13th century Cahir Castle in Cahir, Ireland.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Dublin, Ireland.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Stamullen, Ireland!

Saturday, May 27, 2023

We've been so lucky here in Ireland!

One of the benefits of staying in this fancy hotel is that we get a full breakfast included. And I mean full... it's done buffet style, but there is a large selection of items. We had stayed up fairly late the night before, so we slept in a bit and went for breakfast about 9:30am.

And we ate so much for breakfast that we didn't need any lunch!

Friday, May 26, 2023

A wedding story...

We got up and drove again Thursday morning... about two hours on the motorway to the outskirts of Dublin to a town called Leixlip.

We're staying at the Leixlip Manor Hotel. A fancy place! Not the type of accommodation we would normally stay at, but we're here for a wedding. Let me tell you the story of how this came to be...

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Cahir Castle and the Swiss Cottage

We got into Cahir early, well before any of the shops were open, and we found a perfect parking spot right in town beside the river. 

We're finding that because most motorhomes end up on the coast, there are very few inland. Actually, it makes us want to rethink some of our routing because although the coast is beautiful, there is a lot to see inland as well. 

Italy by Train: Tips for an Unforgettable Trip!

Italy is a country rich in history, art, gastronomy, and breathtaking landscapes. One of the best ways to explore all that Italy has to offer is by traveling by train. With an extensive railway network, the country provides a convenient and captivating experience for travelers. Italy is located in southern Europe, with a peninsula extending into the Mediterranean Sea. It boasts an impressive diversity of landscapes, from the Alps mountains to the beautiful beaches of the Amalfi Coast. Italian art is also world-famous, with artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli leaving a lasting legacy. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Heading towards Dublin

It's pretty slow going on the backroads of Ireland. But once you get on the motorway, you can cover ground quickly, and you soon realize that Ireland is actually a pretty small country.

So, we had to make our way to the motorway, and that meant going to the city of either Cork or Limerick. For no particular reason, we decided on Cork.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Our wedding wardrobes are coming together

Up and on the road at 6:30am again to beat the traffic. Not a long drive, just about 40 minutes from our peaceful overnight spot at the cemetery to the Westlodge Hotel Motorhome Park.

Campgrounds in Ireland are pricey enough... usually ranging anywhere from €20 to €40 a night. We would rarely have the need or desire to stay in a place like that. But there is the occasional dedicated motorhome parking area that is €10 ($15 CAD, $11 USD) a night and has a service area to empty your holding tanks and fill your fresh water tank. If we can't find a free place to do those chores, then this is the next best thing.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Fantastic hike out to Dunlough Castle, and two good deeds for the day...

We had been in the very touristy visitors center at Mizen Head on Friday and decided that we didn't want to spend the €7.50 each for the tourist experience out across the bridge. We knew there had to be a nice coastal walk in the area that didn't cost, and yet was a similar experience. And we were right!

Just as we were leaving the parking lot, we met a guy riding a bicycle and asked if we was from the area. Sure enough, he lived just 20 kms or so away. We told him what we were looking for, and he was quick to come up with "Oh, you have to go out to Dunlough Castle!"

Exploring British Columbia's Hidden Gems: A Traveler's Guide

British Columbia, Canada, is a land of breathtaking natural beauty, boasting an array of magnificent landscapes, from rugged coastlines to towering mountains. Nestled in the westernmost part of the country, this province offers a myriad of unforgettable experiences for travelers. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or a culture seeker, British Columbia has something for everyone. In this article, we'll unveil some of the best places to visit in BC, allowing you to embark on an adventure like no other.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Mizen Head, the most southwestern point in Ireland

We were up and on the road early Saturday morning. Sunrise is now just after 5:30am, so we can easily start driving when we get up at 6:30am. The narrow Irish roads are much more enjoyable at that hour when there's not much traffic on them!

We were headed for Mizen Head, the most southwestern point in Ireland. 

Saturday, May 20, 2023

We needed some wedding clothes!

It's just about time for us to head up towards Dublin. We are going to a wedding on May 25th in a town called Leixlip that is located just 20 kms or so west of the center of Dublin. We're going to stay in the nice hotel where the wedding is taking place for two nights, so it'll be like a little mini vacation for us!

Before we left Kilbrittain, we went for a nice trail walk through the woods into the village.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Another beautiful coastal hike

We sat by the sea and had our hot drinks and breakfast, then headed off on a hike to the Old Head of Kinsale lighthouse. 

Once again, a beautiful morning, but we could see some clouds rolling in and they were calling for the wind to pick up.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Parked for free by the sea

We haven't been driving very far each day, but sometimes it's nice to take a break and not drive at all. So we decided to stay put in the parking lot near Kinsale. Not the most scenic overnight spot, but it was quiet at night and there was still a walk we wanted to do on the other side of Kinsale.

We wandered around a bit before lunch, then went back to Max for lunch, then the longer walk after lunch.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Our route map so far

We've been in Ireland for about 8 days and we're only 219 kms (136 miles) from where we started. But we've driven 330 kms (205 miles) since we arrived. There's so much to see, and we haven't been taking a very direct route.

Yesterday, we headed up to the busy town of Midleton, then decided to skip the city of Cork. Friends had been there recently, and said that while it's pleasant enough, we like the smaller towns better. We'll be getting enough city when we visit Dublin later this month.

5 Things To Do On Mauritian Waters

Mauritius, which is a subtropical island off the coast of East Africa, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Not only does it have a beautiful natural environment, as well as a multi-ethnic and culturally diverse population, but it is also home to some of the best water sport activities in the world.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Driving a motorhome in Ireland is not for the faint of heart

Our free Sunday parking in Youghal was over by 9:00am Monday morning, so that's when we left. But boy, was it ever busy getting through town at that hour... due to the school kids being dropped off by the excessive number of buses and cars. I guess nobody walks to school anymore.

We were headed to the coastal village of Ballycotton where I had read that there is a coastal cliff walk. The only problem was getting there unscathed!

Monday, May 15, 2023

It all comes out in the wash, as they say.

They were calling for an overcast day with rain, so we figured it was a good time to find a laundromat. Here in Ireland they have over 500 locations with a Revolution Laundry. They are located at some fuel stations, and in the parking lot of some grocery stores. 

They're convenient... but very expensive. The only problem is that there aren't many other options.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

A beautiful day in Dungarvan, Ireland

We hit the road early again and arrived at our destination at the seaside town of Dungarvan before 8:30am. 

There is a popular paid motorhome parking area here that has dump and fill facilities and a nice view facing the water. We wanted to arrive early to try and secure a spot. We were almost too early!

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Who doesn't love Ireland?

We went for a wander around the village of Inistioge, and ended up getting sidetracked onto a beautiful four km walk that led up to a castle ruins with a view of the village.

And, we're really lucking out with the Irish weather. We had set our expectations low, as we always try to do, so when it turns out better than expected, we're very happy! 

Friday, May 12, 2023

Shaking hands with President Kennedy

There's a big Tesco superstore on the outskirts of the town of New Ross, and we needed to pick up some groceries. So we headed there first thing.

This gave us our first real look at grocery prices in Ireland. It's far cheaper here than Canada, in fact we think that groceries here might be cheaper than in Spain! If you're a drinker though, you'll make up for it in alcohol prices, which are similar to Canada. Maybe even a little higher.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

At this rate, two months in Ireland won't be enough!

This is our third day in Ireland, and we're exactly 50 kms (30 miles) from where we arrived at Rosslare Harbour. There's so much to see, packed into a fairly small country. Ireland is about the same size as the state of Indiana. Or from a Canadian perspective, the province of Ontario is 15 times larger than Ireland!

The population of the entire island is just over 7 million, with 2 million in the north, and 5 million in the south. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

We think we're going to like Ireland!

If the first day is any indication, we think we're going to like Ireland! 

We did get a few drops of rain at various times throughout the day, but not enough to stop us from getting out to do things. More sunshine than we expected, and the temperature was a pleasant 17C (63F).

And wait till you see our overnight spot! Now, this was what we had visions of!

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Welcome to Ireland, country number 59 for us!

It's hard to believe we've never been to Ireland. I was traveling with our son once, back in 2003 where we had a flight stopover in Dublin, but we never left the plane so of course it doesn't count. It's always been on our list though, and exploring it by motorhome seems to be the best way to do it!

When we left you in yesterday's post, it was morning on the ferry and we were about to sit down to breakfast...

Monday, May 8, 2023

Reporting to you direct from the ferry!

So, here we are out in the middle of the sea and able to communicate with you all. Amazing! And even more amazing is that we get an hour and a half of satellite internet included in our fare. The internet access is per device so each phone/laptop/tablet gets it's own hour and a half. Plus, it resets at midnight, so you get another hour and a half the next day... per device. And, we figured out that if we only connect with one laptop, you can hotspot off that laptop to the other one, essentially doubling your hour and a half!

The burning question on everyone's mind must be... did we have problems exiting Spain and the Schengen zone?

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Next stop, Ireland!

We board the ferry in three hours for a scheduled 28 hour trip from Spain to Ireland. I think this will be the longest that I've ever been on a boat. The last longest time was when we took Sherman from La Paz to Mazatlan in Mexico. That ferry ride was 17 hours. 

Ruth has been on a cruise ship before, when she did a party cruise with her work from Tampa Bay to Cozumel back in the 1990's. But I've never been on a cruise.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

It turns out we can fly direct from Paris to Ottawa!

Kind of a quiet day yesterday. We drove about 15 kms (8 miles) to the town of Mimetiz and parked in the dedicated motorhome area. Walked in to pick up some groceries. Had a nap. Played some cards and backgammon. Did a 5 km (3 mile) power walk after dinner.

And, checked out some onward travel.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Two sleeps to go!

The last month has gone by quickly for us! Although we've been enjoying Spain, we've been looking forward to Ireland. 

It's going to be kind of odd.. we haven't been in an English speaking country since we left England at the beginning of October. Seven months of having to check Google Translate if you want to ask a question! Not so much here in Spain because we can get by with the language, but you get my point.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

We always seem to get sidetracked!

I don't think we told you that we've signed up for another house sit through Trusted Housesitters. This time, we'll be just north of Dublin on a 300 acre farm for five days looking after Juno the dog from June 2nd to the 7th.

We will be at a wedding west of Dublin near the end of May, so we'll be in the area anyhow. Looking forward to getting our doggie fix, and of course lots of walks in what looks to be a beautiful area.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

The pretty little town of Lierganes

We got up at 7:00am and drove right away to try and avoid any traffic issues around Santander. And we were pretty successful, although it was still busy enough.

We weren't going far... only to the town of Lierganes about 35 kms (22 miles) away.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Beautiful spot, but not so great when the wind picks up!

Monday was a beautiful blue sky day, but the wind picked up as the day went on.

We went for a hike late morning heading west along the coast. Quite a few other people out enjoying the day as Monday was also a public holiday here.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Beautiful overnight spot with a view of the sea

It started out overcast, and we even felt a few drops of rain when we were out on our hike, but by afternoon it had turned into a beautiful day.

We're parked up on top of a cliff with a beautiful view of the sea, and are able to watch the ships coming in and out of Santander harbor. It's actually amazing that this quiet spot exists so close to the city.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

April Expenses - pretty much on budget!

The month of April took us from Seville to the northern coast of Spain. It was actually a great month. And, we fully expected it to be a fairly inexpensive month. At the end of March, I mentioned that our planned budget for April was $1,380 CAD ($1,018 USD).

That's not very much money nowadays, and while we were ambitious with that goal, we came pretty close!

Max almost got hit! I had to lean on the horn...

Saturday was another dull overcast day. Supposed to be like that again today, but clearing on Monday. Many of you might be hearing on the news how hot it is in Spain, but that's really only south of Madrid. Here in the north, it's actually about normal, with today's high forecast to be 17C (63F).

And we're quite fine with that. And even though it was overcast, it didn't rain on us so we went out with Linda and Steven to do some more exploring of Santander.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Wandering around Santander, Spain

We walked into Santander with Linda and Steven yesterday. It's a bigger city than I thought it was, with a population of about 180,000. 

Interesting that Santander has no medieval central area, despite having a history dating back to the 12th century. That's because there was a massive fire in 1941 that totally destroyed the center of the city.

Friday, April 28, 2023

A nice hike, then into the city of Santander

We really liked the area around the Erbo River Valley, so we wanted to do one more hike before we left. But we still had some driving to do as well because we were meeting Steven and Linda in Santander later in the day.

We set off at 10:00am planning to do a 10 km (6 mile) return trip to a viewpoint. But we changed plans once we were at the top, and made it into a circular route that ended up being 13 kms (8 miles)!

Thursday, April 27, 2023

What a cool little village!

Had a nice peaceful night by the castle just north of Burgos. Then we headed further north towards Santander along a route recommended by friends Glen and Steve who had done it within the last couple of years. 

There's a little village called Orbaneja del Castillo that is nestled on the side of a canyon formed by the Ebro River. What a cool little village!

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

A quick stop into Burgos for another photo match up

Some of you were curious as to what it was that brought my father to Europe. He did two trips, one in 1954, and one in 1957. I'll tell the story based on my memory of events, although I might get some figures wrong. I should probably ask my mother for clarification if she remembers, but here it goes...

His mother (my paternal grandmother) came from the northern part of Czech Republic, close to the German border. She arrived in Canada by herself sometime in the late 1920's, met my grandfather, and my father was the first born (in 1929) of six children. I think the fact that his mother was from Europe probably instigated some of his ambition to see that part of the world.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Another photo match, and another fantastic overnight spot

Headed a little closer to Burgos yesterday. Made a stop along the way to see the town of Tordesillas and to match up one of my dad's photos there. Then carried on to bypass the city of  Valladolid and found a great overnight spot just east of Palencia.

So, first stop was in Tordesillas. The main road goes right by the single photo that Dad took there.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Planning for Ireland

We do the 30 hour ferry crossing to Ireland in two weeks... May 7th, to be exact. So we've been doing some planning. We're going to be there for probably two months, although we've got some flexibility. If we want to stay longer, we certainly can. From there, we'll go to either Scotland or Wales. We haven't decided yet, and it can be a last minute decision depending on how long we stay in Ireland.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

The cheapest fuel in Spain!

We actually had a fair bit of rain on Friday night! Haven't heard that noise on Max's roof in a long time. I think we had a few drops the last night we were in Morocco, but that was just spitting. This time it came down fairly hard for a few hours.

But at least it was overnight, and by the time we got ready to walk back into Salamanca it was clearing up.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Salamanca is worth a visit!

We are parked just over 3 kms (2 miles) from the city center of Salamanca. We set off at 10:30am to walk downtown, do some exploring, and try to match up three more of my dad's photos.

The first one was taken from the south side of the Tormes River looking towards the cathedral.

Friday, April 21, 2023

An update on our Schengen visa problem

First off, some of you may have missed yesterday's post due to a technical error. The problem is now solved, so if you didn't see it yesterday, you can read it here now...

Yesterday, we drove the rest of the way to Salamanca. When we arrived, we got sidetracked by a big Walmart style store, and Ruth needed some new walking shoes and a few other things. So we went and did some shopping. 

Thursday, April 20, 2023

The walled city of Avila, Spain

We left our nice spot by the stream as soon as we got up at 7:30am. It was only a short drive to the small city of Avila, and we were headed to a laundromat that opened at 8:00am. We figured if we got there early, we could get laundry done while having breakfast, then go explore the city.

Found a great parking spot right by the laundry, and close enough to the center that we could walk in.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Police in the middle of the night

Another gorgeous day in Spain. We left Max in his spot by the dirt road, and set off on a morning hike. We didn't really have any plans, but there are so many different trails that we figured we would just choose something and make up our route as we went along.

Didn't really plan on doing 13 kms (8 miles), but that's the way it worked out!

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

A gorgeous free camping spot

Our friends Glen and Steve had told me about a waterfall near the village of Riofrio where there was a difficult to access, but beautiful overnight spot. 

It turned out that we couldn't access it all, but we found an even better spot nearby!

Monday, April 17, 2023

Drive through the mountains

Sunday was a day of rest, but we did do a 50 km (30 mile) drive through a mountain pass just for a change of scenery. I had read of a couple of vans that had done the drive, but no motorhomes. The only problem would be the width of having to pass someone coming the other way.

And it was only 50 kms (30 miles) but it took an hour.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

We hiked 19 kms (12 miles) to see a tree!

And of course we saw thousands of trees along the way, but this one tree is special.

It always makes a hike better when there is a destination of some kind... a waterfall, a cave, or maybe a viewpoint. But I'm not sure we've ever done a hike to see a tree!

Saturday, April 15, 2023

We finally made it into the mountains!

Mostly cloudy yesterday as we made or way into the mountains west of Madrid. We ended up at the town of La Adrada where they have a motorhome service area to empty and fill our tanks, and somewhere to park for the night.

The parking isn't ideal, it's in a kind of a residential area. But the area surrounding the town has so many hiking trails and walks that we can do that without having to drive anywhere that we'll probably stay put for another night.

Friday, April 14, 2023

Sidetracked by a castle

Our original intention was to get into the mountains for some nature and peace and quiet after having spent too much time in cities. But we stopped for lunch in the town of Escalona, and decided to spend the night.

But along the way, we stopped in the town of Torrijos to do some shopping. They had a Lidl and a Mercadona right beside each other with easy parking for a motorhome.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Photo matching in Toledo, Spain

For those of you new here, my father had done two extended trips to Europe in the 1950's, one in 1954, and one in 1957. He took a lot of photos in slide format, and Ruth has digitized them and we have them on our laptops. So when we are in the same place as he was, we try to match up some of those photos by standing in the exact same spot that he might have stood almost 70 years ago.

We were pretty successful in this exercise here in Toledo, Spain yesterday!

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

We're actually a little ahead of schedule

Yesterday. we did the drive to the small city of Toledo, located just south of the big city of Madrid. We don't have to be at the ferry port in Bilbao until May 6 which is still three and a half weeks away.

So we're actually a little ahead of schedule. If we drove directly there, we're only 500 kms (300 miles) or so from Bilbao, but we've got quite a lot of things to see along the way, plus we're going to do some zig zagging to get up there. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Castle and windmills in Consuegra, Spain.

There's been an odd haze in the air the last couple of days. It's the Sahara dust again that finds it's way drifting across the south of Spain a few times per year. It was pretty bad yesterday morning, but seemed to clear up a bit by the end of the day, and this morning it seems we have our nice blue sky back again.

We went for a short walk before we left the hill behind Piedrabuena, then headed for the town of Consuegra.

Monday, April 10, 2023

A visit from the park rangers...

We had a totally peaceful night, and woke up to see that all of the crowds of people had disappeared. Surprisingly, very little trash left behind despite the fact that there are no trash bins. 

I went for a walk around to see which spot by the river looked easiest to get Max moved to. Such a nice spot, and a few walks we could do in the area so we planned to stay a least one more night, possibly two.

Sunday, April 9, 2023

We arrived and it was busy with crowds of people picnicking!

We tried to get an early start. We went to the laundry in Pozoblanco first thing. In fact, we were there by 8:30am, and we found a parking spot right out front. It was kind of odd because it was on a residential street. I should have taken a photo. Only two washing machines, and one dryer. Everything really clean. Half an hour to wash, and the machine automatically supplies the soap. Then twenty minutes to dry. 

From there, we went to the Mercadona grocery store.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

We haven't got very far!

Not that we're in a rush. But since we arrived back in Spain it kinda feels like we haven't got very far. I've included a map for you below. We don't need to be at the northern coast for our ferry until May 7th, so we've got another month or so yet.

And it was just a short drive yesterday as we made our way to the town of Pozoblanco. 

Friday, April 7, 2023

Back in the countryside

We enjoyed our four days in Cordoba, and our three days in Seville before that, but after all of that city time we were overdue for some countryside!

Thursday, Friday, and Sunday are all national public holidays here in Spain. The main road leading north from Cordoba was pretty busy, so we were happy to get onto a quiet side road.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Andalusian Horse Equestrian Show in Cordoba

We had bought tickets online to the Wednesday evening Andalusian Horse Equestrian Show at the Royal Stables in Cordoba. There were two choices of tickets... regular and premium.

My mother gives us some birthday and Christmas money each year, and we still had some left over from last year. We usually use that money to so something we wouldn't normally do on our travels. So we decided to go to the horse show, and splurged on the premium seating.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Easter in Spain

Semana Santa is the name of the Holy Week celebrations that take place in Spanish speaking countries. It's a big deal in many communities, and in fact it's a big tourist draw for some of them as well.

Cordoba, Spain is one of those places where there is a lot going on. We didn't plan to be here during this time, it just happened to be a place we wanted to visit, and coincidentally we arrived here this week. We're really lucky to have a free parking space for Max that's really close to everything that's going on.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

As expected, we're getting the runaround...

One of the main attractions here in Cordoba is the Mosque/Cathedral. 

Originally built as The Great Mosque between the years 785 and 958, it was converted to a Catholic Church in 1236. The current Cathedral, built in the center of the Mosque structure was completed during the 1500's.

Monday, April 3, 2023

From Seville to Cordoba... and Max gets a bath!

It was after 10:30am when we said goodbye to our new friends Lucy and Ben. Sometimes you just know that you'll bump into each other again, you just don't know when or where! 

Anyhow, we weren't in a big rush because Cordoba is less than a two hour drive, and the location we were going is better arrived at later in the day due to car parking from the nearby zoo. I had read that by the end of the day, most of the cars have left and there is more room for the motorhomes.

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Another day wandering beautiful Seville, Spain

We set off walking with our new friends Lucy and Ben at just before 11:00am. Another gorgeous day here in Seville... sunny skies with a high around 27C (81F).

Heading to the central area, we had to pass right by the beautiful Plaza de Espana on the way, so we couldn't help but go see it again.

March Expenses

March was another expensive month!

We spent a total of $4,987 CAD ($3,689 USD) for the month.

But while we really did spend that much money, it didn't feel that bad because much of the expenses had been paid in previous months. For example, we spent $2,567 CAD ($1,898 USD) on the airfare to fly daughter Lindsey and the grandkids to Morocco and back from their home in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

A visit to the police in Seville

I had read that the motorhome parking area in Seville can get really busy. So we got an early start, hoping to arrive there before noon to give us the best chance to secure a spot. The one we stayed at when we were here in 2017 is now closed, so this is a different spot. 

A little further from the central area, but still walking distance.

Friday, March 31, 2023

Wandering around Arcos de la Frontera, Spain

Another beautiful day, and warm... with a high of about 27C (81F).

We took off around 11:00am for a walk into town. Arcos de la Frontera is an old Moorish town with a history dating back to the 10th century. The geography is really interesting because the older part of town is surrounded on three sides by a river, and steep narrow streets make up the road network. Not motorhome friendly!

Thursday, March 30, 2023

The cave was a little difficult to find!

Searching on google maps for things to do in the area, I found a listing for a hike to a cave. If we're going for a hike, it's always nice to have a destination... usually either a cave, or a waterfall, or a viewpoint.

This cave looked like it might be really interesting, but some of the reviews mentioned that it wasn't easy to find. And that turned out to be true!

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

We figured we might as well have some fun!

The weather is great, highs of about 23C (73F) but it was quite windy. We can see wind power generators in the distance, so perhaps it's windy in general in this area.

Later in the morning we went for a walk around the town of Benalup-Casas Viejas, and to a nearby lookout.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

We love the motorhome aire system in Spain!

Time zones can be very strange. Here in Spain it is light until almost 9:00pm now, which is really nice... but the sun doesn't rise until 8:17am! So we're getting up in the dark. And it makes you not feel like getting up, so when we do, half the morning seems to disappear.

We did mange to get our grocery (and beer and wine!) stocking up done though, and hit the road to a hiking trailhead not far from Algeciras.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Hello Spain!

Yesterday was a day of waiting.

We really didn't do anything other than take an hour and twenty minute boat ride. Yet the whole procedure took all day!

Sunday, March 26, 2023

One last campground in Morocco

Saturday, we drove from the capital city of Rabat to the coast just south of Tangier. We were looking for one last campground to empty Max's tanks, but there wasn't much choice. We would have wanted to see the small coastal city of Asilah, but the two campgrounds located there both got horrible reviews.

So we chose a place about 14 kms north of Asilah and that turned out to be a good decision.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Spent some time planning our route through Spain

Friday was just a nice quiet day. We went for a stroll around the area in the morning, and just did some puttering around in the afternoon and played some backgammon.

Here are some photos from our stroll...

Friday, March 24, 2023

The case of the missing SIM card

Lindsey and the kids came over at 6:00am Thursday morning so that we could drive them the short distance to the airport and then say goodbye.

Lindsey had borrowed an electrical adapter from us so she could keep her phone charged. She had also borrowed one of my two Moroccan SIM cards so that she could be online during their time here. When they arrived, we switched the SIM cards and I put her Canadian one in my wallet, where I have always kept various SIM cards when we travel to different countries.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

On our own again

Lindsey and the kids took a taxi from their guesthouse in central Morocco to meet us at Max where we were parked near the shopping mall. There was one more thing they needed to do before leaving Marrakech... ride a camel!

Our desert camel excursion had been cancelled because they were all ill. But in touristy Marrakech, there are guys with camels set up on a few different street corners. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

A fun day in Marrakech!

I think we're warming up to Marrakech.

When we were here in 2017, Marrakech didn't leave a good taste in our mouths. In fact, it was probably the worst part of our visit at the time. So this time, we almost didn't come here.

But, there are definitely some interesting aspects of Marrakech that should be experienced, so we decided that Lindsey and the kids should see it. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Good news! And, into the big city of Marrakech...

I sent a request for information to the Spanish embassy in Ottawa, Canada last Friday afternoon, and they got back to me on Monday. How efficient is that? And they sent all the information I needed (in both Spanish and English) to positively answer my question regarding using an old Bilateral Visa Waiver Agreement between Canada and Spain that is still in force.

So, we are headed back to Spain as soon as we say goodbye to Lindsey and the kids Friday morning. We'll take our time getting to the ferry. We're in no rush, but will certainly be crossing back within a week.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Back to civilization

Well, Lindsey, Cameron, and Sadie came over to the motorhome early Sunday morning... all three of them, for the first time in three or four days! Still not 100%, but by far the best they have been in a while. We think the worst is over!

And good thing, because we had some driving to do, both yesterday and today.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Off to the doctor!

Yesterday was no improvement for the kids. Lindsey felt a little better though, so at least there's that. But we were actually starting to get a little worried about Cameron and decided we had better visit the local doctor.

Ruth and I have been traveling in different countries long enough that we know things are not done the same as in Canada or the U.S. when it comes to medical situations. But this would be a new experience for Lindsey.

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Not a great day. And another change in plans!

Both kids were still sick yesterday, and Lindsey isn't much better although not as bad as the kids. So we put off the camel ride into the desert, and just hung around the guesthouse.

Strange day from a weather perspective. It was cloudy in the morning, then the wind really picked up in the afternoon. So much so that we're actually glad we weren't out in the desert on a camel!

Friday, March 17, 2023

New Moroccan friends

Cameron still wasn't 100% yesterday, and when Lindsey woke up she wasn't feeling well either. So we postponed our camel trip into the desert.

The camel trip doesn't leave until around 4:00pm anyhow to avoid most of the afternoon heat. Then they set up tents and make dinner and have a campfire. Then wake up, have breakfast, and return here.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Speeding ticket!

On Wednesday, we drove from Ouarzazate to the edge of the Sahara Desert. We are now only about 25 kms (15 miles) from the Algeria border, although we can't go there because Morocco and Algeria don't get along. The land borders have been closed for years.

There are two main areas that tourists in Morocco go when they want to play in the Sahara Desert. When we were here in 2017, Ruth and I went to Merzouga, but this time we chose to come to M'Hamid.

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The Ouarzazate Kasbah

We set off walking from the campground to the central area of Ouarzazate. Not a very scenic walk, through a lot of garbage and old building construction material.

Unfortunately Cameron wasn't feeling well, and half way there we put him and Ruth into a taxi and sent them back to the campground.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Spectacular route R307 crossing through Morocco's High Atlas Mountains

There are several ways to pass through the High Atlas Mountains. The easiest is the well traveled route N9 from Marrakech. But that would have been a major detour for us, so I was looking at the other options. I read a lot of reviews and did a lot of research and decided to try route R307.

Some of the reviews mentioned the need for 4 wheel drive, but others said they had done it with a normal campervan. Most of it depends on what the recent weather has been like. There are a lot of rock slides and sections where the road surface has deteriorated and some parts can be muddy.

Monday, March 13, 2023

We could easily stay here longer!

Another perfect day from a weather perspective. Not a cloud in the sky, and 27C (81F).

We set off on another hike at around 10:00am, this time heading north up the valley. We found a couple of pedestrian bridges that crossed the river, so we went up one side and came back on the other side.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Such a gorgeous area.

It was cool overnight, with a low of about 8C (47F) but with a forecast high of 27C (81F) and lots of blue sky and sunshine. And that's exactly what happened.

We set off at about 10:00am for a walk through the nearby town. Other than that, we didn't really have a destination in mind. There are so many trails in the area we figured we would just pick something and see where it brought us. 

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Into the High Atlas Mountains!

Google Maps routing said that it was going to take us two and a half hours to do the 110 km (68 mile) route from Ouzoud Falls to Zaouiat Ahansal. And knowing that Max typically goes slower than the average car, we planned on three hours.

Why does it take so long to go 110 kms (68 miles)?

Friday, March 10, 2023

Today's blog post written by granddaughter Sadie (age 9)

Day 3. Oh, day 3,

We got breakfast, but I couldn't have it because my mom said "No cheese, no milk, no butter". So I had an omelet, then it was good. 

After breakfast, we went to Ouzod Falls again. BUT!!

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Fun day at Ouzoud Falls and the monkeys

First full day with Lindsey and the grandkids, and boy we got the trip started with a bang. I think everybody had a fantastic day!

We had read that it's best to get to the falls early to avoid the tour bus crowds that come on day trips from Marrakech. We were aiming for a 9am start, but it was 9:30am before we got going.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

They have arrived!

Their flight was scheduled to arrive at 8:20am, but when we woke up we had a note from Lindsey saying that they were late leaving Montreal and when I checked the flight tracker website it said they were going to land around 8:50am.

Anxious to see them, we went and stood at the outside arrivals area to wait, knowing of course that they still had to make it through immigration and customs.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Not much longer!

By road. 

It seems funny that we were at Marrakech airport, and we drove to Casablanca airport. Wouldn't you just fly? But we were only there for the cheap secure parking. And, it was along our route.

Trying to avoid the crazy Marrakech traffic, we got up and drove right away to do the 10 kms (6 miles) or so to the big Carrefour superstore. In hindsight, we would have been better off waiting until after 9am, but then we would have been later finishing than we wanted to be.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Made it to Marrakech

We had such a peaceful night parked in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. Total peace and quiet. Such a difference compared to the busy campground we had been in the night before.

We haven't been doing much wild camping because it's difficult to fill European propane tanks here in Morocco. So we've been relying on electricity at campgrounds so that we don't have to worry about our propane supply.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Crazy mountain road!

The road through the Tizi n' Test mountain pass was built by French engineers between 1928 and 1932. It was the first modern access from Marrakech to Taroudant, although now there is a highway through the plains from Marrakech to Agadir that most people take. So the mountain pass road isn't well maintained.

Rockslides and avalanches are common. No way I would attempt this road during bad weather, or even on a rainy day. 

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Now that's a chicken lunch!

Friday morning we walked into the small city of Taroudant (pop 80,000). The center of town is located about 4 kms (2.5 miles) from the campground, so it was a decent walk.

First on the agenda was to find an ATM. Our Canadian bank has an agreement with BCMI bank here in Morocco for no ATM fees, and there is a BCMI location here, so that's where we headed.

Friday, March 3, 2023

That was an interesting drive!

Max likes driving mountain roads just as much as our North American motorhome Sherman did. So when I saw a route heading to our next destination that was more direct than the main road, I did some more research. And yes, it was a twisty, curvy mountain road, with reviews that warned of narrow sections with no guard rails.

But, it was also paved and in overall good condition. And a couple of other motorhomers said that they had done it without issue, but that it was "interesting".

Thursday, March 2, 2023

It's been a great week, but it's time to move on

We really like this part of Morocco. Tons of hiking opportunities, and it helps that the weather has been absolutely perfect for that activity.

So we took advantage of our last day here and did a hike up into the mountains behind where we are staying.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

What did it cost for our long weekend in Canary Islands?

After a record breaking high expense month like January was, it's refreshing to see our February expenses back to what we consider normal.

There were no surprises... well, except for a last minute long weekend to Canary Islands! We'll break down exactly how much that long weekend cost in the details below.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Traditional Berber house in rural Morocco

Monday morning, we walked about 3.5 kms (2.2 miles) over to the village of Oumesnat where there is a traditional Berber house that is now a tourist museum. 

Really interesting visit, and if you are in the area it's not to be missed!

Monday, February 27, 2023

If we ever settle down anywhere, it's going to be in a place that has palm trees!

We woke up at about 5:30am to an odd sound. At first, it sounded like a water drip, but upon closer inspection it was actually a clicking noise coming from our electrical converter under the seat.

As in Mexico, many of the campgrounds in Morocco don't have enough supply of electricity. So normally, the problem is low voltage. And I'm aware of the problem enough that I bought an electrical meter before coming here and I test the voltage when we arrive at a campground, and regularly throughout our stay.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

We finally saw goats in trees!

We set out just after 10:00am and ended up doing 13 kms (8 miles) under beautiful sunny skies. Back just before 2:00pm, so we were gone about three and a half hours.

It's a really interesting landscape in this area. Lots of big boulders and odd shaped rocks. 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Max is quite happy here!

And so are we. 

We really enjoyed our time in Canary Islands, and ever since we came back from there, we kind of felt like we weren't enjoying Morocco so much. The southern coastline just felt so drab. 

But we had a beautiful day yesterday despite the fact that the morning was quite cloudy. It was just normal clouds though, not that depressing kind of haze that we had been experiencing last week.

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Friday, February 24, 2023

Now this scenery is more our style!

We were fine at our wild camping spot except that it got quite windy overnight so we didn't sleep the best.

So we got up at first light and drove for a little while until we got a cell signal, then pulled over to have breakfast.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Finally, a night of wild camping!

We set off in the fog at just after 10:00am, headed inland towards the city of Guelmim (pop 187,000).

There's not really anything we wanted to see in Guelmim, but they have a big Marjane grocery store and we needed to stock up. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Next winter, we are going somewhere guaranteed to be warm!

It was just a short drive yesterday as we made our way to the rock arch at Legzira Beach. Then another short drive to a "campground" near the town of Sidi Ifni.

There are still a few rock arches on this stretch of rough Atlantic coast, but one of them collapsed in 2016.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Change of plans... again!

Western Sahara is one of the world's disputed territories. Not really a country, but often counted as such along with the 15 or so other unrecognized countries of the world. Long time readers will remember when we got pulled over by the police in Transnistria during a visit to that unrecognized country.

Our original intention was to drive all the way into Western Sahara. 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Wandering around Mirleft, Morocco

In need of some exercise, we decided to hike up to the old fortress overlooking the town of Mirleft. A nice enough day, with a high of around 22C (72F), but still with that odd haze in the sky.

There's not a lot of information available online, but it turns out that the old fortress really isn't that old. 

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Another ATM problem

On Saturday, we drove further south along the coast, from Tifnit to Mirleft, with a stop in the larger town of Tiznit along the way.

The sky was still really hazy. The sun was shining, but the sky wasn't blue... it was kind of a hazy grey. Very strange.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

The rundown fishing village of Tifnit

The rain stopped by noon, so after lunch we finally got out for a decent walk. 

While the campground itself is nice, there's not much to see or do in the area. The only real option is to walk down to the beach and fishing village of Tifnit. It's about 14 kms (9 miles) round trip, so it's a bit of a hike.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Well, it's a good thing that Max is waterproof!

They were calling for heavy rain, and sure enough, that's what we got. A couple of times overnight, it rained so hard I thought we might float away. The locals had said they haven't had enough rain lately, but this might be a little too much all at one time.

Funny story. Last weekend when we were with Bob and Denise in the Canary Islands, I asked them if they knew of a magazine called "Zoomer". It's a popular Canadian magazine produced for the baby boom generation.

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Thursday, February 16, 2023

Looking forward to Ireland!

We've always wanted to go to Ireland. Especially in a motorhome. Our friends Glen and Steve did it a couple of years ago and they said it would be right up our alley. Especially the west coast section called the Wild Atlantic Way... a 2,600 km (1,600 mile) coastal route with fantastic hiking scenery, and loads of free wild camping (boondocking) overnight spots.

And so with that in mind, we have booked our ferry to Ireland!

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Found ourselves a nice Moroccan campground

 First order of business on Tuesday was to get some groceries! We had left Max at the secure parking at Agadir Airport while we were gone to Tenerife for four days. Ruth had been so organized that we were able to turn off the fridge while we were gone so as to preserve our propane supply. But that meant the fridge was pretty much empty so we needed to restock.

On our way to the airport last Thursday we had driven by a big Carrefour superstore so we backtracked a bit into the city to go there.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Nice hike to end our long weekend on Tenerife

Bob and Denise came down and met us at our hotel around 9:00am and we set off on the 13 km (8 mile) hike up the Lunar Landscape trail. It's listed as an "intermediate" hike that gains about 600 meters (2,000') in altitude. 

We sat down for a break after one of the steeper sections, and I was eating some peanuts. We noticed two really pretty birds that were getting close to us. I tossed over half a peanut, and it was quickly scooped up.

Monday, February 13, 2023

Another good day exploring scenic Tenerife, Canary Islands

Bob and Denise came over in their rental car and picked us up around 9:00am and we set off on a scenic tour heading south through the center of the island of Tenerife.

The island itself is only about 80 x 50 kms (50 x 30 miles), but it's so diverse. And, the highest point in Spain is located on Tenerife... the Teide Volcano, at 3,715 meters (12,188')

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Really enjoying Tenerife

We had no idea what to expect, and of course Tenerife is only one of the eight main islands that make up the Canary Islands. But so far, we would definitely come back! 

You hear about British people coming here for package holidays, so we were afraid of it being a little too much like the south coast of Spain and Portugal with "full British breakfast" being available everywhere, but this is not at all the case based on what we've seen so far.

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Fun first day in Canary Islands

I've always wanted to come to Canary Islands. I remember that my grandmother took a vacation here sometime back in the 1970's or 1980's and I remember that it seemed so exotic to me back then. Unfortunately, we're only here for three nights, and only the island of Tenerife, but so far we like it!

Our super cheap Ryanair flight went fine. It departed exactly on time, and arrived 20 minutes early.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Scenic drive to Agadir Airport

Google maps was correct, it did take four hours to do the 216 km (134 mile) drive to Agadir Airport yesterday. But we broke it up and did two hours in the morning, then stopped for lunch for an hour, then another two hours in the afternoon.

And, it was a fairly scenic drive!

Day trip into Essaouira

We got out onto the main road here in the village of Ounagha to wait for the local bus to take us into Essaouira. There were quite a few locals waiting as well, so we figured it must be coming soon. And sure enough, after ten minutes or so, it showed up.

It was pretty busy though. Ruth managed to get a seat, but I stood the whole way. The guy came by to collect fares and give us a ticket. Cost was 7 dirhams ($0.92 CAD, $0.68 USD) for the twenty minute bus ride.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Our upcoming weekend away

We didn't do anything yesterday! Not often that we have such a lazy day, but I guess it's okay to do that every now and again.

We had planned on going into Essaouira, but decided to put it off until today. There aren't a lot of campgrounds between here and Agadir that get half decent reviews, so we'll go straight from here to Agadir Airport on Thursday.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

If you don't show up early you may not get a site.

On Sunday, we drove a few more miles south, to the village of Ounagha where we found the pleasant Olive Tree Campground.

We are actually trying to visit nearby Essaouira, but Essaouira is not motorhome friendly. In fact, there are no campgrounds at all within walking distance to Essaouira.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Reflecting on our Mauritania trip

Now that our Mauritania trip has come and gone, I wanted to give you some more information about it and our thoughts about doing these types of trips.

We don't often do "group" tours, preferring to organize and research and plan things on our own. But there are some countries that we want to visit that are better done with a group, being led by someone who has done it many times before.

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Nice day exploring Safi, Morocco

Saturday morning we did the walk into the town of Safi. 

Safi isn't much on the tourist radar, although there are a couple of things worth seeing. The old walled medina dates back to the 11th century, and there is a Portuguese cathedral which was built when the Portuguese occupied the town between 1488 to 1541. And, it's the Moroccan capital for the ceramics and pottery industry, as well as having the largest sardine fishing port.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Headed further south

Now that we are on a schedule to be at Agadir airport by next Thursday, we figured we had better move on. 

We didn't get going until 11:00am, but it was only an hour and a half drive to our next destination.

Friday, February 3, 2023

January Expenses

January 2023 was our most expensive month ever!

We spent a total of $8,990 CAD ($6,715 USD) for the month. Far more than we have ever spent before. In fact, the previously most expensive month ever was February 2021 when we did Kilimanjaro

Change of plans!

Actually, it's not really a change of a plans, but that we were able to solidify plans that we didn't think were going to happen.

Last September when we got together with friends Bob and Denise they had mentioned they were planning a trip to the Canary Islands in February. We thought we might be in the area, and we had even played around with the idea of taking Max on the ferry to the Canary Islands.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

A nice view of the sea at Oualidia, Morocco

We actually slept quite well in the parking lot at Casablanca airport. I think we were pretty tired though, so that helped.

First on the agenda was to get some food. We had left the fridge totally empty and turned off, so we needed to do a decent grocery shop. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Back in Morocco!

Tuesday evening, we flew back to Morocco. We are now back in Max, and thankfully he was sitting in the Casablanca airport parking, just as we had left him ten days ago.

But I need to catch you up on some stories from the last couple of days.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Dirty. Uncomfortable. Amazing!

When we left you yesterday, we had just boarded the iron ore train in Mauritania, Africa headed west from Choum to the Atlantic coast at Nouadhibou.

The train travels at between 35 to 40 km/h (22 to 25 mph). With a distance of 400 kms (248 miles), and several short stops along the way, it should take around 12 hours to get to our destination. But certainly none of that is written in stone.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

The main event... the iron ore train!

Friday evening was the main event! The reason we came to Mauritania was to ride the iron ore freight train through the Sahara Desert. We were all pretty excited about it.

We had most of the morning off to do our own thing. Internet access was actually pretty good while we were in Chinguetti. But only because I had bought a SIM card when we had arrived in Mauritania, and there was a 4G high speed tower nearby. So we took advantage of that and got caught up on some internet stuff.

Friday, January 27, 2023

A beautiful desert oasis in Mauritania

I tried googling the most beautiful oases in the world. A few lists of them came up, but nowhere did I see mentioned the one we went to on Thursday. Truly stunning. And it's not mentioned anywhere because hardly anybody knows that it exists.

The day started when we hopped into the 4x4's again and headed back into the desert.

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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Four wheel drive adventure in the Sahara Desert

On the road Wednesday morning at 9:00am with five Toyota Hilux 4x4's for our group. 

We did five full hours of crazy desert four wheel driving! It was totally fun and I really enjoyed it. Some of the group rode in the back of the trucks if they chose to. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Our first Sahara Desert oasis

We were told that we would be on the road at 7:30am Tuesday morning with a full day of driving ahead of us to get to the Terjit Oasis. So in preparation for that, we were up at 5:45am and had a quick breakfast with the group between 6:30 and 7:00. 

For our group, we were 18 people... plus our leader Johnny, so we had a minivan and two Toyota Hilux four wheel drives. And three drivers.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Not exactly the nicest capital city in the world

Among travelers who go to out of the way places, Nouakchott, the capital city of Mauritania, is well known to be the worst capital city in the world. 

Sandy, dusty, dirty, trashy. With very few attractions. And no alcohol.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Introduction to the group

The rest of the group arrived at various times overnight, some as late as 4:00am. We went down for some breakfast at 8:30am or so and there still wasn't anybody up yet. But, we met everybody gradually as they came down over the next couple of hours.

Ruth and I wanted to go back to the ATM. We forgot that we were going to have to pay for our room in cash. Then we wanted to find a SIM card for the phone, and do some shopping to find some snacks that we can take on the trip.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

First day in Nouakchott

We had only got to bed at 2:30am the night before, but still managed to get up around 8:00am feeling not too bad. By 9:00am we headed down for some breakfast. 

Mauritania was a French colony until 1960, and there is still some of that influence remaining. So what was for breakfast? Croissants!

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Welcome to Mauritania... country number 58

A great way to start off a new year is by visiting a new country! Mauritania is country number 58 for us. There will be a few more new countries to add to the list during 2023. It's going to be a great year!

We didn't arrive here until well after midnight, so we really haven't anything to show you yet. However, we do need to tell the story of how we got here!

Friday, January 20, 2023

Today, we are off to Casablanca Airport!

Interesting place where we have been staying the last three nights. The guy who owns it is originally from Germany, but he married a Moroccan lady and he's been living here for 23 years. But his wife likes the city better, so she spends most of her time there, and he spends most of his time here in the countryside.

Another van showed up the other evening. A younger couple from the Netherlands. Just before lunch on the rainy day, our German host invited us all in for soup.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

More detail about our trip to Mauritania

Yesterday was a rain day here in Morocco, so now is a good time to tell you a little more about our upcoming trip to The Islamic Republic of Mauritania.

Mauritania is one of the least visited countries in the world. That's actually one of the reasons I wanted to go there! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

I did not have a plan B

We really would have liked to have stayed one more night in the cherry orchard. Really nice folks running the place. When we left, they were trying to refine our pronunciation of some of the Arabic phrases we've been making an effort to learn... but without much success. At least we all had a good laugh about it.

We've pretty much got one sentence down pat... "Assalamu Alaikum" which directly translated means, "may peace be with you", but it's essentially used as "hello". Of course we could just say "bonjour" because 90% of the locals also speak French.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Time to head to lower elevations!

We waited until the sun came up over the mountain at about 10am, then set off walking uphill towards the cedar forests. We planned on about a 10 km (6.2 mile) return walk directly from the campground, and gaining another 300 meters (1,000') or so in elevation.

It was chilly, only calling for a high of about 13C (55F) but with clear blue sky and sunshine, and no wind to speak of. Quite comfortable for hiking uphill.

Monday, January 16, 2023

We were sure he was going to tip over!

We headed over to the big city of Meknes (population 650,000), but there really wasn't anything we wanted to see there so we took a route that avoided much of the city to get to the southern outskirts where there is a big modern shopping center with a big Marjane superstore.

Got there just before 11am on Sunday morning, and it was pretty quiet. Tons of space in the huge parking lot.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

It obviously doesn't bother them or they would do something to fix it.

We had a relaxing morning, and then set off on a hike up the hill behind the campground. We didn't really have any kind of destination, just to get some exercise and see if we could find some views along the way.

Up on a paved road to the town of Moulay Moustapha El Hamdouchi (that's a mouthful!) and then a dirt track to the top.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Who knew there were Roman ruins in Morocco?

Yesterday morning we said goodbye to our hosts at the little farm stop restaurant. Such nice people. The father insisted we see his simple family home before we left, so we followed him up for a tour. 

I did not take photos, but it was pretty basic. One entrance room, one sitting room with a big homemade couch that lined all the walls, one bedroom for the adults and the two kids, and a kitchen. But it was clean and comfortable, although I did not see any heat source for chilly mornings.

Friday, January 13, 2023

A much better experience

Yesterday morning, a lot of the vans at the campground at Chefchaouen had moved out. By the time we got Max ready to go at 11:00am, it was half empty. Definitely, the best time to arrive at a new place is between noon and 2:00pm when you'll have the most choice of spots. 

We only had an hour and a half drive ahead of us to our next destination.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

We're always impressed when we meet single women traveling alone

They were calling for another blue sky day, but the morning sure didn't turn out that way. Still, it was perfectly fine for a hike, so off we went.

I had seen a route up the mountain behind Chefchaouen, and there were a couple of viewpoints listed, so we headed up to get a view of the city down below.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

The blue city of Chefchaouen

First order of business yesterday was to get a Moroccan SIM card. There are three different providers here. Maroc Telecom apparently has the best coverage, including into Western Sahara. But I've read that Inwi has an unlimited plan available. 

We walked down into the more modern part of town. We went to the Inwi store first. It was supposed to open at 10am, but it was five after and there was nobody around. A little ways down the street, we found the main outlet of the Maroc Telecom store and went in there.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Welcome to Morocco!

That was an interesting day! It's always an adventure crossing a border, but even more so when you're doing it by ferry. But overall, it went really smoothly. 

Written on our ticket booklet was the ferry departure times. It said 4am, 10am, 4pm and 10pm. We wanted to be on the 10am ferry and had read that it was best to show up at least an hour and a half ahead of departure.

Monday, January 9, 2023

We are off to Morocco!

It poured with rain pretty much all day yesterday. It had been in the forecast so we knew it was coming, but I think we got far more than they were expecting. 

We only had three things on the agenda for yesterday... cash, laundry and propane.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Busy day yesterday!

We did the short drive yesterday morning from Jimena de la Frontera to the port city of Algeciras (pop 121,000). 

We had a list of things we needed to accomplish. First stop was at a motorhome service point along the way, but it was quite busy with other motorhomes. We waited and watched for ten minutes or so, but the people using it weren't moving too fast and it looked like it was going to take a while.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Beautiful drive down through the mountains

We could definitely spend more time in this area. From Ronda down through the mountains to Jimena de la Frontera is absolutely gorgeous. It's only about 60 kms (36 miles) but it took us an hour and a half because of stopping at viewpoints along the way.

It's a twisty curvy mountain road, but it's in good condition and fine for a motorhome.

4 Things To Do When Travelling To Albania

Albania is a small country in the Balkans region of Europe, known for its rich history and stunning natural beauty. Whether you’re looking to explore the country’s culture, relax on its beaches, or experience its vibrant nightlife, there are plenty of activities to do while travelling to Albania. It’s no wonder there are so many diverse vacation packages in Albania available online. To help you make the most of your trip, here are 4 must-do things when travelling to Albania.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Preparing for Morocco, and views around Ronda

We arrived in Ronda before lunch, doing the drive straight through from Archidona. We figured if we stopped along the way we might get sidetracked again, which tends to happen to us.

Ronda is a big tourist spot, and there are lots of campervans and motorhomes here as well as other tourists. We had no trouble finding a decent free overnight spot though, located across from a new Lidl store.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

There's too much to see along the way!

Once again we didn't get as far as planned. But, we sure managed to get some exercise!

There's just too much to see and do in Spain. It's like every little town along the way has some kind of attraction. We could easily spend a full year just exploring Spain.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

The story about the ringing bells

Yesterday I mentioned that when we were in Granada there was a constant lineup of people ringing the bell at the tower of the Alhambra. And that the bell rang all day and you could hear it from pretty much anywhere. It was kind of annoying.

Well I just couldn't see that being the case every day, so Ruth did some research.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

A day in Granada, Spain

The main attraction in the city of Granada is the Alhambra... an Islamic Palace built on a hill overlooking the city. The history of the Alhambra goes back to the 9th century, although most of the current structures were built between the 14th to 16th centuries.

My father had visited the Alhambra in November of 1954, and had taken two photos, both of which we were trying to match up.

Monday, January 2, 2023

A few details about our upcoming trip to Mauritania

Yesterday we drove into the big city of Granada (pop 250,000). There are no ideal places to park to explore the city, but the best option is a fenced compound that is trying it's best to be a campground. But really, it's just a gravel parking lot for motorhomes. 

It's €12 ($17.50 CAD, $12.75 USD) a night without electric so it's not cheap for what you get. But, it's a safe place to leave Max while we go explore the city today.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

We were not successful

Happy New Year to you all!

Friday night had been spent in the big parking lot at Guadix. Not a bad night, considering it's just a big parking lot. Maybe a dozen other vans spread around. Not very scenic, but we were only there for the convenience of visiting Guadix. 

But I had seen a sign that said there is a Saturday market in the parking lot.