Wahay! The Retro road trip is off again. This time we are heading to Morocco in Kabylie so if you don’t want to follow our blog again you can un-subscribe. We won’t mind (much).
As we drove out of Biarritz onto the autoroute on the 14th April, Petra declared that it was exactly a year to the day that we set off on our Iran trip! Clearly the 14th April is a good day to start new adventures.
We do feel slightly guilty to be setting off again so soon but we were all very sad when the last one ended and you never know for how long your almost teenage children will appreciate camping in a rooftent with their parents. Also apparently it is still not illegal to take your kids out of school in term time in France as it is now in the UK so we thought we should ‘profitez bien’ in case Brexit forces us to return to the strict British educational system! The kids managed to catch up the 3 months of school they missed last year pretty quickly so a cheeky extra two weeks on the Easter brake should not be too serious.
Since getting back from our last road trip in September, Kabylie has been busy doing some topless modelling in Biarritz. She looks undeniably good with her roof off. We thought of taking her like this but we concluded we would miss our roof nest too much.
Leaving Biarritz was certainly a lot less stressful than last time and seemed so easy with no visas, currency, route, schooling, dog, house and other issues to deal with. We remembered how overloaded we had been for our last trip so have simplified everything and have probably 50% less crap onboard. Tom has drilled hundreds of holes in the roof rack to lighten it and stripped out everything we don’t think is essential. Now there is a simple shelf in the back with bags and boxes for our stuff. On final weigh-in we are still 2100kg but that’s about 400kg lighter than last time. Tom has also fitted a thing called an overdrive, which effectively means we now have 16 forward gear options and 4 reverse! Having just driven from Biarritz to Barcelona we can confirm that it transforms the car. We even have dead flies on the windscreen and can almost keep up with lorries.
Having left Biarritz two days ago, we are now staying with old friends Ben and Mayu Miller, and their 4 delicious kids in Barcelona waiting to catch the 9am ferry to Morocco tomorrow. It’s cheating slightly but even with 16 gears the idea of driving non stop across Spain did not sound like fun, particularly as I have a herniated disc in my back. I was only allowed out of bed 2 hours before we left after an epidural of cortisone and 48 hours bed rest, but luckily having bench seats, Kabylie is the perfect sore-back vehicle (we think!). Every hour, I can lie down with my head on the driver’s lap and my feet out the window. I must just add that Tom did give the whole family the option of doing this trip in our VW camper-van but we all decided it had to be done in Kabylie, especially as her early life had been spent in North Africa in Algeria so in a way we would be bringing her home.
You can once again see where we are on our tracker by clicking here……………hope you enjoy following our adventure.
Going through some of the gears!