Barranco Beach

Barranco Beach, situated in the Algarve close to the town of Sagres. This is an amazing place to visit for many reasons; one being that there is a semi permanent hippie community on the beach. Who are a very  friendly and welcoming people, sharing there stories fire and beer with us on our escapade.
The beach is amazing just like many of the beaches in the Algarve, although like others this one has not been touched by tourism or anything of that matter. As such there are no facilities at all apart a compost toilet, there isn’t even a road!
Having said that this is not what this beach is about, it’s about coming back to nature have a hand a fishing in the sea, camp on the beach and generally have a good time enjoying this picturesque beach.

Looking towards Barranco Beach from the Eastern headland
Looking towards Barranco Beach from the Eastern headland

Planning a road trip escapade – The day before

Escapade

escapade
ˈɛskəpeɪd,ˌɛskəˈpeɪd
noun
  1. an act or incident involving excitement, daring, or adventure.
    “he told of their escapade with a ‘borrowed’ truck”

The planning stage – What’s this?

Well this one is easy, we didn’t plan anything, the ferry, the route absolutely nothing! Well that’s not strictly true the plan was to help a friend from the Mongol Rally move house from Lisbon to Amsterdam. Apart from this nothing was planned not even a ferry crossing, where we would be staying, nothing!
This trip was in fact so spontaneous that I called my ‘boss’ up Saturday morning and told him I would not be in next week and got some people to cover me for most of the week. Unfortunately I couldn’t get the whole week off and as such had to fly home on the following Friday.

Our road trip car (Later to be named Mother Theresa)

I brought the 2000 1.8l Ford Focus Estate for £350 for the upcoming Global Convoy, she needed a lot of work on her, to begin with she needed a new clutch and some sort of air hose of some kind. Apparently she also needs an idle control valve whatever one of those is, all I know is that it can make driving super hard.
I had the above fixed up before we left the UK, and replaced the air filter, checked the oil and that was it. Probably should have given her full service as you are about to find out.

Keeping costs down

We used the app Bla Bla Car to help reduce our costs and get people around Europe we had some really fantastic offers from people and meet some truly amazing people, from various backgrounds.
We also didn’t pay for any accommodation, if we couldn’t stay somewhere we camped out in the tent.
Other ways we kept costs down was trying to avoid toll roads and instead of using costly mobile data in Europe we is through large chain restaurants such as Mcdonalds, Burger kind, KFC and many others no matter where they they have free Wifi, whether it works or not is a different story.
Keeping food prices down is more difficult, especially when we are covering massive distances in such a short period of time. Super markets and cooking is by far one of the cheapest ways or another way is to go dumpster diving as taught to us by one of our hitchhikers.
There so many things that we could have done to make this trip cheaper, but that wasn’t the point of this trip. The point is you don’t need to have months do a road trip and you don’t need to spend months planning it out. However if you what to have a much cheaper road trip doing some planning is definitely advantageous.

Now on to the escapade…

road trip at dragon fest
Camping at Dragon Festival somewhere near Santa Fe

Conquer Earth – Travel and Adventure

Welcome to Conquer Earth a project that I am working with to help inspire adventure, travel and general wanderlust.

This the first of many videos to come  check out the channel for many more adventures, travels and how to have your own adventures.

A to Z Challenge: Tomorrow it begins!

Tomorrow everything kicks off with the A to Z Challenge. A to Z Challenge is a blogging challenge. I will be posting every day (apart from Sundays for the Challenge) about place in the world that is more hidden or off the beaten track, saying this there is no set theme so all the posts will be following the line of rest of this website and could be on absolutely anything travel or adventure related. I have to say some of the places we are going to be visiting just make me what to grab my bag and catch the next flight!

Anyway, look out tomorrow for A which is going to be on… well now that would be telling wouldn’t it. Come back tomorrow and find out!

The A to Z Challenge

I have decided to take on the A to Z challenge in April 2016. During April I, along with over a thousand plus other bloggers will be posting to our blogs with a post that begins with every letter of the alphabet.

I will of course be posting on mainly travel and adventure topics as always but I am going to through a few spanners in as well. I hope you enjoy all the posts throughout April. However in the mean time have a look around the website.

A to Z Badge
The April A to Z Challenge 2016

Travelling Cheap: Accommodation

Accommodation

Accommodation, transport and visas, are some of the most expensive costs when travelling, as travellers we are always counting money to try and get the cheapest deals on all of the above. In this section we are looking in to cheap accommodation around Europe in particular but generally at ways of finding cheap places to stay where ever in the world you may be travelling.

Camping

Camping is by far one of the cheapest accommodation options as it’s usually FREE if you are wild camping or there may be a small charge which can differ depending where you are. Wild camping in Europe in particular is a grey area as in many countries there is no set law as to where you can wild camp.

Here is a little more information:
http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2010/may/15/wild-camping-europe-uk-legalities
http://www.worldofwildcamping.com/
http://www.wildcamping.co.uk/

Hostels

Hostels are a great place to meet people and explore the city. The advantage of having a bed, either in a dorm, whether it’s mixed or same sex, or in many hostels there is an option to have a private room if you are willing to pay a little extra.  It really does depend on what you are looking for in Hostel. There are hostels such as the The Tent in Munich, where you are given a foam mat, blankets and a bit of floor space costing around 8 Euros a night. At the other end of the scale a stay in the Generator Hostel Hamburg you would be looking at 36.80 Euros per night (both in June for 1 person), however you also have access to every kind of facilities like, wifi, a bar, travel shop  and food available throughout the day.

These are some of the best sites available for looking up hostels:
Hostel World
Booking.com
Hostelbookers

Couchsurfing

Another option for those who want to get to know the locals and sleep very cheaply, is couchsurfing. This is a platform where hosts offer up there, couch, settees, spare rooms or whatever they have really this is usually free although is varies and if there is a charge its usually nominal. The great thing about couch surfing is staying with locals they know all the ‘cool’ spots to hang out and see in there town or city.

www.couchsurfing.com

If anybody has any of there own suggestions please leave a comment below.

The end for 2015, the adventures of 2016

The end is nigh for 2015, however 2016 is now here! Looking back at pictures, postcards and bits of film, it has been an interesting year to say the least. There have been many adventures, some big changes and I have met some amazing people. It has been a year of enlightenment, a year I would like to call the light bulb year! I have personally found that thing that makes me really itch and what to get up and go. Yes you might have guessed this blog is very much involved in that idea.

Well the Mongol Rally to start probably the biggest thing that happened this year. What an adventure it was driving for 2 months in a 1l Micra to Mongolia and back. This was the start, of what is to become the start of many more adventures in the near future. Some big, some small and out right mad!

He is just a quick list of some of the adventures that I am undertaking in 2016, I am sure that there will be many more spontaneous adventures;

Taking on the world and writing a documentary on how to get on the road, read more about the Biking Adventure.

Changing the two wheels for four and taking the world in Storm with the Global Convoy.

A different kind of adventure: a mental and organisational nightmare – like the Global Convoy isn’t. Organising the first Dartmoor Walking Festival which despite being at the end of August already has a full programme.

Stay tuned for many more adventures in 2016. What adventures do you have planned in 2016?

Adventure Travel is good for your Mental Health

So I found this interesting article on mental health whilst searching in the bottomless pit that is the internet. This article was found and written on Getupandgo’s blog, an Adventure Travel company based in India. Most of the things that mention in this post I know can relate to especially on the Mongol Rally.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

  1. LEAVE IT ALL BEHIND
    It doesn’t happen when you start packing, or when you stay up half the night before your trip trying to answer emails and take out the trash. But once you board the plane, train or get in your car, you breathe a little more deeply as the daily grind gets smaller and smaller and then disappears in the rear view mirror.
  2. POSSIBILITIES FOR NEW INSIGHTS
    When you encounter new sites, something opens up in your mind and heart and you can have new insights about old problems. A change of scene can make things back home look very different.
  3. THE ZEN STATE
    To be really well, one has to be in the moment, the now. When you travel, there is so much new stimulation that it forces you to respond in the present. You slip effortlessly into the zone.
  4. EXERCISE AND MENTAL HEALTH
    When you hit the road, there are infinite options for active engagement with your environment. You can walk, bike, hike, climb, paddle, skate, ski, dance. When you are at home, it’s sometimes hard to get motivated for physical exercise. When you are away, it all seems so much more appealing. And you certainly know that an RX for depression and anxiety is move your muscles.
  5. NEW CONNECTIONS
    If there is a certain ennui associated with the same people and the same stories back home, then the remedy is meeting people on the road. Haven’t you made friends in faraway places when you travelled? If you haven’t, it’s time to start. They can be part of your travel group, or people you connect to who live in your chosen destination.
  6. SELF-SOOTHING
    An antidote to self-medicating can be self-soothing. When you go for adventure tour, you do things you love, you buy treasured souvenirs, you pamper yourself with small pleasures. These actions make you feel good about yourself. They don’t rile you up. They don’t perturb or upset you. You replace a desire to escape with a real escape that is much better for you.
  7. PRIDE IN SELF
    Maybe you’ve had a rough spell at work or with relationships. You feel a little worthless or useless. When you travel, you exercise your high school Spanish or French, you successfully navigate your way around an unknown environment, you excel at hiking tours or cooking or yoga. You do things that make you feel proud of yourself and that help to build back your selfesteem.
  8. PAIN RELIEF
    There are different kinds of pain: physical, emotional, psychic or spiritual. They are all quite real. Somehow, by some mysterious alchemy, travel can alleviate pain. You just feel better. The sprained ankle carries you up a mountain. The wrecked love affair seems more remote and you can foresee a life beyond it. Your relationship to the Divine is renewed through nature.
  9. CHANGING HABITS
    Worry and the blues can sometimes be attributed to habits of thinking. You get in a mental loop you can’t get out of. You fret about the past and are anxious about the present. It is hard to change your thoughts, but adventure holidays facilitates that change. You literally walk new paths, eat different foods, speak to different people, hear exotic languages. These changes can help to yank you out of habitual patterns that sap energy from your life.
  10. LAUGHTER
    A good yuk can go a long way towards brightening a day. Have you noticed how much you laugh when you are travelling? You see a funny sign, an odd translation, a street performer, you meet a friend from junior high school on top of a mountain. And you let it rip with a belly laugh. Aaaah

 

Explore huh, What is it good for? Absolutely everyone!

The RGS Explore 2015, in the Royal Geographical Society London. A weekend of workshops, lectures  and meeting fellow adventurers and scientists.

I had the pleasure of meeting the man who first inspired me to explore. Nicholas Crane’s Map Man series is what I like to call the start of my adventurous spirit and for me starting to collect maps. The 2 seasons follow Nic, as he follows the maps that changed the way in which we see Britain.

Explore! I highly recommend RGS Explore 2015 to anyone who what’s to go an expedition, adventure, scientific research or all three!

The weekend consists of lectures, workshops, talks and loads of networking. I was not alone in this endeavour as I had went to Explore with Max. As we where hoping to get some information about our up and coming project. We are know have 2 projects after this weekend and which has a lot of support from the Adventurous community.
The inspiration and buzz in the atmosphere over the weekend is just incredible, I believe this was influenced by the first class lectures. lectures on Citizen Science from James Borrell and Communicating from the Field with National Geographic’s Justin Hall. This is only a small selection from the list.
As well as lectures I attended several workshops over the weekend, one which was blogging and writing, I thought I should try and up my game! It was a very interesting workshop and I learnt a lot about different angle and writing styles and also about the Northwest Passage from a gentleman sat next to me. The other workshops that I went along to was the mountaineering and trekking expeditions, very interesting indeed hearing what different people suggest in different environments.
This is just a few of the workshops and lectures that occurred there where so many it was rather hard to choose from all of them, to see a full list check out this years programme: Explore 2015

For a bit of a different perspective  check out this awesome video from Alexandrina Fleming check out some of her other work as well as she is also a very talented photographer. Also, see if you can spot me. I’ll give you a clue I’m the one making a fool of myself!

 

Dartmoor Walking Festival

As a Walking Group Leader and Dartmoor Guide I’ve been out on Dartmoor quite a lot along with hundreds of thousands of others, it’s a big place after all. It occurred to me earlier this year that Dartmoor has no walking festival which is a shame, considering the vast treks and paths, history and archaeology. Well for 2016 that’s changed: introducing the first Dartmoor Walking Festival!

The festival is being organised by myself and Simon Dell the owner of Moorland Guides. We have had a pretty busy leading up this point, but we nearly have everything covered. I say everything we are limiting the festival
, as we don’t want to over cook it on our first go. There are several rather large organisations involved such as the National Trust, The Dartmoor Rescue Group and Woodland Trust along the National Park and a plethora of local companies and people.

The most up to date information about programmes and involvement can be found on the website, watch this space as it’s always changing we are hoping to have the  full programme up in the coming months. Watch this space for now.Dartmoor Walking Festival

“The festival will run from Saturday 27th August until Sunday 4th September 2016 inclusive and will cover all areas of Dartmoor and open to everybody of all ages and abilities.

We will be putting on several events each day during the nine-day festival ranging from modest guided strolls and children’s rambles to full day walks and ambitious challenges! There really will be something for everyone.

The Dartmoor National Park are fully supporting the week with Ranger-led walks as well as archaeological visits and events and we are delighted to also have the support of those who live and work on Dartmoor within the Dartmoor Commoner’s Council. We have also tied-up in partnership with the British Heart Foundation, a wonderful charity; to support their 25th annual moor walk on the final day of the festival on Sunday 4th September when all of our week’s efforts will be targeted on raising much needed sponsorship for their work.

The end of the week will culminate in a celebration event with the British Heart Foundation at a local Princetown venue with food and entertainment being planned. Our exciting programme will also include climbing, Nordic walking, cycling and much much more. Making use of the local cycle trails will also mean that those who use mobility scooters and ‘Trampers’ can also come along and enjoy what Dartmoor has to offer.

Our aim is to have four events each day during the nine-day festival, so there really is something for everybody, with evening talks and walks included. The Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team is also supporting the week and if you have ever wondered what they do out in the dark when searching for missing walkers then come and join them on an evening exercise to find out more!”