March was our first full month on the road and now we’re feeling much more settled into things. Things are working like clock-work really. We plan, we drive, we arrive and set up, we visit, we shop, we sleep, we plan our next stop and then we leave and repeat all over again. Sometimes we stay just a couple of nights, sometimes as much as 9 nights in the same place.
We are really enjoying the very slow pace of travel, and the way we don’t really have very much planned except a few spots on the map we have marked as ‘must see’. It allows us to be flexible, travel when we like, hang around when we find a place that appeals to us, meet other travelers on the road and listen to their favorite places. Spain is such a vast and varied country, we could be here for months…although we also plan to come back in the Winter next year so no need to see it all this time through.
Let’s have a look at what we completed for the month of March. (Find February 2019 statistics here.)
Statistics for March 2019
Miles completed – van and scooter. We find ourselves using the scooter a lot less on this trip than the one we did before. We have a challenge this year to walk 1,000 miles, so we’re walking a lot more than we might do otherwise. That’s not a bad thing, keeps us fit and fits in well with our philosophy of slow travel this time around. It’s so much easier to be immersed in a place when you are walking through it rather than driving.
Another reason we’ve not used the scooter quite so much is just how steep the area is! We did set out from Benidorm to visit Guadalest up in the hills, but it was just so steep getting up there with two of us on a 50cc scooter. It was getting slower and slower and we really didn’t want to blow the thing up! So we turned round and visited somewhere else instead. The area just in from the coastline in this region of Spain is very hilly.
Countries visited – Spain….still here and plan to be here for a good long while yet. Next will be Portugal, on our way up through to visit more in the north of Spain. Places visited – Valencia, Oliva, Denia, Calpe, Benidorm, Urbanova, Torrevieja, Guardamar and Murcia.
Camping nights – of the 31 nights in March, we spent 19 of them in paid campsite accommodation and 12 of them in free camping or wild camping spots. There were gorgeous free spots right on the beach such as in Denia and in Torrevieja, as well as not-so-glamourous spots such as in Murcia.
Campsites were a varied bunch, including one we didn’t enjoy so much in Calpe, but brilliant sites in Benidorm at Villasol and in Marjal Resort in Guardamar. Both of these would make excellent long stay spots with lots of activities for next winter.6
|Month||Free nights||Paid nights|
Travel, sightseeing and living costs for the month
- Fuel costs:
- Camper van – €70.00 (we only filled up once)
- Moped – €8.32
- Other motoring costs – €3.00 scooter parking at Algar Waterfalls
- Camping costs – €333.50 for the 19 paid nights. Average of €17.55 per night. Most of our stays have been using the ACSI camping card.
- Entertainment and admission – €71.60 on admission tickets to attractions and activities
- Eating out – €256.00. This figure included a special meal for our 30th wedding anniversary in early March.
- Groceries – €446. Hmm, things really added up in this category. We do try to eat well so we spend quite a bit on fresh fruit and vegetables. This came out more than we expected.
- Clothes – €388. After living in the tropics for 12 years, we only had thin t-shirts, shorts and flip flops. We had grabbed a few quick items while we were in the UK, but a wardrobe update was sorely needed by us both.
- Phone and internet – £20.00 for our UK mobile phone and £25.50 for the monthly mifi charges (50GB per month). We also bought another phone to carry as a back up in case we lost or damaged our primary phone. It also allows us to have a phone each and keep in touch if we need to. That cost £129 including the case, SIM and £10 credit.
- Medical – £185.00 per month for our private medical insurance policy.
Visit for follow-up dermatology consultation at the IVO cancer hospital for Nigel (no charge) and a renewed prescription for his chemotherapy cream and sun protection capsules. Total of €115
- Laundry – €10.50 – 3 washing loads. All line dried.
- LPG gas – €8.96
- Cat expenses – food and some new toys – €22
- Van accessories – we bought bits and pieces we found we needed for the van such as a colander, some buckets, corkscrew, pillow, doorstop, an EU two-pin electrical hook up adapter, as well as a couple of chairs and an outdoor table – €125.50
- Misc – books and magazines – 99p, Deby haircut €10
|Total to |
|Fuel – van||€218.24||€70.00||€288.24||€144.12|
|Fuel – scooter||€3.00||€8.32||€11.32||€5.66|
|Tolls, tunnel and parking||€214.40||€3.00||€217.40||€108.70|
|Entertainment & admission||€78.30||€71.60||€149.90||€74.95|
|Phone and internet||£95.50||£174.50||£270.00||£135.00|
|Medical insur. & expense||£185.00||£185.00 + |
|£185.00 + |
|LPG Gas refills||€16.78||€8.96||€25.74||€12.87|
Total spent in March = €2,286 (or about an average of €73.74 a day)
Highlights of the month
Valencia was fantastic, we were still there for a few days at the start of March. I’d definitely go back there. So much to see and do. (Our best 10 things to do in Valencia.)
Denia was better than expected and we stayed longer there, until our loo filled up and we were forced to move on. Calpe on the other hand was a bit of a disappointment for us despite it being highly recommended by others. We think our choice of campsite let us down here.
Benidorm was an absolute blast. In all truth, we had expected to hate it, but we certainly didn’t. SO much to do, lots of great walks, places to drive to and visit within easy distance. We were there for 10 days (waiting for a parcel to arrive from the UK) and we didn’t stop the whole time we were there! We’d go back again for sure.
Marjal resort in Guardamar was a potential winter spot for us next year. We stayed a few nights to check it out and enjoyed the very full sports and activities program. It seems to be always booked up well in advance but we have a note in the diary to try to get back in here for some time next winter.
Plans for the coming month
Cartegena and it’s Roman ruins and history, and then much more inland visits this month such as Granada, Cordoba, Guadix, Ubeda, Rhonda and more. Maybe even all the way to Gibraltar by the end of the month. We hear they have a Waitrose there and you can stock up on some British favorites. Can’t wait!