Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Working in Portugal | Scotland Tour Video | Living in a Hiace Camper Van

Things are going really well here in Portugal - I've been working for a couple of days now and I'm really enjoying it. I'm starting to lay out a vegetable garden on the land attached to the villa here. The first thing I had to do was to cut back some heavily overgrown bushes, and remove all the old branches for burning; pretty hot work and I was glad it was a more overcast day than usual for here.

After that, I've been servicing the irrigation system, cleaning out components, and replacing broken ones. There isn't usually a lot of rain here, so its important to have a functioning irrigation system if you're going to try and cultivate a variety of vegetables, herbs and salads, as is our plan here. After I had the irrigation system working correctly, and tested it, I got onto creating some wooden edges for the beds. There is quite a bit of old wood stored here, so I've been able to salvage enough treated 2x4s for the job.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

The Journey to Portugal, the Algarve | The Adventure Continues | Living in a Hiace Camper Van

Its been a few days since I posted an update - so much has been happening. I'm still overwhelmed by the new experiences I am having every day here, so I'll tell the story in pictures and a few comments. Enjoy!

 A stop off in Spain on the way down.. I later passed this group of overlanders again by the side of the road - one had broken down - I wonder what became of them.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Santander to Palencia Spain | Living in a Hiace Camper Van

Arriving into Santander on the ferry was beyond my expectations. The boat itself was more of a cruise ship and in fact some people were travelling straight back to the uk on a mini cruise. The ship 'Pont Aven' was luxurious, there was even a pool on board immaculately clean.

I did not opt for a cabin to save money, but I slept really well in the quiet lounge. There is a shower room, so if your planning to travel this route on a budget remember to bring your wash things and a towel with you.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Blablacar review | At Plymouth Docks | Living in a Hiace Camper Van

Hi all, I am having a beer, and watching Pale Rider, parked near Plymouth Docks, in good time for my ferry tomorrow. I wanted to share with you a great find, and a great way to cover the cost of fuel on a trip.

I just found out about Blablacar recently while in Bristol, and I wish I'd found out about it before I hit the road back in June. Basically it's a car sharing website and iPhone app on which you can post your planned journeys and it links you up with paying passengers who want a lift.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Toyota Hiace Super Custom 4WD - 2" suspension lift mod / wheel arch mod | Blood Red Off Road

As part of the van preparations for my Euro adventure, it was time to do the long dreamt of suspension lift to the van, and to fit bigger, more aggressive off road wheels and tyres - this would greatly increase the off-road capability of the truck, and mean I can get almost anywhere without getting stuck, and enjoy more inaccessible tracks and terrain with greater ground clearance under the axles and gearbox.

I headed down to see Dave at bloodredoffroad.com in Brighouse North Yorkshire to get the job done. From a previous visit, we had realised that the rear shackle bushings would need to be replaced, so had ordered up a replacement set in advance. (As the vehicle was twenty years old, the original bushings and pins could not be removed as they were seized together.) Don't begin this mod unless you have already got a replacement set on standby.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Spain & Portugal Trip, Winter 2013/14 Euro Travel Checklist


Today I've been thinking about and working on my checklist for my upcoming trip. There are not that many things to prepare in advance when you already live in a vehicle, so that really takes the hassle out of getting ready to go away, but as it is another European country, there are a few things to take into consideration.

Here's my checklist I've been putting together and looking into today:



  • Change phone to PAGo

  • Satnav

  • Euro travel kit & extra triangle

  • check breakdown cover details

  • Medical card

  • check passport and driving license

  • UK supplies to take

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The next leg of the journey, winter plans - The Adventure Continues - Living in a Hiace Camper Van

Hi all, I hope you're well out there wherever you are. I'm doing well - I've been staying with friends in north Yorkshire in the dales, going for walks, days out, and getting my van ready for the next stage of my trip. Its taken a while to get everything sorted out, but next week I'll be beginning my journey south, via the peak district and Bristol, and making a few more visits on the way, until I reach Plymouth docks on 19th October..


Saturday, 5 October 2013

Growers Ark Wild Salad foraging in the Scottish Highlands - Living in a Hiace Camper Van

Over the past while I've had the good fortune to become friends with Andy Cox and his partner Jessie, who together run an organic permaculture project called 'Growers Ark' located in the Scottish Highlands. I've been staying with them recently, helping out on the land, and with the admin side of things. It was an amazing time staying there in the beautiful and peaceful surroundings, living simply form the land.

Andy describes some of the herbs growing wild nearby..



Thursday, 3 October 2013

Journey South

So I've begun my journey south. Yesterday, after being stranded on Scoraig for two days due to the wind and waves, I managed to get back across the loch to my van in the post boat.

It was a very rough crossing and I chose the worst (or best, depending on how you look at it) corner of the boat to sit in. Big waves splashing over the side and a big swell made it a thrilling trip over, thankfully wearing wet gear saved the day.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Scotland Tour 2013 - iPhone clips and photos - Living in a Hiace Camper Van

I've got stranded on Scoraig and can get over due to wind and waves on the loch, so I've taken a bit of time to look through my iPhone photo album and piece together a couple of short videos, from the video clips and photos there from the past few months. Its all the random shots I pulled out the phone to take, as most of my photography was done on another camera, but as I'm sure you've found out for yourself, looking through your mobile phone photos tells a story, and takes you on a journey through the weeks and months, reliving your memories...

Part I -
Ferry crossing, entering the highlands, Glencoe, Loch Carron, Isle of Lewis, Skye, John Muir Trust, Lindisfarne (England), Scarborough Fair, North Yorkshire Dales..