Aktualisiert: 20. Jan. 2022
Before heading out on our big world trip, we wanted to make sure we have everything and if the vehicle was up to the challenge. So we do a test trip for a month and carry everything we would on our big trip.
The Initial plan was to catch the ferry from Genova to Morocco on the 4th of January… But since we are in a Pandemic our plans have once again been cancelled.
Morocco banned all ferries and flights from Europe. So we were standing here with nothing.
I have read online that many Overlanders were stuck in Morocco till today since no ferries are leaving port. There have been flights out to bring tourists home but who wants to leave their vehicle in morocco for an uncertain time?
We refunded our Ferry ticket which money I hopefully get one day, and decided to go to Spain instead. Spain sounded save, if anything happens we can just drive home anytime.
So here we are. Leaving Switzerland on the 27th of January on a rainy cold day.
We said we won’t be driving more than 5 hours a day so we did a stopover in France. It almost rained the whole 5 hours nonstop. Around our hotel were many restaurants which we even got discount for by showing our hotel card.
We settled for the Chinese buffet that night since we didn’t eat properly the whole way driving. I was so overwhelmed with the food there that I literally over eat. I think I have never suffered so much after a buffet; I could barely fall asleep because I was still stuffed.
In the morning however I already felt a bit better but still full. Anna on the other hand was awake early showered and dressed up ready to go in no time, while I was still rolling around in bed. Eventually we were on the road again.
Next destination: Blanes, just outside Barcelona.
While driving we were thinking about spending New Years in Barcelona. Suddenly the Landscape started to change, it got more dry and the sun was shining strong on us. As soon as I had to switch off the heating in the car we knew, we are finally in Spain.
Arriving in Blanes was like arriving in a ghost town, everything was closed. We don’t know if it was because it was off season or because of Covid, probably a mix of both. After getting some groceries we went for a nice sunset stroll at the beach and enjoyed the mild climate. But as soon the sun was down it got really cold, so we quickly cooked our fajitas and hopped into our sleeping bags.
It was cold night. We decided to ditch the idea of new years in Barcelona and head straight down to Andalucía where it should be warmer. Another 5-hour drive to Valencia.
Arriving at the beautiful camping we decided to take a break driving for a few days and booked four nights. The camping had a really nice spot for us to pitch the tent, the only downside was that there was only one sanitary facility, which also was quite far from our tent. You could get a metro card at the camping to get to Valencia for just two Euros one way. It was around at 30 min train ride to the center.
Valencia is a super nice city, with nice old buildings and of course an arena. We visited the famous food market which was crazy full.
I started to feel a bit sick at that point, so we headed back to the camping. I must have eaten something wrong because I had a bad stomach and fever was creeping in. The night was horrible, I was shivering all night from the fever.
The next day I already felt better but not 100%. We went shopping and stopped by Decathlon to get some warm underwear to sleep with. Across the supermarket there was a Hardware store where we picked up a heater since the nights were getting colder. It was new year’s eve but I wasn’t feeling good at all again in the night so went straight into my sleeping bag after our self-cooked Burgers. I woke up quick at midnight from all the people cheering and firework but couldn’t get up, not really how we imagined to kick off 2022. But at least the next day I was cured, probably sweated it all out in the night by the smell of my pajama.
We thought by ditching the highway and choose back roads it would be way more scenic and not so boring to drive, and boy were we right. The whole drive on the empty backroads was so nice and refreshing. There was literally no one on the street, after all it was the first day of 2022, people are probably trying to get over their hangovers…
Getting gas on abandoned looking gas station gave as a nice surprise. The guy working there came out and filled our car himself, and while I was paying, he told me to wait a moment, and came back with a bottle of wine saying: ,,Welcome to Spain!”
That was a nice surprise and we were probably the only ones passing by that lonely gas station that day.
We arrived in a small town Archena, just outside of Murcia. The hotel was old but clean and the receptionist was really friendly as far as we could tell since she didn’t speak any English at all. We could park in a secure and closed lot. After Pizza we went straight to bed, tired from all the driving.
Now we were on our way to Cuevas del Almanzora, an old mining village. While driving beautiful twisted backroads over mountains, I said to Anna: The best investment made for this trip were my prescription sunglasses! And literally five minutes after, at a quick break to grab a cold can of Coke, I managed to sit on my sunglasses. I left them on the seat while heading to the trunk to get the can. Anna even yelled STOP! But I was already sitting on them. The frame was badly bent and the lenses popped out. I was so angry, and Anna hat to control her laughter because it wasn’t helping my anger at all. After some cursing it was time to get the tool roll out for the first time. I was amazed how good I could bend the frame back without it breaking. After all these were the cheapest prescription sunglasses I could find. They’re not 100% fixed again but they do the job and I know now to bring a second pair for those moments in the future.
At Cuevas del Almanzora we actually wanted to visit the castle there but didn’t check if it was open before online. So as we arrived everything was closed…
After walking around for a bit we decided to ditch the town and go search a laundromat to wash our clothes. The one in town was full so we headed to the next village where we could wash. Instead of just waiting in front of the washing machine we wanted to sit somewhere and maybe have a drink and some tapas, but the only place that had people was full and the rest was: You guessed it, closed. We really have to get used to the siesta times here, because we also hit towns at those hours (around 2-4pm is siesta time). Luckily we find a doner place which was open and could sit outside in the warm nice sun for a cold drink and some samosas. The guy working there could even speak German, and lived a few years in Germany, but came back because of all the stress and cold weather. We can really understand him.
After thinking the wash was done, we went back and opened the dryer just to discover that everything was still soaking wet. So we threw it back in again for round 2. Half an hour later we were finally done.
For dinner we were again saved by another doner place, because everything was still closed. We later figured out that many places, are only open in the afternoon for late lunch. With that knowledge we started to check out Google Maps reviews, during which hours people spend their time there.
The room in our hotel was okay, but for 40 Euros we didn’t expect sand is coming out of the COLD shower, which was a real turn off the next morning.
And that sums up about our first week in Spain.