I am using this page to keep a record of the winter trips, starting on the 25th November 2014. and our 2015 Tour

7th November 2014 -

Starting to load gear into van clothes and food, such as tins and cereals.

14th November 2014 -

Last look of documents that we need to take with us for the trip. Passports, insurance for van and personal, ferry tickets and medical cards. All correct and stowed.

18th November 2014 -

Collected Euros for the tip, finished going over the van to make sure everything is working packing dry food and clothes over the weekend. All that’s left to do is load fresh food, Radio, laptop for logging and SSTV.

20th November 2014

Finished loading van today. Just have to put refrigerator on, Monday to cool down and load fresh food.

25th November 2014

Have now arrived at Poole ready for tomorrow mornings sailing to France. Will post more once in France.

26th November 2014

Caught the ferry from Poole this morning, arrived in Cherbourg at 13:45 French time, travelled on to St. Lo. Where we stayed for the night. Rained all day.

27th November 2014

Made our way along the coast to St. Marlo and on to Quimper we are staying here for a couple of days, then heading South. I should say I have had a big problem with my Icom 706 the PA’s look as if they have gone, so left with just my duel band handy.

29th November 2014 -

Had a problem at La Rochelle I grounded the rear step on the road as I was going over the curb had to remove step in the road as it was jammed, this means that we cannot use the rear door of the van or the toilet as I have had to put the step inside. Due to this we are now going to run straight down to Perpignan where we can spend a few days to get the step fixed.

30th November 2014 -

Arrived at Perpignan and it is throwing it down with rain and its flooded over the roads, so June has said lets carry on to Benicassim Spain, this means that we have done 1200Km in 24 hours, I need a rest, we will be here for 6 weeks.

2nd January 2015 -

A group of us from the site got together a trip to the local go-kart track, WOW the karts were 450cc twin cylinder engines, and it was great, we had a practice time of 15 mins to get used to the karts, of which I came first, so this meant that I should of been first on the grid for the main race but as was pointed out I was the lightest therefore had an advantage over the others, so I said lets run the grid in reverse so I would be at the back, so we lined up and waited for the red lights to go out, well I could not believe what happened next every body was just sitting there so I went straight through the middle and by the time I got to the line I was second, well by the first corner I had the lead. All I now had to do was stay there for the next 12 laps, as the laps ticked off I was increasing my lead and on the last lap on the hairpin I over cooked it and spun by the time I sorted myself out 2 karts had passed me we had about 3/4 of a lap to go I through my kart into the next few corners and at full throttle I took back one place and was right on the back of the lead kart over the line and it was less than a kart between us. What a great day it was. 

5th January 2015 -

Left the site today going to have new step fitted today, then head south to Puerto de Mazarron for 1 week, the weather is wet but warm,

12th January 2015 -

On the move again, we are now going to Marjal camping near Crevillent, for 2 weeks.

25th Febuary 2015

Returned home to Bristol.


Our Epic Tour in the Winnebago 2015

28th Febuary 2015 -

Travelled to Cromer to buy our Winnebago, time to sell our other motor home. June is planning our next trip.

19th April 2015 -

While we were waiting for the Winnebago be MOT'ed, June has decided we are to give up the flat and live in the Winnebago full time, also we need a small car to run around in once we are parked up as the Winnebago is a bit large to run around in, June said about an A frame to tow it behind us, well that's OK for the UK but not in Spain so we would need a trailer to put the car on. Back on to the internet and found a trailer and the next day found a small car to fit the trailer.  with the Winnebago and the trailer that makes a total length of 14.5 Mts with an overall weight of 7.5 Tonnes, its a bit like being back at work. So in the meantime June has sorted out what she wants to take with us and sold the rest. Now the Winnebago is back all ready for the road, we moved into full time.

1st May 2015 -

Off to Blue Anchor for bank holiday weekend. It has rained all weekend.

7th May 2015 -

Now to Paignton for a week so June can see her sister.

14th May 2015 -

We are now on our way to Chichester for a week, we will be staying just south of Chichester at West Wittering, the site is nice and quite.

21st May 2015 -

We are now on our way to Pevensey Bay near Eastbourne for a few days before heading to Dover.

27th May 2015

We are now on the ferry to France, now in France time to fill all the tanks with cheap petrol and LPG. Driven to Reims for the first stop will stay for a few days.

30th May 2015 -

Moved on to Chaumont this is a nice site, by a cannel, we are to stay here for a few days. the weather is getting warmer.

5th June 2015 -

Moved on to Lyon, but we had water coming out and getting hot, but at this stage not sure if its to do with weather as its around 38 dreg. Will keep a close eye on this.

12th June 2015 -

We are to head west towards Bordeaux by the time we got Half way we ran into a tariffic thunderstorm the wipers stopped working, water is working ok, but as we climbed up into the mountains the water temp started climbing again on inspection, I notice that water is coming out from the front of the engine, that can only mean one thing,(Water Pump) top up with water and drive on and keeping one eye on the water temp as I drove, by the time we dropped off the mountains and down to the outskirts of Bordeaux I was putting water in every fuel station, I said to June that's it, we will have to find a place to stop, well on the northern ring road their is a nice camp site next to the exhibition site so we pulled into here and contacted the breakdown insurance company to get it sorted, after a day we were told that we could not have the repair done in France, as they could not find anyone that could supply the new pump. So I rang a company in England and was told it would be sent out on the monday, while we where waiting and talking to the insurance company every day, because of the size of the Winnebago at 10 meters long, 3.5 meters high and  2.25 meters wide it is a bit big for your average garage I was on the tram going shopping, and just about 2Km from the site I saw a commercial garage the worked on Iveco trucks took the name of the company, when I arrived home I telephoned them and in my bad French spoke to them and was asked to go and see them,

On arrival I showed them a photo of the Winnebago and told them that the pump was on its way from England, it was decided that the chief engineer would come to the site the next day to assess if they could undertake the job, we the next day at 9 a.m. he arrived, had good look around under neath and lifted the engine cover inside, then made a telephone call, he said yes they could do the job so it was arranged that as soon as the pump arrived from England I would take it to show them and they would have the Winnie in and it would take 1 maybe 2 days. I then telephoned the insurance and they arranged for us to has a cabin for the time the Winnie was in the garage. well the pump arrived on the Thursday afternoon so took the pump straight to the garage and they said bring the Winnie in tomorrow at 7 a.m so we moved onto the cabin that evening. At 7 a.m on the Friday I took the Winnebago into the garage and was told to ring at 6 p.m. June and I went on a trip to the coast for the day had a nice time, on our return I called into the garage and was told that it would now be Monday as they do not work over the weekend, Monday came and I called into the garage at 3 p.m as told, I was then told that it would be finished by 6 p.m great I thought, so went back to the cabin told June and then got a bus to the garage at about 5.30 p.m I was told it would not after all be finished till the next day, I told then that was a big problem as the cabin had to be given up that day, so we needed to be sleeping in the Winnebago that night, so it was sorted that we could use the Winnie while it was still in the workshop for the night. It took until 12 the next day before we could drive out of the workshop. I have to say the engine sounds so much quieter than it did and it seemed to be driving better June and drove on down to Irun the northern Spanish border crossing and onto a nice site were we will stay for a week.

26th June 2015 -

Have now traveled on to Laredo about 50Km east of Santander on the north coast of Spain, nice site close to the coast and town its up to 30 deg: c as its getting warmer June wants to get an awning put on to the Winnebago so I have been looking on the internet and found a couple of places on in Madrid and one just north of Marcia on the south coast, it looks like we will be heading south to Madrid when we leave here.  

10th July 2015 -  

Moved south to Burgos nice site staying here for a week for a nice rest lots of shade for June to hide under, then south again.

14th July 2015 -

Traveled south to a site just 50Km north of Madrid just off the A1, very hot here 36 deg c that evening we drove the car to the motor home shop in Madrid to buy the awning when we arrived they said that they no longer had any left and when asked when they would be getting more stock we were told they wouldn't be, well I was not best pleased about this so we travelled back to the site. we had to stay until the 20th as I had arranged for my new radio to be shipped out from UK. so for the next few days we sat and cooked in the heat. well by 1p.m. on the 20th the radio arrived and we set off for Crevillent southern Spain a trip of 450Km we made our destination by 8 p.m.

21th July 2015 -

Set up motor home to waste and water, Drove car to Fortuna just north of Mercia to the other shop that sells the type of awning we are after, success they had what we wanted and they will deliver it on Monday next week, returned to site and as it is very hot I put up the gazebo so that we can sit outside, until the awning arrives.

27th July 2015 -

The awning arrived today so tomorrow I will start to fit it to the van. this afternoon we drove to Alecante the beach there was full it was pot luck to see any sand for bodies.

3rd August 2015 -

Finished fitting brackets for the awning had help to lift it into place, bolted it to brackets, then took down Gazebo and tried the awning works well put sides up. now for a rest for a few days after all you dont want to over do.

12th August 2015 -

Drove to Valencia today, to buy a new antenna for HF its a Falcon Jetfon out-2, 80 meters to 6 meters, 7 meters tall intend to install it at rear of Winnebago at 3 meters to base of antenna.  Before I left I looked at their web site to make sure it was in stock, after a 200 Km drive, I arrived at the shop to find it shut on meeting a local radio ham who also didn't know they were shut,  he rang the shop and low and behold they are shut until 27th August, for their summer break. so returned to Winnebago, another 200 Km drive, some you win and some you loose. Will have to go back after the 27th, at least it was nice weather.

14th August 2015  -

Had  the fridge stop working, for some reason the gas went out and could not relight so went into fault mode, so we have hired a fridge from the site while I look into it, I think I will have to remove it so that I can get to the back and make sure its fully clean, I will do that on Sunday. I have been setting up my easypal digital SSTV program as well A link to it is above.

15th August 2015 -

Removed fridge found the floor had collapsed so the fridge had become un-level. Removed old floor went to the Spanish B & Q like store and found the wood and fitted it, cleaned the rear of the fridge then re installed it into its cupboard space well that was harder than I thought it would be, but got it back in redone gas pipe and connected electric both 110 volt and 12 volt also while I had the fridge out I found that it can also sense if the solar panels are working so day time it now works off 12 volt and as soon as the sun goes down it switches over to either 110 volts or gas. So another job completed.

23rd August 2015 -

Weather very warm today, we get the sun on the van from first light at the rear and left side it has reached 45 deg C by midday inside the van with air con running full blast and now the transformer has gone into thermo cut out with over heating, it has happened twice before, but this time it was out for a longer time, for over an hour well as you can imagine its gone up to 48 deg C. once it restarted I have checked out the integrity of the transformer to find that its on its last legs, so have found a replacement which will be better as this unit will in fact change not only the output voltage from 240V to 110V but also the frequency from 50 hz to the correct 60 hz that the USA runs on so it will be safer and cost effective as well. More money in need of spending!!!

28th August 2015 -

Well ordered the new transformer yesterday, from UK and to day received email to say its been dispatched today so that will be here by the end of next week. I also went back to the radio shop today and bought my new antenna for HF also bought a 4 band radio that I can use mobile as well its a Dynascan 950P it covers 10 Mts 6 Mts 2 Mts and 70cm fm only and also bought a 4 band Diamond antenna for it as well, on returning to the Winnebago I set to and put up the base antenna did the swr check and its below 1.5 to 1 over the bands that is 80 Mts to 6 Mts and heard a station from India on 15 Mts tried to work him but too many stronger stations, also this evening I heard a station from USA on 40 Mts very faint but there and the bands are in a bad way today with the solar storms, now looking forward to better conditions.

1st September 2015 -

As its now classed as the end of the summer season here now,and with the good exchange rate, we went to a caravan shop and found a privacy room for our 4 Mtr blind well we could not believe the offer, with the exchange rate we were saving about £300 then with the discount a further £200, the price in UK is around £800 to £1200, we got it for less than £500, so yesterday morning I removed the old gazebo and put up the new room, it fits like a glove. Today I am taking June for an eye test, and do some shopping, I am hoping the new transformer will be here to day as well so I can get that fitted.

7th September 2015 -

Have now fitted the new transformer also fitted a 12 volt fan into the case to help with the cooling this is thermostaticly controlled so its not running all the time, I finished it on Sat, luckily as it rained all day yesterday and so far today, the amount of water is quite its been running down the road like a river, so stayed in all day and the same today it is due to improve as the week goes on back to the sun and 30 deg C.

18th September 2015 -

Today I have fitted a new control box into the Winnie to enable to run the mains power at 240 v instead of 110 v as the microwave has packed up so we have bought one from here and that needs 240 v, as Winnebago use the same size wire as UK all I have had to do is change all the power sockets to the UK and some to Euros sockets and use the trunked wire that are there, the only thing that runs off 110 v now is the air con unit.

19th September 2015 -

Complete the job and fit mains charger control unit this works from Solar, alternator or mains to charge the 12 volt system and it sorts its self out as to which to use, so during daylight it will switch to Solar and mains after dark, also I have fitted the sense wire from the fridge to the unit to sense when the Solar is running this then switches the fridge to 12 v on its own so this saves on cost of electric usage. we can now save about 50% of our power use cost per day. If we are not running the air con.

20th September 2015 -

We are waiting for the roof paint to come from UK, I hope it will be here tomorrow, then I can get on with the cleaning and repainting of the Winnie roof, this is a rubber coat that seals the roof and also keeps it cooler as well. First I have to wire brush it to remove all loose bit then wash it once dry give it 2 coats of rubber paint to seal it that gives 7 years protection. I would like to get this done before Thursday as we are to get some rain. 

25th October 2015 -

Sorry, I have been a bit slow on the updates, I have been busy sorting out our pitch to get it as we like it. The roof paint arrived and got it done before the rain came, I have also put down a double skin waterproof membrain under the awning to stop water running into the awning when it rains. we have now had the generator removed from its cupboard and this is now to become our power store cupboard, we now have 4 x 12 volt battery's and we have added to our 200 watts of solar panels with another 200 watts so we will have 400 watts of solar into 460 amps of 12 volt power into a 4Kw invertor this will mean that we can run the whole van without being hooked up to the mains this will save us about 50 Euros a month. This is my next project to do.

We had to change the car, last week I was stopped on a spot check and found that the MOT had run out, as we are not intending to bring it back to UK, it would cost around 1500 Euros to change all the lights and registration to Spanish plates so we traded it in an now have a Honda Civic with Spanish plates it was cheaper to do it this way, its a nice clean car and only one owner. I now also have a Spanish NIE number which means that I can now work here also have a bank account, car and monthly phone account instead of pay as you go. The insurance for the car is much cheaper than UK also it covers the car not the person so anyone can drive it under the same insurance, the cost is half price compared to UK.

7th November 2015 -

Yesterday we went with friends to the Go-kart s June could have a chat and coffee while we had a go, the track is 1Km long it has 10 bends a very fast track, my best time was 47 seconds by the end of the session. then did some shopping before heading back to the site, at around 18:30 we went out to the English fish and chip restaurant for our meal, lovely piece of fish I think it was half a cod it was about 12 inches long and that was the medium I would hate to think the size of a large piece would look like.

13th December 2015 -

On the 1st I decorated the awning and van ready for Christmas, we now have some lights around the rear of the van and around the outside of the awning as well as the tree setup in the window of the awning have to say looks quite nice, and it all runs off the solar system which means no extra electric cost. our electric bill for the month was only 5 Euros, down from 60 Euro's a month, the cost of the solar system will soon pay for its self.  We have had a few dull days overcast but dry and mostly warm and sunny and we still been sitting outside, last week we traveled to another site that we stayed at last year to see if we could get the Winne on there but pitches were not long enough also no waste water points on the pitch, Went to see another site yesterday, this one was to hilly for June to get around, but pitches were big enough. We will keep looking around there is no rush as we are here until July. 

20th December 2015 -

We have found a new site its called Camping Florantilles near San Miguel de Salinas about 30 Km south of here, we will move there on the first of July 2016, our pitch over looks the salt lake nature reserve and Terrevieja with orange groves all around us, as we are going to be close to the coast and the salt water June should not get bitten quite so much, We hope!!!. In the last 2 weeks its been getting hot up to 24 C during the day but still very chilly at night we have had a few frosts, but no rain.  

25th December 2015 -

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all that read this blog, we aim to have a quite time, have a drink or two with some friends we have found here. The weather forcast here is cloudy with a 25% chance of rain and maybe a 60% chance tomorrow but we have heared this before so we will waite and see the temp is 19.5 C today.

1st January 2016 -

Welcome to the new year.

2nd January 2016 -

We had a quite Christmas and New year, the next job on Monday is for me to take down the Christmas dec's down for another year, I also have to buy 2 new AGM battires as the 2 that we had in the other van are showing signs of failer they drop off very quickly in about 4 hours, compared to the ones on sale out here they are poor built the same size here are almost twice as heavy that the British ones.

16th January 2016 -

Have now finished moving solar panels to the rear of the roof so all 400 watts are now on one controller going into 6x 120 amp/h 12 volt battires this then goes through a 4Kw intelligent invertor that knows when the shoreline (external) electricity is connected this also has a charger built in to charge battires when on shoreline, so we now only hook up every 2/3 days for about 5 hours just to boost battires. we have now bought 2 pagodas for us to sit under when the sun is strong this helps June as she finds the sun can burn even this time of year, our pitch is now looking  more like a home now we even have a lawn ( one I dont have to cut thank goodness).

19th Febuary 2016 -

Been a bit laps in doing updates on here of late, since the last post in January we have just been chilling out in the winter sun, not doing much to write about. We have had to replace the fridge/freezer but not with one the works on gas and 12 volt, we have gone for a demestic type with a compressor as we now able to supply our own AC mains. We have had a few friend from the MCC Rally at Christmas last year come to the Valentines Rally here at Marjal this year, it was very nice to see them again, and some we will see at the Portugal Rally on the 1st March, we are going down in the car and have a cabin on the site for 2 weeks. Our friends on the pitch next door have now left to return to the UK they had to stay for an extra 3 nights as storms in the Bay of Biscay halted all sailings over the weekend.

29th Febuary 2016 -

Loaded the car and now off on our Holiday to Lagos, Portugal for 2 weeks, we will travel for about 4 hours then stop for the night around Savillia that will leave about 2 hours to do tomorrow.

1st March 2016 -

We left the hotel and finnished our trip to Lagos, we arrived at around 1 PM but the car has now got a problem will find a garage tomorrow and get it looked at. The site and cabin is very nice, the staff are very helpful, they have told us of a good garage were the staff speek english and how to get there.

2nd March 2016 -

We took the car to the garage, well it turns out that it has lost compression on no.4 cylinder so rang the insurance they have arranged for the car to be taken back to Spain to be repaired at the garage where we bought it, and we now have a hire car for a week and the insurance is arranging a car that we can return to Spain in at the end of our holiday until our car is repaired.

3rd March 2016 -

Had a trip out to get some shopping and have a look around the local towns, had a nice day out. Tomorrow we are going to the most southerly point of Portugal and look at some other small villages along the way on the coast. The weather is nice but its a lot colder here than Catral Spain, also its  a lot greener here than in Spain.









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