5 Months into the adventure today!

We are 5 months on the road today, and it is still an adventure with each day bringing something new.

So what have we done?

We have driven 6,300 miles. If you want to see the route, click here it is fully up to date.

Cycled at least 1,200 kilometres

Walked about 10 km a day on average.

Used 1222 litres or just under 269 Imperial gallons of diesel. Total cost €1,226.35 Cheapest litre €0.918c per litre in Salamanca, most expensive €1.208 in Portugal.

We have bought 104 litres of gas total cost €61.83 Both Safefill tanks are full at the moment.

We have stayed at 26 Aires 9 of which charged Average price €12, the rest being free.

We freedom camped 4 times longest three nights.

We have stayed at 25 campsites average price around €22 a night

To see all the places where we have stayed, click here. We have gone through each one to give a short review and the GPS Co-ordinates. We hope it might help fellow travelers.

The budget, this is a trip of a lifetime and we have been saving for the trip for 8 years, so are budget is a generous one, that said it is a budget, and we are spot on to the end of May. This excludes the replacement bike we had stolen and the replacement iPhone for he one David dropped down the loo. These have come out of contingency funds as you can’t really get insurance for that sort of item only health cover.
This is a culinary tour so we have eaten out more than most, we think. But that said Karen is 4kg lighter and David is 10kg lighter.2016-06-02-

We went to school to learn Spanish for the first two weeks of the trip as we are here for the year, also we had lessons before we left and have failed miserably in picking up the language. But we will keep trying.

At the start of the trip many asked ‘why only Spain? You will be bored.’ Well after 5 months we feel we are only scratching the surface and perhaps a year will not be enough to fully explore this great country.

The Elddis Encore has proved very good indeed and we want to have the bed fitted into our house when we get back as it is the most comfortable sleep ever!!!

Camping Yuste, Aldeanueva de la Vera, Spain

Tomorrow friends are coming down to see us for four days so little golf for David and catching up for Karen.

We hope you enjoy the blog and love to hear from readers, if you have questions contact us.


  1. Looking good guys, very impressed you’ve lost weight! Not even half way through, stacks of time for more fun. Keep on blogging, and sending those foodie pics out, salivating I am! Cheers, Jay

  2. All looks great can not get the route but got all the places you stayed. The blogs are great having great fun reading them. Good luck
    Toddy x

  3. Loving your blog, we’ve just done a month in Europe in our VW camper and had a great time. Planning another longer trip as soon as I retire in 21 months ! Spain is on the list – it looks fab. Enjoy the rest of your year.

  4. Loving the blog guys. We are heading down from Le Havre on July 1st and will be hitting the festival near Castejon de Monegros around the 3rd or 4th. It is near Sarinena which is near Zaragoza.
    Looking at your route plan you could be in the same neck of the woods. The festival is sold out but would be great if we could meet up at some stage, we leave from Santander on 10th July xxx

  5. Sounds like it’s been a fun trip. Your point about being bored in one country is an interesting one. On our first ever motorhome trip in France we were far too ambitious with our plans and spent too much time on the road. Europe is vast and when we retire in a couple of years’ time plan to visit just one area of a country during each long-term trip, so we can drive less to see more.
    Enjoy the rest of the trip and keep the great posts coming.

  6. Fantastic blog ,I always look forward to the next installment, fingers crossed we will be able to Visit some of the wonderful places ourselves in a few months time .

  7. So glad you are having such a great time can’t believe you have been gone for 5 months already !!

    Karen enjoy the weekend with the girls, Dave stay out of the bunkers (:)

    Remember Karen “keep yourself nice” xxxxx

  8. Hi David & Karen

    We have been following your adventure with the motorhome over the last couple of months. Especially as we are interested in the model you have.

    However, concerned that you are only getting just over 23 mpg on miles v gallons used?. Especially when we are hearing figures based around 32mpg.

    Any thoughts regarding impact on your budget.

    Regards, Ged & Joan

    • Ged and Joan, the actual mileage we have got so far is 24.82 miles per gallon according to the app, this takes into account file left in tank and exact mileage to fills. That said we drive pretty much at full payload I.E. 3.5 tonnes all the time. We have done many twisty mountain roads this kills fuel economy. But the views and places we have seen were worth it. Morella to Teruel being memorable for both only 19 mpg on a 250mile run over the mountains. Highest point 1700 metres. Also we sometimes have driven long motorway distances at 70 mph. That is mpg suicide. Think 28 mpg is realistic with careful driving. This would apply to any van. Basically they are all the same chassis. The engines are different but 32 mpg is unrealistic in reality in any van. I still love ours! As for the budget we as have said have a fairly generous one. But with price of diesel being below a Euro a lt we have been able to cope!

      • Hi David

        Many thanks for a detailed response. The 28 mpg average you state is what we normally achieve in our caravan. So on that basis we will still change to a motorhome but keep around the 60 mph mark……
        Enjoy your gap year and we look forward to more updates from you both.
        Ged & Joan

          • Hi David

            Just to let you both know that we bought the Encore 255 model and are currently in France. Regarding the mpg, you were close, justo over a 1,000 miles clocked and averaging 29 mpg.

            Can you tell me if you have the following issues:

            1. Tank level percentages are way out regarding accuracy
            2. The water pump is very noisy
            3. The flow from the sinks are very slow

            However, very happy with the van otherwise especially as you say the bed is very comfortable.

            Regards, Ged & Joan

          • Great to see that you took the plunge. Re the questions 1. Yes this normal that are at best an indication rather than an actual amount. It is not only normal in Elddis vans but in Bailey and Hymers we have visited. The pump is not the quietest but not an issue for us an as for flow of water again not fast but as we only have 100 lt we like it slow and easy. The Ecocamel shower head gives a great shower in ours.

            Do get the pump checked when you get back. We have lived in ours for eight months now, and very few issues.

            Glad you like it enjoy!!

            David and Karen

  9. Really enjoying reading about your adventures and all that lovely food! Planning to head off full timing this time next year and non-touristy Spain is top of the list

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