Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Almost beach camping...

Went for a walk around the town of Conil de la Frontera before heading out. Glen and Steve are staying there another night, while we scout out on ahead to see if there's a better spot for us.

Not much to see in the town of Conil, even though it's been settled for a long time. There's a couple of old houses from the 15th century, and a tower that's been there since the 12th century.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Back to the beach!

We took our time leaving the campground yesterday morning. Filled the fresh water tank, emptied the toilet cassette, paid the bill, and we were on our way just before noon.

First stop was to get fuel...filled up with 63 liters (16.6 gallons) of diesel at €1.169 per liter (about $4.90 USD per gallon, or $1.68 CAD per liter). So we've spent €123 ($178 CAD, $133 USD) on fuel and we've done 1,116 kms (692miles) so far in three weeks. Not bad.

Then, it was off to the beach. We had been in touch with friends Glen and Steve and they had themselves parked up beside a tidal river in the town of Conil de la Frontera...steps from the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

63 years later...

One of the reasons we're in this area is because of my father's pictures. He had done a trip to Europe way back in 1954 (he would have been about 26 years old at the time) and he took a lot of slide photographs. Ruth had scanned all of those photos, and we have a file from the ones he took in Spain.

We're trying to find some of those locations to see if we can replicate the spot he stood to take those photos.

We found one of them yesterday, at the roadside village of La Barca de Vejer!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Our second Spanish campground

It had rained a lot Thursday night, and it was supposed to continue on and off for most of the day Friday. We were due for laundry and showers, and our battery was getting low as well. So I did some online research and found a campground in a forest near the town of Vejer de la Frontera.

Many of the campgrounds along the coast are quite expensive, and you're packed in like sardines. Not our style, and we won't spend more than €20 ($29 CAD, $22 USD) per night including electricity.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Back to the top of The Rock

We set out at around 10am yesterday morning, walking back across the border to Gibraltar. It's not that big of a place, and yet even after two full days of exploring there was still more that we wanted to do.

The main goal yesterday was to walk The Mediterranean Steps...a 1.5 km (1 mile) long hiking trail on the steep side of The Rock. It's a short enough hike...but it still took us an hour to do it!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Day trip to beautiful Ronda, Spain

We had originally planned on taking the motorhomes up to the mountaintop city of Ronda (pop 35,000) but that was last week when they had an oddball snowstorm up there  so we never made it. But, we thought we might be able to head there on our way back through towards the end of February.

Instead, I saw that there is a train that goes from Algeciras to Ronda and the reports said that the train journey itself is quite scenic.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tunnels, monkeys, and caves...too much to see in Gibraltar!

We went back to Gibraltar again yesterday. We were a little later leaving than we originally planned because we've decided to do a day trip on the train to the mountain town of Ronda, and it's taking some planning.

So while Ruth and I went back to Gibraltar, friends Glen and Steve went into La Linea to find out the best way to catch the train to Ronda, which we will be doing tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Day trip to Gibraltar

We left Casares fairly early Monday morning, and it wasn't a long drive. However, we were also looking for somewhere to recharge the SIM card for our internet, so we stopped at a big Dia grocery store on the outskirts of La Linea.

La Linea is the town located on the border with Gibraltar.

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Griffon Vultures of Casares, Spain

Yesterday morning we waked into the town of Casares. It's about a kilometer and a half from where we were parked with Louis the motorhome. I recorded our tracking to see just how much we would walk around town.

Including the walk there and back, we did 8.4 kms (5.2 miles) in three hours!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Great exercise, and beautiful views!

Finished up our two nights at the campground. So yesterday morning we got Louis's tanks emptied and filled his fresh water. Also had showers ourselves. And we're taking off with a brand new fully charged battery. So, we're all happy campers!

Friends Glen and Steve headed off down to Gibraltar, and we headed inland to the mountain town of Casares. We'll meet up with them there on Monday.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Beautiful walk on the coast, and a new battery!

Woke up to a beautiful blue sky sunny day here on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain.

Our battery was scheduled to show up between 11 and 12, so we knew we had to be back for that. But then we received a phone call from them asking if it was okay of they didn't show up until around 4:00pm. Sure, that was actually better so we didn't have to hang around.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Our first Spanish campground...

Lots to tell you about today. The big news around here of course was that cold weather front that went through southern Spain. They had predicted it well in advance, and the forecasts actually turned out to be fairly accurate. It's the reason we headed down to the coast earlier than we originally planned.

We heard the rain on the roof Wednesday night, and when we woke up Thursday morning there was snow in the hills behind us!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Not warm enough!

We specifically came down to the coast because of a cold front coming through southern Spain. Well it's cold down on the coast too, but not as cold as it is where we were inland!

The huge empty lot where we are parked for two nights becomes a temporary market on Wednesdays. We heard them getting set up before we even got out of bed!

Spain isn't Canada

Of course every country is unique.  Food, culture, scenery, prices, and languages. There’s something so special about each one.

One thing I find interesting about Spain is how old it is. Of course, every country on earth is old, but the culture is so old. Canada still retains a taste of the wild, of being a new country brought out of timber and mountains by settlers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Back at the coast to meet up with good friends!

It's certainly warmer down here at the coast, but we feel like we're not really in Spain any more! At this time of year there are more British people here than Spanish people! And most of the signage at the local businesses is in English.

So yesterday we drove down from the hills to the coast. We weren't originally planning on coming down here yet, but there's a cold front coming through and even here at the coast it's going to be a chilly high of 10C (50F) and overcast.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

We cant get enough of this town. I think we could live there!

The reason we hung around another day at Doña Mencía was because we had seen a marked trail that went up into the park behind the village of Zuheros.

So Ruth packed us a lunch, and we drove Louis over to the trailhead at the base of the town.

Monday, January 16, 2017

5 mile hike to a 9th century castle

Before we left Ubeda, there was one thing we wanted to do. And that was to visit the Sinagoga Del Agua. (Synagogue of the Water).

We like history and this one included some Jewish history, with quite a fascinating story. Back in 2007, a property developer had bought a series of buildings in the historic center of Ubeda, and was going to develop them into apartments, shops, and parking.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A beautiful day exploring Ubeda, Spain.

Yesterday morning's project was to hook up our new inverter.

Louis isn't really really set up for boondocking (wild camping) the way we like to. They have a single marine style deep cycle 12v battery for the house, and of course a normal vehicle battery for the engine.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

First time emptying the tanks...

Everybody knows that the least fun part of the motorhome lifestyle is emptying the holding tanks. Well over here in Europe, it's even less fun! First of all, no campgrounds or aires (we explained yesterday what an aire is) have sewer hookups. And the motorhomes all have cassette style of toilets. So there is no "black" holding tank. Simply a small cassette that removes from the bottom of the toilet via an outside compartment.

We do have a "grey" water holding tank. It's actually larger than I expected, and it's located under the frame at the rear of the motorhome.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Free overnight motorhome parking...what a great concept!

There is a great system of free motorhome parking in Europe. The "Aire" system began in France, and has slowly expanded throughout Europe, and even into the UK.

The word "aire" means area in French. These free motorhome stopovers are called "Aire de Service Camping Cars" in France. Now, they are commonly called "Aires", even though there are different words for them in Germany, and Italy for example.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Boondocking in Spain again...never saw another vehicle the whole time

When we were up at the castle the day  before, we had seen a dam in the distance. So when we woke up yesterday morning, we drove over there thinking there might be a park or something. There wasn't, but there was a level parking area so we stopped there for breakfast.

It was a really pretty dam though!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

No idea where we'll end up tonight, just the way we like it!

No problems our first night in the motorhome. It doesn't get light until  almost 8:00am here in southern Spain, so we find ourselves sleeping in a little bit. Plus, we don't put any heat on, so it's a little chilly inside the motorhome at that hour as well. Putting the burner on to boil some water warms up this small space pretty easily though.

Speaking of chilly, there was a strong wind when we woke up. And we were heading up into higher altitudes with an expected daytime high of only about 13C (55F).

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Our first night boondocking in Spain!

We moved all of our stuff into Louis the motorhome yesterday morning. Not that we have that much stuff...we actually have very little stuff! One trip for our bags, and then another trip for the food.

Did a walkaround inspection, then hopped in the driver's seat and turned the key. Louis has a 4 cylinder diesel engine, and it fired right up...he was raring to go!

Monday, January 9, 2017

We're hitting the road this morning!

Holy cow, we slept in yesterday morning. It was after 8:30am when we woke up! That sure doesn't happen very often.

Did lots of online research yesterday morning because when we hit the road we won't have an unlimited source of internet any more. We'll have to make do with our cellular internet most of the time. And even though it's much cheaper than Canada, we still want to be frugal with our usage.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Our home for the next two months...

Yesterday was a gorgeous sunny day, with the temperature around 17C (63F) and no wind to speak of. We relaxed for much of the morning and made ourselves a nice ham and egg breakfast before heading out on foot to explore.

The apartment we're staying in is located about a five minute walk from the beach.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

A very smooth travel day...and we met Louis!

Yesterday was a travel day, but because we pre-planned a lot, everything went smoothly.

Our motorhome exchange friends Tana and Graham live in Torrevieja, Spain. They are an expat British couple who have an apartment in Torrevieja, but also a small motorhome. For anybody new here at Travel with Kevin and Ruth, they came to Canada to use our motorhome back in June and July of last year. Now, we get to use their motorhome for a couple of months here in Spain and Portugal.

Our best option to get to Spain originally was to fly to Barcelona. But then, we had to make our way from Barcelona to Torrevieja, a distance of about 570 kms (353 miles).

Friday, January 6, 2017

Barcelona was great!

Hopped on the train again to downtown Barcelona yesterday morning.

The T-10 metro transportation pass has really been handy for us. For €9.95 ($14.50 CAD, $10.50 USD) you get 10 trips on the local transportation, and it includes the airport train. Our ten trips are used up as of our return trip yesterday but we'll be back in Barcelona for a night in April, so we'll buy another T-10 pass today and use the balance when we return.

We headed to the main downtown market, the Mercado de la Boqueria.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mystery solved!

Yesterday, we hopped on the train to downtown Barcelona. It's only about 20 minutes from where we are staying here at Badalona. We only have to take the one train from Badalona station to the Clot-Arago station at a cost of 1 euro ($1.45 CAD, $1.10 USD) each and then we could walk from there.

And walk we did! Whether it be London, New York, or Cape Town, we've learned that the only way to see a city is to walk it.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Well, the day didn't exactly go as planned.

We were wanting to go for a hike in the hills overlooking Badalona. First, we slept in. It never occurred to us to set the alarm. But there is a room darkening blind on the window, and even at 8:30am it was black as can be inside the room. That, combined with a lack of sleep on the plane the night before, meant that it would be easy to lose track of time.

So it was close to 9am when we actually got out of bed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I think we're really going to like Spain!

Went for a walk yesterday afternoon just to explore the area a little bit. The beach here in Badalona (just up the coast from Barcelona) is beautiful, but it's off season and of course it's not really beach weather, so there aren't many people out. We found a grocery store with lots of selection, and an especially good gluten free food section. It looks like it will be much easier for us to shop and eat here than when we were in Romania in November.

Monday, January 2, 2017

We are in Barcelona, Spain!

And we're a little tired. But, we are sooooo happy to be here. We're pretty much right on the beach in a suburb of Barcelona called Badalona. But, it's only 20 minutes on the train to get downtown. And the temperature is a very comfortable 15C (60F) and the sun is shining and there is no wind.

In short...it's beautiful!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year! And, expense report...

A new year is like a blank book, and the pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. 

Happy New Year to all of our readers! We certainly plan on writing a beautiful story for ourselves this year, and it starts today, because we get on a plane to Barcelona, Spain this evening! What a great way to start the new year!

We hope you follow along with us every day. It's going to be exciting as we start our two month European motorhome adventure on January 6th!