We had just rented our beach house out for the summer in the South of Spain and were preparing to leave on our trip to find work on the yachts in Antibes. We packed up our small car with as much stuff we could fit and started off on our adventure. Just as we were driving away from our house we got a call from G’s friend saying he was surfing in Portugal in his van. We thought we’d make Portugal our first stop as we dont get opportunities to see friends from back home very often, and we were also keen to check out Portugal. Even if it was in the opposite direction.
When we arrived after a 5 hours drive, we found him parked up at a beautiful Almagreira Beach in Peniche. He is a bit of a nomad and lives in his van most of the time but is originally from Belgium. He travels all over to surf so he knows all the best places, and this was definitely one of them!
There are stunning rock formations with bright beautiful colours, it was one of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen. That night all three of us crashed in the van as finding a place to sleep hadn’t really crossed our minds yet… This was something very unusual for me, I’m normally a very meticulous planner but G was teaching me to stop worrying about everything and to just let things play out as the path will reveal itself to us when the timing is right.
The next morning, feeling inspired by what we had seen we decided that we would drive from there to the south of France and stop at campsites a long the way. So we went straight to Decathlon and stocked up all the camping essentials.
CAMPING ROAD TRIP ESSENTIALS
- Tent, we went for a 4 man one with a porch
- Blow up mattress and foot pump
- Camping chairs
- Ground mat
- Gas cooker
- Ice box
Everything else we needed we were able to take from home like bedding, cups, plates and cutlery.
I was so excited for this! I used to go on camping trips all the time as a child with my grandparents and camping in a tent at festivals has always been so fun! We found a cosy spot on the cliffs by the beach to put up our tent and stayed there for one more night so we could explore the area a bit more and the boys could go for a surf.
As we were going back through the south of Spain we thought we would check out Ronda. I used Pitchup to find a campsite in the area where we could stay for the night. If you have watched Warrior Nun on Netflix, which is filmed in Andalusia you might recognise the very famous stone bridge of Ronda which is shown in one of the episodes.
After our quick stop over in the beautiful Ronda we spent a night in Valencia and a night in Cala Mongo just before we crossed the border to France.
I found and area on the map about 1 hour and a half in land from Antibes that had a lot of campsite options and was up in the mountain surrounded by beautiful nature. The lovely little town of Castellane. Just before we arrived we discovered stunning lavender fields along the road, just like you see in all the photos! As soon as we saw them I demanded we stopped for a quick photo shoot.
We found a little campsite to stay at for the night, set up our tent and then went off on a little explore around the town, such a cute little place! We found out that there’s a huge lake nearby called ‘Lac de Castillon’ where you can do watersports. The next day we went to the lake and hired a kayak, we couldn’t resist it was just too beautiful. I mean, look at the colour of that water!
After posting a few pics on insta showing where we were I got a message from a friend I used to work with on the yachts. He was living in Antibes and was a captain on a yacht there, he also happened to have a super cool caravan and wanted to come and join us in the mountains for a campsite get together along with his girlfriend, his son and his dog. So awesome!
We drove to meet them at another campsite that was a bit closer and filled them in on our plans whilst having a few drinks and cooking up some yummy food on our camping cookers. He told us to get a campsite in Antibes as he had some work coming up that he could use us both for. What perfect timing!
So, that was G sorted with his first bit of yachting experience, days spent scrubbing decks and sanding teak getting the boat ready for a owner trip. We stayed there until the end of the summer and had such a good time but unfortunatly we didn’t manage to secure a couple position on a yacht. We were thinking of continuing with our road trip and hitting Italy next, but then a conversation with our Captain friend made us come up with another idea entirely.
He made us realise yachting was not the right path for us at this time and that there was a far better option that we hadn’t seen yet. The chance of us getting on a boat together was very slim and the alternative was joining yachts seperately which basically meant we would have to say goodbye to our relationship. I mean, we would of course try and make it work but realistically, it would be so hard for us to see each other and we’d be back to doing long distance again which we really didn’t want!
He said that if he was in our position he wouldn’t go back into the yachting industry, he would sell the house and move to the countryside and buy a run down finca with some land and do it up. This was actually something we thought we would love to do one day but thought we needed to go out and earn more money first to be able to do it. But he convinced us that we could do it and that it would be a better life than going back into yachting, and he was so right.
It did kind of suck that we had spent all that time and money on the yachting courses for nothing, but the way I saw it was that we had to go through that to figure out what it was that we really wanted, and we could always go back into yachting another time if we really wanted to! So we left Antibes at the end of August and started driving back to Spain as quickly as we could to put the house on the market.
Have you ever been to any of these places? Let me know in the comments below x
2 thoughts on “CAMPING ROAD TRIP – PORTUGAL TO FRANCE”
Never been there but all these places sound amazing!! Like you said, all happens for a reason and at least it was a fun experience. If that captain wouldn’t have talked you out of it, Indi and Lady would maybe still be on the streets and Baby maybe never would have been born!! Bruce would def still be single… Haha!
Love these stories of yours. So nice to get to know you even more!
Thank you! I defo feel like I am where I am supposed to be xx