Monday, 30 November 2015

Odd Numbers

Just because I've retired does not mean I have escaped the allure of Excel spreadsheets. Part of the reason why I keep a running tab on what we spend is necessity, we're travelling, if not exactly on a shoestring, then on a tight budget, and with six years until either of us qualifies for a state pension, the need to watch the pennies is not going to diminish. The other reason is the fact that I am a pedantic git, who spent half his working life playing with KPI's and other devilish quality assurance mumbo jumbo, and part of me likes the magic world of  numbers, even though my maths skills barely stretch beyond primary school arithmetic.

So, let me share some numbers....

3662 - the number of miles travelled since we left home on 27th September.

750 - the number of litres of diesel consumed by Maisy (we don't count the litres of wine consumed by the humans on the basis that it is best not to know).

22 - the rather paltry MPG that Maisy manages irrespective of road conditions, average speed, loading...not great, but we do have double wheels on the back, an automatic gearbox, twin gas bottles, twin leisure batteries and two heavy ebikes on the back. I know we could buy a more efficient van - but its a question of sentiment as well as practicality. If you owned a much loved, but ravenous Labrador, would swap it for a Chihuahua on the basis that a scrutty little pooch costs less to feed?

1.104 The average Euros per litre of diesel paid for on the trip - roughly 80 pence.

43.42 - The all in daily cost of the trip £43.42 - the cost for 69 days was just short of £3000 - including all ferries, the airfare home for Christmas, storage of the van - food, fuel, accommodation. Excluded from this was 520 euros paid for four new rear tyres - they should have been replaced when a watch was placed on them in the last MOT test.

.02 - Two pence is the difference in the daily averagel cost of last Spring's trip to Spain (£38.64) and this trip (£38.66) if you deduct the cost of the return ferry from Brindi to Patras. - this is remarkably consistent.

12.72 - the average cost per night in euros for accommodation

13/69 (19%) - the time we spent free-camping - 13 nights out of a total of 69 - obviously you could reduce the overall cost by wild camping more - we met a couple from Wigan on the quayside at Tolo who claimed they had never paid for a night's camping in the last six years. They boasted about using cold beach showers even in winter...not my idea of fun.

14.79 - For food,drink meals out, personal items - general living costs, £1079, or £14.79 - less than £7.50 per person per day - we don't drink cheap wine, and we eat really well because Gill is an inventive cook who uses fresh ingredients to conjour up simple, but delicious Mediterranean style dishes. (lucky me!). Our only luxury is having  good expresso macchiata in the most stylish cafes' we can find. In a lovely Gelataria in Noto, two fabulous Italian coffees cost us 1.20 euros each - and they came with scrummy  homemade mini biscuits -  small pleasures!

60 - The number of blog posts since 27th Sept

3156 - the number of page views on blogger

62 - the number of English winter days we need to endure before we return to Sicily to continue our adventures - Heels for Dust!

10 - astounding images from the last 69 days...

Lungern, Switzerland, Oct 3rd

Trulli house, Alberobello, 13th Oct.

Tolo, 4th November
Road to the Mani, 26th October
Drapano sunset, 3rd Nov.
Poros, 5th November
Ancient Epidauros, 6th November

Akrata Beach, 11th Nov

Etna Wine, 17th November

Siracusa Market, 23rd Nov


  1. Am enjoying the blog, some superb photos! what camera do you use? Wayne

  2. Thanks Izzy! If you look at the photos, then some are better resolution than others. This is because we use a mixture of devices to take them. I am using my Canon DSLR less and less, partly because it's too bulky to lug about - but mainly because the auto focus has packed-up since I bounced it off a rock. I have started to use the still facility on our Camcorder for landscapes - it is wide-angle, and 21m. megapixels - and you can swap from video to still at the touch of a button. Otherwise for candid shots I use the crappy camera on my Iphone 4 - these are the fuzzier efforts. Many of the photos have been taken by Gill on her Moto phone - it's very good, and has a nifty 'photoshop' style program built-in. That's how we do it, the photos are 'superb' because the places we visit are photogenic. Neither of us would claim to be 'good' photographers, whatever that might mean. Pleased you enjoyed. Back in Buxton now until February....