Tours and Travels

Day 1 – Alton, England – Wednesday sixth July 2022
Miles 0 – Hours driving 0 – Gasoline 0 – Breakdowns 0
Ventura is loaded, fuelled and able to tackle the massive job forward. I’m nervous, excited and simply hoping I could make the Pyrenees earlier than the weekend. It appears such a good distance away proper now, however all fingers crossed for n incident free journey by fence over the subsequent couple of days.
Channel tunnel – 220 km – 3 hours
Taking Ventura away from house turf, a significant milestone.
Battle of the Somme Aire – 328km – 2.5 hours (5.5 hours)
1am – An terrible place to cease for a Kip, proper in the course of The Somme in an deserted automotive park, unsure what was extra terrifying being raped by trucker or a thousand world struggle 1 soldier ghosts surrounding me all evening. Zero sleep.

Day 2 – Camp website simply North of Pau, France – Thursday seventh July
Miles 810 – Hours Driving 12 (17.5) Gasoline 135 litres
From final nights Aire by Le Mans a large push all the way down to Bordeaux.
France is huge and fairly boring, as long as Ventura retains going I needed to simply thrash it out.
Nothing to report other than leaving my pockets at a picnic spot, which is chilled.

Day 3 – Camp website simply exterior village of Gavernie, France – Friday eighth July
Miles 930 – Hours Driving 8 (25.5) Gasoline 135 litres
Immediately was all concerning the mountains. I made it ti the Pyrenees a day sooner than I assumed, so I used it to discover the wonderful surroundings.
Ranging from Lourdes I merely pointed Ventura up tracks till they ran out. I do not know if it’s allowed however we spent hours off the tarmac.
Within the afternoon i discovered my self on the finish of the highway and thought it is perhaps a pleasant hike to a lake close by. It seems I can’t learn a map, and the dimensions was approach off for me…what i believed was 1/2 hours was a 5 hour slog. However a tremendous wild swim on the high (not that actual high) awaited me.
I spent the late afternoon driving over the Col de Tourmalet, the primary of our mountain passes.

Day 4 – Haro, Spain – hellish motel.
Miles 1,269 – Hours driving 11 (36) – 169 litres gasoline
After a pointy breakfast I made a decision to start out attempting to select off just a few extra “Col’s”. having determined to camp in a correct camp website for the primary time since Robby Love’s camp website exterior Rock many moons in the past, I’m unsure I’ll be speeding again…
The morning was spent on and off highway taking in among the most breathtaking mountain roads and tracks I’ve ever been on. I spent a substantial amount of time in Low ratio (correct 4low’ing) and at many factors wanted a locked diff to scamper up the insanely steep rocky paths. I turned again at one level because it merely received too steep and scary, and I used to be alone so determined to not get in hassle. All over the place I went Marmotts dotted the panorama, one thing I’ve by no means seen in actual life, solely ever stuffed and look somewhat stunned in a nook of a restaurant or store within the Alps.
After a sequence of off-road tracks, we picked off Col de Tentes, which has a disappointing automotive park with a blocked entry all the way down to Spain slightly than a correct mountain cross. So I turned to Col du Soulor, which has essentially the most insane tiny highway operating out the again with out fences and treasured little regard for security merely hanging onto the sting of the mountain and weaving for miles spherical to Col de Aubisque. All as gorgeous and thoughts blowing as one another, views like nothing I’ve ever seen. A completely epic drive.
The highway then pushes you again all the way down to the valley ground for one final climb out by Col de Pourtalet the place I then stopped for a late lunch earlier than pushing out of the Pyrenees and into Northern Spain.
I had heard that there’s a desert area referred to as “La Bardenas Reales” and it appeared nearly on the best way, so I swung off the freeway and diverted for about 100km to take a look at a European Desert. Maybe I’m a bit fussy, however deserts aren’t speculated to maintain life, and this one has fields…so I wasn’t immediately impressed. However as I picked our approach additional into this nationwide park by the blazing 40 diploma warmth I can settle for some desert like options. I’ve been there now, so belief me, you don’t need to.
I received to confess to being some what stunned to have made it this far, because of this I do not know what tomorrow brings. An early begin and head for Portugal to see what I can discover.

Day 5 – Lisbon, Portugal – Ventura’s new house
Miles 1,816.7 – Hours driving 12 (36) – 212 litres gasoline
Why do the European’s champion 2 star motels, they rejoice their lack of washing amenities and terrible meals with large signposts on the facet of their buildings. ‘Come and stick with us,’ they scream as you hammer down the motorways of Europe, ‘come and keep and catch Ebola from the bar of cleaning soap we now have discarded close to your dribbling tub tub’ Its exceptional how efficient it’s, and as a advertising methods go, celebrating your failures is an off tactic nevertheless it labored on me. It was because of this that I discovered myself waking up at 5am determined to get again on the highway and get out of the hideous environment I discovered myself. I really longed for a camp website, and my very own tent!
So a final 600 mile push is all that stood in entrance of me and ending this epic, the warmth of yesterday had been draining and I knew the highway forward was going to grow to be equally boring when the solar received as much as its hull peak and the cab of Ventura started to push previous 40 levels. For the primary time I set a direct path to Lisbon and received transferring, however then remembered there’s a mountain vary (Sierra de Estrela) that isn’t removed from the route into Lisbon, so simply earlier than lunch I turned up into the Sierra De Estrella for one final climb.
I don’t know a lot about Portugal so was considerably stunned and amazed when I discovered a small ski resort on the Torre (The best level in all of Mainland Portugal) It didn’t seem like it had the best collection of runs, however I sit up for coming again up right here in winter to offers its slopes a run! After a fast lunch on the summit my journey in search of of excessive mountain passes between London and Lisbon got here to an finish, it was a easy 4 hours down the mountain and into Lisbon taking my closing day to a sweaty 12 hours of driving.
If pushed about my favourite a part of the entire 1,800 miles it could seemingly be the Pyrenees and its epic countless views, however secretly I do know that the entire views had been made higher by having that incredible little truck in them. I can’t imagine Ventura made the entire journey with out a lot a single bolt falling off, nevertheless it did and now I can’t wait to place her by some extra brutal testing. The deserts of Morocco? Coast to Coast throughout the Pyrenees off-road? Namibia? Who is aware of…

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