What I have learnt in 2 months travelling in a campervan around Europe.

Well it’s the first time I have travelled in a campervan and it’s the 3rd time travelling on my own.
It’s good that I like my own company, but it would have been good to share the experience. I hope my photos have done that! It’s now been 2 months since I started this road trip, I had told everyone before I left that I will be gone for 2 months. But Europe is big and there is a lot to see!

Spain has been amazing and has the most to offer, especially Andalucía and the scenic drive of the sierras with the pretty towns of Mula, Socovos, Ferez, Elche de la Sierra and the drive down to Aldea Mesones Molinicos was amazing. And I nearly forgot the drive on the N340a from Tabernas to Sorbas, taken in the mini Hollywood where they made spaghetti western filming locationsI knew Spain was going to be a blast, but I found a lot more interesting places than I had imagined. It was hard to leave and there is more to see, that I have left for next time. The South is very cheap for drinks, eating out and a lot less traffic, with some roads seeing very little road users. It was easy to travel and visit places that are not in the travel guides, with people being very friendly. All bars sell tapers and the food has tasted very good. I have properly drunk more than normal. Bar is a way to meet people and every time you order a drink you have a different taper to try, with each new one out tasting the first!

Taking my bicycles has not only got me fit, but has been a great way to meet people, cycling is bigger than I thought in Spain.

Campervan: The bed has been comfortable, I could not wait for the first night sleep. The kitchen has also been good and storage of my bicycles has worked out. The electrics have worked very well, apart from not having a 12volt cigarette lighter fitting. I have the cable there ready to connect. What I have done is temporary use electrical tape to make the connection, to use for charging laptop, phone, etc….  The generator has not had much use as the 12 volt system has worked very well, only for charging my cameras, tooth brush and using the fruit mixer and this can be done when staying at campsites, (Plugs are usually found in or near the wash area) bars or when staying with friends.  Also would be good to have some sides to the awning, both the above items are available in Europe, but I have been to lazy to look.
The good thing is you can go almost where you want, getup when you want, drive somewhere new or stay a while.
It's good to stay in a area for a while and explore, than keep moving.
I think a motorbike may have been good to take, if I could make a fitting to the tow bar, for staying parked up with the campervan and exploring with the motorbike.
Cycling has been a great way to explore, but the motorbike could have gone that bit further and taken a bigger picnic for the day. 

The Garmin Sat-Nav has been very helpful, finding campsites, staying of toll roads and finding those out of the way little places. Also letting me know my speed and of any speed cameras. In Spain I did drive now a narrow street, in a little old town and got stuck, had to reverse my way back up the winding street! Also when driving in a busy town and taken the wrong road, the Sta-Nav has recalculated a new route and taken me down roads with height restrictions (Low bridges and overhead tram cables) Lucky I could turn around and not been a one way street.

France, Soon as I crossed the boarder from Spain, I was driving in a very strong cross winds for 2 days, had to hold on to the wheel with both hands, and was like bad turbulence, same when flying. Also has been very expansive and crossing the French Riviera could have put an end to my travels, but with a bit of common sense, the map Mike lent me, and the Garmin has saved the road trip. The roads are good, but is like England in the South of France “Traffic”

It’s been easy to find good fresh food, not using supermarkets and keeping away from brands.

I actually feel overweight here, I would say less than 1% of the locals are overweight. I have lost a bit of weight due to eating healthy, exercising and the heat of the day so should be able to fit into Italian clothes now!

Not watching any TV/news “except seeing headline news of the solger while in a bar in Spain” (They say bad news travels fast) It has been a wonderful thing not to know what is going on in the world.

The weather has been good up to the last 2 weeks of July; first there was a lot of wind, then cold, then rain and crossing the border into France very strong wind again for 2 days.

I am now travelling down Italy before the busy time and then heading north before coming back to England.

Crossing France to Italy, well they say don’t drive in Italy! I have had a great experience in one days driving. Soon as I entered Italy, I met with many motorcyclists, of all types and driving in all directions, people stopped on the zebra crossing having a chat with no care in the world on a busy main road. As for the Autostrada, is very different after driving in Spain & France; slipways that’s about 50 meters long, straight out on to the highway, tunnels & bridges every 2 minutes and road turnings in the sky “when changing route you leave the road on a slipway of the side of a bridge and continue up and round to change lane” all on a single lane and then enter the new Autostrada on a 50 meter slip road, doing all this while you have a Italian driver who trying to make a new lane, because he can’t wait!
Non toll roads can be very slow, down to 30mph, as they tend to run along the coast, mountains though towns. 

Yes, I would do it again, except next time I would travel with someone and go for longer! Or do a road trip on a motorbike!!!!

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