The Big Trip, Day 9: another rainy day in Barcelona, and I face some difficult truths

After my first decent night’s van sleep in Barcelona so far, I wake yet again to the sound of rain pattering off the fibreglass roof. Huh, I’ve come all the way to southern Spain, and I’ve brought the winter with me. Continue reading “The Big Trip, Day 9: another rainy day in Barcelona, and I face some difficult truths”

The Big Trip, Day 8: Rainy day in Barcelona

After my epic detour getting back to the van last night, I’m really tired and don’t wake up till after 11am. It doesn’t make much difference though, as it’s hammering down with rain outside, the first rain I’ve seen since getting to the continent. Continue reading “The Big Trip, Day 8: Rainy day in Barcelona”

The Big Trip, Day 7: Barcelona – another day in paradise

After the upsets of last night, I don’t sleep very well despite the reassuring presence of Tom snoring. It’s occurred to me that I may have left my passport in the van, and I’m not sure if it’ll still be there when I get back.

Continue reading “The Big Trip, Day 7: Barcelona – another day in paradise”

The Big Trip, Day 6 (later) night time in Barcelona

After writing that last blog post, I end up chatting for ages to fellow travellers in the Wild Rover Irish pub. As you could tell from the name, it’s a haven for English speaking tourists who don’t want anything too… Spanish. One of them is a retired engineer from North Carolina called Phil, and the others are a father, mother and son from Maidenhead in Kent. Continue reading “The Big Trip, Day 6 (later) night time in Barcelona”

The Big Trip, Day 6: Barcelona – such a beautiful horizon

Distance covered today: 124 miles

Total distance covered: 1051 miles

After the unfortunate discovery that I had no data in Andorra, I’m keen to move on as soon as possible after posting this morning’s blog. After all, tempting though it is, I can’t stay in Bar Valor all day, and that’s the only place I can get the data I’ve planned the whole trip round. So before leaving I load up Google Maps with the route to a recommended parking spot in Barcelona, and head off. Continue reading “The Big Trip, Day 6: Barcelona – such a beautiful horizon”

The Big Trip, Day 5: Into the Pyrenees to Andorra

Distance covered today: 121 miles

Total distance covered: 927 miles

I can’t say I’m sorry to be leaving Toulouse, but the next stretch looks challenging – I’m going up an actual mountain range. Given that the van doesn’t do well with hills, this is a bit of an intimidating prospect. On the bright side, I’m expecting some spectcaular views. Continue reading “The Big Trip, Day 5: Into the Pyrenees to Andorra”

The Big Trip, Day 4: Toulouse – a Tale of Two Cities

Distance covered today: 198 miles

Total distance covered: 806 miles

This is my lengthiest single stretch of drive so far, and it takes me to the biggest place i’ve yet visited – Toulouse, capital of the Occitanie region in southern France. Far more so than Orleans or Rouen, Toulouse seems like a proper city; the 4th largest in France, according to Wikipedia. You can tell even before you reach the place. The wide, multi-lane highways with their attendant malls and car showrooms remind me of nothing so much as driving into Los Angeles. Continue reading “The Big Trip, Day 4: Toulouse – a Tale of Two Cities”