Tag Archives: Europe

Week 22: Into Africa

Week 22: Into Africa

It has been an unplanned, but enjoyable, week. I spent a few days in Gibraltar with some awesome CouchSurfing hosts, Shawn and John, while I was there a lot of other Couch Surfers passed through. I spent two days exploring Gibraltar with three German Couch Surfers, Steph, Ronny and Fabian, we wandered around the city and went to see the monkeys.

Africa Trip

I had planned to get the ferry to Morocco on my Birthday, 6th December, but due to our excessive celebrations I was in no fit state to move off the sofa all day. I drank two bottles of red wine and a beer or two, then at 4am, when we were out of alcohol, we went to a 24 hour bar. I’m not sure what time we got back or when we went to sleep, but it was late.

Africa Trip

Steph, Ronny and Fabian left and I stayed on the sofa. Later that evening Steph contacted me to say I had left my scarf in their car, I decided to go and collect it the next day and so drove the four hours to Cordova. Steph and Ronny were kind enough to let me stay with them for a few days before I headed back down for the ferry. The ferry costs just under 45 euro and the morning ferry leaves at 10am. The journey took around an hour, with two hours going through customs on the other side.

Africa Trip

I drove around Tangier for a while before deciding I wanted to go into the mountains. I slept in a village called Ouezzane, where I’m sure I got ripped off with an expensive hotel (25 Euro). Then today I left and headed to Fes. I’m staying here for a couple of nights in a youth hostel, at the much better price of 5 Euro, taking a tour tomorrow, should be fun.

Africa Trip

Week 21: Malaga to Gibraltar

Week 21: Malaga to Gibraltar

This week was full of preparations, I started to week meeting a friend I had met in Valencia, at the same time I found the immunisation centre in Malaga. The next day I went back to Malaga to try to arrange an appointment for my immunisations, surprisingly they offered to give me all the immunisations that day. After spending about 45 minutes rushing to a bank to pay the tax for two of the injections and going to a pharmacy for the other three, I returned to the immunisation centre and had 5 injections. I am now immune to Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A and B, Meningitis and Rabies.

That afternoon I went to buy a set of new chain and sprockets for the motorbike, as well as all the parts needed to do a full service. The next morning I took the bike to get fresh tyres and the chain and sprocket fitted at the same time. Then picked up my oral immunisations for Cholera and Typhoid. After advice from the doctor, I wont be taking Malaria prevention medication, but will carry some tablets to use as a treatment. This is because Larium is not supposed to be taken if you will drive, Malarone can only be taken for short trips and I didn’t want to take antibiotics for a long period of time. Instead of taking Malarone as a prevention, I will take enough for a short trip which can be used to treat about 3 cases of Malaria.

The next day I generally rested because I was feeling a little spaced out after the injections, but the next day I did an almost full service on the bike, changed the air filter, changed the oil and oil filter but I realised the spark plug socket I brought with me is actually too small to fit over my spark plugs, I guess I can change them at a later date.

On Saturday I left Jess and Fred’s place in Torremolinos and followed the coast down to Gibraltar, I am really grateful for their kindness letting me stay with them, without them it would have been really difficult to be as productive as I managed to be, I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to move onto the African leg on schedule without them. Thanks again guys!

Africa Trip

I spent the evening in the house of my couch surfing host with another five couch surfers, three from Germany and two from Poland, plus the four people who actually live in the flat, We drank quite a lot and stayed up until around 4am talking. Today we explored some of Gibraltar and now we are sat drinking again, with guitars and keyboard playing. Tomorrow we are going to the top of Gibraltar rock to see the monkeys, then on Tuesday, to celebrate my birthday, I will be taking the ferry over to Morocco, ending the Europe leg of my trip and moving on to my second continent.

Week 20: Madrid to Malaga

Week 20: Madrid to Malaga

I spent last weekend in Madrid, then drove south to Cordoba to stay with a couch surfing host for a few days. Cordoba is a really nice city, especially in the old parts, where there are narrow cobblestone streets and Arabic styled buildings.

Europe Trip

One afternoon we went to a Moroccan style tea house for some nice tea. From Cordoba I headed south to Malaga, to stay with some friends in Torremolinos while I get new tyres and service my motorbike. I also need to get some booster immunisation shots and some Malaria tablets for my trip through Africa.

Week 19: Portugal to Madrid

Week 19: Portugal to Madrid

After spending a night in Vila Nova de Foz Coa, I decided to change my route slightly, I noticed there was a small road which went through the hills and then across the countryside to Salamanca. The ride was really nice but all the way to the border the weather was horrible, cold and wet. Luckily the weather improved as I crossed over the border into Spain, but every time I looked in my mirrors I could see the dark clouds following me.

Europe Trip

I arrived in Salamanca during the afternoon, checked into the hostel, hung all of my wet clothes to dry and had a hot shower. I spent three nights in Salamanca, taking some time to explore the city. There are some really nice areas and a lot of students.

Europe Trip

From Salamanca I drove to Madrid, I decided to avoid the motorway, as you have to pay. The road I took headed up through some hills or mountains, suddenly I was surrounded by thick clouds, visibility dropped to about 3 meters and it cold very cold and damp. I was driving slowly but apparently not slowly enough, one moment the road was straight, then there was a tight right hand bend. I tried to slow down and the next moment the bike was skidding out from under me. Luckily there was very little traffic and any traffic that was around was driving slowly, because of the bad visibility. I picked the bike up and pushed it to the side of the road, I wasn’t hurt and the bike was fine too, other than missing some paint on the crash bars. I got back on the bike and drove down out of the clouds and into Madrid.

Europe Trip

I spent this weekend here in Madrid, exploring the city and chilling out in some of the bars. The city is really nice, I’m sure its even better with good weather, luckily it didn’t rain, but the days were very grey. All this cold wet weather is making me more excited to get out of Europe and head down through Africa. Only a couple of weeks to go…

Week 18: Portugal

Week 18: Portugal

I have spent this week travelling north through Portugal, firstly I left Tavira and headed to Lagos. Lagos is a nice coastal town, which was quiet because of the time of year, the weather was awesome so I wandered around the town in the day and headed to a pub for some Guinness in the evening. From Lagos I headed along the coast to see a fort in Sagres, on the south western corner of the country before I headed north up the coast to a small village called Almograve. The village was nice but extremely quiet because it wasn’t tourist season, but when it’s the correct season the village is really popular with surfers.

Europe Trip

From Almograve I headed further north to Lisbon, where I couch surfed with a couple of girls in the city centre. They had a really cool flat in a cool, busy area of town. The flat was cool but the electricity was cut off, I really didn’t mind, it actually made it cooler, we were sat around talking and eating by candle light. The next day I explored the city then headed back to the flat as the girls would be back from uni and work. We then headed out to meet some of their friends and ended up sat in the street drinking a traditional cherry liqueur and smoking hash, an awesome night.

Europe Trip

After spending a few days in Lisbon I headed even further north, to Porto, I was couch surfing again, this time with someone who has been involved with couch surfing for years. We had a great time eating and drinking red wine while exchanging travel stories, but we took a walk around Porto during the day time on Saturday. Porto is a really nice city, the kind of place I would enjoy spending a few months living in, preferably in the summer.

Europe Trip

Today I left Porto and drove through the Douro valley, it was a really enjoyable ride, beautiful views and the weather was nice for most of the journey. Tonight I’m staying in a hostel in Vila Nova de Foz Coa, then in the morning I’m heading back into Spain, to Salamanca. Hopefully the weather wont be too bad.