Half Day Overlanding
Half day overlanding – “this is better than minecraft”, probably one of the best things we’ve heard so far this year from our 11 year old son who usually has his head buried in his tablet on Sundays.
Its easy to get carried away with all the gear and the nice fancy rigs you see on Youtube but simple overlanding can be exactly that – simple. At the time of writing our Shogun is pretty much a stock vehicle and while we have kitted out the back with the storage/kitchen and are accumulating our requirements for camping and longer trips there is still the half day where you can get out [Covid restrictions permitting] and find some tracks out in the Andalucian ‘campo’.
One of the best ways to explore these tracks is to pinpoint an area on Google maps and simply go, it won’t be until you get there that these hidden tracks become more obvious [even on satellite view most are obscured by trees]. Particularly in woodland there can be literally dozens of hidden trails ready to explore.
Some of these trails lead nowhere, a half hour jaunt through what seems to be a fine bet that there will be something at the end can turn out to simply be the top of a mountain, or the trail simply ends abruptly with no notice.
On the other hand, you can discover places you never knew existed with some great camping spots along the way [noted for next time], the Spanish campo can be a surprise too when one minute you are in the depths of 4×4 terrain then with 100yds you’re behind a filling station on the motorway.
Taking a half day overlanding and exploring the local area remains one of our ‘things do do’ at the weekend, it gets the kids away from social media, phones and tablets, its healthy and simply better than sitting in the house or working on a Sunday, we all need a break right?
Andalucia really does show off sometimes with all of her mountains, woodland and lakes, having the ability to explore deeper, away from the tourist hot spots is great, most of these places are only accessible by 4×4 so it really is back to nature stuff if you choose it to be.
What to watch out for
- Private land signs [you don’t want to upset anyone!
- Processional pine caterpillars [a real danger during Jan-April]
- Challenges – trails can turn significantly more challenging without warning
- Fire risk, take care in the Summer months with outdoor cooking [bbq’s are prohibited from June through to October in many areas]
Driving into the unknown is part of the whole experience, does it matter that it is not a planned week long trip? Of course not, finding trails you’ve never been down before, the anticipation of what you might find, driving challenges and stopping in the middle of absolutely nowhere to make a coffee, cook some breakfast or have lunch is what half day overlanding is all about. Photography opportunities are around almost every corner and when your youngest turns around and says ‘Dad, this is better than Minecraft’ you know you’re doing something right.