We are full of trepidation about what the future brings and, not knowing where Brexit takes us, haven’t been able to make any travel plans. As it is, in the period to the end of 2020, it seems that we will still be able to travel in Europe but after that – well who knows? At the worst, which seems all too likely, to travel in Europe we will need visas to stay longer than 90 days at a time, private health insurance, green cards for our motor insurance, additional recovery cover and the worst of it Freds passport won’t be valid and it could take 4 months of planning and blood cultures. If this comes to pass my calculations so far are that this will cost us an extra £700 a year never mind any further collapse in the value of the pound. So our plans of travel in retirement have been royally screwed.
Originally we thought we would stay at home this year and explore Scotland and we will in the spring and early summer. We are thinking west coast, the islands and probably the NC500, none of which are far away, as well as days out to the coast and into the mountains.
We had thought about Norway again but so soon after our last trip and with a great many similarities to home in Scotland we decided against. In addition there are some logistical issues such as the ferries and cost of them with Newcastle – Amsterdam working our at £950, Hull – Rotterdam/Zebrugge £670 as opposed to the tunnel at £275. On to which there is the additional cost of Hirtshals – Kristiansand at £400. So I don’t mind driving to the tunnel but there is a complication as Fred would need a worming tablet for Norway and if we used our local vet it would be a slog to get on to the Hirtshals ferry within 120 hours.
So with all that in mind we have decided to take the plunge and head south this summer. Good old Newhaven – Dieppe is inexpensive, with the van only being charged the same as a car, and still the most convenient route with Fred in the van. We have booked 2 months away and are thinking west coast France and northern Spain and Portugal again. We loved it so much last time and the weather should be fab in late summer. Granted it could be a wee bit busy in August but we are well equipped to wing it and it will be quieter as get into September.
With the ferry booked we have 6 months to plan our trip, as far as we intend to plan that is. There are a few places we visited before that we want to again, the Pyrenees, Haro, the beaches in Galicia, Laredo, St-Jean-de-Luz/Bairitz and the fish shop near the camp site in Gujan-Mestras to name but a few. They all set the imagination off and something to look forward to while we wait for winter to end.
Oh and a small footnote:- our stocks of necessities from French supermarkets are almost at an end ;=)