View from our hike near Beauregard-Baret, France.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Saint-Côme-et-Maruéjols, France.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Towards Andorra.

Friday, November 12, 2021

This lifestyle is not for everyone

Katja and Yves came over to say goodbye. We had given them some tips for what to see on their way south through Albania, and they had given us some tips on our planned trip to Norway next summer because they had spent a lot of time there this year.

And then they gave us a tour of their rig.

They outfitted it themselves over the course of about two years. It's all electric, with 600 Watts of solar, and lithium batteries.

Yves and Katja.

They keep an active Instagram account at Thunder Panda Adventures

The interior.

It's really quite spacious!

It also has a diesel heater which is something we'd be interested in looking into once we get back to Germany next summer. They also have a neat water filtration system.

One of the things we talked about is how the pandemic convinced many people to try out RV travel. The conversation progressed around to the fact that van life overland travel is not for everyone, and that many people would probably tire of it fairly quickly. Of course doing it on a full time basis isn't all roses and sunshine.

You can't own very many clothes. You wear them for more days in a row than you would like to publicly admit. You're always on the lookout for a washing machine, and constantly aware of the next time you might need to empty your tanks, or fill with fresh water. Many overland travelers don't have a fridge freezer the size of Max's and so they have to shop for food almost every day. You're always watching the weather forecast where you are, and at the places along your route. You have to conserve your water, electricity, and waste. 

Of course staying in campgrounds all the time can reduce your worry about some of these things, and that's fine if your budget allows it. But otherwise, you're always on the lookout for where you might stay next, and if you're going to be okay to overnight there.

It's always interesting to meet fellow travelers and learn a little from them.

They set off, and hopefully we will bump into them again in Turkey.

We had a little running around to do yesterday, so we walked into town looking for a Vodafone cell store so we could buy an Albanian SIM card. Katja and Yves had bought one the day before and we got the same deal. 20 GB of data with some local calling and text messaging, for 1,500 lek ($17.75 CAD, $14 USD, €12.25) valid for 21 days. Then, the girl told us that if we download the Vodafone app to keep track of our usage, we would get another 10 GB data bonus. Sure enough, that's exactly what happened. So, we have lots of data available for the next three weeks in Albania.

Then we stopped in to get some fruits and veggies...

Ruth, doing some fruit and veggie shopping.

We forgot to take a photo of our haul. We bought leaf lettuce, spinach, a couple of peppers, six on the vine tomatoes, a bunch of carrots, a cucumber, and a lemon for a total of 250 lek ($2.95 CAD, $2.35 USD, €2.05). Then at another stall we bought a bunch of green grapes for 140 lek ($1.65 CAD, $1.30 USD, €1.15).

Then we stopped in at the Big Market grocery chain store to pick up a few other things. They have a nice Italian wine that we like that comes in a 3 liter plastic bottle. Yes, nothing but the best for us! But, it's drinkable wine and we like it. It costs 499 lek ($5.85 CAD, $4.65 USD, €4).

And then we relaxed for the rest of the afternoon. I even had a short nap before we played a few rounds of backgammon.

We are moving on today... heading to the coast where we plan to find a spot on the beach.

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And in Canada...


  1. Wow, great prices all-around. I took a few minutes on my WM app and the produce, approximating weights would cost roughly $17! Plus, yours is much fresher, I'm sure.

    1. Wow, that is just crazy! And then they wonder why people don't eat good nutritious food, at those prices it is really difficult to when you are on a limited budget! If I remember correctly the prices are even cheaper in Turkey for the fresh produce. :-)

  2. Looks like I am going to have to move to Albania when I retire!

    1. We certainly wouldn't hesitate to move here. When we were here in the spring we said that so far in our travels the two top places we could easily live would be Mexico or Albania but that could still change because we are always looking to see if there is anywhere better as we travel along. :-)


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