Hi there and welcome, we are now fully one year on from when we departed the UK. Such a different world we now live in as we have looked back on the year we thought we could give you some numbers on how much this has cost how far we travelled plus some other highlights. But we will come back to that.
This week we have had a long stretch of poor weather with lots of rain coming in from the west, this has made Spain seem like Ireland in the summer, 16 – 18 degrees and rain most of the time. With the local towns locked down by the daily numbers of Covid, we have had it quite good as the numbers where we are Babarte are modest. There are updates every weekday that let you know the status of every town in Andalucía.
A lot of motorhomes seem to trundle up and down the road it seems that foreign van owners do not feel the rules apply to them. Plus of course the surfers from all over Spain. For our part we view the situation differently, and we have decided to stay put while following the rules to the letter.
This meant getting a certificate of justification to allow us to drive to a dentist to get Karen’s tooth looked at as she has chipped it. We were not stopped or questioned but you should have the paperwork to travel across town boundaries. We will be making several trips over the coming weeks to get the tooth sorted. Thankfully, she is not in pain and there is not much else to do! We now have two follow up appointments in February to finish the job.
On the other hand, the Babarte municipal area, where we live in is large over 25km wide with three little villages and the main town, when the stopped, we took ourselves off to the other edge of the area, doing the Z to Z run Zahora to Zahara, very original with the names around here. We found that a beach restaurant was open and has some locals sitting out wrapped up against the cold. The usual menagerie of family pets running about, plus one we had never seen out before calmly walking in on a lead, a lamb and the owners name…… María, you could not make it up. The bar owner’s daughter taking it off for a walk, perfectly well behaved apart from a tendency to eat napkins. The goats cheese salad was worth the 50km round trip on the bike, lovely. If the incidence of Covid does not top 1000 per 100,000 in the area we will be allowed to continue to visit.
Where we are we have a few neighbours Alan and Judy from the UK, Helena from Sweden, also the this another UK couple Kim and Sue plus anew German couple that arrived this week. Kim has a huge US RV, he has a full size washing machine in it and we had to install the replacement. I can tell you lifting a full-size washing machine over your head is hard work!! But happily, we got it into place without dropping it and more importantly putting our backs out! Plus, it worked perfectly.
With our direct neighbours we trekked the 22km round trip to Babarte stopped for a tapa and headed back though we were in sun in the town by the time we got back the fog had rolled in and we were freezing. But all in all, a nice way to spend the day and stretch the legs. On top of that Judy made a wonderful beef stew. We sat around together all staying the requisite 1.5mt required here and fully wrapped up ate and laughed about the weather.
The next day was a return to Barbate on the bikes to pick up some shopping, wine mainly and check out if there was a laundry for next weeks washing. The interesting lives we lead! The journey back reminded me of the dangers of electric bikes, as mine ran out of power on the way back and I was knackered by the time we got home, but the wine made back safely. Note to self, recharge batteries after each long journey.
Most of the rest of the week was taken up by going for walks and then finding ourselves soaked to the skin by the time we returned. I try and challenge myself to doing the 10,000 steps a day and we do mange to cover quite a mileage every week. This week’s total coming to 113,695 steps as I write, a total of 87.8Km. Not to mention the 75km of cycling. It does keep us fit and we are now finding new forest walks to add variation to our day, it is looking like we will be locked down here for the foreseeable future. So, exploring the area as much as possible is the best we can do.
Today we as a group trotted across the road and had a socially distanced lunch but Filippo says he has checked out the blog, but we don’t think so.
Again, we should point out it is not a bed of roses it rains and rains here, it may not get as cold as back home it can feel like it! For those of you that think it is all Sun, Sea and Sangria here in Spain during lockdown it is not! It is more like Wind, Waves and Whiskey. Hot of course.
Statistics for the Trip so Far
Countries Visited: France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, France, Italy, France and Spain. As you can see, we looped around a bit due to covid.
Km’s travelled in total: 22,793 Source: Polarsteps
Miles Driven in Buster: 11,500
Km’s Cycled 2,281 Source: Karen’s Bike Odometer
Km’s walked: 3,180, Steps walked: 4,259,604, Floors climbed: 6,798 Source: All from Pedometer!
Van Fuel: Total Litres: 2118.39 Total cost in £2,180.93 Average MPG 25.20
Price per litre: lowest £0.67 Turkey March 2020, highest £1.19 Italy Feb 2020 approx. average £1.03
Gas for Van: Cooking and heating. 139 litres costing £88.33
Ad Blue: 80 litres costing £73.47 we thought that this was a lot.
Source for the above: All recorded in our fuel monitor app.
Money spent: Lots! Approx. £89 a day. This includes all ferries Italy – Greece, Greece – Chios, Chios – Turkey, (The Isle of Wight is not the most expensive in the world per mile, this is!! 18km just over €200) Greece – Italy, and finally Spain – UK in April.
This is from the only account we have used for the trip. The Santander Zero credit card, it has proved a boon, no charges for withdrawing cash if you clear the balance the same day. The exchange rates have been particularly good, on a par with Revolut rates. We would recommend this card to anyone. It worked everywhere
Lockdown weeks: So far, we have been stationary for 24 weeks of the year due to Covid, 12 in Turkey and the rest here in Spain over two periods, before and after Christmas.