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(Old) Newbies Looking To Overwinter In Southern Spain


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Hi there,


Just bought a new Bailey Pegasus GT65 Verona and after taking it down to Penzance the past two (fabulous!) weeks, we're now beginning to plan for a trip to Southern Spain in order to get away from the cold/wet/dark UK winter.


We're towing with a 2010 SEAT Exeo ST 143 Estate and plan on visiting family near Poitiers France before heading toward Barcelona and then on down south. Would welcome any suggestions/advice that any members with experience in this area can offer. A few immediate questions. ..


  1. Chunnel or ferry? Can't find any ferry schedules (Plymouth/Portsmouth to St Malo/Cherbourg?) at present
  2. Travel alone or try to hook up with aothers travelling same direction?
  3. As this will be our first time, looking for sites where other English speaking folk (we're 62 and 65) of simillar age group will be
  4. Not too bothered about large holiday camp style places, but do want to be not too far from town/village with restaurants/entertainment
  5. Have propane tank, should I get Camping Gaz as well?
  6. Have noted two warning triangles, fluoro jacket, spare set of specs, headlight deflectors, ASIC card, spare bulbs - anything else?

After 25 years away from caravanning, it's really great to be back!


Eric and Elaine


But what if the hokey cokey really is what it's all about?

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Depending where in Spain who are thinking of going, unless touring, Barcelona from Poitiers is out of your way if you are heading anywhere from Valencia around to the Costa del Sol. Travelling alone is easy enough as roads etc. are normally easier with clear directions.

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If the combined length of your outfit is more than 12 metres you will need marker boards for the rear of the van. like these http://www. hgvdirect. co. uk/catalog/pair-marker-boards-ece70-reg-565mm-200mm-p-500486. html

 

There's a couple of sites in Conil de la Frontera in SW Spain that might suit.

Land Rover on SORN so not towing anything for a while

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Depends on the kind of area you like. Many "snowbirds" use Camping Cabopino,near Marbella. NOT rural but has easy access to nearby supermarkets,large shopping complex La Canada near Marbella,beach within easy walking distance.

We like it for a month's stay but it gets mixed reviews. ....very much a "Marmite" site.

Worth a look?

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Hi Eric & Elaine and welcome to Caravan Talk. You might not recognise me at first, but you have been reading my blog and have asked there for suggestions. One of my first would have been to join up with Caravan Talk as there are so many here who have between them thousands of years of experience in travelling and overwintering abroad!

 

You are setting off mid November, so plenty of time to plan. First, the crossing. If you are a Tesco customer by far the best way is to use your clubcard vouchers to get a chunnel ticket. We usually end up spending less than £1 on a return ticket. You will need to book the return trip at the same time, but Eurotunnel are very relaxed about changing dates when you come back next year. Without vouchers though the tunnel is an expensive crossing. DFDS announce a special code at the October NEC which will give you a very cheap Dover-Calais or Dover Dunkirk crossing.

 

Your first night could be at the Caravan Club Black Horse Farm site, which has a special ferry area for late arrivals and early departures. There is a pub 100 yards away which does an acceptable meal. Then get an early morning crossing and you should easily make Poitiers that day, either by expensive toll road or the old N roads which are nearly as quick.

 

Moulin has pointed out that Barcelona is out of your way if you are heading to the south of Spain, but if you have the time, and it seems you have, the detour is fine. For year round sites go to Larouleta, between Bayonne and the Spanish Border, then the municipal site at Zaragoza, then Vilanova Park south of Barcelona. Then work your way round the coast. Once south of Barcelona the weather is much better. Armed with the ACSI card and guidebook you will find plenty of sites as you go. The big sites do tend to get fully booked, but these are the ones which I think you would rather avoid anyway! We have toured the coast twice in winter and have never booked a site yet. Just make sure you reach a site by mid afternoon and don't arrive at a site on a Friday or a Saturday as the Spanish are great weekend campers.

 

Travelling alone is not a problem, even if you are inexperienced and don't speak the language. In any event you will meet fellow Brits on virtually every site you visit if you want company, and also many many Dutch and German snowbirds too, most of whom have excellent English and are very companionable.

 

All sites have EHU, but you will need a continental adapter as not many have the CEE blue plugs. Check the Amperage though, some are quite low. As for gas, if you have a propane tank on board you should not have a problem. I would however recommend a Cadac or similar, perhaps working from Camping Gaz (ours works from the main Calor gas cylinder). In Spain fish is cheap and plentiful and it is so easy to slap a couple of Bream on the Cadac in the awning. Saves stinking out the caravan!

 

I think you have listed most of what you should take. As Onewheel reminds you, you will need "long vehicle" marker boards. You should also have a pair of Breathalysers for driving through France. It is a legal requirement to carry them but there is no fine for not doing! (see the thread at the top of this section)

 

I have done reviews of all the Spanish sites we used last winter, in the review section.

 

Have a super trip.


Hyundai Santa Fe CRD auto + Burstner Belcanto 525 TL

 

http://www. oldagetraveller. net/

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We have spent the last 8 winters in Spain/Portugal since retirement. You have quite a lot to learn and I would recommend trying a Carefree Rally first time. You will mix with experienced (and not) people and then be in a better position to go your own way. Initially you could take the ferry down to Bilbao and drive for a couple of days to the south or south east coast. Have a look on the Carefree web site and you will see some winter rally ideas.

Ern

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Hi Eric and Elaine,

 

My wife and I have been wintering in Spain for the last 6 years ( 4-6 months)

 

I would be delighted to give you some advice/ideas

 

when will you go to Spain and, for how long?

 

And remember when in Spain if you are near a Ryanair or Easyjet airport you can nip home to

 

Blighty for a week, no problem,

 

Kind regards,

 

Leo.

 

www. vianormandy. com

 

oneleomartin@wanadoo. fr

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks to all for the extremely helpful suggestions and advice, all really appreciated.

 

not so big john, Ian and onelo in particular - encouraging words indeed.

 

not so big john - had never checked our Tesco points (we tend to divide our shopping loyaly between Morrisons, Sainsbuy's and Tesco depending on where we are at the time) so won't have sufficient for a chunnel fare, pity. We have got tickets for the NEC Thursday so will look for the DFDS offer.

 

You're correct, I have read and thoroughly enjoyed your blog about European touring - particularly Spain. I'll be drawing upon your published experiences deeply in our forthcoming adventure. Having recently returned from a 12 year stint in New Zealand (we'd quite probably still be there if only 'there' would remain there and not keep wobbling about so much it near bought our house down around our ears!) so the idea of spending near half the year travelling, seeing, experiencing and discovering - whilst also being away from dark nights, rain, cold and possibly snow appeals to us enormously.

 

Yes, we will have plenty of time so plan on visiting Barcelona for a wee up front and then wandering around sout-east Spain exploring, probably a few weeks here there and everywhere.

 

Yes, thanks for reminding me to thank 'Onewheel' (thanks!) for the advice re long vehicle sign, although, measuring my rig I come in at around 11. 5mtrs.

 

We're heading off to see Son, Daughter in Law and six year old grandson in Brisbane in Sept/Oct, but both of us are getting quite excited by the prospect of loading up the 'van in November and heading sout east. Who kows, we may even bump into you (not literally of course) or other of those that offered their advice so freely.

 

All the very best,

 

Eric and Elaine

But what if the hokey cokey really is what it's all about?

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Wow a new van all the way to Brisbane. I take my hat off to you. :D;):D

van Bessacar 625 towed by Mercedes M class 3. 2 cdi.

we do 6mths at home (winter) 6mths touring (summer)

Retired & loving it.--------- :D Adventure before Dementia. :P

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Wow a new van all the way to Brisbane. I take my hat off to you. :D;):D

I set myself up for that didn't I? ;)

But what if the hokey cokey really is what it's all about?

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Yup. PM me when you get past Alicante we live down there for 6+ months of the year.

may be able to offer advice if needed. O N.

van Bessacar 625 towed by Mercedes M class 3. 2 cdi.

we do 6mths at home (winter) 6mths touring (summer)

Retired & loving it.--------- :D Adventure before Dementia. :P

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