See the Mountains from the sea

A free camp spot on the Canal de Midi, Β Caumont Sur Garonne.

A free camp spot on the Canal de Midi,  Caumont Sur Garonne.

It's been a while since we posted on here. For good reasons. We have been embracing being back on the road for a decent amount of time. It always takes a few days or weeks to settle back into our rolling home, but that phase is over with, and the comfort found in a small space has returned. 

We were glad to be back in our familiar stomping grounds of South West France. We caught up with friends and spent a few rainy days with Ollie and his girlfriend Sally who were on a trip in their own VW T4. Feeling content camped in our favourite spots. I had not surfed since the warm waters of Barbados back in February, the temperature was a slight shock to the system but the well known sand banks of the SW aren't yet filled with the summer crowds. 

Ollie and his selfbuilt rolling home. Vieux Boucau

Ollie and his selfbuilt rolling home. Vieux Boucau

We had a decision to make as far as the trip goes, I have a freelance shoot in France on June 4th. We were keen to head for Galicia but would have to be back in France in a few weeks. With a decent swell heading into the bay of biscay we bit the bullet and headed for the rocky coastline of Northern Spain.

On route we stopped in Biarritz to spend the day with Filippa Edghill. We met her online a few years ago and it was great to meet her in person. She is an incredible artist and has just moved from her campervan into a perfect little apartment overlooking Cote de Basque in Biarritz.

After a night spent in Guethary and a day of eating and drinking far too much in San Sebastian we carried on to a few of our past camp spots. Finding some amazing waves just west of Santander. Saddled between Commilas and San Vincent de la Barquera is a large beach which works well on a north westerly swell. With a backdrop of snow covered mountains, a sunset surf with a handful of locals has me sleeping soundly.

The aforementioned mountains, Picos De Europa, were are next destination. Take the N-261  from San Vincent de la Barquera and within 20 minutes you are following a turquoise river through a dramatic valley, penned in on both sides by rugged peaks. A truly astonishing drive, admittedly slow at times with our small 1.9 non turbo engine in second gear, trying to take on the 15% gradient.

We carried on into Asturias, again searching for hidden waves in the coves and bays that are minutes from the main motorway. Faced with poor weather in Galicia, we made the decision to return the way we came, back to South West France for the week before my first freelance job of the summer- shooting a wedding in the Dordogne.

On the drive back we found ourselves talking a great deal about our future, where we head both physically and metaphorically in life. Our hearts say to carry on this journey of ours, through the summer and in to Autumn. Tick off some new destinations and fall back in love with being on the road. Unfortunately despite the success of our book, our finances may lead us to head back to the UK to work for a period. We have found running a company from the road to be extremely hard. This may prove to be the make or break as far as how our summer pans out. It works in its current state, but now we have even bigger dreams.

Whatever we decide we know that it may mean starting the next chapter of our lives. We have plans of growing The Rolling Home community and Stokedeversince into something larger. We find our conversations filled with the ideas of starting to design and build more rolling homes, exploring new concepts for products, setting down firmer roots and having more financial stability. The difficulty is that the road will always call to us.

I keep returning to the notion of the 'us' from 6 years ago meeting the 'us' from now. What words of wisdom would we give? What has time taught us? Maybe to value the innocence of a pre Instagram existence, at the same time as telling of the amazing places our book and support has taken us. Maybe, just maybe we were happier back then, in a rusty van with heads full of dreams. Now with those same dreams behind us we are in the midst of making new ones. 

THERE AND BACK AGAIN...

So we have said this before, but we are back on the road. Our fleeting trip back to the UK lasted two weeks. We had to head back to arrange a new distributor for our book and products. We learnt the hard way that running a small business from the road can at times be very difficult. Making the most of being back, but keen to retain our sense of adventure we decided to camp at Ekeney house campsite, located between Newport Pagnell and Olney on the A509. A beautiful family run site with friendly peacocks. We knew we were only a few miles from our studio but it equally felt like a place we could have stumbled across.

On Monday night we locked up the studio once again, confident in the fact that all would run smoothly with our orders from now on. A rare empty M25 meant that we arrived early on Monday evening for our ferry the next morning. Portsmouth to Caen, now our favourite crossing. A sunny departure past the Royal Naval base and out into the English channel.

I write this whilst the van is camped on the driveway of Lauren's parents once again. 40 minutes South of Poitiers in the Charente region of France. We can't pass up the offer of a warm shower and a bottle or two of red wine. Plus any chance to see family nowadays is so valuable. Early next week we are slowly heading South and (hopefully) won't look back for a long while.

Our new distributor has also meant that we have been able to reduce shipping costs of The Rolling Home book on orders Worldwide. All orders are shipped from the UK and proceeds go towards keeping us on the road. 

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