Wow, what a month. We feel like we really packed in a lot this month. Lots of great sight-seeing, some relaxing breaks at beaches and pretty locations, and some fancy British shopping which broke the budget! More on that later…

At the moment we are woefully behind in writing up our adventures so haven’t got any of our April travel written up yet. We had the best of intentions, but it seems that having the experiences is so much more fun than writing them up afterward, and we just keep on moving onto the next place, the next adventure and the next gorgeous place to stay. We will try to do better and get a bit caught up by this time next month (ha ha ha, best laid plans….)

The impressive fortress cathedral of Almeria

But in April we visited:

  • Cartegena
  • Vera
  • Carboneras
  • Cabo de Gato
  • Almeria
  • Abla
  • Granada and the Alhambra
  • Salobrena
  • Torrox
  • Cabopino nr Marbella
  • Estepona
  • Gibraltar
  • Ronda
  • Setenil de las Bodegas
  • Arcos de la Frontera
  • And Jerez de la Frontera
Roman theatre in Cartegena

Let’s have a look at what we completed for the month of April. (Find March 2019 statistics here.)

Statistics for April 2019

Miles completed – van and scooter.

MileageVanScooter
February 201993687
March 201952498
April 2019668105

A slight increase in mileage this month although we are still very much enjoying the slow traveling. We still stuck mainly to the coastal areas but ventured a few times inland and up into the hills. It’s still jolly chilly up there though at night and early in the day. When in Granada, we weren’t really warming up enough to take off our coats until about 3pm.

We expect to cover more during May as we make our way up through Portugal. It looks like a beautiful country, but doesn’t have so many places of interest where we have a ‘must-see’ marked on the map, so we think perhaps we’ll be going further between stops. Unless we just love the coast and continue to enjoy the relaxing beach life that is.

The sun was out but it was still cold in the mountains of Granada. Fantastic scenic place to drive around on the moped.

Countries visited – Spain…and Gibraltar.

Camping nights – of the 30 nights in April, we spent 13 of them in paid campsite accommodation or paid parking, and 17 of them in free camping or wild camping spots. We are finding more and more that the free camping suits our needs better in a lot of places because the parking spots are closer to the areas we want to visit.

However, as the weather heats up, we will probably switch more to campsites where we can leave the van with the skylights open for the day or leave it attached to EHU and leave the air-conditioning on. Keeping the van closed up in the hot weather would not be nice for Scruffy.

MonthFree nightsPaid nights
February 201966
March 20191219
April 20191713
We were blown away with the architecture of the Alhambra

Travel, sightseeing and living costs for the month

  • Fuel costs:
    • Camper van – €162.11. It seemed like we spent a lot more on fuel this month but that was more of a timing issue because we filled up right at the start and the end of the month.
    • Moped – €9.84
  • Other motoring and travel costs – €19.25. We caught a taxi once in Granada, paid for some parking for the scooter at the Algar Waterfalls, and also ended up paying two tolls by accident. Darned CoPilot. Pick a route without tolls and somehow it still diverts you onto a paid stretch of road sometimes. Luckily they weren’t expensive.
  • Camping costs – €218.25
  • Entertainment and admission – €198.88 on admission tickets to attractions and activities. It was an expensive month, with the Granada card costing €40 each, and then €29 each to visit the Rock in Gibraltar including the cable car. Other sights visited were much more reasonable at €2-5 per time.
  • Eating out – €129.24. We didn’t eat out at lunchtime so often this month, and even took sandwiches out with us when sightseeing for the whole day. We do still enjoy stopping for a coffee in quaint squares and plazas most days.
  • Groceries – €408.07. Oh dear. We had planned to cut back on grocery spending this month but just can’t resist the British foods. We shopped twice in Iceland Overseas at €100+ a time and also did a big shop in Morrisons in Gibraltar. However, the van is now very well stocked and we are (semi) confident our groceries WILL be less for May.
  • Clothes – €54.39. We both bought new undies in the Marks and Spencer in Gibraltar. It had to be done. They simply have the best pants.
  • Phone and internet – £20.50 for our UK mobile phone and £26.13 for the monthly mifi charges (50GB per month).
  • Medical – £185.00 per month for our private medical insurance policy.
  • Laundry – €23.50. We visited the laundry three times in the month and washed most of the smalls by hand.
  • LPG gas – €17.79. Spending more time in wild camping uses more gas to run the fridge, the heating and the water heater. But it still works out to be so much cheaper than a campsite. Where there is a charge for EHU, it’s much cheaper to use gas instead, plus our solar, so we usually don’t bother paying for electricity if we are on a campsite. We also spent €2 to fill up with water at a motorhome service point.
  • Cat expenses – €9.24. Food and litter.
  • Van accessories – €1 for a fly squatter, €18.20 for some toilet-blue and a replacement air vent after the cat pulled one out with his paw and we couldn’t find the spring!
  • Misc – €1.40 to send a letter home
Pretty white-washed villages of Andalusia
ExpensesMar
2019
Apr
2019
Total to 
date
Average
Fuel – van€70.00€162.11€450.35€150.12
Fuel – scooter€8.32€9.84€21.16€7.05
Tolls, tunnel, taxi, parking€3.00€19.25€236.65€78.88
Campsite fees€333.50€218.25€635.75€211.92
Entertainment & admission€71.60€198.88€348.78
€116.26
Eating out€256.00€129.24€445.79€148.60
Groceries€446.00€408.07€930.32€310.05
Phone and internet £174.50£46.63£316.63
£105.54
Medical insur. & expense£185.00 +
€115.00
£185.00£555 +
€115.00
£185 +
€38.33
Laundry€10.50€23.50€41.00€13.67
Clothing€388.00€54.39€441.90€147.46
LPG Gas & water€8.96€19.79€45.53€15.18
Cat expenses€22.00€9.24€31.01€10.41
Van accessories€125.50€19.20€144.2€48.07
Misc€11.10€1.40€12.50€4.17
Monthly total€2,286€1,539€4,930€1,643

Total spent in April = €1,539 (or about an average of €51.32 a day)
Average spend per day since trip began = €67.53

Meeting the natives on the Rock of Gibraltar

Highlights of the month

Granada for sure – bucket list item for such a long time. The Alhambra was mind-blowing. It was chilly there though. Perhaps better to visit in May than in April, brrr.

And Gibraltar. What a fascinating place. If you love military and naval history, old fortifications etc, you’ll love it here. And they have a Marks and Spencer and a Morrisons as well as British pubs, fish and chips, and everything British you could possibly need. It really is Britain with more sunshine.

One of our favorite free camping sites for the month, right on the beach at Salobrena

We also really enjoyed the beach and wild camping in Salobrena over the Easter period. Can’t get better than free beachside camping.

Plans for the coming month

Seville is coming up, and we have high expectations for all the fabulous things to do in the city, but it could be HOT there. Already we are noticing that it may still be cool overnight, but the cities are really heating up and sight seeing isn’t quite so comfortable. But we are at out southern most point now so we’ll be heading back up north and hopefully not overheating too much.

We plan to spend most of the month in Portugal, visiting their stunning coastline as well as some of the interesting towns and cities. Very much looking forward to Sintra and Porto. Hopefully by the time we do the stats for next month, we’ll be a bit more up to date with the diary!

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2 Comments

  1. Don’t miss Obidos and Coimbra, both worth a visit.

    1. Thanks for your recommendations. We’ve added in places to stay on our planned route at each place from Park4Night. Obidos looks particularly nice, the town with its aqueduct and all the surrounding area. THANKS.

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