Map above shows our regular route north to Calais
Before we left Platja we enjoyed a lovely lunch at a regular stop over, Hippopotamus, abbreviated to the mud hole by our friends Chris and Peter, who live up the road in L'Estartit. They were on excellent form and it was good to catch up on all their news. After we had digested our lunch we decided that we wouldn't hang about and would rather get going and head back for the UK. The wind coming off the Pyrenees Mountains was making it cooler than the temperatures back home, we decided not to dawdle.
We stayed with our toll road free policy, apart from two short sections. One was the border between Spain and France, which costs about 90p and so is well worth it. The other, more expensive is the Millau Bridge. That was in the region of ten pounds, and so not a cheap crossing, but the bridge is so spectacular, that its overall loveliness helps ameliorate the pain of parting with all the cash. There are so many places to stop and stay in France that its never difficult to find an overnight stop over. As we drive Mike's inclination to keep going waxes and wanes. One minute he'll declare that he's ready to stop, then he may announce a few minutes later that he can continue for a few more miles. I started using a website last year with my phone called search for sites. This has proved to be a tremendous resource because as you search on it, it utilises the phone GPS to locate places within anything from a 5 to 50km radius of your location. It picks up on wildcamping, ACSI, France Passion, Aires and campsites. This worked so well for us, because I could find the next location or two up ahead and just ask the driver if he fancied stopping sooner rather than later.
So, as usual, once we got the bit between our teeth, all of a sudden we were back in the UK. If you have spent any time at all looking at this site then you should be aware that I am a motorhomelifer through and through, but the lifer side was starting to get me down. What should I do when my whole way of life is seen as a long holiday by most hard working souls my age? Well, it is a way of life rather than a holiday, but it shouldn't become a life sentence and so I stuck my hand up and asked Mike if we could stop. Fortunately he heard me and we have rented a one bedroom flat in Norwich for the summer. I can get the book finished which I am tremendously excited about and Mike will continue roaming the highways and byways of Europe in the motorhome.
I have every intention to continue blogging and updating the website, so please come back. Don't leave! Anyway, if Mike has lots of interesting adventures I could write about those, just in case you don't fancy reading about whether I managed to pay the bills on time. This does bring me onto budget issues. Last winter I got into a bit of a spat on one of the forums on how much full-timing costs. My point was that it depends on how far you drive, how long you stay still and how much you pay if you're stopping somewhere. I have always maintained that day to day living costs are the same whether you're in a motorhome or in a dwelling. There was an inference coming through on the thread that it was alright for me because I was married to a tycoon. Tycoon? Mike? If I was married to a tycoon, would I live in a Wildax Aurora? Nothing against the van and all, but honestly. So, I made two decisions as a result of this experience. The first one-no more forums. The spat hurt my feelings, I was only trying to be helpful and couldn't believe that a thread could descend into such rudeness from people I don't know. Call me old-fashioned, but that's just how I feel. The second idea I had was that Mike and I can do a direct side by side, objective comparison of living costs. We will both keep an accurate log of our true spend. None of the "well I won't write down council tax 'cos it happens anyway." which is the type of stuff I have heard from time to time. Results to be published on the budget page in six months time. I've also just remembered something else from the above mentioned forum. Someone also proposed that it looked as though I was trying to earn an independent existence. Well, I have tried very hard to make money from the site and from writing in general. I would very much like to contribute to our lifestyle and finances. Google advertising made its first appearance on this site in May 2012 and I have earned sixty quid from that venture. I guess I need a tycoon after all. Perhaps until one of those comes along, you can click and browse the adverts on the site or try a free trial of Amazon Prime. So long for now and Happy Easter.