Seeking warmer climates

I’ve been using the UK as a base for Rayquaza whilst I traveled to Asia and Australia and spent the last few days preparing for a much anticipated return to Spain.

I decided to take out the main dining table that came with the motorhome as it is very heavy, too big and consuming much needed floor space with its big leg.

Typically this table offers a second bed but I never use that option anyway, and the replacement is from a UK comany (Teak Marine) which can swivel in a number of ways. (and lock in place)

It also makes much better space for Olli to be more out of the way and all in, a great change.

I also managed to update the “garage” and put some shelves in, and had some clearing out.

So, all set for the warmer weather in Spain. First stop is Castelldefels just outside Barcelona to visit old friends and collecting / dropping a few items at the storage I have there.

Then I’ll head further south to near Huelva, my brother Melt lives, and I’m likely to make that area the base for the winter.

Whilst it’s going to be great to be back in the road, I did enjoy being back in Suffolk albeit briefly. The opportunities for running in this area are endless and I managed to capture this picture along the river here in Woodbridge on one of my runs.

I am however looking forward to being back on my old running track along the beach in Castelldefels which ends at the marina, where I can continue dreaming about the next step after motorhome living….

I packed way too much stuff!

This week I took the motorhome for a test run in Terragona, with the McArdles, who rented a bungalow at the same campsite.

The most obvious thing I soon realised was that I packed way too much stuff. And the awning “tent” that comes in two big bags, weighing a ton and taking up half the garage, must go. The same with the “portable” air-conditioner. And the subwoofer and desktop speakers. What was I thinking?!

Luckily, the storage space is just outside Barcelona so I popped in there after dropping the McArdles off at the airport, and dumped a load of stuff. And wow! The difference not only in space in my garage (the bike now actually fits) but also the way she drives. Much better.

I also learned that the “two man” tent I got for guests (over and above extra bed in the motorhome) is too small for the very nice blow up mattress I have. So I got a slightly bigger pop-up tent, but I also put in storage all the extra fillings one need to make the guest best in the motorhome. No need. If you are visiting me, I’m putting you in the tent outside! I promise that will be comfortable and a lot less hassle than making the second bed.

Then I left Spain and am now on the road to Bulgaria. It’s a long drive (2500km) and I’m taking it in stages, obviously.

Tonight I’m staying near Nice, in a campsite in town, near the coast, and tomorrow I’ll head for Treviso in Italy, where my friend Andrea lives. It will be good to see him, and I can also find a Fiat mechanic to look at what seems to be a leaking aircon problem, and a few other small items I’d like to fix. Nothing major but if I can find someone suitable for that in Treviso, I’ll happily spend an extra day there!

 

 

The apartment is finally empty! 

It’s been an incredibly long day but the apartment is empty, and Olli and I are now in the motorhome! 

Ironically we are staying the night in the street right outside the apartment since I’m seeing landlord first thing in the morning to have the handover. And we can then do a last run on the familiar path. 

So, it begins! 

Shoutout to Ms Mily in Australia on her birthday, and to big brother Melt on his home purchase in Spain! We are a busy bunch. 

#alienineurope 

Packing progress 

.. And interior photos for Chris… 

I’ve been packing the motorhome as you can imagine and my previous experience with caravaning, where I’ve learned you do not need all the stuff you bring with, came in handy. I’ve been ruthless in how little I pack but even so, the garage is now getting full, whilst inside I still have plenty of empty cupboards. 

I’ve transferred what I wanted to take from my (ex) wardrobe – already gone to someone who needed it – and the wardrobe in the motorhome is surprisingly spacious (wine rack and all). 

Those are the only clothes I’m taking. A warm coat (for work travel when required) is in there somewhere. 

I’ve also sorted out my TV and 4g router. I’m quite keen to test the 4g antenna on the roof as well. 

More photos of the interior below. I’m getting there! 

Riaan 

Moving an apartment into a motorhome

The drive down from England to the apartment just outside Barcelona gave me great confidence in the motorhome. There are a few small items I’ll have to get a local garage to take a look at (wiper blades, a few external light bulbs, topping up the air-con and some dust on the suspension) but nothing major. She drives really well and it took no time to get used to the new size!

I found a perfect spot RIGHT outside the apartment’s loading gate, could not be more perfect, and instantly had a few of the neighbours over for a nose-about 🙂 All of them very excited and envious!

So the rather daunting task of making sure I pack in her ONLY what I really need, starts. I have local furniture storage arranged and I’ll have to be ruthless – you don’t want to overload and I’m trying to follow my own rules when I pack for traveling, which is to unpack whatever you’ve packed and then only take half of that….we’ll see how it goes.

I still have to pinch myself to think the motorhome is here, she’s mine and we’re (almost) ready to go!

Target date for moving out of the apartment is 26 May, with the first trip being the McArdles coming to visit and we’ll go to a campsite in Tarragona. I also have the small issue of a company team retreat in Lisbon to engage with … we can’t make this too easy now, can we?! I’m back from that trip 18 May, then the serious packing and moving starts.

 

Now I’m a motorhome owner! 

It’s hard to believe but finally, I have the motorhome! Picked it up in Leeds and had a very lengthy hand over, with everything being explained in detail. 

I just had to get the classic “hand over” pic taken… 

Then I drove down to Suffolk where I’ll be for the weekend (picking up a few packages that arrived!) and heading over to Spain to continue packing  up, on Monday. 

Had a brilliantly comfortable first night in it.. And speaking of, I’m still looking for a name for the motorhome. Not sure if tasking  Edd’s boys with it was the best idea but let’s see..  😊