Big news…..

Our plans when we first set out in Bessie, almost 2 years ago now, was to head for the sun and enjoy a simpler way of life.

We have certainly achieved that and there is no way you would get me to give up caravan living now. But as with all things they grow and evolve as time goes on and we now find ourselves planning for the next stage in our journey.

This will see us return to the UK for 6 – 12 months. Partly this is to plan out where we want to go next – Spain and Portugal have been fun but we both want to go further afield and see some more of Europe but are not sure how this will work yet.

Also living in Bessie for 2 years has been great but there are some alterations that we want to do to her in order to make living in her even better and it will actually be easier (and cheaper) to do these back in Blighty.

Then of course I have my runs next year back home and so it seems that the UK is calling us to be the next stop off on our trip.

So, we head back at the start of September, winding our way back up through Spain and then France. A day trip to Madrid beckons on route and we hope to hit the channel tunnel (not literally) sometime in the second week of September.

Many people have asked if we are still going to be living in Bessie when we get back and the answer is a resounding YES. As I said I can’t imagine living anywhere else now which is a massive surprise to me I can tell you.

It will certainly be a daunting task surviving an English winter in a caravan but I am actually looking forward to it – I know too much Spanish sunshine has addled my brain.

Seriously though, living this way feels very authentic to me, having to survive with limited mod cons almost feels as if I am living the way my ancient ancestors would have.

When you take away all the trappings of material life, of which there are many, you are left with the real fabric of what it is to exist.

The last two years have been the most real of my life and I feel I have found the true essence of myself along the way. Stripping our lives back to the very minimum that we need has been one of the most therapeutic and liberating experiences I have ever had and I am not going to trade that in for anything……

Mind you….ask me that again in the middle of a Norfolk winter when there is snow outside!!

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‘Senora Mop’

Well, it is finally official. What I have long suspected has been confirmed. I am lacking a very important gene……one that many other women around me seem to have but that definitely seems to have gone amiss with me……’the cleaning gene’.

When we arrived on site yesterday a plot a few down from ours was pointed out to us. Staying for three months the owners of the said plot had spared nothing to make it a home from home for their stay.

An awning with tables and chairs, astro turf covering the entire plot, an outside seating and eating area, an outside table with bbq, a tent that I can only assume contains their ‘tools’, light bulbs strung overhead, solar lights on the floor and about a dozen or so large pot plants…….you get the picture here don’t you. This is a serious set up and made us feel quite inadequate with our few meagre belongings lol.

The owners were at the pool but later in the day the wife returned. Sitting outside whilst summing up the energy to decide what to do next we suddenly heard a strange noise. A surreptitious glance confirmed what I thought – the lady of the ‘house’ was cleaning.

There she was sweeping down the outside of the awning with steely determination (an activity I had done two days previously when breaking camp that has left me with two massive blisters on each thumb!)

Next she attacked the leaves on the drive in front of their plot sweeping them all up and placing them in the bin.

Then out came the hoover and she got to work on the astro turf before she choked us out with a spray for goodness knows what all around the outside tool tent!

It made us chuckle and I asked hubby if he felt a little jealous that this wife was obviously fulfilling her domestic duties a lot better than his does!!

A slight pause…….before he of course denied that he felt that way lol.

Hmmmm……maybe I need to go and get some broom sweeping tips from Senora Mop – or maybe not!!

 

Munchkins, mutts and miquels……..

We have moved location, to a brand new campsite this time and even more amazing than that the journey went smoothly from start until finish – well nearly.

No massive rainstorms, or heavy winds that threatened to blow us over or punctures or directions that could best be described as part of a treasure map…….

We left the campsite in Portugal just before 8am on Tuesday morning, an early start but not quite as early as we had planned (we had been hoping to get away for 7am). It was actually better that we left a little late as it was thick fog first thing and I didn’t fancy towing a caravan in that given the impatience that the Portuguese seem to have for anyone on the road not going 100mph!

A quick 120 mile drive down to a stop off at a campsite in Monesterio. Directions were scarce but we managed to find it without too many deviations and as it was getting pretty hot in the car it was good to call it a day there and let the cats calm down a little.

Once released from the dreaded cat baskets they spent the day holed up together under the bed popping out only for water and the odd look out the window. The sounds of ‘munchkins’ enjoying their summer holidays in the pool and mutts wandering around outside the caravan ensured that they scurried back to the safety of their den!

The following morning we were off again by 8am and heading further south to our final destination and a trip of just under 200 miles. Thankfully a fair amount of cloud meant that it stayed cool in the car for much of the journey and we arrived on site at about 1pm.

Then the fun and games of trying to reverse the caravan into a plot began. Unfortunately there was not enough room to turn without hitting obstacles of trees, pillars and bins!

After 30 minutes or so of reversing up an incline and trying to shoehorn the caravan around a turn that wasn’t actually feasible the clutch on the car was smelling decidedly dodgey and a plan B was required. Thankfully another idea was suggested and we managed to maneuver into a plot opposite and with some careful reversing finally get on our plot…….phew!!!

By now the cats were very hot and stressed and there followed the routine of sitting under the bed, drinking lots of water and panting so much that I was forced to get the ice pack out the freezer and rub Molly up and down with it in an attempt to cool her down.

The panting went on most of the day and into the evening (I have a feeling that they were trying to make me feel bad!!) but at last we managed to persuade them to come out of the caravan and have a look around.

We snuck down to the bar on site for an hour as the sun finally went down and had two very welcome and refreshing pints of San Miquel. It has certainly been a few years since I sunk a pint of larger but I don’t seem to have lost my touch although I am wishing this morning that I stuck to halves. Two pints is more than my limit and I fear I am now a serious contender for ‘lightweight of the year’ award………actually I should have stuck to coconut water – lol

All that is left for us to do this morning is get the awning up, unpack the car, do some shopping…… and the list goes on 🙂

A few piccies of our latest travels…..

Last few bits to pack and we are ready to go….

Overnight stop off and some much needed shade under some trees (actually didn’t have much effect!)

Nothing to do but chill out in the sun!

Chillaxing……

Worried faces……

Journey’s end and chilling at last….

Sticking together……safety in numbers!