When I awoke, on day twenty-six of being on this campsite, not only did I have the onset of an extremely ‘scratty’ throat, headache, watery eyes and feeling a bit ‘bunged’ up, but there was something else even worse than the beginnings of the dreaded ‘Man Flu’, something that we had not encountered since being here in Agadir …………. thick cloud, a very strong wind but more importantly NO sun !! It was still very warm but with the Windblocker panels flapping noisily, very noisily in fact, it made it less relaxing to sit in the awning enjoying my first coffee of the day and kick starting my lungs with my first cigarette than I had become accustomed to. That was another thing, when I came across to Morocco with my plentiful stash of ‘cancer sticks’, I had rather stupidly told Shazza that when they had all gone I would re-start my attempt at stopping smoking, now with just two packets left I am already regretting uttering those stupid words and have engaged the services of a Barrister…………. “Perhaps M’Lord, I should state categorically that my Client, can rightfully claim that, ‘at the time’ in question, he was being forcibly frog marched up a gang-plank onto a ferry bound for Africa, neither, I hasten to add, was my client given a correct, if any, formal caution before making such statement, which I further suggest was gained under a great deal of duress. I therefore suggest that at the time of these utterances my client was not of ‘sound mind or body’ and suffering from a ‘Temporary Insanity’ and therefore such utterances should be considered as inadmissible !!
Although not back to full fitness, Shazza was feeling better than she had over the last three days and having being ‘confined’ she decided that her energy levels were good enough to get out of the campsite and go and do some shopping. The ‘armed’ police were still in evidence outside the site gates but now only three of them. I had to smile because over the road from the site there was a hill, from the top of the hill you could see right into the site so any would be ‘Assassin’ with a snipers rifle could do the job without having to come anywhere near the site entrance and still have time to make a getaway, no, these Policeman were just a token gesture. We first visited our now ‘local’ supermarket, the Moroccan one, To pick up some ‘Fresh Milk’ and Eggs before going into the Central Market, whilst Shazza picked her way through the produce and meat stalls I went to pick up the ingredients for my ‘Man Flu’ remedy, three large Lemons and a jar of ‘Natural’ honey, it’s always worked for me in the past, I actually cannot remember the last time that I suffered with a cold.
The rest of the day was a bit of a blur, it was a combination of having lunch, taking a doze on the bed, coffee outside under the awning, a few sessions of ‘Personal Contemplations’ then our evening meal. Although Shazza tentatively mentioned a bit of ‘Promenading’ and a ‘Nus Nus’, I certainly wasn’t up for it I just needed to drink another Hot Honey and Lemon and take to my bed. Before I could do that though we awaited the arrival of Klaas, he would give us an update on progress with the repairs of his motorcycle and use our WiFi to video SKYPE his family in Holland.
It was not a good night, the wind had grown even stronger, gale force, ‘Big Momma’ was being buffeted but stubbornly held her ground, we were, however, becoming concerned that perhaps we should have taken down the Windblocker during the day and rolled in the awning. I was actually pretty confident that the actual Awning wasn’t going anywhere, it was well secured with rock pegs and three storm lashings but the Windblocker fabric was only a thin nylon material, I wasn’t sure that the seams would stand this battering for very long. As well as not feeling too good, an irritating and persistent cough and a pounding head, the constant noise from the rattling of the awning poles and flapping of the fabric we also had the music from the Nightclubs !! Neither of us slept well, we were both up constantly, every time we heard the ‘ping’ of the awning poles, or an aggressive slap of the awning fabrics, if only I’d have had the forethought to check the weather forecast to see if the gales would cease, but I hadn’t and now we were paying for it by way of an extremely restless and somewhat sleepless night !!
Shazza was already up and dressed by the time I awoke at nearly 10:30am, I certainly wasn’t feeling much better, but as well as feeling as if the cold ‘virus’ was beginning to win the battle over my bodies ‘defence’ system, the tiredness didn’t help either. Shazza had now had enough of the persistent night noises keeping her awake, “I am ready to move on” she said, “Somewhere quiet“. I knew that that meant heading North, away from the heat of Agadir, and although I had been reluctant we had both started to get ‘itchy’ feet. The wind was still blowing a stiff breeze however the sun had returned, but after looking at the weather forecast, it showed another two or three days of pretty strong winds and thick cloud, so we made the decision to take down the Windblocker and roll in the awning. I was actually extremely pleased at the strength and resilience of the Windblocker fabric, these are only ever intended to be out in nothing more than a gentle breeze and by God it hadn’t half taken a hell of a battering, but it had withstood the onslaught.
Over coffee and lunch I looked at the advance weather ‘forecasts’ on two different ‘works of fiction’, they both reflected pretty much the same story, whilst Marrakesh and Fes (Morocco), Malaga and Seville (Spain) and Faro (Portugal) were all in for some warmer temperatures over the coming week, with daytime temperatures as high as 19-20 degrees(c), by next weekend they would drop down again as low as 13 degrees(c), that would be 10 degrees(c) lower than Agadir !! Perhaps I could suggest a night-time bed accessory for Shazza, a lovely set of matching ‘ear defenders’ ! As for the ‘itchy’ feet, a good scratch may help !! However, as if to prove my ‘faith’ in these ‘Works of Fiction’, today, which is supposed to be the same as yesterday, there was no thick cloud but clear blue skies, very hot and sunny and the merest hint of a breeze, at 4pm inside the van it was 29 degrees(c) and that was with the door open all day, but hey, I am not complaining, if they want to keep getting it wrong like this, carry on the good work that’s what I say !!
Now, I blame that Roy fella, there I was, sat in ‘Big Momma’ hugging my Steaming mug of Honey and Lemon, feeling sorry for myself that my ‘Man Flu’ was getting worse, which I of course blame on Shazza, who in turn blames the ‘French’, when suddenly my iPad ‘pinged‘ at me. It was an Email notifying me that I had a blog update from ‘Twernt on Tour‘. The last time I had heard from Roy was a SKYPE message telling me that he had ‘moved on’ but would not have ‘Whiffy‘ for a couple of days, so I thought that this would be his latest masterpiece, life back in the real world after luxuriating in a Villa for a couple of weeks, but no, it was his latest ‘Statistics’ !! Which served as a timely reminder that Friday 9th January marked the end of our fourth, Twenty-Eight day financial period, yes it really has been Sixteen weeks (112 days) since we got off the ferry in Santander.
My financial accounts record every penny we have spent since driving off the ferry at Santander, and yes even those sort of ‘spending pennies’ are included too, where appropriate. Every Daily Baguette or ‘Nus Nus’ purchased !! Previously, I have published my monthly expenditure showing ‘actual’ expenditure in comparison against ‘our’ allocated budgets. This time, however, I thought that I would just show ‘Actual’ expenditure on each category for the whole period (112 days), the average spend per day or week and the total ‘spend’. I know that this sort of information is ‘useful’ to those on the threshold of commencing their own adventures and those that are still in either the ‘research’ or ‘planning’ stages. We will all have our own ‘Personal’ incomes and that of course will determine the kind of budgets each ‘Individual’ allocates combined with the way that they want to live their particular lifestyle. We too are in the learning stages, we are gathering information from both our ‘Winter’ trips and making comparisons in the expenditure patterns. it should also be remembered that we have elected to take ‘Summer’ jobs, so this does give us a little more flexibility financially, however, when we decide to stop doing these jobs and ‘travel’ Fulltime we will not have this luxury and will be on a ‘fixed’ income. As and when that happens we will adopt a different financial position, instead of allocating funds, as we do now, to ‘Individual’ allocated ‘pots’ e.g. x-amount to ‘Campsites/Aires, x-amount to ‘Groceries‘, x-amount to ‘Diesel‘ etc. we will just have a set monthly amount and have to do everything within that ‘restricted’ monthly fund limit. Finally, for ease I have converted everything back to GB £Sterling based on the ‘Exchange Rates’ we have been working to in both Euro and Dirham.
Period: 20th September 2014 – 9th January 2015 (16 weeks or 112 days)
Countries: Northern Spain, Portugal, Southern Spain, Morocco
Campsites/Aires: £614 (£5.48 per day)
Personal Expenditure: £1,313 (£11.72 per day)
Note: In addition to normal daily expenditures, the above also includes – Additional expenditure during Family visit whilst in Albufiera, Return Ferry Crossing Morocco (£179), Tyre Covers (£46), Moroccan Rugs (£18) and the New Year Restaurant Festivities (£109)
Groceries: £800 (£50 per week)
Note: The above expenditure also includes, Beer, Wine, Bottled Water (Morocco), Sundry items such as Toilet Roll, Kitchen Roll etc and quite a few bags of ‘anti-stoning’ Confectionary, which weren’t actually needed !!
Laundry: £46 (£2.87 per week)
Note: Shazza did a lot of hand washing, she used on-site Laundry facilities, where available, for Bedding, Towels & Jeans.
Diesel: £477 (£29.81 per week)
Note: The total mileage covered up to this point is 2,321.4 miles
LPG (GPL): £39 (£2.44 per week)
Note: When using Aires (Spain & Portugal) and Campsites (Morocco) that had EHU, Shazza used primarily the ‘Remoska’ and the ‘Electric hob’ on the cooker for the ‘majority’ of the cooking. We also used the available Electric supply for the kettle, water heating and space heating (it gets cold at night in Morocco !!)
Note: We did not have a monthly budget for this expenditure, based on our previous ‘Winter’ trip experience where we didn’t use any ‘Toll’ roads, bridges or tunnels, but knowing that on this trip we would use ‘some’ toll Motorways in Southern Spain (Seville – Algeciras) and the relatively cheap Toll Motorway in Morocco, we allocated an overall trip Allowance of £100.
So, our overall expenditure over this 16 week period (112 days) has been £3,323 which equates to £208 per week or, £30 per day (Rounded to nearest £).
Remember, these figures are purely our current ‘on the road‘ costs for this trip, they do not include the UK return ferry crossing, Annual Motorhome ‘Fulltiming’ Insurance, Annual Service and MOT and Annual vehicle road fund licence. There are ‘other’ costs that are associated to ‘Fulltiming’ and I would suggest, if you haven’t already done so, to read my article on ‘What does it cost’. Additionally, read ‘other’ current blogs as sometimes things can, and do, need repair or replacement so having some means to pay for the ‘unexpected’ I would say is vital.
People choose to live this ‘lifestyle‘ for many different reasons, and do so quite happily on vastly varying ‘Budgets‘, there is no ‘right‘ or ‘wrong‘ way, just the way that ‘you choose‘ to do it.