Our Big OE 1981/82

Peter & Debra’s Big OE to Europe – Nov 26th to Dec 14th

Across the Pyrenees and into Spain. Freecamping our way along the Costa Brava coastline ….


Diary Entry – Nov 26th
SPAIN. Drove though Spanish border with no problems. Stopped in Port Bou for lunch. Went for a walk around the shops and sea walkway. Drove on a wee way, stopped to admire scenery and whilst doing so, a van with three armed Police pulled up and demanded our passports and driving licence. They had a look through our van and let us go on our way. Bit of a spooky experiece for a couple of naive Kiwis! Drove on a few miles and stopped on a beach for night-spot. Weather very windy in the morning but the afternoon was a light wind, sunny and mild. Changed 70 Pound to Pesetas in Port Bau.

Spanish sunrise on the Costa Brava, south of Port Bau.


Diary Entry – Nov 27th
Watched the sun come up at 8.30am and started off at 9.30am. Drove into Puerto de Lllansa, had a look at a small market then carried on a few miles and stopped between Puerto de Llansa and Cadaques. 23C at 3.00pm. spent afternoon in van reading. Sunny all day, no wind. Lots of FLIES.

Diary Entry – Nov 28th
Stayed at yesterday’s stop for another night. Had a visit by two police to check on us. Very polite and friendly. Windy day. Not much sun. Did nothing all day. Read a bit and checked maps and information brochures on Spain.

This camping spot turned out to be an old rubbish dump!
We had another visit by the Police here checking what we were up to.
Maybe they thought we were international drug smugglers!


Costa Brava. Cadaques.


Spanish village, Puerto de la Selva. Beautiful.


Diary Entry – Nov 29th
Very windy all day but sunny. Drove down Costa Brava and stopped at Palamos and free camped by beachfront in front of hi-rises.

Diary Entry – Nov 30th
Warm and sunny. Did shopping in morning and had fun visiting the Doctors and then onto a chemist for a pegnancy test kit. We thought Deb may have fallen pregnant. Not a good look at the start of our Big OE! Sign language was the order of the day at the chemist which was hilarous when we look back now but not much fun at the time. Other than that Palmos was a very relaxing town. Not to busy. We topped up the van’s water and camped on the beachfront again.

Deb watching men play Boules in Palmos, Costa Brava.


Diary Entry – Dec 1st
The first day of winter. We woke to find there was a market in front of the van and all the way down the sea front. Worked out travelling itinerary then travelled through Playa de Aro to San Feliu. Stayed the night in seafront car park. Cool at first but sun came out and made it pleasantly warm.

Diary Entry – Dec 2nd
Sunny morning, cloudy afternoon. 18C at 12.00pm. Drove to midway between San Feliu and Tossa and stopped at a layby overlooking the Med. Having trouble with a squeaky back wheel. Deb did the washing (clothes).

Deb enjoying the winter sunshine sitting at San Feliu, Costa Brava.


Diary Entry – Dec 3rd
After a bad night with sore tummies and the trots, we had an easy day. Washed our hair and then played cards, Uka, Snap and Strip Jack Naked – Peter won! At about 3.15pm we drove to Tossa de Mar. Walked around the town, had tea and then went and bought some milk as other milk didn’t smell right. Sunny warm day (not as warm as yesterday).

Tossa de Mar. The Old Quarter (Villa Vella). 12th Century.


View of the Old Quarter, Tossa de Mar.


View of the beach and the Old Quarter, Tossa de Mar.


Diary Entry – Dec 4th
After a cold night with Debra with the trots again, it was a warm, sunny day with a light breeze. Spent morning walking around the old township of Tossa with its fortifications and the surrounding cliff walkway. Drove to Lloret de Mar and parked in seafront parking for the night.

Diary Entry – Dec 5th
Up at 7.45am after a good nights sleep for a change. Had a beaut breakfast with the new milk, then went for a walk around the town shops and bought 3 postcards and mentally bought loads of other stuff. Had dinner, then went down to the beach and read and wrote letters in the hot sun. Stayed in Lloret again for the night.

Diary Entry – Dec 6th
Went for a walk along the seafront and watched the towns people haul in a net. When they had the net in, they took the fish up the beach, washed them, then put them in the hot oil still alive. It was a celebration for the 3rd constitution. Went for a walk around the rocks and then the night in the car park after filling the tanks with water.

Town Festival, Llloret de Mar. Fish caught of the beach in nets and then cooked alive.


Cooking the fish.


Diary Entry – Dec 7th
Up early and travelled to Blanes. Went for a walk to find a garage and a Post Office. Posted letters, then drove back to Lloret de Mar and got the van fixed (rear wheel), then went to supermarket for groceries. Stayed the afternoon in Sta Christina car park.

Diary Entry – Dec 8th
Up at 8.00am, drove round and round and round the parking area until we found a place suitable to hang out the washing. Wrote a letter to Antje. Stayed night in Sta Christina car park.

Diary Entry – Dec 9th
Warm day 20C 3.00pm. Heard on BBC broadcast last night that 7 inches of snow fell in London yesterday. The first of the winter. Went to supermarket then drove to Blanes for lunch. Got charged 25 psta for parking and got the huff, so drove into Malgerade Mar, Pineda, S. Pol de Mar looking for parking, but nothing suitable. Continued on and stopped before Canet de Mar in parking area beside road. We are now on the main road, so traffic is heavier and noisier. Debra got her good news at last.

Coastline of the Costa Brava near Lloret de Mar.


Diary Entry – Dec 10th
Warm night with a wind like our Canterbury N’Wester. Drove to Barcelona, stopped for ½ and hour but found pace too fast and carried onto Sitges where we stopped for the night. Half dozen other campers in Sitges.

Barcelona Apartments, Yuk.


Slums in Barcelona.


Diary Entry – Dec 11th
Mild, mostly sunny day and very mild evening, 10C at 7.00pm. Both of us are tired but are in good spirits. Met another couple in a camper today. He from New Zealand, she a Pom. They bought their van a week before us for 1000 Pound and have had a terrible trip and are talking about going back to London to sell the van. After talking to them, we realise that we have been very lucky with our trip. Got some fishing gear given to me by them. Running out of books to read. Camped in Sitges again.

Diary Entry – Dec 12th
Warm night. Lazy day. Wandered into town to have a look at market, then mucked around in van all day. Camped further along beach in Sitges. Debra tried to dispose of our washing line. Warm, mild day. 21C at 2.00pm.

Diary Entry – Dec 13th
Warm night, 18C most of the night. In morning, the wind changed to make a cloudy, windy, cool day. Quiet day. Walk in the afternoon. Camp Sitges again. No meat, carrots, beans and potatoes for tea. Sorted out fishing gear, ready to try my luck.

Diary Entry – Dec 14th
Wind changed during the night back to a very warm wind. Sun all day. No cloud. About 18C. Very, very windy. Did shopping in the morning. Deb bought a Xmas card to send home. Got some Turkey for tea. 0.64 cents NZ. Moved van further up the road for night in Sitges (our 5th). BBC reports snow still falling in Great Britain. Floods too. Posted letter to Hamburg and package containing 2 films to Deb’s Dad. Dipped my foot in the pee bucket after tea.

Spanish town of Sitges.


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