Day 1000 – Millenium Day – 26 Nov 12
Primarily this blog is aimed at keeping our daughter in the UK, Chloe, abreast of our adventures in Europe. Additionally, we hope that other readers will find snippets of info regarding campsites, prices and foreign travel interesting or perhaps just informative.
For piccies see www.eastmidlandsdea.co.uk
Well, we made 1000 days on the road– since leaving Welby on 3 March 2010.
It's been an enormous adventure and learning experience. We’ve seen and done more things we would never have done by festering in the box in the UK. We've met so many new friends, contacts, acquaintances and generally fun people!.
The weather has been fantastic as the statistics prove. We've had our ups and downs but appear to be surviving OK – both domestically and financially. Of course, Shirl still thinks we are on holiday – and in a way we are. It's a fantastic lifestyle and we are incredibly lucky to be able to do this. We know that many others with aspirations are trapped by finance, work and personal/personnel circumstances.
We are really grateful to Chloe for putting up with our ‘weirdness’ and not putting any undue pressure on us to ‘grow up’ and return to the UK and ‘be normal’. Thanks Clo.
Well, on to the ‘Stats’. People do pull my leg about my record keeping, but I think it is a valuable insight for future reference.
76% of days have been sunny and warm – above 20 degrees C.
Only 12% of days have been comparable to the UK. (12% have been relatively OK – not sunny but nice)
Record number of continuous sunny days – 51. Record continuous cold days – 5 (and that was in the UK!)
Only 179 (18%) days have been spent off the road – enforced admin at home – but that percentage will reduce in future.
Highest temperature – 44 degrees C in Aix-en-Provence and Cervia, Italy.
Coldest temperature – minus 4 degrees C in Salamanca.
We've managed to eat Al Fresco on 610 days and in the awning 220 times (mainly at Cabopino.)
Touristing and Activities
We've come across vehicles and people from 56 differing nationalities.
We've visited 65 cathedrals!
We've been on 75 trains and 166 buses.
21 Hop On – Hop Off buses and 10 cable cars.
75 museums/castles and 125 markets (they were all the same).
We've taken up Petanca (boules) and Lawn Bowls.
We’ve done 34 quizzes and been racing 5 times.
Shirl has been to 155 keep fit classes – yoga, pilates and gym.
I have done an average of 1.74 miles exercise per day.
Shirl has done 2.94 miles per day!
We've seen more birds and animals in their natural habitat than we could have ever expected.
From Dolphins to Hoopoe birds to Parrots to Processionary Caterpillars to Praying Mantis in the 'van and much, much more.
We've eaten out and experienced excellent foreign cuisine at least once per week.
We've travelled 17,625 miles in the 'van.
We've visited 121 campsites in 15 countries and 35 British counties.
Average distance between campsites – 109 miles.
Average travelling time between campsites – 2 hours 40 minutes.
Average speed between campsites – 41 mph.
Average fuel consumption – 22.4 mpg
Average price of fuel - £1.24 per litre
Longest journey: 376 miles (8 hrs 15 mins) between Bardolino, Lake Garda to Strasbourg.
We've travelled 5363 kms on Toll Roads at €0.08 cents per km.
Favourite campsites – Cabopino, Marbella and Bonterra Park, Benicasim.
Worst Sites – Wijnstock, France and El Brilliante, Cordoba.:Sad:
Miles driven 3000. % of days used approx. 60%.
Average fuel consumption– 48mpg. Average fuel cost - £1.38 per litre.
Estimated savings based on cost of public transport, taxis and coach trips not required - £3300 over the 1000 days. This accounts for all servicing, fuel and admin costs. Well worthwhile.
But next year it will be sold and we will hire in Spain. Also, when touristing, we will use bikes, buses and trains. Additionally, costs on ferries and toll roads are 30% higher with the toad. We are also limited on access to certain campsites and Aires. We want to visit Sweden, Poland and Croatia, so towing costs out-weigh the flexibility. Shirl can also drive when not towing.
Smartie has been brilliant but we are moving on.
Our money is spent in 5 differing ways.
Primarily, a certain fixed amount on maintaining our home in the UK. Costs have been reduced dramatically. No land line, no TV licence, very low gas and electricity. No car costs.
Abroad we use our money in 4 ways.
Rent/Campsite fees: 18% (£14.12 per night on site = £11.98 per day annually)
Food/Alcohol: 40% (including eating out)
Sundries: 32% (including Wi-Fi, clothes and stuff for the van)
Fuel: 10% (including Smartie)
We have a provisional budget of €400 per week but run significantly ahead of this during the touristing and catch up during the sojourn at Cabopino.
Odds and Ends
I’ve washed and polished the 'van 45 times.
I’ve emptied the toilet cassette over 400 times!
Shirl has had only 3 colds – Bill 5.
Bill gets bitten by mosquitos on average twice as many times as Shirl!
We've had to call out the AA three times.
Never park the 'van so that it's perfectly level – or the rain does not run off!
Don’t trust anyone to park you!
Use the Sat Nav with caution. Know where you’re going and use a MAP as back-up.
We've got through 6 bicycles
We’ve made over 100 new friends.
Carole has learned one word of Spanish: Caro = expensive!
I’ve learned to cook a passable Paella.
It's rained every time Chloe has come to Marbella for a visit!!!!!!!!
Overall, it's been an exciting, life enhancing and worthwhile 1000 days.
No real regrets and we look forward to the next 1000 or more.
Heartfelt thanks to everyone we’ve met who have made our life in the 'van so exciting and memorable.
And last but not least, thanks to all of our readers & nice comments received.:thumb:
M and D
Bill and Carole Eaton
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