The Journey Begins

After 18 months of talking we finally took the plunge, packed up the last of our remaining possessions, hitched up the caravan and headed to Portsmouth. The biggest challenge this week will be summing up the first 7 days into one blog post!

To begin with we spent a relaxing 2 days at the Caravan and Motorhome Club Rookesbury site. On arrival Warren began the task of setting up and stabilising the caravan only to find that our brand new corner steady was bending. A trip to Winchester caravans, a little elbow grease and £45 later we were set up.
It was our first taste of ‘proper’ caravanning and it was absolutely wonderful.
Our pitch was right next to the children’s play area and our 3 spent every last minute outside with their new friends, popping by the caravan only to collect a jumper and something to eat or drink.On Tuesday morning we woke up early and began the task of breaking down the awning. We were about 10mins in when we received a message from Brittany Ferries to say our departure port had changed from Portsmouth to Plymouth, so what would have been an easy 35 min drive now became a frantic 5hr trek. To make matters worse Warren felt the clutch slipping and decided that, to be on the safe side, we should stop by a garage and pick up a new clutch kit.
Finally, at just after 6pm, we arrived at the port. A little tired, a little frazzled but with big smiles on our faces- the journey was about to begin.

 

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The ferry crossing was great. The water was a little choppy and the kids felt queasy at times but our cabin was comfortable and due to the change of ports the ship was virtually empty as I believe many people were unable to make the Plymouth crossing.
We spent much of Wednesday sat at a sunny table right at the front of the ship reading, writing and relaxing. We arrived in Santander at about 5pm local time and began to make our way to the ‘Caravaning Oyambre‘ campsite. A beautiful spot, with friendly, welcoming staff and breathtaking mountain views. Little did we know we’d be navigating those very peaks (with our 8m long caravan weighing in at 1600kg) the very next day!
The journey through Spain to Portugal was one of mixed terrains – gargantuan mountains, picturesque villages dotted with colourful houses and miles and miles of open road sandwiched between olive trees. The drive was long, arduous and stressful at times but after 8hrs of driving we had reached our destination (and a place we called home for 2yrs)- we were back in Tabua, Portugal.

 

This brings us to the starting point of our volunteer tour. In the first 3 days tasks included caring for the chickens, collecting wood, learning to drive the tractor, weeding, bee keeping and cooking our Easter roast in an outdoor, wood burning oven. During our down time we have visited friends, swam in the rivers and indulged in Portuguese coffee and pastries – Right now life is good!

Até a próxima…

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