Winter 2017 (part 1)


We decided to try something a bit different this winter, instead of moving around in Jan/Feb we thought would try long terming on a Spanish site for a cpl of months, then moving on through Spain to Portugal once early spring arrived and the temps picked up a bit.

Well that was the plan, so how did stage 1 go?

Don’t just sit there wondering, read on …………… ūüôā

We decided to get the ferry this time as we were in no rush, and set off on Sunday morning for a steady run down to Dover. Nothing exciting happened and by 5pm we were parked up on the outskirts of Rouen with a glass of Vin Rouge and a DVD on. (7 psychopaths, which Deb says was good, but I can’t remember as I fell asleep)

We trundled on through France the next day, our winter travel routine is to drive 4-5 hrs then park up with a glass of wine and watch a dvd  fall asleep.

Central France is quite remote and Tuesday morning’s view from the bed looked pretty cold, the van’s heater was doing its best impression of a jet engine (once I’d convinced Deb that it was her turn to get out of bed and switch it on).

It’s cold out there

Time to get the van serviced and get on our way towards Sunny Spain. I failed miserably to convince Deb it was her turn to service the van.

By Tuesday Evening we had reached the French/Spanish border and decided to park up at the side of the Atlantic, which we won’t see again until we reach Portugal, sometime in April/May. It was brilliant sunshine but still very cold, our beach walk lasted all of 20 mins but I did try out my new stick on solar panel, which works well with the 2 on the roof.

We spent the next night (Wed) in central Spain, then arrived in the Mediterranean resort of Daimus on Thursday evening. The weather was absolutely appalling with hailstones the size of watermelons battering the van for several hours (ok Im exaggerating, it lasted about an hour). The rest of the night was torrential rain/hail there was snow on the beach just down the coast in Benidorm, last seen 34 years ago (when Mum and Royce were here on honeymoon!!) we had used a full tank of gas in 3 days, and tragically the wine was all gone.

Next day “Sunny Benidorm”

Well we arrived at the site, Camping Villasol, our new home for a cpl of months and it¬†was full to the gunnels. Luckily we’d booked (we never book anywhere usually) so at least we had a reserved pitch, in reality we had the last chosen pitch and as you can imagine it was the pick of the bunch!!

The guy on reception looked a bit sheepish when he told us “we’re full, you’re on number 101, you may be able to change in midweek as people move on”. Obviously this news filled us with joy, 101 has to be impressive if the check in instructions include a change as soon as possible clause. We wheel-spinned away from reception in eager anticipation of the delights of 101.

Orwell would have been proud, 101 had everything you need for a spot of mid winter camping (constant shade, the back of a damp car wash wall, inches from a main road, and the entire sites rainfall lifting the adjacent manhole covers) it was a gem.

Deb was getting a bit worried about the amount of water cascading down the site onto our pitch, and with good reason. Her last emergency water training involved her rescuing a rubber brick from the deep end of Bolsover baths, in her pyjamas. 

We spent the first couple of days touring the site, looking for free pitches. It became a bit of a sport really, we were near reception so could spot “leavers” and then tour the site looking for the empty spot. This sounds easy but in reality it wasn’t, the site is massive and it was absolutely tipping it down. To add to our problems Deb¬†didn’t¬†have a rubber brick to hand and it was far too cold to be out in¬†pyjamas.

Then it happened, we spotted a leaver and found the vacant pitch, right at the top of the hill, in the sun (when it eventually appeared) and away from the road. Deb sprinted towards reception in Leanne’s her new rain mac,¬†clutching our new number 703, whilst I stood in 2ft (602mm) of water unplugging the mains lead.

We were finally settled on a decent pitch and to celebrate the sun came out.

Now, a 2 month stay in Benidorm can be a dangerous thing, and we were determined not to fall into the tapas lunch/Rock bar trap. A¬†well researched trap, first experienced during the visit of Deb’s sister Paula last winter. It basically consists of visiting the old town of Benidorm and downing cheap wine and tapas for lunch, then failing to resist the temptations of live rock music in the bars along the sea front on your return journey. Poor judgement can result in lunchtime finishing at 3am and a “three dayer” of a hangover.

‚ā¨5’s worth of “tapas trap” stage 1

This holiday was going to be different, loads of exercise, walking, cycling, but absolutely no drinking.

We’ve always been surprised how quickly the landscape around Benidorm changes, 20 mins on the bike and you’re soon away from the hustle and bustle of the town and its high rise buildings. The coastline is actually pretty impressive.

On one of our rides into Altea, I noticed a sign indicating a path through the national park to the “ariels viewpoint”. I convinced Debs that this would be a decent ride so off we went. Now I’ve suggested some dumb things in my time, but this is close to the top (literally). Let’s just say it was steep, very steep, in fact so steep that if you leant back in the seat of the bike it weelied. “Lean forward and keep pedalling” I screamed, “no shit Sherlock” I think she replied.

I couldn’t actually hear properly as my lungs were coming out of my ears. Anyway this was the view at the top.

Deb’s birthday arrived and we had visitors, The Hudson’s had travelled across Spain for a weeks rendezvous, and for us to show them the results of our tapas research expedition. Time to spring the tapas trap. We started Deb’s birthday with a breakfast invite from Pete & Nina, this did involve a small intake of alcohol of the bucks fizz variety, but Deb soon learnt that the “no such thing as a free lunch” saying had an element of truth.

We had a good day though touring the tapas bars in the old town, then somehow falling into a karaoke bar till the early hours.

As we had gone out early (when the sun was out) we weren’t really dressed for the cool evening temperatures, so Pete made the decision to purchase additional layers, I wasn’t sure that wine wasn’t clouding his judgement so decided to give it a miss, shuddering wasn’t so bad after all.

The next few days involved a walk up to the cross, an evening in a restaurant in the old town and cycle rides to Altea and Villajoyjosa. We had a day out to Alicante on the tram, sampled the delights of a selection of tapas bars and had evenings of merriment and Dobble, all of which was enjoyed entirely without the consumption of alcohol. ūüėČ

Pete and Ninas visit was over, we bid them a fond farewell and decided to have a few days free of alcohol. Unfortunately the Spanish like to party and this was one of their fiesta weeks, our neighbours Bob and Mary had spotted the posters and asked us if we fancied accompanying them to watch the parade in the old town. We agreed that it would be a pleasant evening unaware that Bob’s nightcap brandy pouring arm was shall we politely say “less than steady” in fact it was on level 5 of the “Royce liquor 43 scale”. Day one of our detox was ruined, as were days 2-3 ūüė©

“Steady hand” Bob and Mary

There’s not much to add about “Benni” we had some cracking days, some decent walking/bike rides and once again met some great people. Here’s some pics to save me typing anymore………

Pancake day breakfast, Benidorm style

We left Benidorm last week for Ricote, a village inland from Murcia for a few days with the Hudsons, before we were due to head South towards Portugal (via, Gibraltar and Seville). Pete and Nina were then heading back to Benni to meet family.

Deb carried out a heroic rescue of a chicken that had escaped its compound, the look on its face demonstrated it knew full well that an “arse through the fence” cramming was imminent.

The chicken should think itself lucky, look what they do to the pigeons.

Pete was eager to demonstrate his new recipe of “Gambas” which were bloody lovely, he let himself down slightly though by overcooking the tea towel. (I prefer mine rare)

The village is as big a contrast to the coastal resort towns as is possible, with a multitude of signposted walks and cycle ways through the lemon groves and surrounding hills.

Here’s some pics of the area. (Note heroic cycling pic)

We’re having a few more days here, then heading back to the coast, for a steady (2hrs/day) trek south.

take care peeps

M&D

PS is honesty always the best policy ?????????

 

 

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France, the final frontier (for this trip anyway)

Well this is the last blog of this trip, as we are making our way through France to be home for Christmas.

All is not lost though as there is some good stuff still to read, including my birthday bash, rendezvous with friends and mountain biking action pictures.

Read on, you’ll love it……………..maybe.

We spent our last few days in Italy, right on the French Border and close to a train station, so a quick “train W!@¬£$%S” text to the kids and we were off to Monaco.

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Having treated Deb to a birthday treat in sunny Benidorm, we thought it would be a good idea to celebrate mine in Monaco. Surely there would be bargains to be had right???

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I promised Deb a trip to the Casino in Monte Carlo – she naively thought I meant this place.

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imageBless her though, she didn’t seem too disappointed when we arrived here……

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We decided to walk the Grand Prix circuit, which is much smaller than it appears on the telly, race fans will probably recognise some of the following locations.

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Some poor soul had missed the temporary “no parking” sign and when the roadwork crew started to dig their hole, there was only one way to keep the road open. Wonder what the “reclaim your car” price is here?

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It was Sunday, so the shopping centre was mostly closed, leaving room for these guys to dismantle one of the chandeliers – wonder if they’ve seen “Only Fools and Horses”?

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No prices in any of the shops, I suppose if you have to ask the price…………..

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Bargains to be had?

Of course there are, I mean look at this 9th floor 2 bedroom flat. A snip at ‚ā¨7,500,000. it does have a guest lavatory though.

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Or if sailings your thing, how about renting “Kinta” a snip at ‚ā¨265,000 (a WEEK)

2016-11-06_14-17-59_900The real bargain was our lunch – burger and chips + coke (diet of course) all for ‚ā¨50.

The equivalent price of 10 bottles of cava and 50 tapas in good old Beni!

After a few days we moved into France, staying in a camperstop in the hills of Provence, time to break out the Ebikes again……..

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We had a really good ride in the hills, and I got plenty of practice honing my puncture repair technique.

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Puncture 1

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Puncture 2

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Puncture ……. hang on a minute this is the same photo!!

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What goes up…….

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Must come down!

We left the hills of Provence and returned to the Med coast at Marseillan Plage, the resort was closed but we managed a walk on the beach and a bike ride along the Canal Du Midi to the town of Beziers.

Whilst touring the Med coast, we had been in touch with Pete/Nina and Keith/Chris with regards to a rendezvous at St Cyprien a resort on the French/Spanish border, (they were all heading into Spain, we were heading home soon).

We had briefly met Keith/Chris at St Marie-plage, where we managed to “acquire” the last hook up point, much to Keith’s disappointment (who arrived minutes too late, due to a temperamental barrier incident).

The rendezvous unsurprisingly featured the odd alcoholic beverage (including the disappointing news that the Italian Grappa was no more) and several  multi pump incidents.

I think the girls were fairly impressed.

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We managed to beat the Hudsons to the vin rouge

Anyway it was time for us all to get some exercise, so we decided on a ride to the nearby town of Collioure, the majority of the course was at sea level following the coast, but the last bit slightly more challenging.

 

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The next days expedition was another ride, this time along the coast in the opposite direction to Canet Plage, where my puncture repair skills were once again tested to their max.

copywriter P Hudson

copywrite P Hudson

It was time to bid a farewell to the Spanish explorers, until the spring when Portugal once again calls us all.

Just as we had waved off the Hudson/Elliots, we had a text from our friends Steve and liz (of Pompeii wine drinking fame), they were also heading into Spain and were passing through St Cyprien.

We decided to stay on and have a catch up. ¬†Steve¬†has a bike trailer for their Springer Spaniel (Chloe) who’s well into her teens, but loving the adventures. So we decided the run into Canet Plage was perhaps more sensible than the Collioure. The locals loved the trailer, ¬†many of them doing a double take and a “ooh la la”.

It was good to see them again and learn all about Steve’s Alpine snow driving skills, scary stuff indeed!!

Well the grim news is that were back in Blighty and I’ve just had to MOT the car. The shock of UK weather combined with laying on a cold concrete drive to change these things isn’t exactly filling me with Christmas cheer.

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I guess that standing the car for several months isn’t the best way to prep it for its MOT

Mind you, the home-brew has matured well!!

Take care everyone

M&D

 

 

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Did the Earth move?

We left Rome heading for the hills, our plans being to visit Tuscany, Florence and Pisa, before heading out of Italy for a trip to Monaco to price up a new boat. We have been exchanging “WhatsApp” torments with our friends Pete and Nina and had arranged to meet for a wine/pizza/pasta/gossip frenzy.

We were aware that central Italy had had a sizeable earthquake earlier this year, so this obviously gave me ample opportunity to torment Deb about the fact we might just wake up somewhat further down the hill than when we went to sleep.

We found some excellent parking spots in the mountain villages (many totally free, including electrical hook up). Some of the views from the van were incredible.

 

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Montopoli Di Sabina

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Our breakfast view, Rome is over there under the cloudy bit.

FullSizeRender 6.jpgWe carried on Northwards towards Tuscany, driving 1-2 hrs per day, our next stop was Vitorchiano, a small walled town perched precariously on a hillside.

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Vitorchiano

Next up was Panicale, about 20k from Perugia, we loved it here and stayed for 3 days, including a bike ride to a nearby lake (not as nearby as it looked on the map, but we were ready for a bit of exercise)

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The view from our van at Panicale

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Deb surveys the distance to the lake

We woke up on the day of our planned bike ride to a thick fog, which I convinced Deb was just a bit of low cloud on the mountain, she believed me and we were off.

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Panicale is in that cloud somewhere.

Miraculously I was right, we left the town (down a near vertical path) into bright sunshine and had a decent ride to the lake.

I’m quite concerned that I’ve been right about something twice this year, (and its only November) a new record.

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We made it!!

On the way back we decided to take the “offroad” path.

I managed to convince Deb that the new bikes would go up a near vertical shale path, she was somewhat sceptical, and somewhat right.

A decision that cost me ‚ā¨6 for 2 microscopic beers.

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Next stop Torritadi Sienna another small walled city, laundrette (clean bedding tonight woohoo) and coffeeshop in the piazza.

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Cafe Latte, thats CAFE latte Pete ūüėČ

Next up, San Gusme nice little village this, and more fantastic views from the van

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We read on the news that the area had experienced another earthquake, and even though there was substantial damage, the villages involved were prepared meaning there were minimal casualties. We exchanged a few messages with everyone at home assuring them all that we were fine. Bizarrely the news reported that tremors were felt as far away as Rome and Venice, we never felt a thing. Vino Rosso maybe?

Time to rendezvous with the Hudsons, at the chosen destination of Greve in Chianti.

Pete and Nina had been before and were keen to take us on one of Pete’s “strolls in the country”, they had done the same route last year (under the influence of earthquake numbing Chianti) so with us all relatively sober nothing could go wrong.

Even the local sports car club had assembled in the Piazza to see us off.

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Now I know at this point you’re all expecting me to describe some humorous event involving one of us falling in a river, being chased by a bull, or maybe even getting lost for a few days in deepest Tuscany. Alas, I’m sorry to disappoint you all, it was a great day………

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From beautiful scenery

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To Debs expertly prepared “pack up”

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And a coffee stop with this view, where the owner took several minutes to explain to us all the difference in Italy between “latte” and “cafe¬†latte”

Pete and Nina had promised the local restauranteur that we would visit him for a meal, and every time we walked past him his face lit up. Before long we were ducking behind cars etc to avoid eye contact, but he spotted us every time.

Later on he got his wish, and we got pizzas the size of dustbin lids!!

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After a cpl of days we decided to move to a small village called Castellini in Chianti, a nice village, and a place to service the vans in preparation for our next stop, Panzano in Chianti, there were no services here but it was free and the views incredible.

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29th October, shorts and suncream time

The next morning, we decided to have a day out exploring, we were going for a gentle ride out on the bikes, and Pete & Nina were off on their new 530cc mega scooter (Max). I have to admit we got a bit lost, but managed in excess of 40k of hilly terrain (there would have been no chance of covering anything like that distance without the Ebikes).

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Our route took us over that hill (the big one on the right)

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We found the combo of wine and mountain biking unsafe, so we wore helmets.

The next morning we had a strange conversation with an Austrian cpl,

Austrian guy – Did you feel the earth move last night? (we later heard news of a further earthquake nearby)

Me – No

Deb – No

Me – did you?

Austrian guy – yes we felt it

Me – did you have any red wine last night?

Austrian guy – No

Me – Thats your problem mate, get some Chianti down your neck.

We had 2 great days at Panzano, but it was time to move on. We decided to return to Greve in Chianti for a night, service that vans, then bid a fond farewell to the Hudsons. We had a cracking week and we’ll see them in Portugal next spring, which we’re really looking forward to.

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Panzano sunset

Next up for us is the City of Florence, we’d heard a lot about the city and decided to have a look for ourselves. Parked up in a camperstop which was “functional” but only 20 mins or so walk from the city centre.

Without upsetting all you “fans of Florence” out there we have to be honest and say it was a nice enough city, but (in our opinion) not a patch on Amsterdam, Venice, Rome, or the simply gorgeous villages of Tuscany, maybe we’ve been spoilt. We’re definitely glad we came, but it wouldn’t be in the top 10 of places to rush back to. Anyway some piccies………..

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Our last “sightseeing” trip was to Pisa, we stopped en route in a small village called Vinci, of Leonardo fame – ¬†a rare rainy day kept us in the van, but we managed a walk around the village which was nice enough.

We’d been told not to expect much from the town of Pisa (apart from the obvious) and the advice was pretty accurate!!

The “Square of Miracles” is pretty impressive, with the leaning tower and adjacent buildings (cathedral and baptistry). But thats pretty much it, if your planning to visit the tower (well worth it btw) my advice is don’t book a long break here, there are plenty of gorgeous places surrounding Pisa (see pics above) stay in a Tuscan village, and visit Pisa for the day (or part day).

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Go on then – everyone else does!!

We have travelled North and are sat in a rather rainy Menton, right on the French border. The forecast is good for the next few days, so were going to jump on the train to Monaco.

Arrivederci Italia

Take care everyone

Mick & Debs

ps

Remember – its CAFE latte, unless of course you want 2 of these……………………. ūüėČ

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Pompei & Rome

Come on cast your minds back, we’ve all sat in Geography and History lessons learning about significant places and events. Most of us can recall the story of Pompei from the ladybird books and we’re all familiar with the Roman Empire, gladiators and the Colloseum. (Mainly from Monty Python, but bear with me)

Unfortunately our History lessons generally consisted of the teacher instructing fellow pupils to read a page out loud (1 lesson = 30 pages of “input”) so it’s no surprise neither of us studied the subject to any standard, but I’ve always been fascinated with visiting historical places, from the Normandy battlefields, Western Front, to the Cathare Castles, I love that “this happened here” feeling.

Pompei and Rome were the 2 cities I was most looking forward to visiting in Italy, there is always the chance of dissapointment (the never meet your heroes theory) but I can honestly say that both places fully met my expectations. Debs not really a city girl and much prefers to be in the countryside, but she was really impressed with Rome, definitely one of her favourite cities.

Pompei

We had travelled across Italy from the Adriatic coast and the temperature change was surprising. We had reached the Med coast (technically the Tyrrhenian Sea) and the temperature was back in the mid/high 20’s.

We use an app from the website http://www.campercontact.com to locate camperstops, each one has recent reviews from users and a link to google maps which we now use as our satnav. Our chosen camperstop was billed as “right across from the entrance to the ruins” perfect.

Unfortunately the sat co-ordinates posted on the app were to the actual ruins. The cop guarding the entrance was really pleased to see us turn into a throng of several hundred Chinese tourists. The main road was rammed (Italian rammed is different to UK rammed by a significant amount) and we were at risk of blocking both roads. He had a sucking the teeth shoulder shrugging moment and left us to it.

I’m writing a bit of a lighthearted piece on driving in Italy, but for now lets just say that what you do is basically indicate and go, don’t hesitate, don’t stop. That’s how they drive and they aren’t particularly bothered, as long as you don’t hold them up for more than 1.7 seconds. After a swift reverse onto the main road with Deb behind doing the YMCA, we had managed to turn the van round but were surrounded with scooters overtaking both sides, I saw the camperstop entrance and aimed straight ahead. We missed every one, and didn’t attract a single pip. (A miracle in itself)

We checked in and decided to have a walk round the town, grab some shopping and visit the ruins the next day.

Back at the van, it was chairs and wine out time. We were parked next to a British cpl Steve & Liz who were just returning from a day in the ruins as we opened the wine. The next few hours probably won’t be classed as the ideal preparation for a day of walking around in the sun looking at ruins, but it was a good night and Steve and Liz were great company. Not sure the French guy in the adjacent van having an early night thought the same but we saw him the next day and blamed our fellow Brits.

(We didn’t really but they’re following the blog and I just made them tut!)

The ruins visit – the first thing that surprised us is the size of the excavations, we were expecting a cpl of hours walking around the whole site, no chance. To visit every building would take 2-3 days it’s a massive area. Information boards stated that to date only 3/5th’s of the town have been excavated I wonder what treasures still lie under the ash.

Anyway some pics

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These roads are actually in better shape than the ones outside.

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This wall art is 2000 years old, unearthing the town must have been amazing. Much of the art appears to be of a similar theme though.

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They obviously had twister in ancient times

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The Ampitheatre, the ash was above these walls

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People’s front, or Popular front?

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2000 years ago this tunnel held the cure for constipation

Top tips for visiting Pompei, wear walking shoes/boots, take water (drinking fountains inside for refilling bottles) don’t get ratted the night before (I was fine mum!)

Rome

I was really looking forward to visiting Rome, less looking forward to the drive into the city, but it can’t be as bad as Pompei can it?

Debs to some extent was dreading the whole thing!

Rome certainly didn’t disappoint me, and Debs is (nearly) a big city convert, we loved the place

We’d picked a camperstop right in the city (20 mins walk to the Colloseum) the review said “don’t miss the turn as you cannot turn round and go back” unfortunately we were on this strange dual carriageway with 2 lanes/median/2 more/median then the same in the other direction. With the satnav stating “turn right” and with us in the middle bit (4 lanes of solid traffic away from the possibility of turning anywhere) the “not being able to go back” was looking like our best option. Then it happened, a small gap in the Armco, right indicator, cross 4 lanes of inner city traffic whilst both screaming, then sharp right. Don’t know what it looked like from the back but there was not a single beep from anyone – when in Rome and all that. Debs was really warming to city life (not).

Piccie time

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Well I’ve seen loads of pics, but the real thing is incredible – for scale see the peeps on the pavement.

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The Trevi Fountain has just had a refurb, it’s gorgeous – a real wow moment when you first see it.

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The horses are more or less life size – really impressive

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Pantheon

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Inside the Pantheon, 2000 year old concrete domed roof

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That’s a ceiling

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If you want to make a statement, get some horse drawn chariots on your roof, loads of columns, centurions battling on your forecourt and cover the whole thing in marble

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The Pope’s gaff

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The Pope leaving his gaff

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Joe Pasquali explaining that the Pope has just left his gaff.

We had a 4 course lunch overlooking the Pantheon for ‚ā¨15 each, cracking value (sweet photo didn’t happen as we were talking to a Spanish couple on the next table who told us they loved the English sense of humour, not sure what they overheard us saying!)

Walking around Rome is incredible, almost every turn holds a surprise with ancient churches and monuments tucked away amongst the city streets. If you’ve been you’ll know where I’m coming from, if not been, and you get the chance, go you won’t regret it.

Anyway, we’ve just reached the hills above Rome and are going to have a chilled few days to let our feet recover, then it’s a steady trek North to Florence, Pisa, and Tuscany.

Take care

M&D

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Into Italia

With the weather forecast on the North side of the Alps looking a bit grim for the next week or so, it was time to bid a sad farewell to the gorgeous Bavaria and head South to our next destination – Italy.

Our plans were to visit Venice, then travel down the Adriatic coast until level with Naples then traverse the country, to visit Pompei, Rome, Florence, Pisa and Tuscany, on the northbound leg.

Our route was through Austria via Innsbruck, and along the Brenner pass to the Dolomite region of Northern Italy.

Our first stop in Italy can only be described as fantastic, possibly the best view we had ever had from our van window, if this was a taste of things to come we were in for a real treat.

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A rare (but impressive) photo of our intrepid author undertaking physical activity.

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Chillin’ out

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Fallin’ out

Obviously there were downsides, hairpin bends, suicidal bus drivers, unguarded sheer drops of several hundred feet and no wifi, but these were all forgotten by the 3rd bottle of vino tinto. We were well and truly in the middle of nowhere and I think Deb was really impressed when I woke her in the middle of the night to look at the gazillions of stars.

Me – “wake up, look at the stars, aren’t they amazing”?

Debs – “yes”

After an extended stay in the hills, it was time to make our way to Venice, obviously you don’t get back out of the hills without the hairpinbend/suicidaldriver/sheer drop/nowifi issues, but I don’t scare that easily, and Deb informed me that she had plenty of clean underwear.

The Dolomites are incredible, but when driving, you have to refrain from whistling “self preservation society” apparently it’s not funny, or clever.

So after another recommendation from the Husdon crew, we arrived at our camperstop over the lagoon from Venice, eagerly anticipating a few days of clean underwear, romance, cornettos, and wifi. We arrived at lunchtime, so we decided to visit Venice the next day, leaving us time to break out the bikes and discover the shoreline of the lagoon.

Deb completed another successful cycle mission, without incident, she even managed a few hundred yards along a sandy beach (squealing as I shouted “keep pedalling”.)

We decided on a meal out and I picked the yummy carbonara (note healthy salad “side”)

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The next day, we took the vaporetto into Venice, arriving “Bond stylee”. Despite the inevitable and amusing arguments over which boat was to dock first, mucho horn honking and arm waving etc this is surely the best way to arrive.

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You can’t really fail to be impressed with Venice. Yes it’s a bit smelly in places, yes there is a real risk losing an eyeball to a Chinese selfie stick, or your children’s inheritance to a coffee shop owner in St Mark’s square, but we loved the place.

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St Mark’s square, waiters dressed in pristine White suits, Orchestra bangin out some classic tunes, so why no customers????

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Deb’s starter and main

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We did tell her, after the photo obviously.

Our next destination was San Marino, a self governing principality high in the mountains, overlooking the Adriatic coast. We’d timed our visit (by sheer chance) with the weekends classic rally event and were surrounded with the noise and organised chaos of a multi stage rally in full swing. The weather though was pretty rough, with rain and high winds and we decided to sit tight in the van until the following day (better forecast).

I’m a big fan of Motorsport, and taking piccies, so with big names from my youth taking part in the event (most with unspellable Swedish names) maybe I’d manage to grab a frame or two during the visit.

The poor weather the next morning was just starting to clear and we were heading out, when we noticed the cars had stopped, there were loads of sirens, but no cars. We visited the town as planned (via the cable car) and later discovered that earlier on, a rally car had crashed into the crowd, killing a spectator and hospitalising several others. I’m not really a believer in the old “fate” thing, but the rain just may have done us a favour that day.

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San Marino, in the clouds

Time to move down the Adriatic coast. With the seaside resorts of Rimini, Riccione and Pesaro waiting for us and a favourable forecast for the following week we were understandably looking forward to a few days on the beach. Blimey what a disappointment, Rimini was closed for the winter and the others looked like they were closed for good!!

Should we press on down the coast, or cut across the country earlier than planned?

We decided to press on, and we’re glad we did – yes the resorts were all closed, but we discovered a camperstop right on the beach (and it was open!!)

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Proof that sometimes patience pays dividends

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Another successful cycling mission

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And pretty impressive scenery

Once we had discovered the more scenic parts of the Adriatic coast, we were sad to leave, however with no shops open and rumbly tummies we didn’t have too much choice. Time to switch coasts and see Pompei, Rome, Florence, Pisa and Tuscany.

Next up, why Italian drivers – aren’t ūüėČ

Take care everyone

Mick & Debs

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Germany

Well, we crossed over the border into Germany and I’ve got myself a new hat.

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Our plans included following the “Romantic Road” southwards, meeting up with the kids for the Oktoberfest in Munich, then continuing a tour of Bavaria before crossing over into Italy for the next leg of our tour.

Our First stopover was a small town called Coesfeld where we had a steady walk into town for an evening beer in the marketplace, pretty nice town tbh.

We then moved on to “Potts Brauhouse” which was a microbrewery/restaurant (with free stopover in a dedicated camperstop) a recommendation of Pete and Nina’s¬†the food/beer was excellent.

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Next up¬†was the town of¬†Fritzler¬†where we spent a cpl of days. The camperstop was on the edge of a walled city and alongside the river Eder. Perfect for exploring and to follow the well signed route alongside the river to the Edersee dam (one of the “dam busters” targets).

The sign said 23km, which seemed like a pretty decent ride for a day out, so off we went. (on our trusty old steeds, which we calculated were about 26 years old, but still going strong)

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We reached the dam, which was worth the ride, but my bike was starting to give up the ghost somewhat, with the pedals loosening in the crank and no tools we had no option but to head back. The pedal threads were well and truly “tatered” and with one pedal falling off ever 100m or so this was going to be a long journey back to the van!!

Debs shoelace bodge idea (initially scoffed at by yours truly) came good in the end though and we made it back. I discovered that one legged cycling for 20k isn’t fun and I was walking round in circles for the rest of the evening. The old bikes had to go.

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Our next stop was the “resort town” of Bad Bruckenau¬†Now we didn’t quite know what to make of this place, it was spotless, with pristine gardens, posh hotels – but entirely empty, not a soul to be seen. I can only explain it as a “stepford wives” atmosphere we were constantly questioning, should we be here?

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To be honest they’re selling themselves short here.

I’m sure its lovely in season, but eerie this time of year.

And so onto the “Romantic Road” a tourist route created in the good old days to show off a collection of old market towns, the road starts at Wurzburg and finishes in the Bavarian town of Fussen. We were planning to travel the first 2/3rds then divert to Munich.

Wurzburg were having a festival To celebrate our arrival and we walked around the town looking at the various stages, there was a Wurzburg’s got talent stage (lots of body popping), an Eagles tribute band stage and a “oom pa pa” stage with outside bar – oom pa pa it is then!!

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Next up was Rothenburg, in the 1940’s German citizens were bussed here in their thousands to see for themselves the perfect German town, in the latter stages of the war, deals were struck to avoid its destruction and to date it’s¬†largely untouched. Its a lovely place, but certainly a victim of its own success.

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I dread to think how many Japanese families are showing their holiday snaps off to their families, with our ugly mugs splashed all over them.

Dinkelsbuhl was our next stop another walled town, lots of timber framed buildings, a really nice place.

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News of my guitar recital travelled fast

Next was Nordlingen¬†we really liked it here. The camperstop was on the edge of town (a massive ‚ā¨3 per night!!) and the town excellent. You could walk the entire city wall, which had a strategic bar/cafe halfway and it was the town where we witnessed true German “hospitality”.

It was on our second night in Nordlingen and we were looking around the town for the traditional “German Brauhouse” experience. I’d heard a “band” playing in one of the pubs, “this is it, were in”.

Well it wasn’t what we expected, in fact were still not quite sure what it was but this was the band………….he’s in the corner hogging one of the 4 tables.

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Closely followed by these chaps (who took a Euro off me for clapping)

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All in all an incredible night.

We carried on Southwards and camped at the side of the Danube river in the town of Neusburg. A chill out before the Oktoberfest madness.

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Oktoberfest time!!

The rendezvous went to plan and the family arrived, it was time to don the traditional gear and drink far too much beer.

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My kind of woman!

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Also my kind of woman!

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Prost!!

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To be fair, you did order White sausages Paul!

Oktoberfest is a fantastic experience, surely one for everyone’s bucket list and Munich is a great city, it’s spotlessly clean, with efficient public transport, it feels safe and very welcoming.

After we said farewell to the family, it was time to head to the Bavarian hills to chill out and try out the new Ebikes.

Deb had already christened hers by falling off it in the actual shop, so she was brimming with confidence. But a few miles later and barring a minor incident with a high kerb and a large dog she was soon “on it”.

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We were camping at about 1500m and it was a bit of a shock to wake up to snow (after sitting round in shorts and t shirts the day before) and with the forecast poor for the next week it was time to bid a reluctant farewell to Bavaria.

Next stop Italia….. Take care everyone M&D

Oh and I didn’t buy the hat, I mean who’d wear one of those? ūüėČ

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Going Dutch

Well we’re off again on another adventure, for the next few months we’re planning to visit Holland, Germany (including a family rendezvous at the Munich Oktoberfest) and Italy.

This time we’ve decided to sail Harwich/Hook of Holland, a first for us. We arrived the night before the sailing and got our heads down in the carpark alongside a doz or so fellow travellers.

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Harwich check in

We’d booked early and got a decent price so decided to treat ourselves to a “captains class” cabin which was pretty decent, didn’t actually see the captain, but did get through most of his minibar.

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The daytime sailing gets you into Holland around rush hour, which is a nice introduction to a new country, but to be honest the road system here is top notch and the drivers seem pretty chilled out (I’m fearing Italy may be slightly different).

Our first few days in Holland are spent in a Camperstop in a small village between the the ferry port and Amsterdam (Abbenes) for ‚ā¨10 per night.

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Abbenes Camperstop

This is a good time to mention our¬†new sliding Atera bike rack, which has enabled us to transport the bikes with the smaller van and still be able to access the rear doors, we’re well chuffed with it so far.

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Travelling position

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“Get at the doors” position – clever eh!!?

Anyway our first full day in Holland, time to get the bikes out and hit the cycle paths. Its no secret that this part of the world is a mecca for cyclists and its not difficult to see why. Proper cycleways, level landscape and superb “Olde world” scenery its pretty impressive.

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The cycle paths are all numbered with each junction labelled – to plan a route you simply look at the map make a list of numbers and off you go.

Easy peasy…………… If you can actually ride a bike that is!!

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1 roll away from a muddy dyke

Our next stop was Amsterdam, quite a contrast from Abbenes, but thats the beauty of the camper.

We checked into the “city” camperstop which was ‚ā¨21 per night, a bit functional in appearance but perfect for visiting the city centre (via the free ferry).

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Not pretty, but…….

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10 mins on the free ferry

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And you’re in the city centre.

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Were they have multi storey bike parks, good luck if you forget where you “parked your bike”

Amsterdam is a very vibrant city, with MILLIONS of bikes, cross the road (or cycle path) with extreme caution, they do not slow down for anything, including red lights.

Talking of red lights, I know what you are all thinking Amsterdam/Red light district, well obviously you have to have a look, the area is an eye opener for innocent people like us but Just like Holland itself, Amsterdam is a city of massive contrast.

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From the working girls

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To the specialist Alehouses

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The quaint backstreets

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And a vibrant cafe culture

Its a great city, but watch the bikes! (the coffee shops smell a bit funny as well)

After a couple of days in the city we decided to retreat to the country for a few days, and following a recommendation from the Hudson crew, we checked into a camperstop on the German border in a village called De Heurne ‚ā¨10 per night including lecky and this view…….

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We got the bikes out (practice makes perfect after all) and cycled to the town of Dinxperlo which is unusual as half the residents live in Holland, the other half Germany. Basically the guy across the road (on the same street) lives in another country.

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Deb’s in Germany I’m in Holland, the fun we have!!

Anyway no bike ride would be complete without the reward of a cold beer, so here was ours.

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The camping hypermarket Obelink is next, then onto Germany. Our brief visit to Holland is one we’ll repeat we’ve both been really impressed.

Take care

Mick & Debs

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Along The Algarve (and up the Costas)

We decided to travel along the Algarve coast back towards the Spanish border, call back at Messines for the Easter break, then cross back into Spain for the steady trek North.

Our first stop was Lagos, a pretty marina town with an equally impressive beach. It was a warm sunny day, so we had a walk down to the beach. One thing we don’t seem good at though is passing the bars on the way back though and when theres a live blues band just setting up, it would be rude not to call in.

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Lagos beach

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Lagos 

We did notice that there is a pretty substantial expat community around here, not very “authentic Portugal”, but not as “in your face” as the Brit resorts over the border.

The camperstop was “buzzed”that afternoon by some local joyriders, but¬†they didn’t burn too much rubber!

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We moved along to Alvor and a camperstop right on the beach, which was a short walk into the small town. Debs has learnt her lesson with the cat feeding but has found a new hobby.

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Praia Du Rocha next and a camperstop next to the marina, really sunny weather, but the wind was a bit cold. Called at a cafe for that good old fashioned Portuguese dish, fish, chips and lager!! Decent views though.

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Our next stop was Silves (20 mins inland) Debs checked us onto the camperstop

Debs – “Three nights please”

Camperstop reception woman “we are doing an offer, its buy three get one free”

Debs – “four nights please”

Silves is a pretty nice small town with an “old town” with a moorish castle at the top of a hill and an abundance of cafes. Time for Silves offer number two, Debs picked up a leaflet at reception for a local restaurant “bring this leaflet for a special price”.

So we had…………..

Starter (Bread, Olives, Pate)

Soup

Piri Piri Chicken, salad, rice, fries

Desert (trifle)

Litre of red wine

Glass of port

Coffee

Total bill (for both of us including VAT)?

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Silves has a large population of storks, and there are nesting platforms built for them on streetlights, buildings, telegraph poles etc. I got a few pics, but missed the best one as a stork flew close over our heads with a frog dangling from its beak.

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We have discovered that wine prices in Portugal don’t seem to effect the quality too much so we thought were push the boundaries – and at 65c (50p) a litre, maybe we found the limit. To be honest it wasn’t as bad as we thought.

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He has a wife you know

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Hmmmm – White Port

Next stop for us was Albefuira for a few days, staying at a camperstop on the outskirts of town. The old town of Albefiura is pretty decent with the usual collection of bars/restaurants. Eating out here is really cheap (not Silves cheap though!!) and there’s plenty of choice. The camperstop was “functional” and handy for town, but really packed in. (no snoring Debs) The plus side to this of course is that you tend to interact with your fellow “vanners” more and we met some really nice people here.

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Easter weekend was here and we decided to get away from the crowds a bit and head back to Messines. Andre, the camperstop owner was pleased to see us and was taking orders for the restaurant lunch – yes please!

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Debs does Portugal

Well Messines was our first and last stop in Portugal and we headed over the border to Spain – we’ve really enjoyed Portugal. Fantastic scenery, good company, and really friendly people (and storks!!)

Mind you, they also sell this stuff………………… on second thoughts stay away!

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You don’t need to look to hard to find the Bacalhau section – just follow your nose

Oh, and would you buy a house from Mario?

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Gorjao indeed

Our first night back in Spain was on the top of a mountain, we’d seen a parking spot on our app that was in the hills above Malaga ¬†– it didn’t say in the description that oxygen was required though! The road up was pretty tortuous and it was one of those “once committed, no turning back” roads, with the odd passing place, but no chance of turning round.

I was feeling quite pleased with myself when I got to the top (in fact almost bragging about my obvious driving skill) until I noticed the full sized coach pulling up and dropping 50 school kids off at the observatory.

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High speed action shot, or possibly I set the shutter speed too slow

We carried on the next day to Almerimar, back on the coast, and the wind was blowing a hoolie. The wind surfers and Kite surfers were having a pretty decent time.

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A cpl of hours further up the coast we found a “wild camping” spot at a place called Aguilas. We were parked right on the beach, with fantastic views of the med. We had 3 days here, with the beach pretty much to ourselves. Looking out of the van window and seeing the sunrise over the sea and sunset over the mountains was pretty special.

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Sunrise from the bedroom window

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Sunset from the other bedroom window

Ok I admit it, our next stop was another week in Benidorm. Yes we had Tapas by the bucketload, yes we had too much to drink 1 night, yes we had a hangover the next day. Moving on……

Next stop Peniscola, and the best toilet sign of the tour.

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This way lads

Our final stop in Spain was in the town of Blanes, just round the bay from Lloret De Mar, the camperstop was just a carpark in town, but it was free and the seafront was pretty nice.

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Blanes

As I write this we have just parked up in France at a favourite spot of ours in a village called Latour Bas Elne. We’re going to have a few days here visiting friends and then its goodbye Mediterranean, hello English Channel!

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Portugal (Pete & Nina)

We left Seville and had the brilliant idea of surprising some friends of ours. Pete and Nina have been “full timing” throughout Europe for the last few years, their comprehensive and informative blog can be found here. Pete and Nina on tour.

We had been following their blog and had exchanged a few emails – they were in Portugal, so it seemed like a plan. We hot footed it to Camperstop Messines which is located in the Eucalyptus groves about half an hour inland from the Algarve coast. On arrival it would appear that our stealthy approach had been our undoing, we’d missed them by a cpl of days! Oh well, we were in Portugal for a month, so we emailed them and told them we would catch up with them some other time.

Bless em, they emailed us back and told us they were on there way back (and we should prepare our livers!!)

We’ve not seen Pete & Nina socially for far too many years and there was a lot of catching up to be done (Deb had 2 decades of pent up “banter” to let loose on Pete)

Anyway some pics…..

Now I’m probably in for a rollocking for posting this rather uncomplimentary pic of Deb, but there is a tale to tell. Debs a bit of a soft touch when it comes to strays and I’m constantly telling her not to attract them to the van, my theory being that it will be even harder to leave them, once “befriended”.

She’d spotted a cat at Messines and (after being told not to) had snook out with a pack of ham. This pic is the “oi” moment.

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The cat had the last laugh, having eaten all our ham it went back to the van next door (its owners van) for a kip.

Messines is the perfect “chill out” place, the owner Andre, told us that his ethos was to provide a “wild camping” experience, but with servicing facilities. The camperstop is surrounded by walks (some arranged by Andre) and he even provides a shopping service for 50 cents (to cover his fuel costs!)

Here’s some pics of the countryside around Messines

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Camperstop Messines

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Recently harvested cork tree

The Hudsons arrived and Pete appeared with 2 x 1 gallon containers, these contained “Sherry” and Creosote “Brandy”. To be fair the Sherry was pretty good and I like a drop of Brandy, but OMG this was a bit too “industrial” for me.

The site owner Andre had booked us into the weekly meal at a local restaurant and we set off walking. Obviously if you pass a bar on such a nice day then it would be rude not to partake, even if the bar is half a doz plastic chairs at the side of the road (we looked like traffic surveyors, but we had beer and it was sunny)

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Once we got to the restaurant the meal was pretty impressive, a starter, then the main course, which was a hot stone provided to cook your own steak at the table, chips and salad, a sweet and nice coffee – all for just over a tenner (including wine of course)!!

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We had a few days chilling out at Messines then decided to go on Andre’s organised walk (me and Deb had missed the previous week’s walk due to an overlaying incident)

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We decided to have another bash at the local cuisine, this time we walked to a restaurant to have the local speciality Porco Preto (Black pig). Petes been to Portugal loads of times and is on the face of it (compared to me) pretty conversant in all things Portuguese (I’m at the hello, and thank you stage). With the food and wine ordered, I have to say I was pretty impressed with my old mate – however things were not all they seemed, and when Pete asked for more bread with the starter (and 2 fried eggs appeared) we did fear for our black pig!

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Eggy bread

Time to leave Messines, we decided to have a cpl of days together on the coast, then go our separate ways. Pete and Nina took us to one of their favourite spots, the gorgeous Odecaixe (pronounced Oh – de – zesh) a “wild camping” spot at the top of cliffs overlooking the Atlantic.

The weather was a “bit grim” when we arrived, but the next day was clear blue skies and fantastic views of the coast.

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Arrival day at Odecaixe

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The next morning

We went for a clifftop walk, which had its windy moments, but the views more than made up for it.

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Stork in action

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There’s always one!!

The next morning we had our “farewell coffee” and the Hudsons were off on a new adventure.

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The Hudson mobile

We had a great time, Pete and Nina were brilliant fun, really helpful and our detox only took 2 days. Pete’s blog was a must read for us whilst we were waiting for our turn to hit the road, and meeting up has rekindled an old friendship (not forgetting introducing us to Industrial strength Sherry, Natas, Tostas, and Pate de Sardinha)

After Pete and Nina left, we decided to have another night at Odecaixe before working our way through their provided list of “must see’s on the Algarve”

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I’m fairly pleased with this piccie

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And our breakfast view wasn’t too shabby!!

We left Odecaixe and headed to Sagres and an encounter with potentially the worlds tightest motor-homer. Unlike the UK, some¬†of the supermarkets on the continent have service points for motorhomes, where for a cpl of Euros you can dump your loo and waste water, and fill up with fresh water, enough for a few days “wild camping” (also frowned upon in much of the UK). Anyway at the Intermarche supermarket in Sagres, there is a service point, on one side of the “borne” is waste water and loo dump/rinse, the other side fresh water. (its a good idea to keep them apart).

The ‚ā¨2 fee is to turn on the fresh water – dumping/rinsing is actually free here.

Anyway we paid our ‚ā¨2 fee (the only fee paid that week to camp for 5 days) and proceeded to fill up. we were then approached by a guy from the van parked next to us. In his Franglais he explained that there was no need to pay as “its gratuit this side of the borne”.

When I told him about a thousand toilet cassettes (including mine) had been pushed over the rinse tap (it was clearly marked “non drinking”) he said – “yes but its free” Deb joined in with the Le Toilet (in perfect French) but he just walked off shrugging his shoulders at our extravagance – hope the listeria doesn’t ruin his holiday and he spends his ‚ā¨2 saving wisely!!

Sagres is the most Westerly point in mainland Europe and we parked in the fort carpark which was ideal for walking the cliffs and visiting the town.

 

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We love it here, it reminds us so much of Cornwall – only there’s more sun, the cost of living is cheaper and the local council don’t give you a parking ticket for parking slightly over the line.

And finally………

One thing we always comment on is the ingenuity of people, when it comes to getting away from life in the suburbs. We’ve seen transits containing simply a mattress (with a family of four inside), converted fire engines, delivery trucks, just about anything capable of kipping inside. We think they’re great.

I have to say that the Dutch are the masters when it comes to radical conversions (the Brits are a poor 4th behind the Dutch, Germans and French)

This was our favourite this week – impressive balcony eh!!

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We’re still in Portugal making our way along the Algarve and in a cpl of weeks will pass back into Spain – we’ll be back, Portugal is great. (even if the “bread” yolks are a bit runny)

Take care Mick & Debs

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Southbound to Seville

After resting the blisters from our epic walk in the Sierra Espuna, we decided to have a more leisurely hike on our last day at Totana. It really is a nice place to get away from it all, and the scenery stunning.One thing we saw a lot of were, what we thought were large spider webs. On closer examination we discovered that they were in fact caterpillar “nests” during the walk we saw them leaving their nests (dunno where to) and realised that they were these buggers¬† Pine Processionary Caterpillars

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On the March

 

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Deb walking purposefully (in my socks)

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The forecast in Totana was a bit overcast, so we decided to travel back to the coast, stopping on a camper van park in the seaside resort of Almerimar. Quite a decent little town, however for some reason the local Tesco wouldn’t price match, or issue club card points.

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Our next stop was a small town on the outskirts of Malaga called Rincon de la Victoria. Another camperstop with a great owner who couldn’t have been more welcoming. He insisted we caught the bus to Malaga, telling us it was a beautiful city (we did, and he was absolutely right)

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Camperstop Rincon de le Victoria

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I’m predicting this months works photo comp is leading lines

 

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Malaga cafe culture

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To be honest the guitarist was rubbish

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Some fish we saw

Well Malaga was superb, much nicer than we imagined. But of course this blog would just be a collection of someone’s holiday pics without the monthly “Faux pas” this month we have two and at last they’re not both mine!! In fact I’m claiming that mine was a direct result of Deb’s.

Anyway here goes, we’ve spent a lot of time in France and can pretty much hold our own with regards to getting by with the local lingo, but with Spanish we’re quite frankly, rubbish. We’ve said “oui” several times as well as “merci” “sil vous plais” and “pardon” leaving the locals well confused. Do they try out their “Spanglish” on us or “Spanfranc”?

Anyway, determined not to do the “Brit abroad” thing and insist on waiters speaking English, Deb manned the “iPhone Google translate” app and set to work on the menu. Now it’s a good app, but sometimes it’s a bit literal when it comes to localisms. She read out the menu which included (according to the app)

“large worms depending on size”

“clam milk shake”

“Bulls penis – bone free”

We decided on the “Beef skirt in the chicken grill”, which was actually grilled chicken breast (not a bad choice) no sign of beef though, skirt, clam, or penis (bone free).

Anyway, we decided on a nice cold bottle of white wine as it was a sunny day and the camperstop owner told us white wines were a speciality of Malaga. Deb chose (using the trusty app) and went for the “point at the menu method” of placing the order. The waiter looked a bit confused, but fair play to Deb, she stuck to her guns.

The chicken appeared, closely followed by our wine (a bottle of the finest sherry).Now it would have been rude not to drink the sherry, but I’m sticking to my guns that this (and the sun) was the reason I marched us onto the wrong bus, which meant an hours walk back to the van. Deb’s feet (already blistered from Totana) look like something from Rocky Balboa’s butchers hook.

Anyway, we limped our way to our next stop, BRITAIN!! Well Gibralter actually. We found a camper park which was a 15 min walk to “the rock” got the passports out and went “home”. Now if you’ve never been to Gib, you’re in for a surprise, the Rock is much bigger than it looks on the telly, and Gibraltar is actually quite a large town. Duty free stuff (booze and cigs) are cheap, but the rest is not. I priced up a camera lens, which I could buy in the UK ¬£150 cheaper, so check prices folks ūüėČ

We were obviously back On British soil because it was jeans and jumpers weather for the first time in over a month. On our second day in Gib, we had the mother of all thunderstorms with scary lightening and everything. I mentioned to Deb that we were perfectly safe in our Faraday cage van (which confused her as she thought was an IH).

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Diesel 58p  in the cradle of history

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You have to cross the “live runway” to get in/out of Gib “please cross quickly”

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Half way across you get a pilots view of the runway

We didn’t spot any monkeys

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Later it wanged it down

We left Gibraltar and headed for our last Spanish destination, before we cross into Portugal – Seville.

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Seville – plenty of oranges here, but I was a bit disappointed by the lack of barbers.

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Spot Deb competition

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Spot Deb competition 2

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Makes you wonder why Nottingham’s brand new tram relies on wires bolted to every building along the route, when Seville’s simply recharges at every station.

Seville’s a lovely city and we had 2 great days here, you would probably need a week or so to appreciate it fully though.

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This shop is called U Lanka, not sure the sign manufacturer got it quite right.

Anyway that’s all for now, we’ve just crossed into Portugal and its blue skies and sun forecast for this week, anyone know the Portugese for clam milk shake?

Take care everyone…..

Mick & Debs

 

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