The Wanderlust is not our first mean of wandering, we have been wandering in many ways mostly with our own feet. The problem with human feet is the distance you cover and the same with a narrowboat. For years our wandering also happens with an old campervan one of them was the first wandering gallery from dAbE Art. With this old camper Berth went to markets and exhibitions all over Europe, you can cover distance even with a slow old camper.
The Artist on the Canals tour last year was an overal succes, however we need to make a living on the boat. Sadly we had to come to the same conclusion as many other artists done before us that selling art will not bring in enough money. So we also started to look at diversifying. We got our commercial cap on and starting doing research, marketing research.
In the camper we missed something what we do have with the narrowboat and that is being able to stop at lovely places while on route. In a camper you either have to put up with sharing these lovely spots with many other campers. In Dutch we say standing hutjeopmutje, meaning standing like sardines in a tin.
There are some special campsites we do make an effort to create bigger places. Most of them campsites are small campsite mainly managed by family business. Yet this was still not the same as with the narrowboat.
You also have a great system in Europe for campers where you can stand overnight with your camper while on route. In Germany they call them ’stellplaetze’ and in France they call them ‘Aires de Campingcar’ they are not much more than car-parks. At times they are free but most of the time you need to pay for them.
On the moment we stood on the land from friends we knew how we can solve this camping problem. We create a private ’Stellplaetze’ somewhere in a beautiful area in a beautiful setting and rent it out.
Our idea was born and we started to do more research into it. While on route we came along ‘Rio Guadiana’ an absolutely brilliant place. It is the non-active border between Portugal and Spain and its 780 kilometres long, flowing through some wonderful countryside. When we saw a for sale sign right there on the river that plot became our new business adventure.
We are now very busy to get it ready so we can rent it out this year already. It is right at the river and i mean right on the river, yet it is easy to find as it is also right on a road. The river site was used and in places is still used as an orchard in combination with goats or sheep who wander the surrounding area with their shepherd, still today. The landje got some very old fig trees, olive trees and pomegranate trees. We have planted more fruit trees in combination with herbs and we made our last spiral of Spiral Journey.
It will be a lovely river-garden where, who rent it, can pick their own fruit and herbs while enjoying the view. The area has some great walking routes where you can be all by yourself with nature. Not to forget some fantastic restaurants and little cafe’s. Watch the Wanderlust Facebook page for more up to date news.
In the next bloc we will tell you what our new plan is with the roof of the boat.
written from the river edge