Hello everyone!

Writing to you from the almost same place as last time; a campsite next to Els Ports natural park.

The last few days, we did some hiking and explored some campsites in the area. We hope to get some inspiration for our own future business and, more urgently, we were looking for a place to stay a bit longer (about a month) to write our business plan. We found that place now, and will stay in Beceite for the entire month of March to figure out our business plan for ‘Mission Paradise‘.

I (Jochem) do notice that we are a bit behind writing about our trip, but to be honest I don’t find that the most interesting thing to write about considering our ‘mission’. I will be a bit briefer this time, just to catch up. The next posts will be about other things besides just travel!

Just a quick pic to break up this post. Hello from Els Ports Natural Park!
Just a quick pic to break up this post. Hello from Els Ports Natural Park!

Thu February 23: Ultramort to La Riera de Gaià

Last Thursday, we packed up all our things and got back on the road again after almost a week of staying in Ultramort. We stopped in Girona for a moment at a garden center. I wanted to get a water hose to refill our water tanks a bit easier, but more importantly we had also made an appointment to get Juna vaccinated against Leishmaniasis.

This is a parasite endemic to Spain that is transmitted by sandflies. It can be fatal to dogs, so it is quite important to protect Juna against this. Fortunately, our vet in the Netherlands had already informed us about this and about the fact that it is possible to get a vaccination in Spain. Dutch vets do not offer this as the parasite does not occur in the Netherlands.

When Alba returned with Juna we continued on our way to Els Ports.

We had not yet completely decided whether we would stay there an entire month or move further south to Valencia. We wanted to be a bit out of the area where we would actually look for a suitable business location, so that we could first focus on straightening out our business plan. We had previously contacted the Els Ports campsite and gotten a quote for the month, but we did want to see the campsite first before committing to it. At the same time, the idea of staying in Valencia for a while longer also appealed to us.

However, our luck ran out again and we would never make it to either that day.

We stopped for lunch and as had become our routine since having some issues back in the Netherlands already, we checked all (car and caravan) lights before heading off again.

The caravan lights were way off. As in, we would indicate left or right, and they would just flicker randomly like Christmas lights. No matter what we tried, we could not fix it ourselves this time. And since it concerned our indicators, we did not find it safe to drive like this.


Time to find a taller again.

We found some options nearby. I drove while Alba called some places to inquire whether we could come over.

We drove about 20 minutes to a taller electric in Bellvei, close to Tarragona. We were pretty sure now that the problem was in the connection between the car and the caravan. The caravan dealer, when we bought the caravan, had warned us already: he said it was better not to use an adapter (from 7 to 13 pins) and get the car’s plug changed instead. If we would have listened, we would have made it to Els Ports that day!

Anyways, while we were a bit unlucky with our car in the last weeks, we were equally lucky with the mechanics we found along the way. Once again, they were really great! While we waited, they fixed the problem by changing the car’s plug to a 13-pin connector.

Waiting for the mechanic. Fortunately, the car was suffering but our moods were not!
Waiting for the mechanic. Fortunately, the car was suffering but our moods were not!

Luck stroke twice that day: the sun was slowly setting and we figured we should not drive another three hours in the dark to Els Ports. However, Alba had a friend that recently bought a house with a plot of land only 20 minutes away from where we were. After a few messages back and forth we had a new plan: we would stay the night with Mireia in La Riera de Gaià.

Fri February 24: La Riera de Gaià to Els Ports campsite

The next day, I went for a run with Juna while Alba had breakfast with Mireia. Afterwards, Mireia showed us around her plot of land, we packed, and left. However, the road leading to Mireia’s house was narrow, with trees on both sides and one very sharp 90-degree turn. Not an ideal place to manoeuvre a 7-meter long caravan through!

And yes, while Alba guided me through, we hit a tree. Which caused a big scratch and some dents on the caravan. Let’s just call them battle scars…

Apart from that rather unfortunate start of the drive, everything went smoothly and we arrived at Els Ports campsite early in the afternoon.

We walked around the campsite to pick a plot, and liked what we saw. It was a large campsite, quiet but with some friendly, chatty guests. The views of the natural park were stunning. We wouldn’t mind staying here for a month!

However, that opinion quickly changed during check-in. We had previously asked for the rate (about 300 euros for a month including electricity) via email, so we had the price black on white. However, this was suddenly only for staying the weekends; something that was not mentioned in the emails despite us mentioning that we were working remotely.

This is how we ended up searching for a new campsite for the month.

Sat February 25 – now (March 2): Els Ports/Beceite

These last few days were spent similarly to our time in Ultramort. The only difference this time was that we could do some beautiful hikes in this area. However, it was similar in the sense that we were doing some campsite visits again (and found our place to be!) and also had some off time. Living in a caravan takes some getting used to (although we do love it)!

The view from our caravan at Els Ports campsite. Beautiful!
The view from our caravan at Els Ports campsite. Beautiful!

What we love even more is the area where we are now. Sure, it’s not as if we are in the Alps or the Pyrenees, but the nature is still stunningly beautiful. Some impressions of the natural park here:

Right now, we woke up after our first night at the new campsite. The friendly owners/managers, a Sicilian-Spanish couple, helped us by dragging up the caravan to the campsite yesterday, as the incline was so steep that we doubted that our car would make it. We are the first guests for the season here, so it’s very quiet.

Beceite looks like a nice little town, and we are surrounded by nature. The perfect place to stay for a while and get busy with our future plans!

I’ll disclose some more of that in the next post.