Bicycles, Campervan & Food
More information about important parts of the trip
The Biggest Time and Effort Saver
Other than our first campervan trip, we made sure we had bicycles which we borrowed or bought for the whole trip. Hiring worked out way too expensive.
They are vital to seeing places quicker, with much less effort and for free. Public transport is costly, involves finding the right routes, getting to stops, and waiting. Then there is the time consuming and very tiring thing called walking. The pain of the few times we have not had bicycles has convinced us of their supreme value.
We would park the campervan as close to the town centre as possible without having to pay for parking. We would then cycle to all the sites we wanted to see. The reason we were able to see as much as we did was mainly due to the bicycles.
More Info on the Campervan
Campervaning is big in Europe particularly in Germany and France. They are available for hire all over Europe but we found the best prices are in Germany. So all of our trips, except Spain, started and ended there.
They come in different sizes and configurations. The best option is a two or four sleeper, with 6 sleepers having more living room but are bulky and very high. Other than our first trip we have gone for the fully equipped but more compact vans, which are easier to drive and less restrictive with parking spaces.
It is totally self-contained with stove, sink, fridge, toilet, hot shower and central heating. They come standard with a bike rack as well as pots, crockery and cutlery. No bedding is provided but we found sleeping bags were great.
Everything works off gas or battery. The only restriction is the need to regularly take on fresh water, discharge grey water and empty the toilet. We generally lasted 3 to 4 days totally independent of any services or campsites.
What about Food?
We did not spend much time eating out, besides the high cost it is also a time consuming activity. We would have a meal out or a take-away at most 2 to 3 times during a trip.
We brought some food from home, particularly anything difficult to find in Europe like brown sugar and biltong. Also other things which are taste particular, cheaper or are just easier to take with like tea, coffee, nuts and snack bars.
We did a big shop as soon as we collected the camper and then would top up regularly at local stores and markets. It was very interesting doing this in different countries, from what was available to how stores are set out. As you can imagine Google Translate is vital.
We prepared our meals in the campervan in the evenings, had yoghurt and muesli for breakfast and as often as possible we lived on pastries, bread, cold meats and cheese during the day.