DAY 78 01/02/23

White Rabbits 1st February

Parish notice

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Sleepy spot for today is (36.7159620 -4.1774654) Playa Benajarafe

Harry Hymer and Crew are still happily parked up on the beach reading in the sun .. collecting sea glass on the shore ..The beach here isn’t sand as we know it more fine grey gravel .. very hurty without shoes on ..

Wonder if tonight will be the night the police come and move us on .. seemingly this is happening all along the coast ..as I said in the last post camp sites are full ..one wonders where all the vans here are supposed to park …We will see .. Tomorrow we will move anyway as a shop is needed so possibly back to the dust bowl in Nerja ..

It warms up after 11am . Cloudless skies . 4C early this morning keeping us under the duvet until 10 am .. nothing to get up for ..Good books to read … Fishermen braving the cold wind sat on the shore and dog walkers .. 12 noon is our usual sitting out time .. it’s just warming up enough for The Cook to take off woolly hat and massive sweaters ..

This beach is the headquarters for the motorised para gliders .. We have been entertained on the last two evenings with flying displays .. The wind is the correct strength for them at the moment it seems .. The first evening we were here it was far to windy for these fliers .. looks very scary

Corned beef Hash for tea .. only tinned stuff left with our fridge freezer out of commission due to its death 4 days ago .. but we will shop daily and all will be well .. back to the good old days of camping without fridges and freezers ..and another sunset

DAY 76 30/01/23

PROBLEMS

No 1

BATTERIES LOW!

A site with vacancies

In need of electric to top up the batteries which run all our power .. They seem to be low .. Do we have a problem with them are they knackered? ..should they be replaced? Called in at campsites …Sorry Sir No room… Full to bursting .. Keep driving .. 180km later and a sleep in what we call the Dust Bowl in Nerja ..The Driver found one with vacancies ElPino above Torrox and off Harry went

We now know why there are vacancies..The roads on the site are very narrow and some are very steep and have avacado trees with fairly low branches. Vans like Harry are too big for the spaces offered but never say never !!!

We found a space just large enough but impossible to get into without driving and turning using other pitches . We parked plugged in electric and prayed that nobody will park in these other spaces or we won’t get out.

The good news is that after 24 hours of charge Harry’s electricity controller shows the batteries “may” be ok.. Listened to the Burnley Match in the sunshine with BFC flag flying

The Cook managed to scare away a couple of viewers looking at the pitch opposite from our exit route by discussing loudly the noisy Spanish family opposite and the trees and steepness of access.

On the second night it absolutely bucketed it down but it was dry by morning.

Batteries look ok on the controller if we exit via the empty pitches ..shoe horning Harry out ..Down to the dump(Dump ..empty water from tank and cassette) ..

After emptying we had to go back into the narrow roads to get out of the campsite and clipped a low branch with the back edge of the awning bracket …Luckily only a small paint scuff.

When previously filling with LPG The Driver was not convinced that the pump attendant had properly filled our gas bottle so this mornings task was to fill again putting in 10 litres ..Verdict ..it had not been filled properly in Algerceres

No 2

FRIDGE PROBLEM

After a night at the car park at Sotogrande ( Toroguardio) Highly recommended by Crew of Harry .. coordinates below

The Cook smelt ammonia …The Driver sniffed the batteries ..The drain cover nearby …He found it was coming from the fridge ventilation top cover .

After checking with experts found it is a terminal fault and Harry Hymer no longer has a fridge /freezer but a 2 compartment cool box.

At the Store 2 large ice bags where purchased and we will be eating up the stored contents over the next few days and probably throwing some food away..The Cook says only the cheap fish fingers ..She has thrown together a chicken curry and a chicken Singapore noodle..with the defrosted chicken breasts .. One for tonight and one for tomorrow ..She doesn’t throw food away ..The Driver made a Roast dinner with the half chicken bought in Sidi Ifni and saved frozen for a Targine which never happened even though we have a lovely Targine cooking pot found dumped because some traveller couldn’t be bothered to clean it ..The Driver succeeded in getting the burnt on debris off it and it is now ours and stored on the garage ..

After The Driver’s research He located a supplier of new and second hand fridge/freezer units which they will fit (by arrangement) but it’s in Ilford, Essex .

This is not on our normal route home but may be the best option to sort the issue. The cost is pretty horrendous at £800 plus £150 for fitting which is better than a new one at 2K

Now parked up on the beach at Playa de Benajarafe (36.7158354 -4.1774480) Haven’t seen “Though shalt not park overnight “sign so all is well .. very windy ..

DAY 73 27/01/23

GO EAST >>>>>>>

A lovely nights stop over .. After a walk to the Marina to ogle the yachts there were two the cook fancied but the other are so ugly she wouldn’t give em a second glance . How horrid is the yacht in the photo below .The Driver said at least 250K for a floating bar

Now for a proper yacht see photo below

Back to domestics …It seems our leisure batteries are failing .. we need a campsite to recharge batteries ..BUT.. All are full .. no room at the Inn ..Searched them all on the coast from Gib to Nerja .. Nothing … so now we are here on the parking place by the beach in Nerja phoning Battery shops/garages .. The Driver has found one so let see what tomorrow brings … BTW I would rather be in Morocco.. It’s easy there!!!!!!

Tonight sleepy spot ..see below ..

(36.7439932 -3.8987393 ). Nerja

DAY 71. 25/01/23

LA LLUVIA EN ESPAÑA

What a shock The Cook got when doing our big shop at Morrisons Gibraltar.. Firstly shelves empty ..No fresh chicken.. Fresh Salmon massively over priced (£9 for very ungenerous portion ) ..Never mind we will go to Lidl ..Shelves in a few isles full with repeat stock..lots of crisp and kitchen roll displays to fill shelves .. Now to the price ..Every thing has gone up in price in the last two months ..but being in Morocco where everything is cheap the final bill hurt ..

BIG BREAKFAST

Even the big breakfast is full price again ..last visit before Morocco was half price thrilling the Yorkshire Driver

Marina Info

After a lovely sunny day crossing from Morocco to Gibraltar and parking in the Marina..with a wonderful sunset ..All the washing done and dry but by evening it’s cold ..It’s wet ..It’s a north wind ..and today it’s pouring down ..

Stayed another night in the marina with a full blown thunder storm ..

Today just off ..a womble up the road east ..finding a lovely car park sea view .. Only available in the winter months ..The Mediterranean Sea looked fierce after last nights activities ..

Had a minor shock today as our return ferry from Santander to Portsmouth on 22/02/23 is cancelled ..The grapevine speculated it’s an illegal immigrant issue .. We asked Brittany Ferries by phone who seem to need the boat in Cherbourg on that date ..and changed our booking to the week before on the 15/02/23 ..Grrrrrr

DAY 68 22/01/23

ASILAH

By The Driver …photos by The Cook
A cloudy day after the overnight rain so what do you do . Go for a walk around the old town of Asilah

. It’s a wonderful medina with existing walls and a thriving artist community and lovely narrow alleys to wander around .

We started with the periphery and walked the inward sections . Some lovely street art on the walls and lovely house entrances and doorways.


As our feet started to complain we sat at a cafe just outside the marina The Cook had a chocolate and The Driver had a cafe noire and a cheese crepe which was lovely with The Cook people watching . Followed by a stumble back via lovely orange trees in full fruit to a less soggy aire and Harry.


We had a disturbed night due to a party somewhere near , possibly a wedding.
At the morning chorus (Mosque call to prayer) possibly the second best of our trip ..The Driver rolled up the still soggy mat and departure from Assilah via the back door due to a large number of Italians on a guided trip and run by a noisy woman in Pink Lycra ( God save us from this style of motorhomeing) .
A cheap motorway drive and
a pleasant drive through Tangier to the wrong ferry terminal …

Tanger is very modern and extremely clean never seen as many men sweeping the streets
The departure of our Ferry was as expected due to good info fromLink to every thing Morocco by The Motorroamers and only 1 1/2 hours late.
Back to Spain ..a very slow smooth sail . Topped up the gas but only 8 1/2 litres to top up ( stopped by the attendant a bit soon we thought) .

Back to our pre departure free car park overlooking the port . Dinner and bed with Moroccan red wine and The Cooks special pasta sauce .

DAY 65/66 19/20/01/23

Heating on !!!! Shock!

Heading north .. Suntan fading .. Still sunny but very chilly at night and early mornings ..Down to 11C at night which after being south is quite chilly for The Cook

Another long journey via Mway ..All A1 for this journey at a cost of €11-48 a total of 226km The Cook/Accountant isn’t quibbling about it ..

Now we are in Mohamedia after bypassing Casablanca .. Didn’t fancy it although Riks Bar is on the tourist map after “Casablanca” the movie ..

Camping Blue Ocean seems to be another French retirement holiday campsite .. All very nice but .. There’s no adventure here and it’s giving The Cook a complex regarding age .. She still thinks like an adventurer not an old age pensioner !!!! These kind of sites are not for Harry’s Crew .. Sidi Ifni and Sidi Kaouki are perfect .. such a mixture of ages and nationalities .. Naming but a few Heather ,Ron, Marjan, Andy, Omu and not forgetting Captain Bill .. All interesting characters ..

The video is of the beach outside Camping Blue Ocean .. all very lovely in fact we may give it a longer stay later this year on our return

The drive from Sidi Kaouki to Our next port of call Assila has been 688 km and a lot of mway driving stopping over night twice .. We met a guy who didn’t think much of Morocco so far .. Poor roads he said .. How we laughed .. He was using the Mway .. Lord help him when he actually gets on to real Moroccan roads .. like The Road from Hell

We headed north having seen the weather on our app called Ventusky .. Magic app for around £4 and has so far helped us to avoid weather ..

SEE RAIN COMING FEOM THE ATLANTIC !!

First found Ventusky when the yacht race “Route de Rhum” from St Malo to Guadeloupe was postponed for bad weather back in early November .. must be bad as yachter of that category don’t postpone .. we had a look and postponed our sailing to Spain after looking at this app .. worth every penny

More tomorrow as The Cook is now two G&Ts down and is making home made burgers !

DAY 65 18/01/23

Question!

1. Should The Cook have bought prawns ?

2. Did she ask if the prawns where fresh?

3. It was hot at midday .. Had the prawns come for Sidi Kaouki or Essouria?

4.Is it time for The Cook to take Imodium ?

Answers on a postcard please ..

En route to Oulidia from Sidi Kaouki . and our first decent roads .. Motorway toll road .. A need to get north for our ferry to Spain .. Before MWay a visit to a small town 30km from Essouria after a biggish shop and fuel fill up .. A need now to find an ATM to fill our purses .. No plastic Sir ..anywhere out of main city .. need cash for toll payment .. Lots of shoppers getting home on the local taxi service ..

Traffic is virtually nil on this part of the MWay .. lots of time to look round .. The locals use the verges to graze animals .. Sheep ..Donkey and even cows .. With a close eye kept on by herdsmen The journey of 213 km with the last hour of MWay costing €2-40 in Toll

The camping in Oualidia is on the local car park 40 mad ..water only .. must have been 60 + vans parked up ..but what a gorgeous place to spend 24 hours .. The Atlantic roaring in to the bay ..Fisher men looking at the sea with no intention of going out today .. It’s wild ..

DAY 59. 12/01/23

Sidi Kaouki and a Drama

Chaos for our Dutch friend .. A blow out on the road ..Single woman .. Travelling alone ..

Flat tyre ..what do you do? Ring the Crew of Harry Hymer who are two hours away and have had a round of G&Ts so cannot drive back to help .. “Go to police for me “Marjan asks of us .. A walk into town of Sidi Kaouki .. Talked with police who talked with his brother who speaks better English .. He rings to find out where Dutch gal is .. she hang up on him ..Stranger danger !!!

The Cook texts to tell her the police help is phoning .. then give her a number to ring for assistance.. Someone changes her tyre ..it’s turned out he was the orange seller .. She arrives at this campsite near dusk .. all is well as there isn’t any road side assistance here .. just locals who help or not .. There is always some ones brother who is a mechanic .From what I can gather a Portuguese traveler stayed with her till the police arrived .. Today a drive to Essaouira for her to buy new tyre all done at a cost of around £100 and she is still smiling ..

To get back to Travels with Harry ..Sidi Kaouki is a surfers paradise.. very cool dudes with sun bleached dreds.. you know the types ..carrying surf boards or kite carts .. all very young .. and lovely ..

Wild donkeys roaming ..

Horses for hire along with beach buggies for rides along a massive expanse of beach .. all very chilled and cool .. not really commercialised !! Oh yes!!.. Had late lunch at Kaouki surf club .. had better .. but a great view from the upper deck ..

DAY 58. 11/01/23

PLAGE AGHROUD

French guy rolls up in camper van late “Want to sell beer ?” Said he ..Let’s call beer Rocking horse Sh** here in Morocco ..We’ve had to drive 200 km to restock Harry’s Bar at a decent price .. In Sidi Ifni small cans where 30 mad or €3 ..The Driver did leave his Yorkshire roots behind at the Door of the hotel bar to purchase a couple of cans ..A bottle of near industrial gin was €30 per 75cl still more than we will pay any where else… but Morocco is dry after all…

Now to settle down for beach time .. The Driver along with Richy from the other Hymer did a beach clean

.. The Driver hired body board 70 Mad or €7 but had on his second outing a misadventure … He forgot to take off his £600 specs .. not sun specs but his main ones … never to be seen again .. lost at sea !!

Our fellow Hymeristers trawled the beach looking as did we at low tide nothing found .. in fact very little flotsam to be seen on the high water mark ..A cloud was seen as they worked ..

We even got used to the pack of ferrel dogs who chase anything …at times around 12 turned up to annoy dog walkers.. and passing horses ..and quad bike nutters ..A pass time not recommended here ..

What a lovely 2 mile long beach and colourful village at its center..

We had a warning of the police coming to move us all on last night .. The Moroc police do this after dark which isn’t a good time for leaving as Hymer light are no use even main beam leave a lot to be desired .. just in case they came we had a spot identified in the village .. but nothing happened .. but a lovely sunset

Today on the move again seeing goats in trees .. Decent roast for a change and now in Sidi Kaouki on a site but not a site as we know them .. it’s random ..park any where .. no regulation ..find a spot and stop.. that’s it ..No leccy but water and loo dump .. what more could you want for 30Mad €3 ..

DAY 55 08/01/23

AGHROUDE 2

Above is the copy from Park4nights .. I think a French speaker ..

Not much sleep at our emergancy village car park ..The dogs were falling out intermittently and before you know it the mosque kicks off with the 6am call to prayer .. The Mullah had a nice voice today unlike some callers ..The back of the village was pretty dilapidated .. lots of rubbish and The Driver saw wild boar .. harmless as they are not used as meat in Moroc

Now to find the beach parking which alluded us last night .. back on the road .. drive 1/2 kn south and a right and south again .. finding an unmade road leading to the beach and back north 1/2 km to the front of the wonderful coloured houses in the village .. so much different from the back ..

Not much to say today .. Quad bikes ..camels and dogs on the beach .. A guy put out eight deck chairs and umbrellas out on the sea edge .. A business enterprise..The Cook created an art installation out of rope and a tyre ..She then got her book and we didn’t here from her again until the cry went up “Is it GinOclock yet”

Met two more Hymer travellers heading south or east ..who knows .. and thats about it other than Fajita for supper with a threat of the police may move us on .. we will wait and see !!!! Below The Driver looking at yet another sunset ..

DAY 54 07/01/23

On the road again

Up and at on the morning of our departure with the full moon setting over the sea and a camel herd walking the beach

As always we take the road less travelled out of Sidi Ifni on route to Camping Takat just south of Agadir .. One strip of tarmac with in some places pot holes you could get lost in .. traffic free almost ..

Camping Takat found .. very pretty .. all pitches perfectly layed out with shrubs and flowers .. all very nice .. BUT .. it’s a French Retirement Home .. instead of wheel chairs the residents use quad bikes ..This is not the campsite for us .. and a massive 115 Mad = £10 ..Stayed over night and off quick sticks to Carrefour Agadir ..

All urban sprawl .. after being in village environment for around 5 weeks it’s a shock .. traffic .. crazy driving .. and a massive shop as we’ve run out of everything.. including booze ..

Mr Carrefour took €200 off us .. hopefully this shop will last until we hit Morrisons Gibraltar

Onward but where .. The Cook has found a beach north again ..On the road another beach was spotted not the one chosen but a random car park .. we stopped for lunch and an afternoon of surfer and people watching which included a sunset ..

People we met in Sidi came to say don’t stay the night .. it’s a rave /party place ..Off we toddled doing something we never ever do .. travel as it’s going dark .. A place had been recommended but trying to find it was a very dangerous nightmare over rough ground .. no road and seeing our given location but unable to get there in the dark .. Now we are with the help of local women parked in their village until morning and daylight .. we will be able to find our designated beach sleepy spot with the dawn

DAY 51. 05/01/23

YOU ARE ASKING “WHATS BEEN HAPPENING”

STILL IN SIDI IFNI

Catch up time

Justification ….

£6-73 per day with power and WiFi .. My way of justifiably staying here in Sidi Ifni on what will be our 24th day of wall to wall sun ..and …. If we travel think of the fuel Harry will use .. and …. We may loose the sun !!!

Christmas Day lunch at NOMAD’S .. Company included 4 Dutch.. 1 Italian ..2 UK

Photo below Christmas Day …The Driver with new friends

CHRISTMAS DAY

New Years Eve supper at NOMAD’S ..Company 1 Dutch 5 UK

More book reading ..and kitten feeding

People watching

Campervans coming and going ..

Litter picking on the beach by our friends .. Well done Kerry Marjan and Heather

The Driver has taken to body boarding with the camping ladies .. coughs…. He seems to be very popular.. Leaving The Cook to read her millionth book ..and cooking corned beef hash with added baked beans ..even had brown sauce .. see photo below

Yesterday Wednesday 4th January The Cook had a”What to go home “ moment until the gang of six walked her up the steep street to the town for a chicken lunch .. This lunch was a thank you from Marjan to all the people who have helped her with repairs to her van and friendship particularly Ron and Heather for their gift of silver screens ..They had new ones made in Tisnit ..

Marjan and new to her silver screens

The lunch place was at the top of the town and the walk not bad as we walked in the shade up the road instead of the killer steps usually taken with The Cook puffing and panting saying “Never again “

The pavement cafè is a chicken only rotisserie shop and what a meal .. Big salad .. Bowl of cinnamon flavoured dhal and a massive and perfectly cooked chicken .. All for around £2-50 per person

After lunch a small shop in the Souk looking at the official camel butcher with a ready for the pot camel toe on display

The chicken shop with todays food still alive and well

The veg man .. Fill a basket for around £2

The Fish man .. The Cook might try one of these beauties to cook another day

Money drawn from ATM and a Berber tea in another street cafe ..

There are a few beggars wanting baksheesh but one in particular who deserves a mention for his ingenuity.. A plank with a plastic bottle and a piece of string made into a guitar.. No music but he got some money for effort

The Driver has itchy feet and is ready to move ..The Cook hasn’t finished with Sidi Ifni as yet but knows it will take a week to get to the ferry at Tanger Med for departure to Spain on the 22nd January as our van insurance runs out ..perhaps another couple of gin o’clock sunsets before leaving this marvellous place we have called home for the last month

Boxing Day 2004

TSUNAMIS DON’T HAPPEN TO ME!!!!!!!!

Back from Sri Lanka after laying to rest a few post Tsunami ghosts. We arrived at the same time 08.15am on the 26th Dec one year on. This holiday will be the 5th we’ve spent wandering the beaches, hills and temples of this exquisite country once called Ceylon

I knew it by this name when the urge to go there entered my world in the form of a semi precious stone, the moonstone, creamy, blue, and opaque. Hold it up to the light and see the moon glowing in its curve. I was about eight years old and this little stone fascinated me. I didn’t have one but I wanted one and I usually get what I want by fair or foul means or if that fails by shear hard work. Decades hence I own about 500 in various forms.

The country is every thing I expected of it except a Tsunami, these natural disasters happen in the news paper, not in my world, but there we were on the Galle road, half a mile inland, thank god, going over the main river bridge which links to the harbour .The river has usually just a trickle of water in the bottom and there was this mass of water up to the top of the bank, rushing inland, at a guess 30 feet deep, High tide today we said!!!!!!!!Lots of people hanging off this bridge, we knew it was a holiday, Boxing Day for banks and Christmas celebrants, Sunday off for workers, Poya, full moon festival for the majority Buddhists. That bridge went down 10 minutes later and those people were pulling washed away victims out of the water!!!!! . So on we traveled after being turned up country by the police who informed us there was water on the road, totally oblivious of the situation on the coast until 10 hours later after traveling though the mountains and tea plantations, we arrived in Tangalle ,south coast, to find the beach side of our village had been washed away .Friends Chris and Linda ,who have a house in Tangalle, were at our guest house, which is on high ground above the beach, to tell us what the problem was but we hadn’t any true realization 0f the total devastation of Asia until arriving home one month later and seeing the TV coverage . The thing you think of are self. Is there enough bottled water? If not it will have to be boiled, haven’t packed sterilizing tabs, only take those to India and Nepal!!! Oh Hell I didn’t have my typhoid jabs before leaving, not enough time!!!! No electricity which means no A/C, which means sleeping in 95 degree F. There isn’t any sea breeze either, don’t moan about the smell of diesel from the broken boats on the beach . Get your self in control and stop panicking ,people are dead and you are not !!!

From then on we became more positive, helped out in the village, visited friends who had lost family and property, just generally showed support because there was nothing we could do until the army got through and took over the clean up.

The trip we had planned was then put on hold as it was to Arugam Bay on the east coast which was hit by seven 40foot waves killing hundreds of people including a couple of our friends who have lived there for 25 years. ,We were returning having enjoyed the peace and tranquility of the bay out of season a couple of year before,. After two weeks in Tangalle we headed up country to the tea plantations and the planters bungalow with its own staff including chef and house boys to look after your comfort at 8000ft 

Then on to Ella and the Hill Club in Nuwara Eliya pronounced Nurayleah,This place is normally booked up for years in advance, so as all the tourists had gone home and no more were arriving we had the place to our selves. The hotel/club was a preserve of the British male until 1970 now native Sri Lankan and women are welcome, bully for them, Dinner is quite special, 5 course set menu is served promptly at 8pm The whole thing is carried of with great aplomb ,white gloved elderly waiters, flowers, linen napkins and table cloths , crystal glasses , one problem men must wear jacket and tie and as with backpackers one doesn’t normally give these items of clothing priority, “not to worry sir” said this snotty little male receptionist who wouldn’t have been let in the place before 1970,”We have a dressing up box” !!!This was more of a cupboard than a box and in it we found jackets and ties even a pair of shoes so Cinders could go to dinner after all because he wouldn’t have been allowed into the public rooms without this apparel, I nearly told them to stuff their dinner where the sun doesn’t shine but after a couple of very large G&T’s and current husband looking great we dined. After dinner a fire is lit in the hearth and large brandies are quaffed down before retiring to bed to find not one but two hot water bottles waiting, MAGIC.

Heading up country to Kandy and The Sharon Inn ,Owned and run to perfection by Sue and Faiesz Samad,overlooking the Tooth Temple lake and visited by Mr monkey and his mates , the answer is don’t have beer at lunch time and nod off on the balcony leaving bananas in the room because Mr sneaky will come and wreck every thing to find them!!! We try and head for this place as the buffet rice and curry in the evening is the best one in Sri Lanka and a reliable man and a van can be found to take you further north for a reasonable amount of rupees. We then decided to take advantage of the no tourist scene and see if we could get a bed at the Rest House at Polonnaruwa as it’s always been fully booked when we have attempted to go there in the past. Yes a room was available, every room was available “no tourist madam” the telephone voice said,”Would we like the Queens bed room”, seemingly QE2 had stayed there on one of her world tours,

Polonnaruwa is where the 1000 years old Buddha was found in the last century its about 40 feet long and carved out of one piece of granite , after nearly treading on a cobra on the way back though the jungle we thought our last few days should be spent in the height of luxury at Kandalama eco friendly 5* hotel . Its so eco friendly even the bog paper is recycled elephant shit!!!!Again no tourist, we practically had the place to our selves with three swimming pools to go at 

Well that’s about it for this blog, the next one will be about our return this last Christmas to see all our Tsunami friends

DAY 37/40 25/12/22

SIDI IFNI ….. DAY 40

Harry Hymer and crew have settled in to campsite life .. Our normal way of living is free camping but here isn’t the norm .. for just over £6 a day with leccy and WiFi ..be it poor with so many people having turned up for Christmas .. Kids being home schooled on line as well ..see photo below of William aged nine and his Dad working with their view of the surfers out at sea

Camping Sidi Ifni filling up ..see photo below .. sound of the surf and the call to prayer from the various Mosques in the town plus laughter from groups of campers having fun .. zero traffic .. plane flights nil .. all very peaceful..

Settled into a routine.. Cat visits daily bringing her kittens for scraps .. French lady is buying fish for her .. lucky puss

Lots of interesting people .. Family from Cornwall taking a year’s sabbatical are the proud owners of two puppies left for them by the mother on the doorstep of their van in Tarfroute .. she didn’t return …Puppies now named Tarf and Route ..

Next to arrive was Doug .. His van called Sheila the Agila and his rescue puppy named Tagha again after the place she is from ..She was found taking her life in her hands on a road some where in the desert .. Doug and companion waited with the 6 week old puppy for the mother to return for a day .. but not to be so they kept the puppy .. now will have to wait in Moroc weeks for vets and paper work before they can return her to UK .. photo below of Sheila the Agila smallest campervan ever .. The story of Sheila the Agila and crew

Hawkers turn up selling their wares daily .. solar panels .. sun blinds .. and The Octopus man .. The Cook bravely purchased a smallish one .. Had its life dispatched by the vendor .. What to do next .. Never cooked one ever .. On the site we have a chef tutor from the northeast .. Lets go ask Ron .. No .. He doesn’t deal with fish .. but … next door is a French Chef .. Patric .. and yes he knows how to deal with octopus.. Firstly bash it with a hammer to tenderise .. then boil in salted water for 40 minutes with two corks from wine bottles !!!! Why ? We will never know ..After cooking skin it .. chop into chunks .. flour and fry in butter olive oil n garlic .. wow .. Talk about delicious

Beach watching is now a daily hobby apart from reading and chatting .. and sitting on the roof for sundown cocktails …The Driver did take a dip but said it was too rough for the Cook to go in .. see photos The sunset photo is unfiltered .. that’s was what the camera saw .. all very spectacular

Christmas Eve social event was put on by The Cook with a three curry supper made from scratch .. Table outside ..enjoyed by our new friends photo to follow WiFi Crap today .

DAY 32 18/12/22

A TRAGIC EVENT !

What an awful 24 hours ..

So sad ..

Let me explain … A French couple in a big van opposite..

I spoke with the lady in pidgin French the other day and yesterday we heard the news she had died in the Market .. Massive heart attack so we believe .. The poor husband seems to being supported by the French Embassy official.. again an assumption.. We all are shocked .. can’t believe it happen here .. The Cook was awake all night wondering what she would do if The Driver popped his clogs when we were on an adventure as she struggles to open the safe .. where the insurance documents are kept let alone drive the van back to UK ..

We went to the same market today Via the hospital.. outpatients looked interesting

Wait in line for A&E

Bought veg then down the street to buy outdoor carpet to keep the sand out of Harry ..again via our cafe for mint tea and to sit and look at the passing people …below a photo of our carpet purveyor edging our piece and a guy who reminded us of our lovely friend Manny back in UK

The site has some lovely people from the UK Heather and Ron who are long term travellers ..Their friend Margaret .. lone female adventurer..Now two more vans turned up with home educated kids .. and one from Cornwall with two Moroccan rescue puppies .. All happening here ..

Sat on the roof tonight chatting to Heather not bothering to much about the World Cup final until it went to extra time and we all upped and went to the bar to watch what The Cook said was the best match she had ever seen .. Now playing tango music whilst we wait for the home made paella to cook

Surfer paradise

DAY 31 17/12/22

SOLAR PANEL WARS !

Camping Sidi Ifni (29.3841000, -10.1742000) Sleepy spot

Whilst on sites in Moroc an assortment of tradesmen pop in to see if any vans needs work ..Respray .. new soft furnishings .. re do yr settees Sir? .. Sun blinds and the solar panel guy .. We had a sun screen made ..Perfect and so incredibly inexpensive for all the work ..

Maryann’s van

Our Italian neighbours had two solar panels added .. Very pleased with the work and the price but our near neighbour Marianne from The Netherlands did a deal with the solar man .. very cheap €150 for a panel and fitting .. Ahhhh but …

Weather for next week

When fitting My Driver said to her “Second hand “ The workman had tried to palm her off with a secondhand panel which was not the deal .. she thought it was new for that price She got upset and indignant .. Andy another guy here on site and well versed in all thing electric and John got involved …They tried to calm the storm as the original quote was a good one but the attempted fitting of second hand gear was not correct. A new quote was put together with a brand new panel which was much larger was arranged and finally fitted with some quality control issues sorted . A good quality system was finally fitted which will now cope with more northerly latitudes as well.

Tonight beach taken from bar with football match

Marianne wasn’t happy because all Moroc men try to con a woman on her own .. Fortunately she had us and others on the site who knew what they were talking about .. All is now well and we all went to watch the Footy and have a beer and food .. now back to write up The Solar Panel War

Morocco lost !

SIDI IFNI … BEACH TIME

DAY 29-30 15-16/12/22

So you ask what’s been going on ..

We climb up to the shops in the township of Sid Ifni .. So steep The Cook had to stop and look at the view a couple of times

Sidi Ifni camping in the distance

The Driver was searching for a voltage regulator!!!! You wonder why ??

I will get The Driver to explain ..

It is rumoured that the electric supply in Morocco is so unstable it will damage your Motorhome especially the fridge. A local Motorhome electrician offered us a voltage regulator at 200 euros . I checked around the town to see if one was available cheaper. Non are available. A long term Motor-homer has told me that it’s not likely to be a problem as he’s been here for ages over many years and it’s not been an issue.

So there you have it .. and this is why we wandered around in the heat of the day following Google maps to find electrical suppliers.. wandered .. I say ..until The Cook said she was off back Harry .. To hot for wandering ..

A glass of mint tea was taken which helped the Cooks annoyance.. Bread purchased at 15 p for whole meal freshly baked round flat loaf and a quick stroll back .. Rescued the Awning from a sudden rainy squall .. The Cook hanging on for grim death whilst him self got it down but not before the pair were wet through .. All blown though now .. We heard the North of Morocco ..Portugal and Spain are getting a pasteing .. All is well here with a temp of 25 C and night time temp 18 C .. a bit sweaty

The quiet campsite is filling .. There were just two other Brits here Jimmy and Andy..who we went to the pub with to watch Morocco play France in the World Cup .. Beer was found and food .. and a cat … Now lots more vans have turned up .. Let’s escape Christmas we said .. Christmas arrived with the new vans with trees ..Fairy lights and the usual paraphernalia .. We may have to conform as we have the sausages and bacon for pigs in blankets but The Cook is nervous as she hates it all with a vengeance.. more later ..

DAY 26 12/12/22

GOATS DO CLIMB TREES

The cook didn’t want to move ..sitting in the sun reading was so so nice but ….Onwards ever onwards said The Driver ..The Painted Rocks called him .. and if Scooter had been insured at the border we would have gone off on him .. but ..OMG I don’t think scoot would have survived .. The Cook wouldn’t .. The road was unbelievably awful .. Harry manfully got us there to take photos .. The Driver did say we could return to Tafraoute but turned left and off to the coast ..

Photos in link below

ROAD TRIP TO THE PAINTED STONES AND ON TO SIDI IFNI

Todays road trip

This road wasn’t too bad .. tarmac ..and at times white lines in the middle ..Another up up and up ..even used the gears on the way down from the ear popping heights ..and here we are in Sidi Ifni .. sleepy spot Camping Sidi Ifni (29.3841000, -10.1742000)

DAY 24/25 10/11/12/22

MOROCCO 1-0 PORTUGAL


STOP FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS … Sun and rest .. washing dry .. curry cooked

Nothing much to report Tafraoute is a pretty area with Rose granite cliffs towering above our little parking place .. The sun has eventually shown its face but a slight chill at 3000 feet .. with palm trees !! I have added link to save data .. Link to Tafraoute area

Here on a campsite full of French vans and very happy French faces after the W.C footy ..

But first to the Morocco win over Portugal .. The Cook watch the first half .. in French .. at the back of a cafe .. with mint tea .. A couple of pints of beer would have been acceptable but non to be had here in dry Morocco.. Back to Harry went the cook at half time leaving The Driver with Moroc and French supporters.. The whole town has gone ballistic.. Morocco won on penalties..

Sadly the England v France match wasn’t found on any hooky TV channel and had to be listened to on 5 live with VPN .. The Cook went to bed .. she couldn’t see the match in her head just by listening and it was too loud .. much to loud with the whistling and crowd noise .. Sadly or perhaps not France won .. To play Morocco next .. I wouldn’t be happy being French here if they whopp Morocco ..An excitable Nation !!

Tomorrow’s is a visit to the painted rocks and on to the coast with luck ..so more about that later ..

DAY 23 09/12/22

DAY 2 THE RR106 ROAD FROM HELL

IGHERM TO TAFRAOUTE

N 30° 5′ 16″ W 8° 27′ 33″ (lat lng)

Igherm parking

30.0877, -8.4592 (lat, lng)

Sleepy spot outside Gendarmerie Royal .. Sleepy is a word not used .. what with the dogs guarding their territory and barking most of the night then the call to prayer seemed earlier than usual

.. An early start for part 2 of the Road from Hell .. The Cook organised the google translate to ask the police what the onwards part of the RR106 road was like ..

The Driver came back with “ Not a broken road but much up n up and twists “ and so it was ..

Up to around 4000ft ..into the clouds Many hairpin bends ..Many blind corners ..Many blind summits ..Road edges without barriers with 3000 ft drops ..BUT there was tarmac ..sometimes not enough for passing .. Woops sorry there isn’t anything to pass for 50 miles ..

Until we came upon a convoy of three artics ..Horn to pass .. on a bend with one of the drops off the passenger side as Harry is a Right hand drive .. Coming into Tafrouete the roads became very normal and the crew of Harry could breath again..The Cook says her pelvic floor is in good shape with all the breathing in on corners ..Nothing more to add other than the sun is breaking through after two full days of rain

Harry and Crew may be heading for the painted rocks then the coast but the weather isn’t set to get better till Monday

DAY 22 08/12/22

THE ROAD NOT TO TRAVEL !!!

This was our sleepy spot for the night a rough gravely piece of land with two terraces. It has a toilet ..a shower ..a black water dump and a washing area with electricity. It’s not particularly nice but ok for a short stop.50 dirham plus 20 for electricity.

WARNING !! Between Taliouine and Igherm Don’t use R106 unless you’re a 4×4

THE DRIVERS VIEW POINT

The only other van on site was another Brit a full timer staying for a few days as the cafe had a tv and they wanted to watch the  England game on Saturday..

Shortly after setting up with gin in hand the guardian Ali came with mint tea and almonds which was very nice and better than tea we have paid for.

It rained It drizzled and It rained again for most of the night.

In the morning it was decided to move on as the view was grim and it had continued to rain a little.

We went to use the RR106 the most direct route from here to Tafroute …At first it seemed a pretty good road but after 39km and a steady climb we found bits washed out then later more washed away and then no Road at all just a gravel track where the bridges used to be as we climbed further the road became more of a track and steeper

BROKEN ROAD
LOOK NO ROAD !!!

THE COOKS TAKE ON THE JOURNEY FROM HELL In all my many years of travel .. The Himalayas ..Kashmir ..Napal even The Yukon in North Canada I have never come across a road like this one .. A trouser browner !!!!!

AT THE TOP !

. We said this can’t continue for much further ….but it did and at 6223 ft we had reached the top and no more washed out bridges but tarmac missing at bends with death defying drops and zero walls or barriers . The descent commenced.. Down and down We arrived at Igherm and I t was decided we had had enough for the day as only 1/2 way to Tafroute . On checking there was no camping stop so we opted to park at the Gendarmerie Royal I went into the police station to present our Passports and after quite a while of one finger computer work and asking our departure point along the RR106 ( a shaking of head and tut tutting ensued ) and Tafroute which is our next destination again on the RR106 our passports were handed back and wished us a happy stay in Morocco.

GOAT HERD AT 6000 ft

DAY 21 07/12/22

TOUTS AND TAGINE

Dawn

This morning was the best dawn chorus we have heard in Morocco ..The Mullah had a voice .. in tune ..no rasping ..just a delightful tenor .. Needed to be up at dawn to try and get photos of the sunrise on Ait Ben Haddou .. Chilly .. big sweater on .. and hopefully The Cook has some to show once down loaded to the puter .. sent to phone and to blog .. There must be a simpler way but we haven’t found it yet .. this is why all her photos are from IPhone

Ait Ben Haddou at dawn

A stroll to the fortified village .. seen in many movies …sighs .. too late.. the tourists had arrived in charabancs .. by the hundreds .. Tours from Agadir or Marrakesh ..

Touts out in force but all in good humour .. Walk high in the castle and a Berber tea stop .. lovely ambience.. tea rubbish .. far too bitter .. and 5 MAD more than other places .. usually 15 but this was 20 ..

Cafe on top of the castle
Cafe ambience

Midday sun and a stroll back to Harry passing a cafe with Tagine for 60 MAD .. shall we said He .. Yes said She .. just the best we’ve had so far

Chicken tagine .. yummy

Now off to TATA but not the long haul way stopping at TALIOUINE the saffron growing area to grab some ..

Straight as a die

The road from Ait had various degrees of pot holes one bump had the driver pull over and kick the tyre in a manly way .. all was well but what a hole that was in the road

Best to stop to let this beast through the hair pin

We climbed to a height of 6058 feet up and down again and back up .. Hair pin bends .. round and round the next mountain range The view of the Atlas Mountains is just incredible .. long straight road with little traffic .. and one drives in the middle of the road as the edges of both sides are eroded.. We like a car ahead as pathfinder if they bump up n down we avoid it .. oasis upon oasis amongst the bleak desert land scapes .. Such an interesting journey

Sleeping spot

DAY 20 06/12/22

ROAD TRIP

DAWN

Up at dawn for the longest road trip so far..A drive of seven hours .. 389k on better roads but still full of potholes and subsidence ..(getting practice in for roads at home )

SNOW ON THE ATLAS MOUNTAINS

The amazing land scape changed over every hill from miles of desert scrub land to fertile valley oasis .. Every village has a turreted walled domain for the top honcho ..looking like childhood sand castles or the remains thereof .. Empty roads for miles but always the overtaker who will do it on a blind bend or blind crest of a hill ..Harry took his time in villages as the folk don’t seem to care about life and limb and just walk in the traffic with a nonchalant attitude.. waving at him as he slowing passed through the very busy chaotic looking markets

SANDCASTLE

The next place on our route is Ait Ben Haddou a village used as a backdrops to Game of thrones ..Gladiator and other movies ..A good aire found after a big shop at a big Carrefour .. As Morocco is Muslim.. and alcohol free ( The guy looking after us at Haven asked for a beer as he said he was a Chinese Muslim ..FAKE )

The booze section of Carrefour is hidden away usually in a cellar called the Cave . The Driver went off to find his beer only to find the tourist population was doing the same ..There’s is always guardian parking and a guy to look after yr vehicle for a few Dirhams ..Probably nothing to do with Carrefour but Harry gets a place to park directly outside for easy access to shopping ..

Today all shops other than the big supermarket look to be closed .. WHY? ..The Footy .. Moroc plays Spain .. By the time we finished the last part of the journey there was 80 minutes to play .. At the Aire we found the family around the TV .. The Cook seems to put a curse in matches she watches so didn’t go in to the TV ..Just listened on TalkSport .. and Morocco won ..Massive celebrations..

BUSY DOING NOTHING !

DAY 18. 04/12/22

Dawn in the Dunes
See Harry …second from the left

Harry and Crew have been here on the edge of the Sahara for what seems like days ..It’s only 3 days ..They love it here.. but they have got their dossing heads on .. even dossing clothes which are looking in need of a wash .. The sand turns one grubby .. The Cooks hair has turned Rasta but all is well …

Berber village nearby !

Nothing going on today only the Group lead tour of Dutch Motorhome people went off on camels for a sunset jaunt .. Thirteen in total with all the others left behind in the dunes to wave em off .. How we laughed .. Once riding a camel is quite enough for the Cook ..four days in the Indian desert near killed her!!

Dutch camel safari

The Dunes are still fascinating… The change in contour as the sun wanders around .. The softness of the sand is fabulous in your toes

The only news to day is the fact there have been two successful AF meals .. One a Fajita for supper and a breakfast of Hash browns and Toast …With eggs done in the frying pan ..

Tomorrow we may head off on another long road trip .. all depends on what time we get up .. More later…

Sunset curtsy of Morocco

“VANS BE GONE”

DAY 17 03/12/22

Still at Haven de Chance ….A tour .. An escorted tour .. The Dutch .. 14 van have taken our peace n quiet and leccy supply .. Can’t even run the microwave ..I know you are saying you don’t go on campsites and want leccy .. it’s cos we can’t buy gas here in Morocco…Now two massive off road German Wagons .. lots of chat ..Not with us ..and sadly The Cook is frustrated as she can’t understand a word that’s is said and you know she likes a good earwig .. So… head down into her book and ignores all .. phew!!!

The Driver decided today to walk to the highest Dune .. At midday .. what’s the saying “ Mad dogs and English men go out in the midday sun “ HERE IS HIS REPORT .

Up the Hills and Sand hills that is!( cook was worried )

Boots, hat and fleece doned rucksack with water and camera and off I go.

As I walked away from Harry I was undecided which dune to go for . I was countouring to try to ease the climb but there was still downhill as well as the uphill and every uphill is 3 steps forward for one step gain. After about 20 mins I decided to go for the big one and plodded on . I took several breaks to take in the view (get my breath back) At the top of each ridge then decided the most economical way forward. At approx 3/4 of the way up I removed my fleece to allow some evaporation cooling and hit the last long ridge and slowly worked my way up a little like Striding Edge but at approx 45 deg gradient .

At the top off with the rucksack and allow the sweat to cool me. Out with camera and iPhone for some shots and videos. Then the easier bit a bit of sand (scree running ) down the steep bit . Then work out the countouring route back.

Total of 450 ft climbed but really over a 1000ft due to slippage.

Back to Harry and remove my boots and a pile of sand as boots had become a bit tighter and heavier due to the fine sands ingress and another camel train on the Dune above Harry

THE SUN HAS GOT HIS HAT ON !

DAY 16 02/12/22

Nine hours sleep after a hard journey on the beautiful but trying N13 … Found our next sleepy spot after a cautious slow amble through various villages and small townships (NB Do not travel as schools turn out ) Boys on bikes five a breast ..ignoring traffic as we coast at 2 mph behind .. “Give em a pip “ says the Cook .. which the driver did as he’s a good boy today listening to instructions .. Boys on bikes ignored us!,

Camp site entrance

Eventually found our camp site called Haven De Chance (exotic name) Through the arched door today (play school lovers ) and a narrow winding pathway to an open ground .. park where you choose … We chose on the dunes .. Zero shelter from the sun but we can move if it’s too aggressive as the place is empty The site can accommodate 100 van but only five other vans all German are here ( Don’t mention football )One of the Germans has obviously got fed up with the off road quads working out of this site ..nothing to do with the hotel we are part of ..The Cook heard him berating the organiser ..He said he was on holiday and didn’t want to hear the noise …funnily enough He ( The German) shouted at The Moroccan in English … “ Coughs” The International language of the World perhaps !!!!

Wonderful Hymer 4×4

Arriving on an overcast day hoping for a break in the clouds for a sunset …Whilst wait The Cook prepped one of her curries for the slow cooker only to find voltage drop ..The Curry wasn’t ready for supper .. It’s ok as we still have a secret supply of pot noodles and when doctored are just yummy .. The Driver had noodles whilst the Cook who wasn’t hungry ( A statement hardly ever used ) had a cheesy biscuity thing .. well near a whole pack but who is counting …

Camel train near

The sun made an appearance very low and late whist we watched the camel train heading off in the distance

Burber man just sitting

WHITE RABBITS

DAY 18 01/12/22

TODAY the blog is not mine .. I don’t have the word power to explain the wonderful N13 but another more eloquent than me has nailed it .. She is Karen Davis of the world famous MOTOROAMERS Her journal of this road is from south to north we have come from north to south for around 4/5 days Karen’s description is pure poetry so I thought to leave it with you

Camel train taken from Harry Hymer’s sleepy spot

Written two years ago by The Motorroamers

N13 – a spinal road that connects north to Derdara, south of Tetouan. It’s a major arterial route so our expectations weren’t massively huge.
Yet what a scene shifter it was. We travelled through some big and wealthy administration towns that had obviously profited from their expansion along this vital north/south road network. And then we found a turquoise reservoir signalling the start of the Ziz Gorge. Whilst short in comparison to Todra, it still a thing of beauty.
Ziz Gorge –
– Camping Jurassique was a timely place to rest our heads, without too long a drive.
The oases continued to break the golden hew, puncturing the desert and mountain landscape with a lusciousness of fertility, vibrance and life. They certainly held our attention and with Berber culture thriving in this area, the Kasbah sand castles were everywhere. As we wound up and down, around curvy bends we flirted with the High Atlas mountains that cross Morocco in an east-west direction, obvious by the snow covered peaks.
And then after Midelt, the scenery changed again. Travelling the N13 feels like every corner is owned by a different artist, sculptors or creator. They had each marked their own territory and left their own personalised signature on the land beneath them.
66

Before we knew it the colours changed, signalling that the desert influence had now ceased and the forests were beginning to dominate the skyline. It was a pleasant change. Pine trees, cedar trees and green shrubs everywhere. It was most pleasant a journey. Copses that popped out of nowhere and mountain streams looking like the poet Keats could have sat here writing about daffodils. Perhaps we were in Yorkshire!
North of Meknes was our biggest landscape shift. Greens took on a whole new concept as the soil clearly became more fertile, supporting an agricultural industry not evident anywhere else on our journey so far. Patchwork quilt fields, onion sets and beautiful ploughed fields that would look right at home in middle England. This was an abundant part of the country and an interesting sight for our eyes, after the deliciousness of the desert.
And finally, we couldn’t leave the N13 without mention of the Rif Mountains. Officially they are more likely associated with the N2 stretch of road heading towards Tetouan, although they are still an amazing sight.
Geologically they belong to the Iberian Peninsular and the Gibraltar region giving them a familiar guise.
It was a fabulous way to end our N13 road-trip north and whilst there were some big stretches of road improvements and some gravel areas to watch out for, the scenery surely made up for it. Morocco continued to surprise us right up until the end. This African beauty really is a gift

SUNSET FROM HARRY’S SLEEPY SPOT

SCURVY AVERTED !

DAY 17 30/11/22

EURO CAMP AZROU

EURO CAMP AZROU ….Bonkers entrance and exit to sleepy spot ..Baguette left by management on Harry’s door step this morning.. Lovely ..peaceful but nothing of interest to keep us here longer .. The place of interest for us is a Carrefour supermarket in Azrou .. We need VEGETABLES to avoid SCURVY and yes the full compliment was at The Cooks disposal.. Even carrots for her potato and carrot curry ..A pretty comprehensive shop for the grand price of £23 .. What you say .. yes £23 ..Talking of food The Air Fry ( Now known as AF ) starred yet again ..Last nights supper home made French fries .. Fish fingers … mushy peas and tartar sauce .. potato chips done fr 10 mins then the fingers added for 8 mins and sit for 2mins waiting for mushies to microwave … NO GAS USED ..

DAY 8 in MOROCCO. Now off on a marathon journey south to Kasbah Jurrasique camping .. Situated in Gorges Duziz .. Mountains either side of us .. Orange in the setting sun .. quite spectacular..but now for the drive that got us here ..Even a mad waving at a Classic Browny Hymer coming from the south .. I know but they are rare as rocking horse poo .. and we felt like we are not alone in a Hymer here in Moroc ..

WILD BARBARY APE

DRIVER VIEW POINT ON THE DRIVE ! 238 K and 5 hours of driving ..

Police entrapment

They seem to be everywhere ..Sometimes on motorbikes near roundabouts …Hiding behind someone’s shed . It seems that if you are flashed at from the opposite carriageway it’s a warning. A gentlemanly code of road courtesy..However close to any conurbation there are usually police checks …. both in and out …Which may also include radar guns. Lots of Moroccans get stopped for document checks but we are always waved through.

DESERT LUNCH STOP

The N13 we have been using for the last few days continues to have road works which mainly includes removing part of the carriageway or a cliff face but as yet little new tarmac laid.

MOONSCAPE

At one of the roughest sections the ride was so rough one of the screw hiding plastic covers on the dashboard flew out like a bullet right past my ear ..WTF I said. I think this will be a nice road late next year or perhaps the one after ( be warned you will be down below 20MpH for miles) . However the scenic changes are dramatic and worth the journey. From pine woods with monkeys , to wine and fruit growing and sections like the moon . We topped out today at about 6000ft. This is well above the winter snow line with snow gates ready to deploy.

GORGE DRIVE
VIEW FROM HARRY’S SLEEPY SPOT

ABOVE THE SNOW GATES !

DAY 16 29/11/22

MEKNES ..Sleepy spot 33.890544 -5.564398 Next to the inner walls of city .. Near to Royal Golf and Main Medina …Guardian in charge doing a splendid job .. Cars everywhere but HE had the keys ..and plays JENGA with them .. moved em around to allow Harry in and out .. What a system !…. With Pre Dawn came the stomping of runners ..As we are next to the Army barracks these lads had to run round the walls of the Royal palace ..How many times I don’t know .. They just kept going until 5AM ..Next came the dawn chorus of a Muslim city ..All the mosques kick off with the call to prayer .. Not in sync .. one starts .. more follow and end in a cacophony of at least 20+ Mullahs vocalising their chants

MEKNES PARKING NEXT TO POLISH 4X4 ON THEIR WAY TO SENEGAL
Leaving Meknes “Get me outta here”

Where to today .. just out of here .. Hate cities ..AZROU is our next stop-over on our way to the Sahara ..Lots of near perfect roads .. Up to 1470 m …Above the snow gates… open to us but February brings the snow and skiers to the hills .. Fortunately it’s 23C … The Cooks type of heat ..Just right !

IFRANE MOYEN ATLAS MOUNTAINS

Stopped off for breakfast at a view point/ potential sleepy spot ..even higher than the Midi Atlas Mountains over 4000 ft ..Looking like little bumps but in reality massive mountain ranges ..Coordinates for the view are 33.651094 -5.374946 certainly worth a stop …(I wonder how cold it would be to sleep over night here )

Now at Euro Camping Azrou ..Very quiet.. The French massive vans are here as well .. Cats and dogs welcomed us ..The price for camping is 25mad per person 25Mad for van 25Mad for leccy and 30 Mad for a load of washing in the Machine ..All dried in the sunshine with washing line we carry tied to trees … more tomorrow!

VOLUBILIS and MEKNES

DAY 15 28/11/22

It’s sort of sad leaving our very peaceful rural campsite with its electricity to power the Air Fry .. Three nights .. The Cook thought it was two .. she must have slept through one day ..

Off to Volubilis for Roman remains .. The Driver will write about it later .. The Cook played guardian to Harry Hymer..read her book (Highly recommended …The Paper Palace )and washed up .. Whilst The Driver went off rock climbing ..

THE DRIVERS VIEWS ON VOLUBILIS

After doning my hiking boots ,rucksack,camera and water I put on my fleece and headed for the entrance to Volubilis.. and was charged 70dh then approached by guides who wanted 100 dh. I said no thank you and legged it to the highest gate to look over the whole city , which was the main producer of olive oil for the Roman Empire.

The site was extremely well supplied with washing and bathing facilities back in the day ..Both private at the higher levels and public towards the bottom. It is famous for the quality of mosaic tiled floors of which there where many . Plus lots of rooms where it was obvious that mosaics once existed. Possibly due to the wealth of a major oil producing location.

It is the largest Roman city I have visited with lots of structures outside the city walls at the lower end of town showing the timescale of its longevity resulting in this expansion.

In the corner of one of the houses was a carving of a phallus just to prove every Roman township has at least one Dick.

After 2 1/2 hours I decided it was best to return to the cook even though there was more to investigate.

360 view of Volubilis

MEKNES

Sleepy spot (33.890544 -5.564398

No more than 45 minutes away from the campsite is Meknes .. Smaller city than its northerly brother Fez .. We don’t like big towns and the chaos but thought to give it a whirl .. Sorry ! A big disappointment.. even though our sleepy spot is just out side the walls .. It’s a building site .. renovation are in full swing .. all the Royal Palace is scaffolded and unfinished .. The Souk area is just like any market any where with it stalls of shoes /clothes /pots n pans more shoes .. not what we expected after the gorgeous souk of Chefchaouen.. The best area is the Royal Golf Course .. Slap bang next to the Royal Palace in the centre of town .. We were allowed a peek by the guard on the gate see link Royal Golf

The Cooks language seems to contain two statement WTF and FFS … Bullied off the very uneven pavements by arrogant youths The Cook wasn’t happy and tea was taken twice ..Two different roof top cafes.. Mint tea may I add .. Too sweet for the Driver but it’s lovely and refreshing ..The Cook has it sugar free ..

Main square from cafe No1
Plastic picture of main gate being renovated

The strange thing is we haven’t seen a food shop ..Cake shops Take away even Burger King but not a supper market to be found .. Running out of salad and veg .. The stalls are selling pomegranates and oranges .. but zero veg ..

Gate from cafe No2

Frittata for supper .. with what is left of the salad

HAPPY LANCASHIRE DAY

DAY 14 27/11/22

Last night and tonight’s sleepy spot ..Take a break it’s lovely

(34.0153000, -5.5623600)

Nothing much to say today …’What ..This is the Cook you’re talking about … Ok so here we are ZERHOURN BELLEVISTA camping ..With electric /water /showers (cold) for £10 ..We think the bread man cometh this morning but haven’t been up early enough to catch him ..There are probably 6 vans here .. German Swiss and French ..The French in monster vans and towing cars in trailers ..

MASSIVE
Brunch .. to late for breakfast
AIR FRY

We are the proud possessors of an Air Fry unit .. Reason for buying is gas here in Morocco is in bottles..We like to fill our own bottle ..Second reason ..all our water /heating /fridge /freezer work on gas we need to use what ever resource we can to preserve the gas we have …we therefor took a decision to use campsites which are so inexpensive there and no need to wild camp to save money .. Its a great idea just plug in and switch on ….and to cut a long tale short this is why we now have an Air Fry ..no gas needed to cook our supper .. Bought in Gibraltar Morrisons at half the price of UK …All the driver had to do was change the plug .. Last night was the Maiden voyage of AF with a bacon wrapped garlic and olive stuffed chicken breast .. perhaps cooked to long but very tasty .. even the browned now fat free bacon was perfect.. The Driver wiped out the fat residue and AF is ready to go again tonight with a Chinese chicken noodle concoction

Stuffed chicken and a Pinot Grigio from Morrisons

The Driver is going to look at Roman ruins and one wards to Meknes tomorrow .. Grab some money from an ATM and off south ..

Lovely sunset

MOROC TELICOM NIGHTMARE

DAY 13 25/11/22

THE DRIVERS BLOG (Edited by The Cook who is doing cute kittens and doorways )

Last nights sleep spot

This morning was the day to solve the data sim issues as the Cook had problems working on the iPad to write her blog with the Moroccan sim. A little hair tearing .. no crying but near !!

Apparently my iPod will not hotspot so The Cooks phone which is where she blogs ..She took an executive decision..deciding to get a sim in her phone ..This was a little easier than putting one in the iPad as Maroc telicom office was expecting our return. By the time The Cook had paid and the technical genius who tried to make the iPod hotspot work, the manager had installed a sim in The Cooks phone and happiness reigned for an extra £15 …

A gentle sloping stroll was taken up into the the old town avoiding as many steep steps as possible following a slightly different route of which there are many in this maze. The Cook taking more photos of Doors ? and cat ..A mint tea was taken in a good location in the main square. From this spot it was excellent to observe tourists and locals . A decision was made that the Medina could be left unvisited. The guardian area next to the souk was perfect .. not pretty but did what it said on the box for £4

After lunch in Harry a route was planned to Volublis a Roman-site of interest to The Driver (The Cook may have a day off as ruins bore her to death ) It is near our chosen camp site.

This drive was similar to our others with lots of road works with ..poor road’s ..good road’s and average roads and a few no roads.

It should be noted that at school kicking out time kids with mobile phones have a death wish crossing the road so care and unplanned manoeuvres and braking are required. The setting sun caused a few issues with our sun blind inefficiencies and some thought should go to fixing the issue …

On arriving at the camp site we plugged into power and broke out the beer and the G&T and relax . We may stay a couple of days . Curry for dinner yum The Cook has excelled herself.

AFRICA! WE ARE HERE !

Day 11. 24/11/22

ARRIVED IN ONE PIECE !

Even The Cooks temper had quelled after she rollocked the staff at checkin .. Hands up “Not my fault Madam ..must be port people” ..All aboard the 12 noon ferry ..

THE DRIVER VIEW ON THE LOADING !

After finally getting through the gate and at the front of the queue we watched the ferry arrive and unload.

When the centre of the ship was loaded with reversed on Artics ..Harry was driven forward with trepidation expecting to reverse on as well but no he was driven on and all the way around and headed back to the front only to encounter a large pile of stock for the ships cafe etc on 4 large pallets ,with the load master waving his arms at the stewards slowly transferring coke ..water and boxes into the lift. Harry and crew waited for the goods to be transferred to the stores etc. This would then put us at the front for offloading but no .

Blockage of pallets !

The frustrated load master started reversing small lorries up to the other side of the pallets. Oh well The Driver thought off loading may be slow for us after all.

However after docking we arrived fairly quickly at the off-ramp the artic in front grounded his rear end . Oh no The Driver thought ..here we go damaging Harry’s bum but no, the load master guided us at 45 degrees to the ramp and offloaded us one tyre at a time and no scraping of Harry’s bum , we waved a thank you to him and on our way to the checkpoints.

Now for the tedious part of disembarking into Morocco

Passport control and disembarkation cards queued for on the boat …and the much sort after STAMP on the passport to say we are out of the Schengen Zone .. No longer in Europe and no longer counting our 90 day allowance for European travel due to Brexit Rules

For disembarkation read The Drivers view point above .. Off first to passport control .. A quick stamp and off again .. Followed the exit signs for miles .. thought we were heading out of the port but no. A sign to D16 Vehicle import and export … this is a vital piece of paper you need to be sure that you and your visiting vehicle will be leaving the country …The customs police do it all for you so we sat tight until were asked to drive to a holding area …..I Within 15 minutes our V5 (vehicle log book) and The Drivers passport are taken to the kiosk by the police .. The D16 is a small credit card size card that you must keep safely as you will be asked to hand it over on your return journey ..WHY you ask .. to make sure you are not importing vehicles into Morocco..The documents were returned to us but the officer hadn’t seen both sheets and hadn’t authorised the scooters D 16 ..so off he went back and no more than three minutes presented us with another credit card sized document for the scooter..

When the D 16 and passport were firmly back in our possession we rolled again another hundred metres where there is another border control check and off you go the final step of the process …The driver had to go another hundred metres where there are some cabins on your left side ..here you buy your third party insurance if you don’t already have a green card and exchange your money ..we had already exchanged our money so all we needed was the green card for both vehicles …seemingly the attendants all speak English so there was no need to worry ..they give you a receipt for your money and that’s it you’re good to go it’s a long drawn out process but seems to work and off you go out of the port but have yet one Police check .. even after having sniffer dogs all over your motorhome and people asking you strange things like do we have weapons ..a couple of kitchen knives but that’s about it probably pepper and a shovel .. (The Cooks sarcasm wasn’t spoken just thought)

After a minor satnav issue we decided to go to the reservoir recommended by Karen and Myles Davis of the Motoroamers ..LINK TO MOTOROAMERS A couple whose knowledge of all things travelling is called upon in need … Two years ago when they were here it was obviously prettier than it is now as the area has been taken over as the construction dumping site for motorway work but we don’t care we stopped …We stayed ..We watch the wagons ..We watch the diggers ..We watched them all.. Even the scraper flattening dumped stone from the road in wagons …All okay the sheep and goats and cows are still being taken across the area ..A dog is still begging for food and we have had a lovely supper of salmon and new potatoes with asparagus tips..BTW The weather is awful but hopefully tomorrow will be better.. Top photo how it should have looked curtesy of Motoroamers blog ..next how it looks now and a night shot ..PS No phone until we get sim for phone .. or spend £6 per day from Vodafone as we are doing now

Scooby Motoroamers van
Sleepy spot by day
Looking much nicer by night !

BEYOND FURY !!!!

DAY 10 23/11/22

Last nights sleepy spot .. (36.1332417 -5.4442979)

Port front Algeciras sleepy spot

THE STORY

She who forgot us ..

Didn’t sleep well so up at 3-45 to be first in line for the ferry to Morocco.. Cuppa coffee and chocolate biscuits just to give The Cook a boost .. Mini prob in the dark finding the area to get to the terminal but all was well .. Ferry at 9am … 8 am not been called as yet .. 8-30 am not called .. 9 am the £&@;$$>#% ferry left without us as the steward had put us in the wrong line .. I gave her my best death stare !! we were in line for the Balearics .. Cannot believe such incompetence .. and we sat there and let it happen .. ok now .. had Sushi for breakfast as a soother .. now in line for the next ferry throwing our plans out the window .. May be dark by the time we have disembarked and gone through all the rigmarole of money change and third party insurance for vehicles.. We have been warned not to drive in the dark so have found a sleepy spot near the ferry terminal and will re group and head off tomorrow .. perhaps it’s fate ??? Who knows !!! More tomorrow when I am not so bl£&#%%^y angry 😡

12 noon Ferry

MORRISON’S BOUND TODAY !

DAY 9 22/11/22

Rain and wind all night but on waking at dawn the sun is shining for our busy busy day .. Into Gibraltar with The Big H .. ok you say “Is that wise “ we read of someone who took his 8 m Motorhome in .. so off we go .. Passport stamped at the border .. Back in UK territory.. with an M&S but it’s Morrison’s we are heading to for a BIG shop before cross to Morocco in the morning .. What can’t we buy in Morocco ?BACON !!! and for cheaper diesel than in Spain .. Morocco May be cheap but we don’t know yet !

BORDER CROSSING GIBRALTAR

Shopping done now and an all day breakfast which is half price atm £2-99 per person … We had one each with gorgeous fresh coffee ..

See he does smiles !!!
BIG SHOP !!

Next stop book the ferry to Morocco from The Famous Carlo’s ..A booking agency famed for ticketing and changing € to MAD ..Morocco dirhams 10 to the Euro .. All done in 50 mins and relieved of €330 open return .. Next stop Lidl for enough booze to last 6 weeks (Geeez) .. Next was Carrefour the massive store for a battery for the tyre pressure sensor.. The “Thingy” which keep going off .. frightening The Cook to death .. Guess what .. came out with an AirFry gadget ..The thought is to use on leccy on campsites which in Morocco are so cheap .. and gas refill isn’t available only bottles .. AirFry will come in handy and

“It’s fashion “said The Cook “Every body has one “..

Next stop the gas filling station to get a fill up before leaving .. Now all sorted and parked up near ferry terminal for 4 am wake up and (Stagger) drive to get in the queue .. First ferry of the day hopefully..

TONIGHTS SLEEPY SPOT !

MOROCCO BOUND VIA MORRISON’S

Day 8 21/11/22

Decent nights sleep after a repast of M&S Hot Chicken curry and Uncle Bens rice .. Don’t we just love being plugged into Leccy and an ability to use our Microwave ..

Awakened to overcast dreary day in Sevilla .. Good for travelling our next 200 km down to the marina at the north eastern bay of the Gibraltar peninsula .. Coordinates (36.1567 -5.3557)

Our view
View from Harry’s rear end

On leaving our sleepy place Harry had a unfortunate incident on a reverse manoeuvre and the pole for electric hook up jumped out and bit his bum .. Never mind said the Cook we will order OUCH stickers from Jon Chapman .. The guy to go to for the only Aire on Sandy in the Shetland isles ..pizza and stickers ..Look him up ..We need a couple now after various bumps ..LINK TO JON AT 59 Degrees North for all your stickers

Morrison’s shop tomorrow 💚

MOROCCO BOUND!

DAY 7 20/11/22

Books read so far ..Highly recommended!

Still in Seville but zero Scooter rides .. The Driver thought better of it as Seville isn’t traffic friendly .. He said better not try out The Cooks nerves in a city .. A taxi was called to take us to The Cathedral de Sevilla ..

Massive ..Biggest Cathedral in Europe the Driver informs the Cook .. We went to Alcazar last time we were here (see repeated links below) so didn’t need to go again .. but what we missed was the Plaza de Espana .. What a fabulous treat ..how we missed it last time is a mystery ..We have come to see the Gypsy Flamenco dances performing..Luck was in and we caught em full tapping Plaz de Espana This is not my vid as it wouldn’t up load ..All very similar to our experience.. Back to Harry walking through the gardens ..A fail as we crossed the wrong bridge and had to call out taxi again .. The city is perfect of bike travel ..lots of cycle lanes getting one around quickly ..

Spot The Cook
Plaza de Espana

Last adventure here 2014 Ladies of Spain 2014 Easter in Sevilla . We got so lost and dead in our feet we said never again would we just walk n walk to find our way back any where !!!

Tomorrow Gibraltar and a stock up at Morrisons even an all day breakfast.. more later

MOROCCO BOUND!

Day ? Ok … It’s day 6

19/11/22

266 km .. A driving day .. Heading for Seville ..Raptors above the road searching for that mouse ..V formations of geese winging south ..Long monotonous drive through Olive plantations .. The Cook thought (bored) if she put on her olive green leggings and black coat she would be in full camouflage in the trees .. Just saying

Loud noise erupts from the dash .. Cook jumps out of her skin ..It’s a “Thingy” for warning of tyre pressure changes .. Once upon a day men just walked round the vehicle kicking said tyre now a monitor to frighten ladies ..

As the sun goes down in Seville

The Cook disrobes out of one of her sweaters .. still wearing two .. It’s getting warmer .. soon be south .. Now in Seville at our chosen sleepy spot .. not the most salubrious of camping but it’s near the centre .. The info said 15 minutes to the historic centre but we know different .. it’s a least 45 minutes so tomorrow it’s scooter day .. Eeeeek 🥴🤦‍♀️ Off to find the Flamenco dancers and see the cathedral which we missed last time we were here .. The Cook doesn’t do scooter but feels she must as the walk to and from is miles n miles …..more tomorrow… if she survives !!!!

Supper tonight is chicken Fajitas.. takes a bit of organising in a MH but The Driver deserves it for his good ..in fact amazing driving today .. only lost his way twice in Seville but after doing a round n round He found our sleepy spot ..

He really is happy !
The view.. ok not good but convenient!
Tonight’s and tomorrow’s sleepy spot

MOROCCO BOUND !

Day 5 …We think

18/11/22

Tonight’s sleepy spot Caceres Aire de Camping car ( 39.4893681 -6.3665094)

A change to the plan we didn’t really have .. This morning after the rain the sun shone The Driver said “Let’s have a look at the official Aire to see if there is a space .. if so we will stay another day “ Yes ! Someone had moved on and Harry got a place which means a walk up and up .. The Cook thought she had been reprieved from marathon walks because The Driver injured his Achilles tendon which threw his hip out and gave him lots of pain when walking ….NO such luck as he is walking very well again ..

PHOTO LINK OF CACERES

It’s a stroll .. a steep stroll .. up n up to Caceres old town with it very uneven cobblestone alleys.. On arriving in old town it was full of pre Christmas tat stalls .. not the quiet gently place we remember.. Dozens of rotisserie stalls serving PIG .. alongside sausages ,squid ,Spanish egg n chips ..tables n chairs available for eating with buckets of Sangria to drink .. Smell was wonderful .. but we walk on by to the Cathedral.. We’d been before and climbed the tower before .. but being a glutton for punishment The Cook said she would do it again even though she remembered it as a bit of a nightmare .. narrow and very steep

A wander into a garden with a 400 year old gnarled Fig tree ..Hearing singing we strolled into The Plaza de Mayor to find a hundred or more teenagers in traditional costume dancing in formation a folk dance .. We didn’t know why but was fun to watch with a cold beer and tapas sat in the square at a small cafe … The Driver being a Yorkshire man was amazed at the cost ….only €6 then a gentle stroll back to Harry with The Cook complaining about her feet .. ankles .. knees and wearing shoes far too new and unbroken in for marathon strolls .. Perhaps Seville tomorrow.. who knows?

MOROCCO BOUND!

DAY 4 17/11/22

Last night sleepy spot Avila the beautiful. (40.6616917 -4.7056717)

On leaving Avila where next was the cry .. south ..south as the clouds rolled and bubbled black over Madrid area east of us .. Another 236 Kilometres under our belt .. Head for Caceres.. nice ..love it there .. Guess what ..the aire was jammed .. no room at the inn for Harry and crew ..Fortunately we have been here possibly 3 times before so no problems .. Here is a photo below ⬇️ from our last visit for your perusal and two sets of coordinates for sleepy spots .. Our advise is if you want to stay in the aire which is 15 minutes from the gorgeous medieval centre .. Get here early morning and wait till some one moves on and whip in like a greyhound out of a trap

Here are the two places for MH’s in Caceres

AIRE DE CAMPING CLOSE TO CENTRE
Coordinate below
Coordinate for the alternative sleepy spot

The second sleepy spot is where we are now .. quiet ..open park land with housing behind us .. couple of chocks under one side and we are happily ensconced ready for sleep and off again tomorrow further south .. possibly to the ferry for Morocco 🇲🇦

MOROCCO BOUND

DAY 2 and 3

15&16 /11/22

Sailing at 21-30 hours

SOUTHSEA PROM

All aboard the sky lark (Brittany ferry Galicia ).. After fighting the Clean air zone in Portsmouth as we left Southsea prom ( a very nice free parking spot out of season ) Harry Hymer was first in to the lower level of the ferry meaning we would be first to disembark in Spain .. good move Sir says I …Up the Purple stairs .. no lift .. not fun with heavy walk on bags for two nights on board .. up to deck 7.. Phew ..from deck 2 .. The cook only just made it without a collapse to the top and she wasn’t carrying the heavy stuff .. Next time she says she will limp and get assisted access to the lifts ..

Supper ..Cabin picnic for us .. a couple of gins in the bar .. and the Cook embarrassing the Driver by nicking a fellow passengers olives ..They we’re just laying there on the bar so she dipped in !! Cabin picnic food consisted of Tortillas chips and dip for starters and Pot noodle for main ..finishing off with a cuppa tea and ginger biscuits and so to bed ..Even though the sea was a little bumpy at time we slept well ..

After breakfast ….costing £30 phew…. the ferry took the inshore passage inside all the islands for shelter as the weather had got up to Gale + winds from the west .. Further south the boat was exposed to the full westerly winds .. it rolled around severely clearing some of the tables in the bar of all drinks .. crash .. bang.. wallop..

Supper was served .. lots of passengers bailed out from the restaurant ..some taking dinner with them …some just left looking green .. We just smiled ordered more gin and tucked in to Prawns ( The massive type ) Then hake on a bed of black rice for main .. just yummy ..even downed a bottle of something white ..

BUT ………

What a night .. Crashing and banging .. Rocking and rolling south across the Bay of Biscay ..we managed a couple of hours sleep only ..

Dawn Spain

Staggered into Harry for disembarkation and bombed south .. with passports stamped …Rain and wind .. One stop for fuel @ £1-35 ltr ..another to fix the windscreen wiper as it stopped working …Long drive of 363 km and arrived in Avila .. a place we know of old ..(coords) Sleepy spot 40.66211 -4.70568

Avila from Harry’s sleepy spot

More later …

DAY 1 MOROCCO BOUND!

14/11/22

Wild Oak Inn near Bromsgrove off M5

Lights on no one at home

(52.3793000, -2.0559500) sleepy spot coords for other adventurers

Leaving home after the T20 World Cup ( We won) and legged it down M6 and M5 ..getting dark so the driver ask for the nights sleepy spot ..Go to searchforsites he says …found one says I …Wild oak Inn… What a good job I did not read the comment. Yes only one comment .. If I had of done, I certainly wouldn’t have gone as the review was pretty awful. Not about the place or the food ..The pub required a phone call before turning up these people rang and rang and got absolutely no reply and on arrival found pub closed ..for repairs…on reading ppls comments on Facebook the pub seems it gone bust ..what a shame as I really fancied Caribbean food …but in saying this there is a parking spot across from the pub suitable for staying which we did ..just off the M5 …the only noise was the owls hunting ..slept 11 hours

Monday is the off on the ferry.. The weather looks appalling.. Sturgeon is taken even though we haven’t ever been sea sick .. more later ..

ABOUT US AS WE HEAD TO MOROCCO !!!

AN INTERVIEW OF OUR TRAVELS BY JOANNE OF OURBUMBLE FAME

This weeks inspiration comes from my little travel angel and good friend Susan. Susan has a wicked sense of humour and I just love her to bits..so hope you enjoy Susan’s interview…

1. Tell us a little about you like your name and where do you come from

ME…Susan Sharman … from Nelson Lancs ..Moved to Surrey in the 70’s learned to Sail ..Had my own boat and sailed the south coast ..Moved back to Lancashire …Live in a village out of town now ..Hairdresser to the Stars ..Slight exaggeration ..Cut one of the Hollies hair and permed the lead guitar of the BeeGee’s and trained Elton John last hairdresser back in the day …Now thankfully Retired ! 51 years is along shift..One son Daniel + One Granddaughter aged eight

HIM ..John Sharman ..born Leeds .Civil Engineering (water) Met him at my sailing club ..Mmm I thought ..Tall ✔️ ..all his own teeth ✔️ ..Talented Handyman ✔️A Son and a Daughter +Two Grandsons

There are still heel marks on the road as I dragged him ..not quite kicking and screaming.. across the border into Lancashire from Yorkshire ..we’ve been together now for around 34 years and married 29 next May .

2. What sort of motorhome traveller are you? Full time / part time / short breaks / long stay

I don’t like the word Motorhomer.. We are not like most as we hate campsites ..more travellers ..I’m convinced I have a bit of Gypsy in my gene pool ..Pull up any where .. as long as we are not offending the locals and leave nothing ..in fact I tend to clean up other people’s mess to keep the good name of wild campers ..

3. When did you first start motorhoming and what inspired you to start?

Bought our first van after a disastrous tenting trip to Ireland ..A sailing event towing the boat .. This looks a good spot to erect the tent HE said ..No ..On the outlet to the sailing club showers !!! ..It rained …river running through my tent ..slugs in the cold box  ..Never again

So to facilitate the sailing ⛵️ events which was every weekend somewhere in the British isles ..we sold my car (screams) to buy a Fiat Camelot ..Bertie The Boating Bus by name with a tow bar to trail the sailing dinghy

Two years later after adventures in Spain.. Portugal and Ireland Bertie was stolen from our back door even though disabled with the battery flat !! We think we know who did it but the police couldn’t find proof ..they said it was put on a low loaded ..and we never saw him again .

So how did we find and afford Hetty Hymer you asked ..After a tussle with the insurance people we managed to get a pay out but not enough to buy a bigger newer van ” Remortgage the house ” we said  and this is what we did …

Then off to Edinburgh where John had seen an advert for a private sale

Hetty aged three was ours … Driving back down the M6 and looking at the interior I saying to each other ” Isn’t it big ” looked so much bigger than our Bertie..A very exciting day

Since then we have travelled every weekend to sailing events ..Weekends in U.K. when not sailing ..Six months on the Isle of Man where J lived in Hetty as his contract didn’t include hotels ..18 months in Ireland when J worked in Cork travelling the length and breadth of the Emerald Isle ..I flew over at weekends instead of the company flying John back home ..what a bonus …3 years in Northumberland ..I commuted after work by train ..what a treat to adventure there ..we loved it ..lastly before retirement 6 months on the Norfolk/ Suffolk border living in a field in Constable country side ..J was working in Colchester..As you can see a camper van isn’t just for pleasure Our Hetty has been a workhorse ..A hotel on wheels ..A country cottage by the sea ..

Retirement came early for John as I am 7 years older ..His idea was if he waited till retirement age I would be 72 and old .. laughs ..I packed up work at 66 and J a year later at 60 and then the big adventures started ..The idea was just to pack up and go ..small trips ..a month or perhaps two ..Naaa… lets spin it out and have 90 days ..This is the allotted time the house insurance and the health insurance would allow ..since then we’ve found out you can have more time away at a price ..

4. Tell us about your current motorhome like make, model, name, age and why you chose it?

Harry Hymer a 644 3berth but easily disguised as a two berth as we don’t want to encourage over night visitor ..Well perhaps our little granddaughter this next summer in Abersoch

5. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?

A difficult question ..

SICILY..  About  four weeks in total spent travelling inland ..over hills ..on some roads unfit for traffic ..Wonderful beaches ..Cathedrals ..little  harbours for wild camping ..

Lovely restaurants ..One in Memezamami which we promised our selves a lunch there when we saw it on our first time in Sicily but then we were on an economy trip and couldn’t justified the cost ..This time we threw caution to the wind and had what was probably the best pasta dish in Italy

ITALY …Tuscany is a favourite ..places like San Gimiginano ..Volterre and Fattoria la Vialla a farm / restaurant in the Tuscan hills ..first heard of when our family gave us a present of their produce which included a book and an invitation to lunch when in the area ..Well that’s like a red rag to a bull  ..and in May 2016 we booked ..Over nighting for Hetty and the most wonderful lunch .. see our blog of this place..

LUNCH AT LA VIALLA

6.Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?

A campsite on the west coast of Italy called “Free Beach” excuse me but where was the beach …. 1 miles hike what a cheek .. refugee camp standard with fire hazards .. Not nice ..we didn’t even last a day and off we went back to wild camping ..Lidl car park was preferable ..

7. Do you have a Bucket List? If so where are the 3 top places on it?

Outer Hebrides is still on the Bucket list as are Shetland and The Orkneys…ALL DONE NOW Perhaps a wander through Portugal DONE ..Now the road to Morocco ..

8. What 3 things (apart from the essentials – food/water etc) do you always travel with?

Two loo …that’s our Harry …2 cassettes to give is longer without hitting campsites

Small bottles ..you ask why ? .. I hate aired white wine ..the fridge is always too full for wine bottles ..so decant wine from brick( cardboard packeted wine ..bought for €1 … into three one person empty wine bottles found on planes .. or in Tesco’s and place in freezer compartment …just fits three ..

A massive box of all my herbs n spices for cooking as we don’t eat out and need to have the same class of culinary delights we have at home ..

9. If you could share one handy motorhome hint or tip, what would it be?

Yup … always wear black ..doesn’t show dirt ..and when cooking or eating ( tendencies to spill) wear clothes inside out ..Spill can be picked off and clothes will go another day turned the right side out

10. Any finally, whats your funniest motorhome moment?

Laughing at the thought …

Arriving off the Sicily / Malta ferry in Valletta we were pulled over by the animal welfare people ..wanting to look at our pet passport for the dog !!!! A stuffed Sheepdog we keep on the dash as a guard dog

Thanks to Susan (and John for putting up with her, lol) for her interview and here’s hoping a speedy return to travels in Harry

POSTPONEMENT !!!

Whilst you wait for our next adventure …..here is something we made from last years travels .. A little jigsaw of Harry Hymer and The Driver for you delectation ..

https://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=256399155a40

Oh yes we have a story .. whilst watching for the start of The Route de Rhum and particularly Pip Ohare who we followed in the round the world race with all the trauma of a single handed voyage

https://www.piphare.com/

https://www.yachtingworld.com/races/how-to-follow-the-route-du-rhum-2022-141255

Route de Rhum is a transatlantic yacht race from St Malo to Guadeloupe.. News arrive of it being postponed.. Why you ask ..9m waves and gusting 50/60 knots of wind .. guess what .. Our chosen ferry would be in that weather pattern on Monday 07/11/22.Thankfully our ferry ticket is flexi .. yes more expensive but .. 9am Sunday morning we phoned Brittany ferry.. This was after trying to alter booking on the web site without any luck .. Lack of place for Harry’s height on Wednesday crossing but yes Sir we have a place for you next Monday .. What an efficient man who changed our booking .. sadly didn’t get his name so couldn’t send rave reviews of his handling of our booking ..and that’s it another week to pack and the off will be Sunday week .

BEST BITS AND COSTS

COSTS .. 12 weeks worth which calculates at €40 per day ..

SPAIN 2021/2022. Map of Spain’s sleep spots upgraded adding latest ones.. GOOGLE MAP

What a brilliant 12 weeks ..11 of which was wall to wall sunshine .. Biggest cost was the ferry but how much ..in time .. fuel and tiredness would it have been? ..We enjoyed the relax on the way to Spain .. All the food .. breakfasts and supper was included and we upgraded to the Club lounge on our return journey for the continuous buffèt enjoyed by The Driver ..

All sleepy spots were good but this is one of the best .. On top of a hill with our own castle ..

The abundance of sea food so readily available by the scoop full at Lidl ..The Cook perfected a Paella with the help and tips from Gabby our wandering motor home fixer ..

Off grid beaches .. meeting amazing ppl John n Wendy .. The Dunns ..The Hippos .. Joyous Joy .. Gabby .. and the Mimosa beach gang in their fabulous vehicle..

Not forgetting stunning sunsets nearly every evening..

THE END !!!

That’s it !!! Weather so awful back “Up Nowf” The spring bulb have to wear their “Big coat “ to come out at the moment ..Arrived back with our LFT waiting for us .. All clear 👍 BTW anyone doing the locator form for returning to UK make time to fill in .. took us an hour .. very annoying as it kept kicking me out !! How very dare it 😎🤪😱

A slow enjoyable wander North .. Spain that is .. Arriving in Santander for a bit of prom parking on Tuesday for our ferry to UK on Wednesday.. and the sun shone

Loading went well ..but on entering our inside cabin .. what a shock to see an open sunny window with balcony .. It’s a backlit picture .. The Cook didn’t like it …

We opted for the Club class lounge as it had free food all day only we didn’t realise one got small plates of full English breakfast and treated ourselves to the paid breakfast in the restaurant.. The Driver being a Yorkshire man has just about got over it but he did enjoy the cakes at afternoon tea time

After the off loading we stayed overnight at Port Solent Portsmouth car park .. perfectly adequate for us .. With zero problems with Border agency or Customs ..

A very windy drive north with hints of sun now we have to try to keep our smiling faces on .. wear socks vests and Big coats ..

I will add the GPS coordinates and the stats / cost as soon as all the washing has been done ..On the 4 th load now ..That’s it for a while but we will be back 😎🤪😱

A FAILURE AND IMPROVEMENTS !

Let’s start with our sleep spot .. Not pretty but very service friendly and free with diesel bought from fuel station across the road €1-46 per lt .. yes expensive but we added €30 worth and worked out the difference was €3 which was 2 nights stay ..

THE FAILURE ..The leccy bought at €4 for 12 hours .. ok you say what’s the problem ? The slow cooked Pork apples and stuffing casserole.. prepared and switched to cook on low .. an hour later no smell of cooking .. The Cook had forgotten to put the switch down on the plug .. Now 7pm and this delicious dish needs at least 6 hours ..The Cook reads in bed till 1am awaiting an alarm to turn off said slow cooker .. unbeknown to her the Bl***y leccy had turned itself off at 8pm .. Sighs ..Now what to do with uncooked pork .. go to sleep till morning .. A Thought !!! What about plugging in to the inverter! The Driver concurs with The Cook and the dinner is cooking slowly as we drive to Santander ..The smell is wonderful .. A few roast potatoes and frozen peas which incidentally have been in the freezer for weeks .. we seem to have been Veg Deniers of late…must get back in the swing soon .. More Veg Vicar ? THE PHOTOS OF IMPROVEMENTS below ! New shoe storage

Photo above new windscreen washer pipe in black.. old in white Photo below of The Slow Cooker in situ locker next to inverter .. what looks like chaos isn’t .. it packing to stop Pork casserole from tipping over ..

THE IMPROVEMENTS. A walk he said ..China Hyper ! The Cook is bewildered by this emporium.. fabulous tat .. The Driver purchased a shoe holder for his back passage .. A tubing to fix the windscreen washers who’s perished and broke in the frost ..2 Sieves ..and a Spanish fan ..The walk back was via Palencia city centre.. A modern hud of cafe society and fur coated matriarchs .. As per usual we missed the opening time for the cathedral but sat a while in the square in the sunshine .. Back at the campsite The Driver got his handyman hat on .. Made a shoe store .. which emptied the locker with the inverter in it allowing the slow cooker to slow cook .. which then will be used for the booze plundered from Lidl to bring home See photo collage ( a new hobby for the Cook to play around with) of Palencia

Below are the GPS coordinates for the parking which going to and from Santander ferry is just perfect

After a booze shop and cheap diesel are now in Santander .. on the shore over night parking see GPS coordinates below .. ferry tomorrow evening and back to good old UK..

A VERY RUDE AWAKENING

Sleepy spot Castillo de Peñaranda de Duero (41.690891, -3.480924) not in search4sites or any other app .. it’s ours and you may try it but do not tell any one or it may get height barriers

Dozing … 7am .. and BANG .. then water running ..The Cook nudged The Driver .. Some thing is wrong .. He dived ( never seen him move so fast ) out of bed to stand on a carpet wet with hot water.. His explanation as he fixed it at -6C was … The drain valve leaked and froze on the outer drain pipe and blew the pipe off the valve as pressure had built up.. seems to be fixed perhaps it happened on the road from hell when a few things where rattled off as the road was so bad .. a pole with a useless basket on it ..which doubles as The Drivers lap dancing pole ..holding Tomatoes Apples and Bananas crashed to the floor ..out of its housing ..tomatoes to be collected from various corners of Harry’s interior.. later .. it’s amazing where cherry tomatoes end up …Carpet mopped with bath towels and all seems well ..Phew

We are on top of a hill by the Castillo de Peñaranda de Duero.. A sleepy spot identified 8 years ago after a visit to this pretty off piste village ..with Hetty Hymer Now Harry Hymer has had a night in Hettys special place

Off on another of The Drivers challenging “Strolls” nothing is a stroll ..a scramble down .. not bad but The Cook knew the climb back would be hard…

A wander round this pretty village which was in a serious state of disrepair .. now money seems to have been thrown at it and all the falling down buildings have been repaired and looking fabulous .. see photos

PHOTOS OF PEÑARANDA DE DUERO

A “Stroll” back up the hill .. bloody hell The Cook shouted half way up ..as she gasped for air .. note .. she can still shout ..She says it the very last time she walking any where with The Driver until she shifts at least two stone in weight and has joined the gym again ..sitting in the sun for three month hasn’t done her any good ..sniggers

Now where ..LERMA bullring parking (42.024635 -3.752962)

Burgos perhaps … No let’s go back lovely Lerma again found 8 years ago on our post retirement adventure .. Found a carpark next to the Bull ring not may I add in search4sites and went for .. yes .. a stroll.. The Cook would love to stay in the Hotel in the photo below .. It’s a Parador .. The state run hotel chain usually in Monasteries Castle and Palaces housing Spain’s paintings antiques and artefacts

Hopefully more tomorrow..

CASTLES OF SPAIN

The Driver said it was going to be cold but not this cold here in MOLINA de ARAGON after a drive from Hell as the roads were awful … and a Sleep disturbance as the guy in the camper next to us who had his engine running most of the night assuming to keep from freezing .. we had our heating on and still Ice on the skylight windows..

A walk in the morning up to the castle .. not much of a castle .. not much work done to it’s up keep ….The Cook cannot show much enthusiasm for a load of stones .. and .. she had walked her leg off in Cuenca the day before..

Photos of Castle of Molina de Aragon

Where next .. another Medieval town .. ok The Cook likes Medieval……

Let’s go to ALMAZAN … There is a sleepy spot in a carpark …we will have a look .. Lovely little town and yes Medieval BUT … The poor town had seen better days ..Shops closed .. up for rent or sale.. very sad .. The only place busy was the Welfare centre.. We wandered .. coats off .. once the sun is over the hill to the west it’s boiling ..and mask wearing out doors is The Cook’s nightmare.. She says she can’t see .. what with specs steaming up and and the mask … Grrrrrr

Photos of MEDIEVAL ALMAZAN

A decision is made and we are not over nighting here .. A carpark .. Only in an emergency.. The Cook said “Shall we go to the castle on the hill “ The Driver can’t bring it to mind but we came here 8 years ago in Hetty Hymer and The Cook liked the area above the village which back 8 years wasn’t much to write home about as it was falling down .. Now money seems to have been thrown at the village and it’s gorgeous … more tomorrow…

ITS COLD UP HERE!

On leaving our garage forcourt Aire The Cook asked where next ? Let’s have an Adventure said The Driver …Cuenca ? Haven’t been there and it is northish ….Wandering cowboy country but no Injun on the pass .. only green houses Windmills Bulls and cherry trees and onwards to Cuenca the beautiful..

A quiet sleepy spot was found by the river .. police drove by and waved .. how nice ..

Lovely sleepy spot.. GPS Coordination above photo….but very cold .. heating on all night .. Now what .. let’s go to the other aire as it’s said there is a bus to take The Cook up the hill .. she is unfit after her beach life ..but no bus for 30 minutes.. A walk up n up n up .. The Cook had to sit down on the benches left for her by the good people of Cuenca but made to the top .. quite a climb of around 1k feet …The views ..The Cathedral ..and the sunshine are here in The Cooks photos in link below

CUENCO THE BEAUTIFUL

Back to Harry Hymer after a coffee in the main square .. Shall we go on ? Where to ? Castillo de Molina de Aragon .. 2 hours up the road … and what road .. Climbing to 5000 ft with Ice and frost in the shaded areas .. Twists and turns and up and down ..Worst road surface in Spain so far .. Eventually arrived and the need for a very large GnT .. what a road ….

ICE AND SNOW

Sleepy spot at 3147 feet above sea level .. GPS Coordinates above and the rumour is -8C tonight .. brrrrr brrrrr🥶🥶🥶

BYE BYE HAPPY PLACE 😢

A day of kite flying … by Wendy n John in the sunshine then it rained .. Harry Hymer’s crew don’t like rain !!

It poured down all night and a decision was made .. Let’s go .. Beach and rain do not go well together and as morning came it was time to say goodbye and Bon Voyage to our new chums Wendy and John in their Classic Hymer and Gina and Hippo in their converted horse box named Maisie and off we went to get the cheapest fuel on the coast

€1.27 per Lt best we have found so far .. see photo above for GPS coords

Back to the dump as we call it for emptying cassettes for the loo .. we have two and can stay in one place a week with luck without having to find services and the lovely part of being on our beach was we could go off and our parking spot was there on our return .. Ok .. we did leave tables chairs and The Cook to guard it .. The fuel station had everything water filling ..LPG .. grey water dump including motor home washing .. all for a €10 ..see photo below for GPS Coordinates

Our next port of call was to be a campsite we visited 4 years ago near Lo Pagan .. found a Lidl .. stocked up on stuff for the slow cooker as we would have electricity.. Pork for The Cooks slow cooked apples stuffing onions and chicken for her Chicken curry all now frozen as the camp site was rammed with long term Motorhome.. Car towing Germans and Dutch .. We don’t think there are any old people in Germany any more as they’re all down on the Costa’s .. so let’s try another campsite further east … nope full was the cry .. Mini panic from The Cook as she hasn’t looked up an alternative .. Let’s go inland said The Driver .. Not to far ..Granja de Rocamora

It’s a garage with a gated campervan park .. pay a deposit of €20 for the key and vola a fabulous quiet flat clean Aire with dump and bins .. Morning came and The Driver got his deposit back .. a lovely free night again

Where next .. tell you later !

BEACH STAYCATION

Sunrise at Playa de la Higuerica ((37.3758 -1.62979)

“Move on?” he said ..”Why” she said .. Harry Hymer and Crew have been here at Pulpi for a week ..Just lovely so why spoil this adventure by looking for a beach /wild camping sleepy spot when this amazing beach and the parking place over looking the sea are all we want ! Ok said The Driver we’re staying.. another week and then bomb up to Santander for the ferry on 2nd February …

A magical full moon last week The Driver managed to take this photo via his IPhone

There is so much going on here and some cracking people Felicity Hymer .. A Classic with owners John and Wendy from Luton .. good company and conversations .. An old horse box with another couple from the Uk both couple living full time in their campervans and an English couple in a French MH .. Why the Cook asked ..because they live in France …simples !! .. .. German families in 2 Motorhome’s with 7 kids between them aged from 2 to 13 .. Home taught .. and having the time of there lives .. nearly feral.. running wild on the beach .. even the smallest child collecting wood for their beach fire and bbq They went on a bear hunt the other day ..chanting “ We’re going on a bear hunt we’re gonna get a BIG one “ taken from Michael Rosens book “ Just so nice to see ..

WE’RE OFF ON A BEAR HUNT
WOOD COLLECTING

The funniest but one shouldn’t laugh ..An unholy row between a German guy who owned gorgeous Mastiff dog and what we thought was his wife .. This row was in German starting on the beach with the wind break being ripping out of the sand .. then continuing in the parking place ..We were getting a whispered translation via another German couple next to us . Seemingly he wasn’t getting enough “Leg over” .. He pack his massive coach of a Motorhome and left the wife on the beach .. well every body around was watching and grinning ..drove off .. gone .. it turned out it wasn’t his wife and she was in her own campervan .. at least she had somewhere to hide out of mortifying embarrassment …Shame he took the dog he was a smasher..

The Driver has even been in the sea for a swim .. very brave ..Hes also been exploring cliffs and bays finding carvings around a cave ..

A MADMAN !
EMPTY BEACH !

The Cook loves this beach even today without sunshine ..and white horses dropping off the top of the waves .. only 12C so gotta wrap up

SPOT HARRY !

HARRY’S ON THE MOVE

HAPPY PLACE

Harry and crew have 3 weeks to go north to Santander for the ferry to Portsmouth and the thought is to head east .. on the coast ..making the long journey less tedious .. going as far as west Barcelona to head away from the sea and up country in a one stop journey .. with this in mind we set off from our cliff top happy place

Playa de los Banos (37.51374 -1.39878) First stop was not for us ( see photo above ).. An ugly smelly piece of land occupied by Germans and rubbish .. Why they would want to spend winter here is beyond any comprehension as the smell of sewers pervade the area ..An English chap thought it was fine as he could go to the next town to the bars and restaurants on his bike .. Harry’s crew don’t do bars and restaurants as covid is still rampant..

One night and off again .. where next . La Almadrada de Monteleva ( 36.7389 -2.20715) A light house on the end of a pointy bit of coast .. Now whe’re talking .. The Cook said she could live here .. tiny village quiet with one bar.. closed as are most in villages but a peaceful place .. about a dozen houses .. the sleepy spot was hard standing .. Morning came for our promised light house trip up n up n up .. lots of sleepy spots on the way up .. and mega posh houses over looking the sea

SLEEPSPOT
WHO LIVES IN THIS HOUSE ??

Off again through a whole land scape of poly tunnels .. we think it was cucumber farms as far as the eye could see .. We’ve been here or in this area before and if one is up very high the plastic looks like lakes or a sea

It’s difficult to decide where to go for our next night’s sleep ..The Cook chose Mojacar .. but it has been said on the grapevine “No Overnight parking “ but that doesn’t stop us .. A drive along the prom .. yes it is a prom .. very lovely resort .. The kind of place you would come to if going on a Spanish holiday .. and there they were .. Campervans on the beach with a No parking sign .. No one bothered us so we stopped Unauthorised sleepy spot (37.1277261 -1.8313154) Mojacar beach …

MOJACAR BEACH FRONT

https://www.rusticaltravel.com/blog/almeria-mojacar More info on Mojacar

It rained .. it poured in the night waking Harry’s crew up .. and a little cold so the thought of staying was cancelled and off again .. To a wild camping place on a Rocky headland ..coords are (37.3799751 -1.6269489) and it lovely ..Called Playa de la Higuerica

It’s so nice here the thought is to stay a while and we will report in again soon !

HARRY ON A CLIFF EDGE

Sleepy spot (36.7495 -3.8057)

PLAYA DE LAS ALBERQUILLAS

Back to Nerja and a service at the Cespa fuel station with water .. loo emptying and draining grey water out of tanks. free when buying diesel.. but the best news was the cancellation of pre travel testing .. as of Friday not needed for returning to UK

Where now .. 15 minute to the east of the town of Nerja is an old road .. abandoned but used for off grid campervans and what a find .. perched on the cliff above the Mediterranean.. We waited 30 minute for cars to move to give us space and practically laid roots ..

Thinking about it !

Even the bread man turned up daily

Wonderful crazy people .. French Joy was our neighbour and lived up to her name .. she was a Joy to be around .. traveling alone and living off grid in her Free Lander van/car

JOY BY NAME AND NATURE

Next door the other way .. another French van whose people sold up and hit the road .. Isabell the mother with a strange boy who sung and chanted to the sun morning and night …Accompanied by his Asian drone ..sound at times like an annoying wasp 🐝 ..

The Driver went off for a climb down to the beach .. Not subjecting The Cook to the climb .. he knows better ..

SPOT HARRY ?

The Driver spotted a Spanish Ibis on his way back .. Harry and Crew hung out for 6 days watching the magical sunsets nightly but all must end when the water food and toilet facilities need replenishing .. Back to the fuel station and Lidl for a big shop and off to our new free parking spot east near Almeria .. More later !

HARRY STOPS…ITS FREE !!!

Sleepy spot Parking Penon del Cuervo (36.7130983 -4.3399808 )

The Cook doesn’t like camp sites but the promise of heating .. her slow cooker and laundry .. accompanied by seven day torrential rain persuaded her it was the correct thing to do after the lovely month in the dunes at Mimosa

Camping Bella Vista ( 36.3464 – 5.23623)

Pros “

Power.. water and grey drainage on each pitch ..Endless hot showers .. Gorgeous facilities in the bathrooms and laundry… ?? That is it !

“Cons”

Poor WiFi ..Pitches not level .. Ants…Access roads narrow ..Trees over hanging and too low ..Had to be cut to get vans in but had to call the gardener first !!!Stupid booking system ..Musical pitch change ..Massive English MH’s with attitude. At a cost of £196 ..Washing £23-50 .

It’s rained continuously from 21st / 26th December so heavily we couldn’t hear our selves speak .. What did we do you ask ?? Cooked great food .. Pork apples stuffing roasties .. even veg ..Lovely paella.. Read books and played Rumikub .. Two very dreary walks on a grey gravel beach .. Masks are mandatory when out of your van …So by 27th the sun had got his hat on and we were so pleased to be back on the road ..

Where to ? Back to the carpark by the cement works .. Btw we can’t see said cement works .. On entering the carpark a van was on the move and in we jumped .. Sea front view .. Perfect

Off roader with dog basket
The back of the lorry is where the off road vehicle is loaded
Parrot man

What have we done since stopping .. A couple of walks to the shops with rucksacks .. Walked past the restaurants on the beach ram jam full of people .. We are not taking the risk of being amongst people so we just looked and sniffed the fabulous smelling food ..

Sea fret sunset

Then the fog or sea fret came down blocking the suns rays .. New Year didn’t happen here as we were in bed by 10pm .. Just the fog horn making a blast at midnight woke us .. New years morning fog gone and sun back in his proper place .. A walk again .. Watching people… in particular a guy who walks his parrot daily and vans trying to find a place to park ..A massive wagon carrying small off road machine on the rear with crane and winch arrangements to get it up n down ..even a dog carrier on the second vehicle.. We are next to some Dutch life time travellers .. sold up and now live on the road .. Little girl called Wolf Lily .. yes strange but she suits it ..5 years old and gave her Daddy a good hair cut

WOLF LILY HAIRDRESSER!

One walk found us looking at a nativity scene in a window of a tattoo parlour .. Goth style .. loved it ..

There’s even a cat hotel here for the feral animals living in the rocks .. fed daily ..

Plus the always gorgeous sunsets

RAIN STOPS PLAY!!!!

Writing about this Adventure which is Not an Adventure.. Going nowhere ..More a staying put time with warmth…Sitting in the dunes at Mimosas for nearly four weeks in the sun .. Paddling in the Med .. Collecting sea glass ..A favourite of The Cooks.. even a Guardia Civil boat off shore looking for the next Moroccan drugs drop ..

Interesting ppl to talk with ..

The Spanish jewellery maker Tamara ..A permanent resident living in a small van but with a terrace with pizza oven and her two dogs Runa and Terra the greyhound ..she over looks the sea ..

A woman in a whoosh bang panel van with a small boy who turns up at weekends with her guitar ..

A French couple aged around 25 looking like they should be wandering Kathmandu’s Freak St instead of hanging out in the dunes of Marbella ..They are in an old converted freezer van with the most gorgeous Siberian Husky called Nella who came to visit Harry

A Mecedes van circa 1979 was a favourite owned by a German/English guy born in Crew and educated in Bavaria ..

A lone French 31 year old hairdresser who is plying her trade from her van The Cook cut her hair .. Yes The Cook is a hairdresser!

A Moroccan chef living in a tent who bathes in the sea and goes off to work every day looking clean and smart ..

A Spanish English speaking student of music and giver of chocolate Rudi lives in the front terrace in a long wheel based woosh bang ..He has a brocade chair outside his van for comfort with a tarpaulin cover for rain

A massive German wagon conversion whose people are heading to Outer Mongolia

Lots of music and the smell of The Weed purveys the air along with a central wood fire lit at night for the full moon gathering of around forty ppl with howling at the moon when she peeped from behind the clouds .. Music playing ..singing .. chattering ..bags of nuts passed round .. Seemingly we are the only UK people who were invited .. of the older end .. Not the Scots or the Irish ..Possibly because we’d been amongst the younger crowd for three weeks ..

A wonderful time was had .. but ..

The Weather is about to change ..and to continue here off grid with pouring rain on soft ground is not an option .. There is a need for leccy .. heating and hard ground and a laundry

Harry’s position with the sea view we were leaving is a sought after area and the vultures were hovering to grab it as we left to go to Lidl and the garage for LPG .. and head past Marbella and Estapona to a campsite on the beach called Bella Vista .. Very tight parking areas.. 144 pitches in all .. The Cook doesn’t like campsites.. but she likes heat .. Leccy plugged in and the heavens opened. .. only cleared for a quick walk along the beach .. and it’s poured down now for three days .. and … The Drivers information suggests it’s going to get worse .. only letting up on Monday 27th Dec ..4 days hence !

PS .. It seems the male fashion amongst the 30 something Males are harem pants ..off the shoulder tee shirt and long hair in a Sikh knot on top of their head .. Another fashion was the male skirt … Eeeeek ! I accept the lungi or sarong but polyester knee length skirts are a No No !

STILL ON MIMOSA BEACH

Lots of local vans turned up today for the 5 Day National holiday..2 day weekend Constitution Day on Monday and The feast of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday.. Locals here in droves Harry has been corralled and can’t drive out even if we wanted to but we don’t want to !

It all got a little bit interesting today as there was a fallout in the resident camping community.Not us I may add we are bystanders ..

One van a Hymer Camp turned its engine on at 4 am which the new-age family objected to..

The guy who started his engine at 4 am then objected to the new age group ( more about them later) lighting a fire and smoking the area out. We have a wood fire at night as well but we are away from the busy end of the area ..The Hymer then told the newagers they were foreigners and the Hymer people had been using this private area for years and it was for Spanish nationals not foreigners and called the police ..only a community policeman with a big truncheon… .. Whooo hoooo!! Quite an audience gathered lots of shouting even a child crying all ended quite well no fisticuffs..

Seemingly this little bit of heaven on the beach should have been a 500 bed hotel with beach front BUT planning stopped that after a local paid millions for it .. only a 100 bed without beach front would be allowed .. nothing was built .. It’s been left a scrub land for the camper people to use rent free..

Now to the family …

“Madre Tierra Amor” that is the name of the group “Love mother earth” I had a chat today with the head man ..Mauricio ..A Shaman ..from The Amazon ..A native South American Indian and …. Wait for it ..They live in a Polyamory relationship ..All three women are his wives ! In three separate T4 vans .. The blonde Pola has a 13 month old baby boy and the dark Bulgarian Maxine has a 9 month old son ..and the older wife.. Gudrun.. she is 62 looks to be the head honcho.. There little group make and sell jewellery and crystals.. play street music (busking) and hold ceremonial healing .. There philosophy is to teach us all to look after the planet ..They have driven down from Poland bringing with them a 4th van .. The guy in this van makes Minions of any scrap metal.. He has all for sale .. so not only do we intrigue but a little market ..

Another girl makes her living with beaded and knotted jewellery.. allowing the group to sell for her .. The Cook now has a lovely ankle bracelet..

The best ppl here is the Motorhome mechanic he has sealed Harry’s front windscreen as we have found water infiltrating the living area ..We bought the Hymer as seen without an overall check from a professional .. We grabbed at the chance to own him as the price was £10K less than book price and lots of others were after him so consequently a little work needed doing It seems the windscreen was not the original and was out of alinement by a fraction ..Gabby the mechanic has sealed it now .. John sealed it when we found the leak and now it done professionally

More later !

HARRY HAS STOPPED !

SLEEPYSPOT MIMOSA BEACH (N36.4948141 W4.7913309 ) 2/12/121

Harry and crew are happily parked up on a beach east of Marbella with a community of hippies or New Age travellers or just people escaping the rat race .. one group have at least 5 different languages.. Dutch German Bulgarian Polish Spanish and a lovely guy who speak them all and he is a South American native Indian.. He seems to be in charge .. so what is the common language ..English of course.. There are six people one dog and two babies in four small vans and most of their living is around a campfire in the centre of the corralled vehicles..We think they sell on the markets in the area .. necklaces crystals and fossils ..