Back on the road…

Packing up and cleaning ground sheets in the awning. Thankfully the sun shone all day so everything dried out quickly

Packed to the gunnels, all we own in the world in one car!!

Molly checking out the car for the journey!!

Last morning in Iznate and clouds over our beloved Maroma

Daisy Duke the campsite cat that we feed waiting for breakfast….we were told that morning from another English camper that she had discovered his dog Vinny’s food bowl. Vinny is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Rhodesian Ridgeback cross who doesn’t like cats but nothing freaks Daisy out. She is such a cool cat πŸ™‚

Ready to leave, hubby estimated we would be away by 8am, I estimated not before 10am. We finally left at just gone 11am!!

Not happy!!

I had to hold Molly’s paw for much of the journey

Stop off overnight just outside Seville. A quiet site meant we could just pull up and not have to ‘unhitch’ to save us time the following morning. It didn’t!!

Confined to barracks overnight meant having to ‘gawp’ from inside…

Molly has a good look too.

The caravan gets a bit ‘cluttered’ when we are actually traveling!!

We awoke to light rain which quickly turned torrential. By the time we had packed up the heavens were in full fury. We also woke to a flat tyre on the caravan. Luckily we are a twin axle so we made the decision to keep going on it until the weather improved enough to change it. We then had to get out of the site which; because of a bad layout, meant having to reverse out. Hubby did a sterling job despite not being able to see anything in the side mirrors (reversing in a caravan is no easy task) Helped by me on one corner and a very kind fellow Englishman on the other he slowly managed to inch back out to the entrance and turn around. By this time I was soaked to the skin and shivering but a change of clothes and blast of the car heater and we were on our way – time now 11.30am!!

We limped along stopping to pump the tyre up every hour until it was obvious we were losing the battle. So hubby had to change the tyre in the rain 😦

My hero!!

Oscar slept oblivious to the drama unfolding around him

Molly was a little more concerned about Daddy’s tyre changing abilities…..

Arrived at last….

The old fellow stretching his legs after the journey

And Molly checking out her surroundings

We caught a glimpse of the ‘super moon’ last night (probably what was responsible for yesterday’s freaky weather!) before we fell exhausted into bed.

The sun is shining this morning which bodes well for getting the awning up and the car unpacked. Hubby has his work cut out leveling the caravan as at the moment we are very definitely rolling on one side! Ok when you have had a beer or two but a bit perturbing otherwise.

But we are here, and it is good to be back. Looking forward to a long, hot summer and a relaxed pace of life for the next 6 months πŸ™‚

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Long overdue update…

Wow, a whole month has passed since I last did a post and life has been very busy.

Radio interviews, ultra-marathon training, yoga, a trip back to the UK, running my first retreat and now the last few days packing up to leave Spain for the heady plains of Portugal once again.

It is hard to believe that 6 months is up already and that we will be back on the road tomorrow heading up for Seville and an overnight stop before traveling into Portugal on Saturday.

But, we are ready to move on and get a change of scenery and a different pace over the summer. More time to spend on the online portion of my business together with more time for yoga and shifting up a gear with my ultra-marathon training.

I have to say that this time around has been the smoothest in terms of packing everything away which must been we are getting used to it – or maybe it means that I threw a lot more of our ‘stuff’ away in the time that we have been here!

Even the cats seem less phased by the idea that we are moving on again and are contentedly snoozing or sitting in the car trying it out for the off tomorrow – lol.

So, as we complete our third 6 month stint since leaving the UK I am happy to announce that this lifestyle is still as appealing as it was when we first got here. I love the fact that everything that we own can be fitted into the back of a car (albeit a rather large Ford Galaxy!) and that we are masters of our own destinies in terms of where we go and for how long. Life rocks!! πŸ™‚

I’ll take some photo’s on route and promise to post again once we arrive.

 

Night from hell…

This photo should give you some idea of how hot it was in the caravan last night.

Attempting to sleep was a task of mammoth proportions as I lay on top of the bed and struggled to breath.

Since the spider episode hubby has not allowed me to have the windows open at night; just the two roof vents. (I don’t think I have shared the spider incident here but basically several months back hubby awoke in the night to find a big old fat spider sat on his arm. Having a spider phobia of biblical proportions meant that that particular night was a sleepless one too!!)

Last night there was just no air in the caravan and what little there was felt like it had been heated to volcanic levels. I would have tossed and turned but I feared that any movement would see me spontaneously combustΒ  and so I was sure not to move a muscle – didn’t stop hubby throwing himself around and sighing loudly though !! 😦

I managed to sleep fitfully until about 3.45 when Oscar could take it no more and started the countdown to being let out. To give him his due the temperature in the caravan had started to creep back up again by this stage and so quite rightly he must have thought morning had arrived. Trouble is there are foxes around and so we keep them in until about 5ish just in case. So from 3.45 onwards we were subjected to the whole range of Oscar ‘mooseking’ – a sound akin to someone trapping his tail in the door at the same time as pulling out his toe nails. He has it down to a fine art now and does it from the comfort of his bed just raising his head to ensure maximum noise – little swine. I lasted until 4.30 and then gave in and let both him and Molly out.

Hubby also decided that enough was enough and got up too and so that was my nights sleep – or not….

The forecast is hotter today and tomorrow it is going to be even hotter.

I feel like a boil in the bag ready meal!!!

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

 

A book???…

Since I started writing this blog about our ‘adventures’ in Bessie the caravan I have had many people asking me if I am going to make this into a book!!??

I do enjoy writing but the thought of putting together a book is a little daunting…..or is it?? See that’s the trouble with me, throw me a challenge and I’m all over it like a hot rash.

So, lets just say I am pondering on the idea and mulling it over a little. I wouldn’t do it until we have our first year under our belt and I would have to make it a bit more interesting than just the posts on here but what do you think???

I’d love some feedback and comments – preferably on here and not facebook (because that helps my ratings and then more people get to see this!!)

I have also just started another blog (I know) called 365 Raw. If you have been reading this blog from the start then a/thank you so much for sticking with it and b/you will know that this blog started its life as a place to document my journey with raw food. That journey has now stepped up a notch and you can find out all about what is going on if you go across there.

In other news, well life has now calmed down a bit since my return from the UK. The cats and Oscar in particular; who had got himself in quite a tissy over my absence (lots of meowing and keeping hubby up at night pining for me) has recovered his composure and is now happy again. Baby John seems to be doing well and is getting stronger by the day (I’ll get some more pictures soon). Days are hot and sticky but you can’t beat the sunshine so you won’t see me complaining.

Life is sweet…..and I’m a happy bunny. πŸ™‚

 

Back on the road

Our five month stint in Iznate came to an end yesterday as we packed up and headed down the coast to Cadiz. We had spent the day before packing up and loading up the car so we would be ready to make a quick getaway in the morning. Maria came down bright and early to disconnect the electricity and we soon had the cats loaded up in their baskets and everything ready to go. But as with all our plans this one was not going to go smoothly.

I jumped in the car ready to reverse up to the caravan to hitch up and nothing. Nada, not a bean. We asked our neighbours if they would give us a jump-start and still nothing. Suddenly all our well laid plans slipped away as we realised that we would have to phone the breakdown insurance (again) and get someone out. I have to say though that the service we got was fantastic, just like the first time we used them a few months back.

Within an hour we had a mechanic on site who quickly diagnosed the problem to be our battery. He got us started but said that it was borderline and so with a long journey ahead with caravan and cats on board it didn’t take much to decide to go and get another one. Hubby followed him down to our nearest garage and he explained what we needed. 85 euros lighter he returned and we were ready to go again.

Farewells made to our neighbours and promises to stay in touch we were finally off. Maria came to say goodbye at the gate and more hugs ensued. On our way out I saw our little stray cat ‘Daisy Duke’ who I have been feeding. She was sat with some Spanish caravaners and looked like she had already found someone else to look after her!! Such is the way with cats but I was relieved that she had already sorted herself out with another ‘gravy train’.

The journey was easy and uneventful until we got closer to our destination. Signage in Spain is always a little on the scant side but there was nothing to indicate where the campsite should have been. We followed the directions we had got but nothing. It is always a worry when driving with the caravan that you will take a wrong turning and get lost. With a 37ft rig you can’t afford going the wrong way because there is not much chance of turning around!! We eventually decided to come back on ourselves and found that the site was now well signposted from the opposite direction!! Frustrating to say the least.

So, we finally arrived at our new campsite at around 7.30pm. It is a lot bigger with around 240 pitches and about 100 or so bungalows. It is empty though with 10 or so caravans and the same amount of motorhomes. We found a quiet spot and pitched up for the night leaving the unpacking for this morning.

Oscar took the journey in his stride, sleeping most of the way but Molly hated every minute, meowing and biting her blanket to shreds. She is having ‘intensive cuddle care’ and around the clock attention and managed to sneak onto the bed in the night when hubby got up for the little boys room. He didn’t notice her cuddled in beside me so she got to stay where she was!!

Pictures to follow and exploring to be done but we are glad to be here and on the next stage of our journey……

It’s a cats life!!!!

Taking the decision to move abroad again took a lot of thought not least because of our mottle crew of furry companions. With two of them 17 years a piece and the third an overweight 11-year-old with only three legs (sorry Mol but the truth hurts!!) we couldn’t be sure that it was the right thing to do to drag them half way around Europe with us and subject them to life in a caravan and an ever-changing environment.

In the end though we decided that we would take the chance as they have been used to a certain amount of upheaval and change living with us over the years.

Now almost three months into our adventure and it looks as though our decision paid off. They seem to be three very content cats who have easily settled into new routines and surroundings and are just as happy, healthy (this weeks vets escapades aside!!) and lovable as ever.

Cats are nothing if not adaptable and as long as you provide them with routine and continuity they are ok. So, everyday starts with whoever draws back the curtains by the bed being greeted like this:-

Two eager little faces waiting patiently for food!! Oscar chooses not to be part of the morning welcoming committee as that is women’s work but he is very pleased to see us and more importantly his breakfast. Everyone fed there is then the queue for the litter tray as they all do their morning ablusions.Β  Next up is cuddles on the bed as mummy comes to with her cup of tea.

After a few more bowls of food and once the light comes up Oscar and Molly head out for a day’s sunbathing – unless its wet, windy or just overcast outside and then its back to the bed. Most days sees them like this though:-

They still have the same 5pm curfew that they have always had and so after the important work of the day is over in they come for their tea and then the more serious work of evening snoozes begins. Sunbathing is tiring business you know and so when the day is over and bellies are full there is only one thing to do:-

Whilst Oscar and Molly are certainly enjoying all the sunshine, Tinker chooses to live a more relaxed life. Once she has had her breakfast in the morning and is settled on the bed that is pretty much where she prefers to stay. She may go out once or twice a week for a few laps around the caravan but for the most part she is happy on the bed. She seems bright and alert and is eating, drinking and all the other things she should be doing. She especially loves cheese and will often come and sit on the chair behind me at tea time waiting patiently for me to finish and give her a little morsel of cheese. Then she’s back to bed happy and content.

So, we have no worries that our furry friends are not enjoying our adventure too……….it certainly seems to be a cat’s life as well.

Less is More

Moving abroad in a caravan is certainly an exciting thing to be doing – quite romantic really if you think about it, or is that just me!!- and its definately the realisation of aΒ  long held dream for both of us. But, for me it is also an experiment. An experiment about letting go of material possessions, of space and of the feeling that both of those things are what I need to live a fulfilling life.

To say that I have a lot of stuff is an understatement – confirmed by the many weeks spent sorting through it all. To say that I have a lot of stuff that I never use is also very true, but like many of us I have fallen into the trap of thinking that I still need those belongings.

We come into this world with nothing but the bodies we inhabit and we leave the same way, but when we leave someone else has to step into the space that we lived in and sort through all the stuff that we left. It’s no longer any use to us and probably not much use to those we leave it to either as they already have all they need themselves.

Now I’m not saying that we should go through our lives with nothing – obviously we need clothes on our backs and a roof over our heads to protect us from the elements if nothing else, and then we need a bed to sleep in and pots and plates to eat off and the list goes on. But my point is that we really don’t need as much of that stuff as we think we do and it is that thought that I am enjoying playing around with at the moment.

Just how much do I actually need. Do I really need 8 differents scarves and an assortment of hats when one will clearly suffice. Do I really need different plates to eat off when most of my food can be eaten from my hands – raw food is very versatile like that.

Having limited space to accommodate our possessions is making me think of these things in a very realistic way. Its making me acknowledge the fact that I can actually live a very simple live and hopefully feel very fulfilled doing it.

I hope that our transition to living with minimal possessions will be a smooth one, but I’m not niave enough to think that it wont be without its ups and downs. I’ll let you know about them as they happen as I want to be real about this. I’m hoping that I can live without all the entrapments that I have collected along the way but I may surprise myself and find that actually I am the kinda of girl who does need 8 scarves and 20 bikinis’…………..I’ll let you know……..

 

The King has lost his throne…..

I got back from a busy day yogaring, teaching and shopping to discover that hubby had managed a bit of a sales spree himself and gotten rid of (i.e. sold)Β  a few more of our possessions.

Amongst those things gone today was the dining room table and its six chairs which is great news for us as another large item ticked of the list but not such good news for Oscar who ‘owned’ one of the chairs. It was his, covered in his blankets and his fur and wow betide anyone else – human or furry – who dared to sit on it. It normally resided right next to the arga so absolutely perfect for those chilly winter and summer days but it was known to migrate around the house to keep his nibs happy. (See attached picture of him in the living room over Christmas!!)

Now it is gone and he is bereft without it. I got a full blown account of his displeasure when I arrived home – I kid you not, cats have feelings and are perfectly capable of letting you know about them. When Oscar is unhappy he usually gets his point across by running around at about 100miles an hour – not bad for an old boy – like he is on the wall of death and doing what we call ‘mooseking’ at the top of his voice. To clarify ‘mooseking’ is a variation on a meow and to the uninitiated it sounds like someone has trapped his tail in the door whilst simultaneusly pulling out his claws one by one. Its not pretty. After two bowls of food, a cuddle and some rather large sprays of feliway around the bedroom he is now recovering on the bed.

All quiet for now but I hate to think what will happen when its time for bed later. We may be wearing ear plugs tonight.

Suddenly I am wondering whether or not it is such a wise decision to be taking 3 cats on a trip around Europe in a glorified tin can…………oh well too late now and it should make for some interesting blogging entries!!!!!!