Ive now been on the road for 4 weeks, have travelled 3000 miles and im back in Spain again woohoo!
Prices have gone up for everything, except petrol. Obviously the spanish want me to get going and not hang around. My budget is completely blown, 15€ camping, 8 on petrol and 6 on food and drink. Im definitely going to have to cut this trip short.
The next trip will have to involve me and a mate (or a lady friend on the back of the bike) or a vw camper and ill be off to Italy and Greece. I feel like ive given Portugal a fair going over, id love to come back but there are so many other places to see! Europe is much much bigger than id imagined but the prices for most things so far are prohibitavely expensive. I can definitely see the attraction to backpacking/hosteling around Asia, im sure on a budget of 20$ there you could easily get a room, food, drink and get around. In Europe its hard hard work.
Yes i could have wild camped far more in Portugal but when your on your own its not nearly as cool as it sounds. The lot from Mondo Enduro and Terra Circa basically seemed to wild camp everywhere, fine if its 7 of you who the hell will approach you then. Plus you have each others company. But Wild camping alone the feelings of vulnerability and lonlieness are too overwhelming; campsites are a much friendlier option but im still surrounded by either A) young couples im jealous of B) old couples just getting on with their retirement C) families who mind their own business. Obviously there are exceptions (Astrid my neighbour from the last campsite, Lutz the German biker who travels and camps alone, etc…) but they are not everywhere.
I was expecting some hippy/traveler lot to be everywhere i go, but obviously they know the good spots and i dont. Saying that Franc and i did meet a slovenian couple who’d been travelling around Europe since christmas. Wait till ive saved up for a camper and got a travelling partner and ill be doing the same!
So to my day. Its been 4 weeks on the road and what an experience it has been. Today i said goodbye to Astrid (it was her 30th today, happy birthday!) and rather sadly ive moved on. Crossed into Spain but first i dropped in at a suzuki dealer.
I was hoping they could give me an oil and filter change, they seemed to have the right filter and eventually the price was reduced to €30, not bad considering labour/time/part costs. In petrol stations i was paying almost 17€ per litre of oil and the bike, after almost 5000km, deserved a good service.
I was sent round the back to what seemed a bike graveyard. Everywhere there were dead/decaying bikes, left by their owners when they couldnt afford the repair bill. There was a kind Norwegian man about who translated for me and eventually i got the bike looked at.
The dirty old oil was drained, old filter removed and new one inserted. The new one was a perfect fit, circumference wise, but unfortunately a cm or two too wide. The old one was cleaned as well as possible with some sort of solvent then placed back in the bike. A couple of litres of fresh oil and €20 later (a deal considering the price of oil for the average consumer) i was on my way.
I have yet to encounter the roads i have in my mind – bendy, windy, on a cliff overlooking beautiful coves and beaches – im sure France or Italy could offer these, BUT i did spend 20minutes or so following a lovely Spanish beach. The map i have made it clear there was a campsite located where i was travelling. But try as i might i spotted no sign. I got the the end of the road (blocked further East by an estuary) and asked a local. Back that’a way he basically said. I retraced my steps, found a campsite literally 50m from the road id driven earlier and booked in. The price was similar to Southern Portugal, Expensive! What can i expect im hardly in the wilderness and people (tourists!!) have the money to pay so they’ll charge. Just pisses me off, all i use is a square m of earth (sand in this case…) and they still charge me a lot of money.
Nevermind ive got free accomodation to lookforward to with my sister and her friends in Fuengirola and my auntie and uncle a bit futher East. A couple of weeks should recover some costs nicely 🙂
I went shopping, bought beer and food, cooked a great meal of hard boiled eggs, vegetables and tuna in a warm salad type thingy and am now planning to read my book before bed.
Tomorrow i continue my search for the ultimate campsite. I think Tarifa in Spain will offer something great, we’ll see!! Much love to anyone reading this still! Alex out