the highway, because we saw something that looked like a hardware store. We found McDonald’s instead, but next door was a Carrefour store (much like Walmart) which also happened to have a gas station with amazingly reasonable prices (diesel 1,37 EUR/L). We filled up the car using 2 gas pumps and spending 239,89 EUR for 175,10 L. We also shopped for storage containers, straps, adapters, etc. We then spent about 2 hours rearranging the truck, getting a refund for the drawers we just bought and still trying our luck with the camping cooker. Starting around 7 pm we began looking for any sort of accommodation. We also considered a hotel, because it was late, and we were tired and gatvol (Africaans – sick) of all the rain. We found a place on Google maps, but neither this nor the Garmin was able to get us there. We tried to follow their road signs, but those also stopped eventually. Not sure how we managed to find that place, but we did (about 10 pm). Lou Sou Lei is a huge 4 star caravanning place with a very large gate in front. I tried to phone them earlier that evening but of course nobody answered. Anyhow I pushed a button and the gate opened. There were more gates, which wouldn’t open, but to the left was a visitors parking area and so we decided to put up our tent right there. The tall walls around it covered us nicely from the wind and rain, but we could hear the ocean – so not a bad place at all. We woke up at 6 am, quickly packed everything away and were ready to leave. But we couldn’t get the gate open from the inside. With perfect timing a car pulled up behind us and the driver opened the gate for us. The Lord really took good care of us.
We learned from our past mistakes and started our campsite search much earlier. Our present location…
Please see updated pictures of the truck at: