All posts filed under: Vanlife

Tales of the road.

The calming cream

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Calming cream for bites, redness, itching! Ingredients: – plantain leaves – olive oil (cold-pressed virgin extract, preferably organic) – beeswax recipe: Fill a jar with chopped plantain leaves. Cover the leaves with olive oil, close the jar and let macerate three weeks. After 3 weeks, heat the wax in a pan until liquefied Strain out the chopped leaves, add the filtered fluid to the liquid wax. Mix in the pan, pour into the bottle and shake the mixture until it thickens. Apply directly to skin whenever needed!

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Perchs & herrings in the Finnish way

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Kala keittö (pronounced kala’ keïteuh) Fish soup Ingredients Fish: kala Perch: ahven (pronounced ah’rven) Potatoes: peruna (pronounced perrona) Sweet potatoes: batatti (pronounced batat’ti) Onion: sipuli (pronounced sipoli) Ginger: inkivääri (pronounced inkivairi) Vegetable stock cube: vihannes liemi kuutio (pronounced vianess lieymi koutïo) Dill: tilli Method Bring a large pan of water to the boil Gut and descale the fish Cut the potatoes and sweet potatoes into large cubes. Slice the onions and finely chop the dill. Cut the ginger into small cubes. When the water boils, add the stock cube, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Wait 10 minutes before adding the onion, dill and ginger. Wait another 5 minutes before adding the fish whole to the soup, head first so that the tail is not submerged 20 minutes later, it’s ready! Alternative recipe: perch on the wood fire… No comment! Sinappisilli Herring and mustard sauce Ingredients Sinappisilli (a traditional Finnish sauce made with herring and mustard) Dill: tilli Potatoes: peruna (pronounced perrona) Method Bring some water to the boil and add the potatoes. When they are cooked …

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Bivouac in Lapland

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We’re spending four days in the wide open spaces of Lapland to take in its beauty and sample its cuisine! While we’re here, a Finnish couple, Roope and Anna, are staying in the van with us. We follow their advice and look for “lakka” along the edges of the tracks. These Arctic berries are very rare, and very popular with the locals. By chance, we stumbled across an orange-tinted marsh, covered in these precious berries. Roope and Anna had never seen so many at once! With mosquito hats and hiking boots, we were ready to take on the mud and gather the creamy, amber fruit that isn’t too sweet and is slightly bitter. Here we are with three full boxes of the Finnish dessert, but we still need the main course. Roope, a big fishing fan, has all the gear we need: rods, all kinds of lures, knives, waterproof clothing, an inflatable boat, etc. He gave Bertrand some advice to find a better rod. Roope dedicated it to him using his knife. We’re going to …

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Nomadic feelings

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#1 Taking a Break It’s been almost 3 months since we left Nantes. We’ve driven 18,489 km through 12 countries, taken more than 8,000 photos, and written more than 65,000 words. We haven’t wasted any time. We’ve seen things, met people, tasted delicacies, tried out activities. We’ve thrown ourselves 100% into this trip and never forget how lucky we are. We’re moving every day, taking roads, ferries, tunnels, and bridges, marking them on our map. But lately we’ve felt the urge to stop, set up camp, take our time, stay more than a few hours or one night at a place. In the first three months of this road trip, we realise there have only been two days when we weren’t driving. We’ve decided to add a third! We’ll find a pretty and welcoming spot and we’ll stay there for one, two or maybe even three days. Before that happens, though, it will have to stop raining and get warmer than 10° because these conditions don’t really lend themselves to curling up in a hammock …

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Norwegian feelings

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#1 When we arrived in Preikestolen, it felt like we’d stepped through a rip in the space-time continuum… as if we’d fallen into the photos we’d been admiring for months. That was it… we’d arrived. It was our turn to soak in the moment and capture it forever. #2 Norway radiates a sense of freedom. Nature belongs to everyone, so we could camp wherever we wanted. The cliffs had no barriers, even in the most touristy spots. There were no rules to follow… we could light a campfire wherever and whenever we wanted. It was up to us to accept the risks. It’s as if this country assumes its inhabitants will be responsible, both permanent residents and those just passing through. You can sleep wherever, but you respect the place by leaving nothing but footprints. You can admire the view and even get close to the edge, but no one will be there to catch you if the wind blows a little too hard. You can enjoy your campfire, but you protect your environment. In …

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Dreams On Wheels

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“It’s so clean and new it looks like a luxury hospital”, said Mattijs when he visited Patrick. Well, when you compare it to his van it’s obvious that our interior is a little lacking in personalisation. Stickers, flags, boas, cacti, coconuts, Hawaiian dancers… the van, a 1989 Volkswagen Caravelle, is full to the brim with little treasures, souvenirs from his travels. Mattijs bought it empty and completely renovated it. From the engine to the seats, the furniture to the sunroof, he did everything himself – and you can tell. We’re impressed with his work, and he is impressed with the equipment and technology in our van, he called it “the transformer”. He was bitten by the road trip bug in Australia after staying there for 6 weeks in a rented van. When he got back to the Netherlands he decided to buy his own to fulfil his dreams of becoming an adventurer. In September 2014 he found what he was looking for and spent 7 months restoring it. He test drove the machine for 5 …

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A breton in Ireland

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Erwan is a breton of 25 years. He’s also a Breton from Belle-île, and there aren’t very many of those! We met him on the ferry between Brittany and Ireland. We looked at the Irish map together whilst lying on the carpet between two bouts of insomnia. Erwan has several identities: to start, he’s Breton; a seasonal restaurant worker; international sound system examiner; plumber; future offshore welder; and more recently, a surf fanatic. He started surfing two years ago and hasn’t been able to stop since. He has taken 10 days of holiday, 4 days in Brittany and 6 in Ireland looking for the most coveted spots. He’s travelling in a little white 205 that is sparsely but efficiently equipped. The rear seat and passenger seat have been folded flat leaving just enough space to slide in two surfboards hidden under a white sheet. There is a foam mattress behind the passenger seat. When it’s time to go to bed, he lays his seat down flat, rolls out the mattress all the way to the …

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Scotland by Zeppelin

Hebrides Express – by Jeanne T. & MPQ.

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Five days. That’s all we have. For a round-trip visit to the Isle of Mull that’s more than enough. Eight years ago, along with a friend we completed our first visit to Scotland on these same roads, in a van. The reasons for hitting these same roads this year are plentiful and fun! A report with the photographers from the Zeppelin travelogue, and most importantly to celebrate the 10th anniversary of discovering a little corner of paradise in Scotland. Back on these one-track roads 10 years later, it’s Jeanne’s turn to describe her trip in words and pictures. MPQ. We skipped the Fireman’s Ball for a fantastic voyage across England and Scotland. Paris-Calais-Dover- Liverpool- Corran- Lochaline – Isle of Mull. MPQ. picks up the Esquisse (the van kitted out by We Van) in Nantes and meets me in Paris. To burn off some energy in anticipation of the 20-hour drive we have in store, we head to a concert by the folk group June Bug at a music shop in the Barbès neighbourhood. M. has put us …

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We-Van by Kampes Nomads

Life in a campervan : destination surf – by Kampes Nomads

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We tested a campervan from We-Van to explore the famous surfing spots in the Basque region of southwestern France. The model we chose was the “Esquisse” a two-seater van built on a Volkswagen chassis, for a road trip combining moderation, efficiency and comfort. Hiring this campervan for our Surf Trip was clearly the best option. When surfing is part of your daily life, your priorities involve monitoring the weather forecast and “hunting” waves. The best way to do this is on wheels, heading directly to each destination, which sometimes means covering a significant distance before finding the perfect spot. The advantage of a campervan is being able to park near, and sometimes even at, our playground, so we can head straight for the water as soon as the sun rises. Our daily routine went something like this: – Substantial and nutritious breakfast, before giving in to the call of the waves – Short coffee break. After physical effort, sustenance… while always keeping an eye on the outgoing tide – Surf session at sunset (the best time), …

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Cotentin by François M.

The Golden Oldies are on the road again

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To properly celebrate our friend JC’s 70th birthday, we wanted to come up with something outside of the box. For a break from the usual parties of the previous decade, we opted to prepare a surprise at the house which was little different: his eight (self-proclaimed) best friends ‘wisely’ pulled up in a minibus, headed for the Cotentin Peninsula! We were able to set off all together (without having to take other friends just outside of our close circle) to relive the kind of adventures we had in our schooldays with all the jokes and songs (not the radio). Our trip was dotted judiciously with great meals, for which one person was condemned to be the designated driver (definitely the BEST friend). THE best friend Exploring Cotentin, this region of France which is so unjustly misunderstood, offered us a real sense of getting away from it all: the moors take you to Scotland, the prairies and cliffs to Ireland, its charming little ports to Cornwall and the massive beaches lined with sand dunes to California. Without forgetting the restaurants which keep you firmly in France. …

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