Summer plan – 40 days of surfing

It might not even be Christmas yet but having just returned from a weeks surfing in Morocco I’ve already got a few ideas running through my head for the summer months.

One of them is to drive around the UK and Western Europe, surfing every day for 40 days. I’d live out of my car (after a few little modifications) and carry a board or two on the roof (thinking like a 9ft and maybe a 7ft, which I’ll make at the start of summer).

I was thinking of trying to combine it with WWOOFING or fruit harvesting, to fund the trip, although this needs a bit more thought.

Firstly though, route ideas… I spent a week of last summer in Cornwall with my family and had a lovely time. Spent a day surfing a longboard in Polzeath and when the sun started to set I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful location. The only issue was the crowding and, being summer, a lack of swell. The other option then is to head way further south, maybe explore W/SW France. I spent a week camping and surfing in Moliets a couple of summers ago. A tour of the west coast of France could be well on the cards then, especially it being remote enough (I think) and warm enough to be able to sleep in my car. Maybe the occasional cheeky foray into a campsite for a shower and food…

Last summer I was in Sagres, Portugal for a weeks surfing, also had a great time and found the Portuguese to be very relaxed – they do a cheese and ham toasted sandwich in any bar, any time of day or night. Add in a chilled glass of local white wine, total cost? About 3 euros! Peniche seems a decent surf spot, able to offer waves with most swell directions and isn’t too far to drive. I could do France/Spain on the way, spend a couple of weeks in Portugal then drive home in a couple of days.. SWEET!

This is the sort of route I’d like to do, totaling approx 3000 miles. At 55mpg, with the current price of Diesel, it’d cost me something like £300 in fuel (taking a route that avoids tolls). Accommodation would be free (I’m sure there’s a website out there for free campervan spots in the EU) and food would be inexpensive (eggs, tinned fish, veg..).

Sorted? Well just an idea for now but it seems promising!

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Research for India!

Now I have been doing a bit of research and reading but I’d got it into my mind that we would keep this trip reasonably open-ended. I have a book, Vagabonding by Rolf Potts (www.vagabonding.net) and the basic summary of the book is this: keep an open mind, don’t plan too much and talk to as many people as possible to ensure the trip as a whole is a great experience rather than a rush from point A to B to C for a photo of this and that.

This is what I basically did for my motorbike trip – I had a rough plan of places I wanted to visit/people I wanted to meet but I made actual decisions on the spot. I could stop for lunch, for the night, go here or that at my own will. It worked out fine, only had issues with closed or full campsites and things like that.

I’d like to keep this same philosophy for this India trip. We land in Delhi at 5.30 AM on 2 August. We want to visit:

  • The Golden Triangle – Delhi, Agra, Jaipur
  • Go north to the Ladakh region of India – Leh is the main town
  • South to the region of Goa – we’ll leave this till the end of the trip for the rains to have passed
  • Varanasi

The plan is to train or bus between these places, with maybe an internal flight from Goa to Delhi to get home on time. So we would have a few days in each place, exploring at chatting to other travellers and then book up a train ticket to our next destination.

One worry at the moment is the availability of trains – I thought we could turn up at a station/do it online and reserve our ticket a day or two in advance no problem. After doing some research it seems people book their tickets weeks and months in advance.

I’m now in two minds – to keep the trip open and just go with the flow and whatever we encounter, or to book up some trains now to ensure we’re not stuck somewhere for a week waiting for the next free train but then loosing out on the option to change our plans at the last minute. Hmm……

 

Also I have found a nice blog of a couple who also had 6 weeks in India, they travelled all over by train and the pictures they took are great!

http://indiabytrain.mattaranha.co.uk/