Camel trekking

Upon waking all we could think of was what was ahead. We prepared ourselves eagerly and waited at the camp gates in anticipation for our ride. We were aware of the difficulty finding our campsite (turn left 5 times) but became concerned as we were still left standing 20minutes after the allocated pickup time. Finally our ride arrived and from the 4wd stepped our guide, Mohammed in his Berber poncho and his genuine smile. As we squeezed into the car we were met with anxious faces and glowing smiles from a family of four Americans who we were about to embark on a journey with.


After the dramas of Marrakech we had searched for a riad in Essaouira that had onsite parking and was away from the medina. This turned out a lot easier due to Essaouiras smaller size and we arrived safely at the riad where we were pleasantly surprised by a charming little hotel offering excellent service. Our room had a nice rustic feel to it and after the 50th time wacking our heads on the small doorframes we learnt to duck. The terrace on the roof was also a nice area for us to relax and our initial experience in this new city was very positive.

Tarifa to Marrakech

Our drive to Tarifa was full of hope. We loved our time in Spain but yearned for a different country with a warmer climate. Tarifa turned  out to be a small little town that we could explore while we waited for the ferry. We had a fantastic lunch in a small vegetarian restaurant, wandered the small streets and read about the different whales and dolphines that lived in the waters off the cost.

Sierra Nevada

Upon arriving to Granada we were shocked at what we saw. We had heard wonderful reports of the city and yet everywhere we looked there was rubbish. Bins were overflowing and extra rubbish was dumped along side. After visiting the tourist information and then continueing to walk the main streets it quickly became apparent that the state of the place couldn't be normal. A quick google search later and it turned out that we had arrived on the day the city cleaners had decided to go on strike.


We had been heading south for the warmer weather and Almeria was the first place we had arrived at that was close to warm at 18 degrees. We couldn't wait to get into the sea even if it was a little fresh. To the locals we must have looked mad who were all dressed in jumpers while we were running across the dirty grey sands of the Almerian beach in our swimmers and goofy grins across our faces in anticipation of our first taste of the Mediterranean. It took our breath away, literally, and Kayla was quick to exit the freezing waters.


One of the first things we noticed about Tarragona was how clean it was. The people here seem to take cleanliness to a new level. First thing every day the beaches would be "swept" with a machine picking up unwanted items and making the beaches smooth and white. Street sweepers went past regularly and after a local market finished up the area was immediately swept and hosed down. On most streets were a line of recycling bins which continued underground into a much larger skip sized bins.


Following the traffic difficulties we experienced entering the heart of Paris, we had told google maps to lead us to a suburb a little out of Barcelona. Unfortunately it wasn't far enough, so once again we found ourselves lost in the streets of a large foreign city. Being unable to enter a new destination into google (and the newly bought GPS still unrouteable) our only option was to retrace our steps out of Barcelona. Once we were in a less chaotic  area we found a MacDonalds whose wifi we could use to search for a campsite that we could base ourselves until we got our bearings.


After arriving on the ferry from Dover our first port of call was to get internet access, forgetting that it was New Years day in Dunkerque and everything was shut. We decided to head to Paris in the hopes that a city of it's size something would be open. Unfortunately not only were we wrong but with only a few hours practice at driving on the wrong side of the road (and all on a motorway) we found ourselves in the middle of Paris, with no internet, GPS or idea of how to get back out. We learnt the road rules very quickly and also not to take a campervan into the middle of Paris...

Southward bound

After spending a nice relaxing Christmas in Fort William we headed to Kinlochleven to spend the day at the Ice Factor adventure centre. We started with some indoor rock climbing followed by an outside adventure course which involved traversing an obstacle course suspended 10 metres off the ground. The best part of this was the giant swing that you get to go on at the end.  After a small stop for some lunch (best not to go on boxing day as the kitchen staff are off) Glenn participated in some ice climbing on the worlds biggest indoor ice cube.