Number of travellers:
2 + dog
approx. 2,200 km
Belgium, France, Spain
Algarve coast, Portugal
Debi Flügge, known as Debi Flue on Instagram, was born in Mainz and is a successful influencer. Between wanderlust, fitness and travel, she takes almost 1 million people on a journey through her life. She and her boyfriend Kev have been traveling the world together for several years. They met their dog Django on their last trip together in summer 2020 and could not part with him.
The first time traveling with a motorhome - two people and a dog. A new adventure for us. So, this year we went on a 3.5-week trip to southern Europe with a Carado T447 Clever+ motorhome. Before we started our trip, we were admittedly sceptical whether living and traveling in a “small & narrow” motorhome was really our thing, but we really wanted to try it out with Django. That is why we opted for a large model with a kitchen, toilet, shower, refrigerator, solar panel, and power supply.
First of all: it's absolutely our thing! But one step at a time.
After the handover of the motorhome in mid-June, we took another day to set up comfortably and unpack. We had our first wow moment right away. The storage space in the living room as well as in the “trunk” was firstly huge and secondly it was more than space-saving. For Django we got a dog bed from Carado, which is specially made for the area under the table. So, on the one hand it does not take up any space and on the other hand it was a great retreat for our dog. We all felt comfortable right from the start. The handling of all the technical things such as electricity, hot water, gas stove, the toilet, refilling and draining water remained exciting for us, but everything in its time. The motto here: Learning by Doing.
And of course, the length of 7.40m is unfamiliar at the beginning, but with a reversing camera it is nothing you don't get used to quickly.
We not only found our sleeping places with the app, but also the places where we could refill water & empty wastewater and the toilet.
The part that nobody likes to talk about and of which we had no real idea beforehand - namely, emptying the toilet - was not a big act in the end, because everything is well thought out here too. Put disposable gloves on, take out the toilet cassette, unscrew the drainpipe and point towards the drain and press the button on the cassette that “shoots out” everything - nothing can go wrong, unless you do not pay attention to the filling level of the cassette!
The first shower caused us more problems because we only understood how the hot water preparation works on day 4 - so we showered fairly cold and fairly sparingly in the first 4 days 😊 Tip: Error “W162h” is only due to the window the boiler must be closed and off you go.
Cooking was the easiest here. Turn on the gas bottle (we had 2 of them with us that lasted until the end), turn on the stove, open the skylight directly above the stove and off you go. Our tip here: Pots and pans should not be too big, otherwise not all three hotplates can be used.
After 4 days of driving, it was finally time for sun, sand, and sea, on the shortest route to the west coast of Portugal! Django jumped out of the car and immediately ran into the waves; he was also happy that we finally arrived in summer! The water was pretty cold, but we just had to follow it after we hadn't been able to see the sea for so long. Here too, through park4night, we found a parking space right on the beach near Aveiro, where we also spent the night.
From here we went day by day along the coast towards the south, whereby we only drove a maximum of 1-2 hours per day. From Nazaré (no waves above average at this time of year) the coast becomes steeper and steeper and slowly becomes cliffs. The parking spaces are also becoming more and more spectacular. Unfortunately, in Portugal you are not allowed to park overnight. But here, too, park4night helps to find impressive spots with incredible views. During the entire trip, we never stayed at a campsite, but only on free spaces, from where we could almost always watch the sunset. There have never been more than 2-3 other campers & motorhomes in the vicinity - absolutely perfect for us. At Nazaré, for example, we were able to stand on a cliff right on the beach. Fortunately, there was also a beaten path that led down to the beach (no problem even with a dog), so it was the perfect parking spot 😊 The beaches here are kilometres long, extremely wide, and very deserted, an absolute dream.
As always, we started the next morning with a walk on the beach with Django, this time followed by a little workout (we took some weights with us and stored them in the trunk) and a cold wave pool.
Then it got dark pretty quickly, so we decided to go further south after the sun. Another huge plus point when traveling with a motorhome: absolute freedom.
An hour and 80 km later we stood again in the sun on the next cliff near Sines - again directly by the sea, again almost alone - and spent the day there on the beach.
Because there is a relatively large amount of fresh wind always blowing in from the Atlantic on the west coast, the temperature in the sun and, more importantly, always in the motorhome was super pleasant. This is mainly due to the many windows, which on the one hand make the living room look very nice and bright and on the other hand ensure fresh air and a cool room temperature. So, we were able to let Django sleep in the motorhome for a few minutes with a clear conscience, for example when we went shopping.
This is also where we set up our “seating” for the first time and were able to comfortably enjoy the sunset. We spent two whole days here before we left again.
Our next stop was at Praia do Tonel. Here we found what is probably the most beautiful parking lot of the whole trip, all alone at the end of a narrow cliff with a view of the sea. The cliffs have surrounded an approx. 200 m long bay in which a beautiful beach is hidden. The nice thing here was that it was nice and cool again on the cliffs due to the wind, so that the temperature in the motorhome allowed Django to be left alone for an hour. The way down to the bay is a bit steep and not for dogs. The bay is also very sheltered from the wind - nice for relaxing, but bad for dogs. After about an hour we are back to the motorhome, where a little surprise has been waiting for us: a lonely white dog who had apparently got lost suddenly came to us - and she has not left our side. For Django it was love at first sight, the two hit it off right away. Because we couldn't find her owner, we went looking for them in the neighbourhood, but unfortunately couldn't find anyone. So, we decided to take care of her overnight and to see a vet the next morning to see if she has a chip and thus an owner.
The next morning, we drove to the nearest vet and were actually able to find her owner, who immediately came to pick her up - so a happy ending in the truest sense of the word!
So back to the west coast! 70 km further on, our next destination was Torre de Aspa. After the 2 days in a fuller and narrower area the perfect place! A parking lot right by the sea, huge black cliffs left and right and a kilometre-long and wide beach. The only disadvantage here: no reception. Therefore, no overnight stay was planned here, but it was so nice that we ended up staying one night and simply foregoing reception and internet - and that was more than worth it. From the afternoon we were the only people on this huge beach and were therefore the only souls in this beautiful piece of earth at sunset and could enjoy the most beautiful sunset of the whole trip.
That evening we realized that we probably only perceived all the places as we experienced them on this trip because we were traveling with a motorhome. On a classic hotel trip, you might have left most places before sunset. So, our motorhome was the “hotel” and these places our huge “front yard”. Absolutely unique - every day anew.
Theoretically, we could have stayed here a few days longer, but due to our job we couldn't stay much longer without an internet connection, so we left this place the next morning and went to the next beach. The next stop was Praia Bordeira, only 30 km further north, so only a very short drive. A drive along the west coast of Portugal should be on everyone's list! A huge beach, also miles long for endless strolls and the best thing is, the beach goes about 1 km into the country and creates a bit of desert feeling, as the sand there piles up into smaller dunes. A bit more visited than the wilder beaches, but very impressive. The parking lot was raised again, so that you could have a nice view of the landscape and there was plenty of space, even if other motorhomes and campers came and went every day.
We felt so comfortable there. After never staying in one place for more than 1 or 2 nights, we stayed for a full 4 days. What have we been doing there for so long? We just took a break and enjoyed the place to the full, long walks on the beach, through the dunes or on the cliffs. Also, a great place to learn to surf. Surf schools and kite surfers came here every day and took advantage of the waves. What we didn't do, but saw, were rides with horses at sunset through the dunes and along the water - fantastic. And the cell phone reception was great. This place in one word: beautiful.
Ich bin ein Tooltip.