All posts tagged: camperstops

Stopovers 5 – Velez Malaga to Alcossebre

#41 Hotel Cotijo Bravo, Velez Malaga A rare treat made possible by the grandparents: marble baths; champagne at breakfast; gardens full of the scent of jasmine, lemon blossom and lavender along with helpful and patient staff made this an oasis of calm, comfort and cleanliness in the midst of our otherwise chaotic, cramped and crusty existence. All hail the splendour of Pam and Colin’s generosity! #42 Dave and Annie’s land – Posada Edith, Espino, Andalucia Yes it was a bit cold and grey while we were there but, as I said in this post, when you’ve got gin, movies, a log burner and fantastic folk, you’ve got the ingredients for a good stay anywhere. We were able to plug in Colin and the land was level, which made for perfect camping conditions. With Vera the Airstream for a neighbour, a misty view down the valley and a gang of waggy dogs to greet us each morning we could want for little else. Thanks Dave and Annie! #43 Camping Cabo de Gata, Almeria This place is …

Stopovers 4 Merzouga to El Morreon

#31 Kasbah Hotel Jurassic, Ziz Gorge We stopped here on our way north from Merzouga as I was insistent that we needed somewhere to break up the hours and hours of driving. I’ll be honest, it felt a little odd as we pulled in. There were no other motorhomes and the young man who moved the barrier seemed a bit bewildered by us being there at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if they hardly ever saw a motorhome, so eerily unaccustomed they seemed to having people stay at their campsite. Having said all that, the showers were amazing and the landscape too. It took me a while to realise just how stunning our surroundings were which made me worry we were starting to take it all for granted. We only stayed one night and when I went to pay the next morning they weren’t able to give me any change. It was a small amount so I said it didn’t matter. Then as we were driving out, the bewildered looking young man came out with …

Tafraoute – Finding my Travelling Feet

After Essaouira we headed off down the coast with vague ideas of spending some time near the sea before heading to Tafraoute in the south of Morocco. Tafraoute had long been an eagerly anticipated destination for us. It was always to be the most southerly place on our itinerary, the town where we would finally adopt a slower pace of travel. Whilst Morocco dreaming and Google-searching from my kitchen table in Hebden Bridge I’d stumbled across heart-stirring pictures of blossoming almond trees set against arid red landscapes and discovered that every year the town of Tafraoute held a festival to celebrate this transient spectacle. The dates of the festival were hard to determine so we pledged to try and get there for early February in order not to miss it and it was this aim that had kept us moving so quickly. Through the empty, icy nights of central France, the grim downpours of Northern Spain and and the various trials of our first weeks in Morocco, Tafraoute pulled us on. I think it’s fair …

Stopovers 2

Time has run away with me and I have not been keeping up with our stopovers! So here are the next ten as far as I can remember… 1. Camping Monfrague This was the first campsite mentioned in this post, that converted us to a more luxurious way of travel. It was positioned in a natural park and although in high season I imagine it might get a bit crowded, it was almost deserted while we were there. Great facilities and beautiful surroundings. Also horses, trees, azure winged magpies… If we hadn’t been trying to get South so quickly, we’d have stayed longer. The boys obviously found it such a relief to not just be parked in some bleak urban car park, that they danced and ran around singing ‘oh what a beautiful day! Everything’s going my way!’ 2. Camping Merida Not our favourite, but perfectly fine. We’d stopped in Merida as there were lots of Roman remains but unfortunately many of them seemed to be closed or not terribly easy to see. The bit of …

Stopovers

I’m in danger of forgetting all the stops we’ve made over the course of our journey so far so I thought I’d make a quick list here in the hope that some of this information may help some hapless motorhomer who, like us, set off with no real idea of what they’re doing or where they’re going. To those of you not intending to go off motorhoming around Europe in January the following may be of limited interest. First stop – Dover. Motorhomes are allowed to park along the front. This road is known, I believe, as Marine Esplanade. It goes without saying there are no facilities, it is just a road. Free. Second stop – Disneyland Paris This is just an enormous car park that you pay 20 euros a night to stay in, although after our first night no one came to ask us for more money. I think they pitied us. There are absolutely no (official) facilities in winter but if you’re sneaky you might get away with having a shower in …

France is shut

  Sleeping in the Disneyland car park for two nights felt like a test. I’m not sure I’ve ever tried to sleep in such ridiculous circumstances. Despite several layers of clothing, a duvet, three blankets, hot water bottle and hat, I was still freezing. Any skin that was left exposed (my face!) was almost painfully cold. This feat of endurance was conducted in the bleakness of an almost entirely empty car park, under flat grey foggy skies. I cheered myself with the thought that things could only get better. After consulting our various oracles – road map of France, Lonely Planet France, and Camperstop Europe – we point the van in the direction of Blois in high hopes of a less depressing stopover for the night. The aire in Blois itself was closed so we found another a few kilometeres away in Les Montils that had water and somewhere to empty the loo. I looked forward to meeting a few other folk in motorhomes and perhaps wandering into the town for our evening meal. When …

Dover to Disneyland

We got to Dover just before midnight. Driving along the front we spotted other motorhomes tucked up for the night and parked near one. It felt so good to make up our bed that night, right there at the side of the road and sweeter still to wake to the sound of seagulls calling the morning in. There wasn’t time for much before we had to make our way to the ferry. The lorries from the night before were all still stacked along the approach to the dock; the drivers, grey and crumpled, rubbed at their faces wearily. We, relatively fresh and rested, were increasingly giddy with the expectation of our imminent crossing. Driving through the various gates, we cheered at everything and marvelled at the giant boats that would swallow us up along with the now comparatively teeny juggernauts, then spit us out on foreign shores. Once on deck, we grinned and jigged and ran about. The boys, who had been feeling concerned about the possibility of sinking, were reassured by the scale and …