Gone Logging: Surfing our way through France, Spain and Portugal — An Introduction
Ever since I bought my van I have always longed to take a European road trip and now it looks like it’s finally going to happen. During the second half of September I will be travelling along the Atlantic coast of the European mainland on what I hope will be an epic surf trip. My surf buddy David Watson “T-Rex” will be joining in on this trip in his van, “The Hut”. Both of us will be crossing from Poole to Cherbourg on the 21st September 2016, me with my 9′6″ Coco Mat NSP board and David with his 10′ classic, shaped by Chris Jones of Newquay. We are now at the stage, with just 6 weeks to go, of planning and preparation.
I realise when taking a road trip through Europe, most people will probably plan a route beforehand, arranging campsites and specific site-seeing stops along the way. The difference here is we are going to be completely fluid in our plans. The main aim of the trip is to try some of the great surf spots along the Atlantic coast and as anyone who surfs knows, conditions for this cannot always be guaranteed and we’ll be looking for good longboard conditions too, not 10 foot barrelling waves. We’ll also be looking to avoid any weather that resembles something we are use to in the UK so there is every chance we could make a B-line direct to Portugal when we arrive in France. This doesn’t mean there won’t be any planning at all though, I have just recently been creating a new map in Google My Maps which gives us the locations of surf breaks, campsites and surf shops along our way. I will be adding to this before we leave with other information we might need.
As for preparing the van, that’s unfortunately a bit limited to budget. I was hoping I would be able to purchase a solar panel system before leaving but too many other costs have arisen just recently, like new driveshafts and tires to get it through the MOT. I have also just purchased the kit to replace the 5th gear so I can hopefully cruise a bit better on the faster roads. I figure, based on the fact that we will be on the road for a couple of hours a day that my split charger will be fine in charging my two 115AH leisure batteries. As for other amendments, I think/hope it will be fine, I’ve been away every weekend since April and have really adapted the van well for my stays away.
I have created this new section on the website and will update as the trip evolves. To all those doing something similar, have fun! Will catch up soon.