Two Animalcouriers vans left the UK recently, travelling south through France, Spain and Portugal. Given the cold weather, with a wind chill of -5C, we chose the overnight crossing from Portsmouth with Brittany Ferries, to ensure that pets and couriers were somewhere warm for the night.

On arrival, Courier Marc took a westerly route towards Portugal through France and Spain, with two cats and five dogs on board. Meanwhile couriers M and Mathew drove down the eastern side of France on their way to Almeria via Barcelona, carrying five dogs, two cats and a pair of fancy rats.

animal passengers: our two vans waiting to check in at Portsmouth…

Our two vans waiting to check in at Portsmouth…

…and safely on board the ferry

…and safely on board the ferry

A sign of how cold it was in the middle of France — when we stopped for fuel, courier M noticed that the fuel station's ice scraper had turned into an ice lolly!

A sign of how cold it was in the middle of France — when we stopped for fuel, courier M noticed that the fuel station’s ice scraper had turned into an ice lolly!

The Millau bridge striding across the landscape

The Millau bridge striding across the landscape

Utah

Jet-black Utah belongs to Maria, who’s been working in Leeds for a while. Now she’s relocating back to Madrid with her beloved cat.

animal passengers: Glossy Utah

Glossy Utah

Snow awaited Utah in Madrid — so not much more clement than Leeds really!

Snow awaited Utah in Madrid — so not much more clement than Leeds really!

Spike and Millie

An adorable pair of pugs, Spike and Millie belong to Deborah and family, who’ve relocated from London to Lisbon for work, and are very excited about their new jobs.

animal passengers: Millie and Spike having a cuddle with courier Marc. Because of the terrible UK weather, we collected these two a little early. They spent the night with courier J, to ensure they were ready for their journey with courier Marc.

Millie and Spike having a cuddle with courier Marc. Because of the terrible UK weather, we collected these two a little early. They spent the night with courier J, to ensure they were ready for their journey with courier Marc.

A winsome look from Millie

A winsome look from Millie

Spike enjoying a walk

Spike enjoying a walk

Happy reunions for Millie and Spike in the Portuguese capital

Happy reunions for Millie and Spike in the Portuguese capital

Daisy

Jack Russell Daisy also homeboarded briefly with courier J, and was the perfect house guest. She hails from Essex and her new home is near Estepona in Spain.

animal passengers: Sweet little Daisy

Sweet little Daisy

Frankie and Pickles

Newfoundland Frankie, a gentle giant, is travelling with Persian cat Pickles. They’re exchanging chilly West Sussex for the warmer climes of Malaga in Spain.

Big fella Frankie

Big fella Frankie

Gorgeous floof Pickles

Gorgeous floof Pickles

Levi

Lovely Staffie Levi started her journey in Lochore in Scotland, and is travelling all the way to Benalmadena in Spain. Her owners were really anxious about her travelling, but they needn’t have worried — she’s taken the whole experience in her stride!

Cool, calm and collected Levi

Cool, calm and collected Levi

Mel and Koko

Fancy rats Mel and Koko travelled with us from Bristol to Montgat, near Barcelona.

Mel and Koko waking from a deep sleep — what cute faces!

Mel and Koko waking from a deep sleep — what cute faces!

Beatriz taking delivery of the rats with a little help from courier Matthew — who should have put his coat on — it was uncharacteristically cold and wet for Catalonia!

Beatriz taking delivery of the rats with a little help from courier Matthew — who should have put his coat on — it was uncharacteristically cold and wet for Catalonia!

Elvis and Ada

A pair of very good-natured cats, Elvis and Ada stayed with courier J for a few days before the trip, which allowed her to discover their lovely personalities. They’re relocating with owners Paul and Sally from West Sussex to Alicante.

Dapper Elvis

Dapper Elvis

Ada's eye

Ada’s eye

The gorgeous girl herself, Ada

The gorgeous girl herself, Ada

Reunion with Sally in Orba — looks like there's plenty of unpacking to do!

Reunion with Sally in Orba — looks like there’s plenty of unpacking to do!

Sam and Teddy

German Spitz Sam and Shih Tzu/Poodle cross Teddy are moving with owners Mary and Colin from Kent to Alicante. A very charming pair of dogs who are clearly devoted to each other.

Teddy and Sam sharing a bedroom in our van

Teddy and Sam sharing a bedroom in our van

Excited — and therefore blurry — reunions for Teddy and Sam in Orihuela

Excited — and therefore blurry — reunions for Teddy and Sam in Orihuela

Lulu and Myrtle

Two sorts of Jack Russell — Lulu is a Parson’s while Myrtle is a mini. They belong to Jenny and her daughter who’ve moved from Essex to Torrevieja. They homeboarded with courier J ahead of the trip, who reports that Lulu, in particular, is quite a character, who made it her business to claim every dog toy in the house. Courier J had to intervene from time to time to ensure fairness and justice among the canine crew.

Parson's Jack Russell Lulu — check out her waggy tail

Parson’s Jack Russell Lulu — check out her waggy tail

Quieter mini Jack Myrtle — sporting her own very waggy tail

Quieter mini Jack Myrtle — sporting her own very waggy tail

Lulu and Myrtle in their travelling bedroom

Lulu and Myrtle in their travelling bedroom

The family delighted to be back together at their new Spanish home

The family delighted to be back together at their new Spanish home

Fred

Gentle Bearded Collie Fred travelled with us from Devon to rejoin owner Richard in Murcia.

Fred was so pleased to see Richard again when they were reunited in Carmoli.

Fred was so pleased to see Richard again when they were reunited in Carmoli.

View over the salt lake at Torrevieja — you see the salt heaps in the distance. We make the most of the opportunity to enjoy some slighter milder weather before heading north again.

View over the salt lake at Torrevieja — you see the salt heaps in the distance. We make the most of the opportunity to enjoy some slightly milder weather before heading north again.