When I spoke to Bev in 2020, she was in Cheltenham dreaming of the French sunshine she enjoyed during three months in the Alps in France for the first lockdown. This time, as she comes on screen, I can see she’s in her motor-home with sun streaming in the windows. This time though, it’s Spanish sunshine.
Bev’s quite enjoyed the last 18 months, and tells me: ‘You know, apart from the frustration of not being able to get out in the motor-home and go travelling like we usually would, I don’t find it a problem. I don’t know if it’s the fact we haven’t been working for a few years, and we’re used to having extra time on our hands, or we’re used to being in a small space, but I’ve not found it difficult at all.’
Bev and Rich were supposed to go to Europe for another 6 month trip in 2020, but instead it was 16 months before they were able to get back on the road. She said: ‘We were getting really itchy feet. We did a little trip down to Devon and Dorset in the summer, but it rained most of the time and campsites are really expensive. It’s just the complete opposite of everything you get in Europe, so I’m not keen on doing UK trips in the future.’
Bev feels really safe travelling around Europe, and says it’s just about getting used to the different rules in each place. She said: ‘France is quite strict, you have to show your Covid vaccination status to go into bars and restaurants, even if it’s outdoor seating. Spain’s much more relaxed, we generally haven’t had to do that here, apart from when I picked up my race pack for the half marathon when I had to prove I was fully vaccinated or provide a negative test. Mask wearing is prolific but I’ve done that throughout anyway, as it just feels safer. Portugal has just introduced the need to be double vaccinated or have a negative test to enter the country.’
I ask Bev what she’s learnt. “Probably that I’m not as sociable as I thought I was, because I’ve been quite happy on my own. I’m happy not to go out, and instead just have a glass of wine at home, curled up with a book. I’m easily pleased,’ she says, smiling.
Bev and Rich have a few more months travelling around, and aren’t sure what rules might come in for booster vaccinations. They haven’t had theirs yet and aren’t sure whether they can get them abroad, but Bev’s relaxed about it. ‘We’ll deal with that when or if it happens. Right now, we’re just looking for places to stay that are good for running, cycling, and has bars. If somewhere has that, we’ll be alright.’