Saturday 7th March 2015
Those of you who have been following our blog (War and Peace), will have become accustomed to occasionally seeing my inclusions of ‘song lyrics’, albeit I may, from time to time, have amended the actual original words, so I think that it is only fitting that in this last blog post of this year’s ‘Winter Adventure‘, that I finish with some appropriate ones. The one song that immediately sprang to mind was the classic from ‘Frank Sinatra’, amongst a cast of thousands who also recorded it……………
And now the end is near and we must face the final curtain,
Brown Trouser moments, we’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention,
But through it all, we both stood tall and did it our way
It is still hard to believe that it is over, but we had been on the sunny side of Europe (and Africa) for Five and a half months, or Twenty Three Weeks or One Hundred and Sixty Four days !! We have certainly had an ‘Adventure’ and you cannot have those without a few ‘stressful’ moments, and of course a few ‘Brown Trouser’ ones !! Thankfully though we came through them all and Big Momma, Snoopy, Dave and Kevin (and us of course) returned to the UK in full perfect working order. But in the main this trip has again been absolutely terrific, we have travelled to, and through, many places in Portugal, Spain and Morocco, stopping occasionally only to look around before moving on, or staying just one night, but often longer. We have met so many truly wonderful people, of all Nationalities, far too many to mention here, but they are all mentioned in the respective blog posts and we look forward to hopefully meeting them again, somewhere on our future mutual travels, thankfully there are only a couple that we hope we don’t !
Even though we had a few ‘indulgences’ (Albufiera family visit, New Years Eve Celebrations and Eleven nights on a Five Star Campsite !!) we managed to stay within our allocated budget, although it could have been better had we not have had the ‘Moroccan Incident’. Our Diesel consumption could have been less had it not been for our rather irrational and illogical travelling over the last few weeks, but then again isn’t that what fun and adventure is all about, the ‘freedom’ to choose where you go !!
We started out with a simple aim, we would work to our budgets but we were not going to ‘live in poverty’ or by scrimping and scraping, and we achieved that. Of course we could have done this on a lesser budget, and many do, but likewise we could have also have spent a lot more, but I think for what we wanted to do on this trip we got it about right.
So, I have put together a few statistics and to make life easy I have converted all our budgets and costs back to UK Sterling. These costs only apply to the day we entered Spain to the day we departed again.
Route: Northern Spain, Portugal, Southern Spain, Morocco, Southern Spain, Northern Spain.
Trip Duration: 164 days (20th Sep 2014 – 2nd Mar 2015)
Mileage: 4,389 miles (Give or take a few miles that were unaccounted for)
Aires/Sites: Budget £1,640 = £10 per day – Actual spend £1,218 = £7.43 per day
Personal Expenditure: £2,460 = £15 per day – Actual Spend £2,152 = £13.12 per day
Groceries: £1,840 = £80 per week – Actual Spend £1,183 = £50 per week
Laundry: £230 = £10 per week – Actual Spend £65 = £2.77 per week
Diesel: £1,500 = £250 per month – Actual Spend £969 = £161.50 per month
LPG: £240 = £40 per month – Actual Spend £50 = £8.33 per month
Tolls: £100 total for whole trip – Actual Spend £95
Our total Starting Budget was £8,010 and our Actual Spend was £5,732 so we would have been ‘under’ budget by £2,278, however, the ‘Fuel Contamination’ incident in Morocco had a significant impact and the associated costs of that was £1,467 which means that our Actual Overall Spend came to £7,199 leaving us ‘under’ budget by just £811.
I think that the very many of you that have been following our journey may have already had an inclination that I have thoroughly enjoyed writing about all our travel adventures and I have really sincerely appreciated all your feedback and comments. With currently over 94,000 registered views over 86 different Countries, I have been truly flabbergasted at the interest shown in our ‘Adventures and Misadventures’, I really cannot find the words to thank all of you enough. However, as you are already aware, we are now returning to do our second season (8 months !!) on Elf and Elfette duties with the Caravan Club. After last year’s first ‘Winter Trip’, I kept the blog going over our first season, as many of you wanted to read about our experiences working as Assistant Wardens, however, although our next season is at a different location, the duties will be the same and let’s face it, there is only so much that one can write about cleaning toilets or cutting grass !! I have been having constant arguments with myself, this is after all supposed to be a ‘Fulltiming Motorhome Travel’ blog and whilst yes we will still be living in ‘Big Momma’ fulltime, the emphasis should surely be on the word ‘travel‘. Apart from day trips out on our days off, there will be no travels in ‘Big Momma’ over the next eight months, so can I really call this a Motorhome Travel Blog. On the other hand, we are ‘Fulltime living‘ in ‘Big Momma’ and it is a ‘living diary’ of our lives Fulltiming in a Motorhome ? The one thing that I didn’t want to do was to write posts just for the sake of having something to publish, that would be both difficult to write, as I need the base material to work with, but also I think they would end up being pretty boring to read.
I was ready to, somewhat reluctantly, call time on this blog, at least until the next adventure started proper. However, even before I have got around to publishing this post, many of you must have had the inclination of what I was contemplating announcing, and I have genuinely been touched by your extremely kind words and, can I be vain enough to call them pleas, to keep it going. One of my readers has suggested that I continue to write about the ‘Shazza Expeditions’ that she will undoubtedly continue to force me to participate in on our explorations of our new area, so that is an idea I am currently considering, albeit the frequency of any such publications would be much less than they have been. So I still have a decision to make !!