Sunday, December 28, 2014

Why our blog isn't always up to date

We've been getting messages lately from people that can't wait to read our next post. Keeping an extensive blog like we do, while camping and relying on free Wifi, is a challenge. We don't have mobile broadband and we don't have powered sites. You might think electricity is only 4 Euro extra; but as we are travelling for 3 years, that equates to US$ 6,500.- which is the same as 150,000 km in fuel…

This blog is a free service and so we have to rely on free wifi to do it. But where do we find free internet? In the US we found Starbucks the best option, which is sort of funny as we don't drink coffee! Libraries usually offer an hour or so for free as well. If you've seen two people frantically behind a laptop in a library in the western half of the US then you might have seen us, trying to upload everything before the hour was up :-) KOA campgrounds boast to have free wifi but we found that a hoax as it's so congested that it's unusable. In Mexico things improved. Most campgrounds had Wifi included, free of charge and usually quite good too. The plan was to spend one day a week on updating the blog, upload photos, video and stories and paste up the pages. The one day a week schedule worked in Mexico and Central America quite well. In Europe, we ran into a problem. Not only is internet considerably slower here than in Central America(!), it's also quite often pre-paid. We tried pre-paid a couple of times as the blog was getting further and further behind, but found it as slow and unreliable as free Wifi… McDonalds is permanently overloaded, Burger King doesn't seem to have it at all and the already slow Wifi at campgrounds is used by motorhome people that 'Skype' home. Of course they have as much right to it as we do, I'm just painting the picture.

Another problem we faced particularly in Europe is not only expensive campgrounds but also charging for Wifi on top. And not small amounts either. Up to 8 Euro's an hour! 
So, how do we keep our blog up to date in Europe?
Short answer: as much as we'd like to, we can't! Occasionally we find good Wifi; and when we do, we upload our photos and videos. We try to do that during the day or very early in the morning. Motorhome folks tend to sleep in, so we start at 4.30 am. The lack of Wifi has resulted in the blog being weeks behind sometimes, for which we apologise, but we have no other alternative. The stories are written, the photos made and the videos edited but we just can't upload them earlier than we do. Other travellers we spoke to had found the same situation and most had given up altogether. They either keep a very simple blog or just 'dump' something on Facebook every now and again. We don't want to do that. We'd like to show others what there is to see and hopefully inspire more people to travel. So, bear with us, we might have some delays but it will get posted... eventually.