Four wheel drive adventure in the Sahara Desert, Mauritania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Chinguetti, Mauritania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Back to Morocco on January 31st.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

December Expenses and 2022 Expenses Review

We had a budget of $1,600 CAD ($1,180 USD) for the month of December and how much did we spend? 

We spent $1,598 CAD! I don't think we've ever come that close to being right on the money as far as our projected expenses for the month go. Of course you couldn't come much closer if you tried. So, we're pretty happy with the way we ended off the year, from a budget perspective.

Exploring Guadix, Spain

We got up and did some driving right at sunrise. It was only a half hour or so to Guadix on the main highway, so we figured that by the time we got there the sun would be high enough to keep us warm. Daytime temperatures inland are pleasant with the sunshine, but it's chilly enough overnight and it takes a while for things to warm up.

One of the reasons we came to Guadix is to match up another of my dad's photographs from his trip here in 1954.

Friday, December 30, 2022

2022 Year in Review

2022 was a good year for us!

We spent a lot of time touring in Max, in fact we pretty much lived in Max for about nine months of the year. And we had a really good vacation back to Canada that included four provinces.

We warmed up soon enough due to the exercise

Had to put the furnace on again yesterday morning. It was a little chilly due to the altitude. And although it was a beautiful spot, I knew that we wouldn't see any sun until about 11:00am because there was a big mountain ridge blocking it. But we had stayed there overnight anyhow because we wanted to do a hike before we left.

Once the sun appeared, we set off up the mountain behind us.

Thursday, December 29, 2022

So nice to not have much of a schedule to keep.

We had showers and used the dump and fill facilities at the free motorhome aire in Casas Nuevas. We were in no rush, and we didn't get going until after 11:00am. Then we set off on the backroads heading southwest.

Not going far, and if we saw something worth stopping at then we would. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Out for dinner in rural Spain

Just a relaxing day yesterday. Of course we did get out for a short walk in the afternoon just to stretch our legs. 

Along the way, we stopped in at the local pub to check and see if we could go for dinner. Turns out they close at 6:00pm, so we went for a very early dinner!

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

I think today will be a day of rest!

We were due for some exercise, so we set off walking directly from the motorhome aire and into Sierra Espuna Regional Park. 

Not much in the way of actual marked trails, but I saw a circular route on the map that looked like it might be a trail. Most of it turned out to be a gravel road, but we did almost 14 kms (9 miles) and never saw a vehicle.

Monday, December 26, 2022

We had a great Christmas Day!

After hot drinks and breakfast we got out fairly early for a hike before things warmed up too much. In fact, we needed our sweaters for the first part because it was only 12C (54F) and there was a cool breeze. But there was a lot of blue sky and sunshine.

And, we were headed uphill so it didn't take long for us to warm up.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas from Spain!

I was looking back at where we have been the past few years on Christmas morning. Last year we were in Greece, and Christmas day 2020 we were at the hospital in Antalya, Turkiye having eye surgery! 2019 and 2018 we were at different places in Mexico. 2017 in Texas, and 2016 we had returned to Canada for Christmas in the cold. 

This year, we are parked beside an orange grove in Ulea, Spain.

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Palm trees and sunshine

Seems most of Canada and the U.S. are experiencing a major blast of winter for this Christmas weekend. Most have either snowing or ridiculously cold, or both. Friends in British Columbia just went through an icy deep freeze. It was -40C (-40F) at the park we used to work at in Cabri, SK. And our home town of Ottawa is having a major winter blizzard. Our daughter in Nova Scotia is doing well though with a high of 10C (50F) yesterday!

Not meaning to rub it in, but here in southern Spain, we are having our best weather yet. Palm trees and sunshine and a high of 24C (75F).

Friday, December 23, 2022

The sky was on fire!

We had a nice relaxing day yesterday. Max took a day off from driving, and he just sat in the desert enjoying the sunshine and blue sky. Ruth and I did get out for a walk though, just to explore the area and see some of the desert scenery.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Wild camping (boondocking) in the desert

When we read about how crowded it is on the south coast with free camping van and motorhome people, we are glad that we are not beach people! We are only about 50 kms inland from the coast, and not another van in sight.

Funny enough, we've been in Spain for almost three weeks now, and while we've been following the coast south we have yet to walk on a beach.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Steep hike to a cave

With nice weather in the forecast, we decided to head to higher elevation to do some hiking. There is a recreation park only about 10 kms (6 miles) from Castalla called Sierra del Maigmo and I had read of an area where we could park overnight.

The road up was steep in places, with signs warning of a 20% grade. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

We got up there, but nobody was home!

Got an email back yesterday confirming our vehicle insurance for Morocco. We're under a new insurer this year and when I had read the paperwork I had noticed that insurance was only valid in Morocco "with prior approval of the insurance company".

In Europe, you're generally covered for all of the typical European countries. But depending on the insurer there can be exclusions. In our case, we need to get prior approval for Tunisia, Serbia, Montenegro, Moldova, Bosnia,... and Morocco.

Monday, December 19, 2022

It's all a bit unorganized

Woke up Sunday morning at the cemetery outside of Bocairent. Peaceful night, even with three other motorhomes parked nearby. But the cemetery soon got busy. We would have thought that people would be in church Sunday morning, but I guess some of them visit their dead relatives on a Sunday morning. At one point, we didn't think we were going to be able to get out of the parking lot.

We left at about 10:30am. Not headed very far though. I love short driving days!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

We did lots of exploring yesterday

The weather guessers didn't do a very good job yesterday. We were supposed to have sunshine with cloudy breaks, but it was more the other way around. Cloudy, with sunny breaks. And we even had some rain drops in the morning. Oh well. 

But, when the rain had passed, we got out and did some exploring. Twice!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Back into the mountains

Because it's a little warmer, most people stick to the coast in the southern area of Spain. And that's totally logical. But boy, we sure do enjoy the interior more. We find the coast very busy and industrial, and really not that scenic. And if you want free motorhome parking, it's not that easy to come by, and you likely won't be alone.

Yes, there are also a lot of campgrounds along the coast. But they're not cheap, and we remember from past experience when we were here doing a motorhome exchange in 2017 that they can be very crowded, with not much space between sites.

Friday, December 16, 2022

Into the big city of Valencia, Spain

Valencia is a big port city on the east coast of Spain. It's actually a bigger city than I thought it was, with a population of just under 800,000.

Unfortunately the coast of Spain has a reputation for motorhomes and camper vans getting broken into, so you have to be cautious about where you leave them. We have read lots of reviews where people have had problems, so we've decided to take the cautious approach and pay for secure parking when we visit cities.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Glad we stayed put!

It turned out that this area is exactly up our alley, and we're glad we stayed put for another night. Lots of exploring to do on foot... with hiking trails, caves, and waterfalls!

And it turned out to be a nice day as well. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

We headed out, but not very far!

Still dealing with some showers throughout the day yesterday, but at least the temperatures are decent. It's supposed to hit 20C (68F) today, and we no longer have to use the furnace in the evening. Forecast for the next week calls for lots of sunshine, so we are finally into some decent weather.

We said goodbye to hosts Mirella and Bart, and of course Diezel the dog. And we headed out... but not very far!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Back on the road

The rain stopped yesterday morning and we finally made it out for a walk around the neighborhood. The area we are staying is called an "urbanización". There are hundreds of these types of developments in Spain. 

They are essentially private communities, normally located outside of a town with monthly fees that go towards maintenance and public areas. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Through the ages...

We never left the house yesterday. It drizzled with rain the entire day! So rather than show you photos of us at our laptops, or us playing backgammon, we'll take this opportunity to show you some photos that you've never seen before!

We met in March of 1983, and by September of that year we did our first trip together... to England!

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Thinking we might have to put a fire on!

It turned into a beautiful blue sky day with a high of about 17C (63F), but it was really windy which kind of took away from what was otherwise a really nice day.

Our plan was to get out for a walk around the neighborhood in the afternoon, but we just never got to it!

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Arrived at our house sit assignment

We still had a couple of hours to drive to get to our house sit location, and we had to do a big grocery shop along the way. 

I saw a big Mercadona grocery store in the next town only 6 kms away from where we had spent the night, so we decided to go there first and get that done.

Friday, December 9, 2022

What's the plan for this winter?

Yesterday was a bit of a dreary day with rain on and off, although the temperature was warm enough. Things look like they're improved this morning though, with some blue sky peaking through. Tomorrow is supposed to be nice though, with a high of 20C (68F). Not quite shorts and t-shirt weather, but we're getting there.

We did some driving to get closer to our house sitting assignment. Still about two hours to go today, but that's fine because they don't want us to arrive until 4:00pm.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

This ferry is unlike anything you've ever seen before!

We got up and drove as soon as it was light, at about 8am. Where we are right now, sunset is at 5:30pm and sunrise is at 8:10am. 

We weren't going very far... only about 30 kms (18 miles) further inland to a little village near a castle. My thinking was that we would have some breakfast, do some computer work, visit the castle, and then do some more driving after lunch. That's not quite what happened.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Good news!

We left the university parking lot in Tarragona at about 8am. Paid the €5.95 ($8.50 CAD, $6.25 USD) at the automatic pay machine, and that was that. Nice peaceful night. Certainly a reasonable cost for 24 hours of secure parking in the city.

And, Tuesday was the Constitution Day public holiday in Spain. Oddly, Thursday will also be a public holiday. So we need to make sure we stop at a grocery store today because they will be closed tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Busy day in Tarragona, Spain

We did an early drive down to the coastal city of Tarragona and got ourselves parked up in a paid parking area near the university... from there, it's an easy walk to go in and explore the city. We were there just before 9am.

The woman at the parking booth said that it's guarded from 8am to 10pm, but that we could stay overnight at our own risk. There are lots of security cameras as well, and we had read of other motorhomes doing the same thing, so we felt pretty comfortable.

The Top 4 Places for Digital Nomads to Live in Post-COVID

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live and work. For many of us, working from home has become the new normal. And for some of us, that's not such a bad thing. 

If you've been itching to get out of the city and set up shop in a more peaceful, remote location, now is the time to do it. Check out our list of the top 7 places for digital nomads to live post-COVID.

Monday, December 5, 2022

The medieval town of Montblanc, Spain

The weather turned out better than forecast, so we decided to stay in Montblanc a second night. This would allow us to go for a walk around the town and see what there is to see.

Montblanc is a fortified medieval town. People have been living here since around 1100... almost a thousand years!

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Grocery shopping in Spain

We woke up at our gorgeous overnight spot and it was cold. -4C (25F), to be exact. I had Max's furnace set for 12C (54F) overnight, so we were comfortable enough sleeping. 

But rather than use up more propane to warm things up, we decided to drive back down to the motorhome area and empty our tanks and do some driving and let the engine heat warm us up.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

A perfect overnight spot

There was clear blue sky, but it sure did take a while for things to warm up in the morning. The sun didn't come over the mountains until after 9am, and even then it took a while. 

But, we bundled up and set out on a nice hike up to some pools of water that are a popular swimming area during the summer.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Welcome to Spain!

Spain is not a new country for us. We were first in Spain in 2007 as part of a Portugal visit with Helen and Tony. Then again in early 2017 when we were here for two months doing a motorhome exchange.

This time, we plan to be here for between five and six weeks as we make out way slowly across the south of the country towards Gibraltar on our way to Morocco sometime between January 5th and 10th.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Welcome to Andorra... country number 57

Andorra is a tiny country located high up in the Pyrenees Mountains on the border between France and Spain. It is the 17th smallest country in the world. 

We came here simply to add another country to our country list. It's not really a place you would make an effort to visit unless you're an enthusiastic skier in the winter, or hiker in the summer. So we figured that since we were so close anyhow, now was the time to go!