There's something very uplifting and exciting about packing just the bare essentials into a van. In our case, surfboards, mountain bikes and yoga mats made the top of the list before we had even thought about the cooker! We were planning a road trip south, towards the winding cliff top roads and pine forest bays of the Basque region and beyond.
Our gas barbecue cooker finally made it into the van and the excitement was at an all time high, as we planned our road trip. Our DryBag VW T5 would be our home for the coming weeks. The empty interior got a quick refurb with freshly painted walls, hanging board racks for our short boards and longboards, plus a comfy bed. We quickly learnt that deciding what to bring and what not to bring is an art form in it's self. Too much stuff and living in a tiny space can become a real pain, so packing just the right gear and finding a home for it all in the van is all part of the fun. After the van was full, we started the engine and we were off on our big adventure. First stop, Plymouth to board the ferry to Roscoff, France.
Dreaming of perfect waves we woke the next morning to the sound of the boat horn and our arrival into port. Excitedly, we hurried to find our van as the big iron doors to the ship slowly opened. We turned the road trip tunes on, wound down the windows and hit the road. We had many hours driving and miles ahead of us, but the hours flew by as we made our way south.
We found ourselves spending the night in Arcachon and decided to climb the Dune du Pilat. We were greeted with turquoise views across the bay, we could see the Le Cap Ferret to the north and the wild Atlantic Ocean with its crashing waves to the west. Behind us for miles stood only the tops of pine trees and as we looked down at the sand dune below us, it seemed to devour the trees in slow motion, grain by grain of sand surrounding the forrest.
It was time to pack up our rolling home and head further south towards the boarder and into Spain. As the day came to an end we made our way past San Sebastian, along winding cliff top roads with thickly covered pine forest hills that gave way to beautiful isolated rocky bays below. We started to feel like we really entered into the wild. Hungry and tired we pulled into a little town nestled in amongst the valleys where we found a beach with perfect peelers hugging the cliffs, calling us into the sea. Surfed out, we wondered wirily into town and found a very friendly and welcoming tapas bar. Filling our bellys, we fell fast asleep with the sound of the ocean lapping on the shore.
Soon the first rays of sun light filtered the van. Throwing the back doors of the van open and still laying in bed we watched perfectly clean little waves rolling into the bay, soothing our sleepy eyes with our morning coffee. Grabbing our wetsuits out our Dry Bag, we shared even more fun longboard waves all morning with a couple of friendly locals. We hung our Animal wetsuits back up in our handy Drybag, packed the van away and hit the road once more.
Our time in Spain soon came to an end and we ventured back up the coast to France, stopping in Biarritz for lunch. We then moved further along the coast searching for more waves and ended up spending a few nights next to the expansive beach of Hossegor. The good thing about having a van is that when the surfs too small, or the sun is hiding we can chase them both along the coast taking only what we need. It's a great feeling having no schedule or commitment, the road will take us wherever we want to go, escaping whatever we left behind.
Blue skies greeted us every morning as we took our pre-surf yoga practice down to the beach. . We might not have a yoga studio whilst on the road with The Dry Bag but the best thing about yoga is that you can do it absolutely anywhere! Taking your practice outside can also be a really incredible way to re-connect with this Earth we are all living on.
Our last camping spot took us a little inland to explore the pine forests of France but still walking distance from the ocean. We grabbed our bikes and spent our day getting lost amongst the ferns and enjoying the quiet we found in the nature. Spending the evening in the forrest was one of the most beautiful camping spots we found on our trip. We truly felt like we were in the wild.
With happy hearts but tired heads, we eventually started the drive back to the ferry port to make our way home to Cornwall. Turns out, the sunshine and waves followed us home! We couldn't of asked for a better road trip, and our Dry Bag was definitely one of the most useful pieces of kit we brought with us. Our wetsuits happily dripped in the waterproof bag, and when we were ready to surf we let the water out and jumped straight into the sea. Our van stayed completely dry!