Having left Rome a week before Christmas, where it was cold and miserable, I looked forward to meeting up with friends in Spain, and hopefully some warm sunshine. Leaving Rome I followed the west coast northwards. Keen to put some kilometres behind me I pushed on and as the sun set arrived in Santa Margherita Ligure, not far from Portofina, where I stopped for the night free camping in a quiet carpark near to the sea. I woke to a beautiful sunrise and continued on my journey. I made a quick stop for lunch near Antibes, topped up with diesel, and kept going. After another long day I ended up in Arles, France, where I stopped at the aire alongside the river Rhone. It turned really cold during the night and I woke in the morning to a windscreen covered in ice. By the time I’d had breakfast the sun was slowly melting the ice but I was still keen to get under way and get the heater on. On my third day I continued along the non toll motorway’s and made good progress crossing into Spain. Rather than heading towards Barcelona and taking the coast road south I took the shorter inland route stopping in Maials, Catalonia for the night. I felt tired but also pleased that I had reached Spain and would be able to meet up with my friends near Mazarron the following day. It was also good to feel the warm sunshine. The weather seemed to change as I crossed into Spain and my last day on the road down to Mazarron was perfect with a clear blue sky and lovely warm sunshine. It felt good to be back in a t-shirt after the previous two months of cold weather.
So after four days I reached my destination, Canada De Gallego, near Mazarron and met up with my friends and fellow van dwellers who were wild camping on the beach. We drank a few glasses of wine and caught up on all our news, not having seen each other for almost a year. In the few days until Christmas I relaxed, enjoyed the warm sunshine, and got back into the vanlife. On Christmas Eve we decided to have a barbecue, spending a pleasant evening chatting away and tucking into the food and drink. Everyone had brought something so it was a mixed meal but filling and tasty, the wine was pretty good to. Christmas Day proved to be a super one weather wise with clear blue skies and lots of sunshine, just my sort of Christmas, much preferring sunshine and warmth to cold and snow, picturesque though it may be.
Days passed quickly and before I knew it New Years Eve had come. Once again we decided on a barbecue, another successful evening, and good to be able to see in the New Year with friends. New Years Day saw me looking back over 2017, which for me had been a busy one with lots of adventures. I spent the first three months in Southern Africa, visiting South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Returning to Europe I set off to explore Scandinavia, crossing the Arctic Circle for the second time and continuing northwards until I reached Nordkapp, Europe’s most northerly point, which meant that I had visited the southern most point of Africa and the northern most point in Europe in the same year, which felt good. After Scandinavia I returned to the UK where I spent some time visiting Wales and getting a few jobs done on the camper. Italy was next as I spent time looking after my ex-partner who had to have an operation on her back. Now as I sit in TC looking out on a perfect start to 2018 I wander what will be in store for me in coming year. At present I have no real plans just a few ideas. I have considered going to Morocco, if the weather isn’t so good here in Spain. I’ve been many times but also have friends who spend the winter months there. I’ve also been giving some thought to visiting Portugal as I haven’t been there for a few years now. Time will tell where I end up. Whatever happens I hope it will be another exiting year.
It seems I've been travelling for most of my life.
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