From Bonterra to Ametlla Camping…

Well Bonterra Park came highly recommended by our friends Anne and David and I must admit it really did not disappoint us, and we would also highly recommend stopping here if you get the chance its €19 per night on ACSI in off season with 4kw electric free each day… and well worth the money!!! If in a taller/bigger motorhome or towing cars/trailers etc like ourselves we would advise going to the pitches near the top of the campsite if possible as it will be much easier to maneuver into and out of the pitches (otherwise you will find that in a motorhome you will need to either reverse (impossible if towing without unattaching) into the alleys or reverse back out of them after your stay, they were pretty narrow camp alleyways, plus with the pretty Mulberry tree branches over head to navigate through to reach a pitch (lovely if you don’t have a bulkhead height to think about!!!), we were on pitch D9-5 in the newer area with small freshly planted small young trees and shrubbery, the pitch was a superior pitch with ehu, water and drainage all on pitch and at no extra cost, just the €19 per night, then for a weeks wifi which was very adequate and worked fine which cost us another €12 and it is €18 for a months wifi connection which seems reasonable… the facilities and bathrooms are being freshly renovated the facility block which we used in the middle of the camp was superb clean and fresh, with plenty of hot water, the site also has good washing machines at €4 a load, we unfortunately didn’t get to use the restaurant as each time we did try the tables were all reserved, but it looked superb and was very popular.

 

 

The campsite was extremely busy yet still had an air of peaceful calm and tranquil quiet about it, the site is extremely well maintained and the Mulberry trees in the campsite aisles which were mostly tall enough and well trimmed all looked extremely pretty with branches sweeping and arching above and across to each other…

 

The surrounding areas were great to explore and you could just go on forever, the town was a fantastic place as was the beach nearby, it looked fantastic and very inviting, but no dogs allowed which was a total tease for Toffi who wanted nothing more than to romp in and out of the waves…

 

When we arrived and booked in we were given the camp rules for having a dog with us which were to be fair pretty strict and we were advised that under no circumstances was the dog to toilet anywhere inside the campsite, there was just a zero tolerance (I am not sure if they expect people to put a cork in their animals… but sometimes accidents do happen… if you accept animals on site then at least have an adequate sized area for pets, please sites be a little more tolerant and just then ask that you be responsible of course, I do not mean owners should allow their dogs to go do their business just anywhere or on other peoples pitches etc but be aware that, sometimes, if you gotta go you… just gotta go!!!… I have no problem clearing and cleaning up after my dog if an accident or business does occur and we always do), but sticking to the camp rules Toffi did really well and managed to cross her little legs and get by, luckily for us we were also very close to the dog exit gate which leads to the outside of the campsite, I’m not sure she would have made it so well had we have been in the mid section of camp, We were also expected to put down a €5 deposit for a key to gain access to this pet exit as it was locked from 7pm in the evening until 7 or 8am…

We stayed here for 7 nights, there were a lot of British people on site here overwintering or just passing through, everyone we met were welcoming and friendly, we were pitched next to a lovely British couple Billy and Sophia (I hope I have remembered their names correctly because Pete said the ladies name was Sylvia which has made me doubt myself now!!) well anyway they had a superbly behaved and lovely looking Saint Bernard dog named Polly with them… what an awesome and cute dog she was!!! while there, we were approached on our pitches by a man who was selling Oranges and jars of Marmalade at a whopping €5 a jar, both Sophia and myself were shocked at that price and Sophia said she really missed and they’d really wanted Marmalade, so Pete and I  gave the neighbours a jar of our home made Marmalade and strawberry Jam instead (after all Pete alone was never going to get through all the jars I had made), the lovely couple we had met at Camping El Tranquilo, Karen and Gary had also posted that they were enjoying their jar of marmalade I had given them the week before and so it had been given the thumbs up… yay… high fives all round!!!  Enjoy the marmalade everyone!!!

It was soon time to move on from Bonterra Park and our next stop was about 90 miles to a campsite called Ametlla Cat 1 eco camp at €15 per night, we travelled most of this via a traffic free toll road which cost us €12.65 for 60+ of those miles, after leaving the toll road the journey got a little more… well interesting, when the sat nav took us into the narrow streets of the nearby town around tight corners with cars parked at the corners either side, I almost navigated us up a no entry road trying to avoid a tight right turn at one point but noticed and stopped us just at the last minute, at which point I then had to exit the vehicle and help Pete reverse a few foot back, we had a short queue of cars and luckily very tolerant drivers behind us… who allowed us space to turn the corner, a lady in one of the cars who had parked too close to the corner had a look of concerned panic on her face as she realised her mistake of parking there while watching us taking the corner pretty closely between her car and another on the other side of the road!!!… After a few more of these tight town corner turns we managed to miss a turn and reached a main road which then took us up back around and finally we came to an unmade road way and headed to the campsite… I am pretty sure we went the wrong way to approach this site as in more recent ACSI reviews it does state that they have had a new roadway built to alleviate having to navigate some parts but our sat nav was never updated before we left the UK… so oups!!! but we made it… finally!!!

Pete booked us in and paid for 7 nights all before we had even taken a look, I think he is already secretly dreading my fantastic navigating skills getting us back through and out of the town again, when we finally disembark the area!!! so after walking around the site, we chose pitch A-9, and settled ourselves in, and once we’d pitched up we allowed ourselves a well deserved beer… after this we took a walk to check the place out, I am thankfully glad to report the facilities are immaculate, again with plentiful hot water, there are even cubicles here with a toilet, shower and wash basins in them or there are separate cubicles if you’d prefer for each job!!! (oh the luxuries of a camping life!!!) the site itself is set in a nature reserve and has lots of fantastic coastal walks nearby, the site has a restaurant, large supermarket, cafe, 2 lovely looking swimming pools along with tennis, football and basketball courts, Theatre/cinema entertainment areas for the children and what seemed like hundreds of lovely but mostly empty holiday cabins… everything looks good so far here, the only thing I can grumble a little about was although it is lovely and quiet during the day, really quiet and peaceful, the quiet of the evenings seem to magnify the noise from a busy road nearby… although this may be down to any wind direction perhaps… it was only our first night here so we will see…

 

For some reason I was expecting the site to be rather small but it’s fairly large, there’s also another camping area available with bigger pitches with water and drainage on pitch for an extra €3 per night but the pitch we have is adequate in size to take the motorhome, trailer and give us space for outside lounging and give a table area!!! When we arrived Pete asked reception about dog walking and dog rules etc they handed him a roll of doggy bags, each with the wording “poop happens” on them, and was told it’s all good its a woodland area, with plenty of walks, all we ask if that she is kept under control and that you are responsible and clear up after her!!! as said before, we always clean up after her anyway and keep a very close eye on her at all times, so that’s definitely the way a camp should respond, and look… just how cool are these???!!!

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What a busy week and so much accomplished, well for us it was anyway… I knew I had to do my tax return this year and needed to declare the rent income from the house rental plus whatever I had earned in the first 8 months of last year at work, but how awkward can the taxman make it really… first you have to register for a user ID which they then post to you (can take upto 28 days!) then you have to login with that and register for a UTR number which again you have to wait for also via post (again can take upto 28 days!) I am just glad we had started with the procedure in advance and given ourselves plenty of time to get these things sorted, and of course thanks to my employers for making a total balls up with taxes for employees this year (yeah that was helpful… but we forgive you!!!) and we are also eternally and humbly utterly grateful to our  beautiful and wonderful relatives Karen and Graham for their acceptance of the mundane responsibility of looking after our snail mail and notifying us of or forwarding whatever we needed… we really are grateful to you both…

Well tax return done and fingers crossed a small refund due our way, as the tax I had already paid in those first 5 months of the working tax year of 2017 was way plenty to cover the taxes and lack of earnings for the rest of the outstanding tax year… yay go me!!!  Now just to sort out National Insurance status for the year and the year ahead well to be honest I have already been assured on this as well when I telephoned the helpline last year… hopefully I will gain protected NI contributions status via tax declarations due to low earnings for now, I think after paying them for the last 28 years non stop I am due a break in paying out over £120 a week out of my wages/earnings per week!!! plus the current British government can suck my bollards…. I begrudge and I don’t actually want to pay into the system at present!!!

We also managed to get a campsite booked called Dolbeare a 5* camping park for our return… it was the closest to Plymouth we could achieve as Riverside camp site in Plymouth was already completely booked solid and I didn’t really want to camp in B&Q’s car park (although thinking about it, it could have perhaps been great advertising for them if they chucked in some free equipment ie garden chairs, loungers, BBQ, sun umbrellas and tables etc… we could have had a fenced off part of the car park and shown all their kit in full use for them!!!), but I think B&Q might have taken offence to us just rolling on up, parking and making ourselves at home, they’d probably have towed us off or fined us after all they have a max parking of about a 2 hr restricted  limit… so Dolbeare campsite it is… it’s near Saltash just 4 miles the other side of the Tamar Bridge!!! we are booked in there from the 12th August 2018, the site is definitely not cheap at nearly £200 per week!!! Roll on the end of the summer campsite rated/pricing  fee season!!!

All that is left now to organise for our return journey to the UK is the dog’s welfare she has to be seen by a vet who then check her innoculations and papers are up to date, her microchip is correct and that she is deemed fit and well for travel and be given the worming treatment between 5 days and 24 hrs before entering back into the UK and get through the customs who again check her chip and paperwork!!!

Well time for lunch and more adventures!!!

Take care all

Donna x

 

Campsite Bonterra Park Cat 1, GPS Coords N40°3’25”  E0°4’28”   €19 per night ACSI with 4kw electric free per day. wifi €12 per week, camp fee total paid €135 + wifi

Camping Ametlla Cat 1, GPS Coords N40°51’54” E0°46’43”   €15 per night ACSI (7nights for price of 6) plus with free wifi.      total camp fee total paid €97 including tax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lovely Benicassim…

Next Stop Bonterra Park, Benicassim.

 

We left Camping El Tranquilo at 11am on the 16th April 2018 after saying our goodbyes to all the lovely people on site we were off and were headed to Benicassim, after a faff around with the satnav finding a satellite signal we were on our way, but then we thought “oh, perhaps we should fill up with Diesel first down the road in the town where there is a repsol garage” so off we set, diesel obtained we were off again interestingly the sat nav wanted to take us back up the road on a left turn instead of a right turn… well ok we thought let’s give it the benefit of doubt and try it, see where it takes us (with knowledge from previous experience if we deviate from the original route set on the sat nav to shop or get diesel the blinking thing goes mad on us!!!) Well again it didn’t fail to disappoint us…

The first 35 minutes of our journey was spent doing a complete circuit of pot holed and gravel stone back roads which were only just big enough for one vehicle and then to our utter astonishment brought us right back to the road we had turned off and almost at the campsite we started off from!!! and straight back down the road where we should have just turned right anyway… these sat navs are sent to try us I am sure of it!!!

So again knowing we were already headed now in the correct direction the sat nav started trying to turn us back around again, god only knows why, sat nav madness was ensuing, but we decided to ignore it until it kept on trying to turn us at any given chance… I messed around with the settings while trying to get the thing to behave… I tried taking the motorway/toll roads setting off and got an arrival time of 12 hours 46 minutes… wow… just wow… these things are really magical… when they work correctly… I then had to input the coords and reset road settings once again to get it to behave correctly and to get the damn thing to agree we were actually already taking the correct route with an arrival time of now just under 4 hours, even though by this time we’d already been wasting time driving for about 45 minutes!!!

We passed some enchanting looking towns on route, I managed a few snaps along the journey…

 

 

Well all was good with the world again and with the sat nav now behaving correctly we carried on driving towards Benicassim, it was a fairly windy day which has become almost the norm for us over here, we have grown to expect it now, the motorways were super busy this day with tonnes of Lorries in convoy on parts of the route… which is fine, I have the utmost respect for Lorry drivers… they are mostly some of the best drivers on the road and have to put up with some real idiot car drivers on the roads almost constantly!!!  With that said I highlight the word “mostly” after we had such an unnerving experience this day, a high sided, double trailered Lorry decided to over take… why?? who knows, we were all keeping up with traffic (ie all going with the traffic flow and in convoy)… Well this guy almost took us out completely after he skipped back into lane after only his first trailer had got past us, his second trailer forced us into the half car width sized hard shoulder as the trailer was by now literally making contact with our wing mirror and his canvas Lorry ties were all hitting along the side of our motorhome as he continued pulling over into the lane we were currently driving in, without Pete heading the van into the hard shoulder he would have made full contact with us, the guy was seemingly pulling in way too soon!!! had he forgotten he had a second trailer??? Or had the wind whipped badly against his second trailer??… just what was going on… well he had made contact with our wing mirror several times and totally bent it forward by this time but thanks to Pete’s quick thinking we managed to avoid any further carnage!!! luckily those lorries behind us had also seen what was happening and had slowed to a real safe distance… and then… not 30 seconds to a minute after this incident the lorry a couple of vehicles in front of this guy had a tyre blow out!!! tyre shreds flew everywhere… we all managed to slow and thankfully this guy got off into the hard shoulder safely too!!! with the double trailer Lorry that had made contact with us now in front and us giving him plenty of space between us, we watched him sway all over the place and nearly crash at least twice more from a much safer distance further back he was just all over the place, he still had not even realised his second trailer had made contact with us!!! the other Lorries were also now keeping a real safe distance from the guy bravely staying behind us!!!

 

 

We pulled off at the next service station a little shaken up and to survey any damage and if possible to put the wing mirror back somewhat into a useful angle, luckily these wing mirrors are designed to bend both ways so with a few scrapes to the wing mirror cover we seemed to have escaped relatively unscathed from the ordeal, I just wished I had videod this guys driving or even remembered we actually have a dashcam and could have saved the footage, I did however get some pictures of the van and gain the licence plate number of the CZ registered plate 4AE 8410 if anyone successfully traces that registration number to a company for me… I would be eternally grateful… and I would then track down the driver and reward him/her with a couple of black eyes for nearly killing us and almost causing a major mess behind him on the motorway… and all without even noticing it!!! Pete later described the incident as being bum twerking… and to be fair I think that best describes it!!!

Well we finally arrived at Bonterra Park in Benicassim at 4pm and booked into reception, there were 12 plots left to choose from… so off we headed on foot to find which plot we wanted, most of the plots were at the far end of each of the individual campsite dead end lanes and for bigger vehicles these would be slightly awkward to get into and out off due to space and tree branches, but luckily after the day we had had we found a great plot up at the top of the campsite which was much easier for us to just reverse into… and with the added bonus of the dog walking gate nearby,  Bonterra park is very popular with over 300 camp pitches plus 41 chalets, we can certainly see why the place is busy, its well kept with 3 shower blocks, the shower block we used was in the middle of the camp and was lovely, spotlessly clean and newly renovated, there are industrial washing machines at €4 a wash, the site has a bar and restaurant with meals at a very reasonable €6 each, there’s also lovely looking swimming pools and the campsite has the added bonus of supermarkets on its doorstep (Mercadona is just outside the campsite)…

 

There’s lots to do in the area, with a great cycle path spanning the entire outskirts of town with the beach and a lovely promenade just a few streets away,  although Toffi was pretty disappointed to see the no dog allowed signs at the beach…

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We booked in for just 3 days but soon changed that for at least a week!!! The weather has certainly turned out for the best and the sun has been shining brightly with beautiful blue skies so after waiting for the main heat of the day to pass we took a stroll down to the beach and Promenade, along the promenade there are some fabulous Villas that were built in the early 1900’s by middle class families, but these Villas were taken over by the anti fascists and used as public buildings such as hospitals etc during the Spanish civil war… the Villas are split into two groups depending on their history and are dubbed as either heaven or hell Villas… apparently Ernest Hemingway lived in one of these Villas during the civil war…

 

 

We had tried to book the campsite in Plymouth for our return in August… and to our horror we were informed the site is already fully booked… Looks like we are going to struggle finding a site to stay at when we get back… so if anyone has any ideas or has a large driveway we could borrow please let us know otherwise we may end up camping out in B&Q’s car park!!!

Until next time take care

Donna x

Camping El Tranquilo, Pinoso, Alicante. GPS Coords N38°24’34” W1°5’13”   €13 per night on ACSI with 4kw electric free per day.  camp fees total paid €93

Campsite Bonterra Park GPS Coords N40°3’25”  E0°4’28”   €19 per night ACSI with 4kw electric free per day. wifi €12 per week, camp fee total paid €135 + wifi

 

 

 

Marmalade making in Pinoso

We ended up staying at El Tranquilo for 10 nights we are leaving on Monday 16th, when we will then head to Benicassim and hopefully into Bonterra campsite recommended by friends Anne and David, we had planned for only 7 days but the weather wasn’t too good on many of the days that week with cold winds and rain. Once the poor weather had finally abated I decided I needed to get my bike out and explore the town of El Pinos a little, I’d had enough of being cooped up so Pete headed off with the dog to a local reservoir while I headed off to do my own thing…

The town itself is a few miles from the campsite there’s several ways of getting there to be fair either a shorter route of 3.6 km down the main road, or other much quieter gravel pathways or roadways, but the routes are longer, there are local shops and squares to explore and a weekly market place, the walks around the area are great with many hills or if you prefer plenty of flatter pathways and roads to walk alongside the fields of Almond trees and grapevines…

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I’d taken my bike, but knew I hadn’t charged that battery for what seemed like ages (bike batteries take hours to charge fully but then last a long time!) so I gave it a quick boost of about 30 mins on the charger hoping it would get me there and back… Not a chance the bike was fine on the way the there, but of course I’d taken a backpack and decided that while I was there I’d stock up on a few items from the supermarket as I was intent on making some Marmalade with the Oranges and lemons that Carolina had told us to help ourselves too… With a heavy backpack loaded with some food supplies including a couple of bags of sugar from the supermarket and also several jam jars purchased from the China shop in the town, I went to make my way home only to find the battery as dead as a doormat!!!

Now those of you with Electric bikes will sympathise or perhaps laugh at my utter stupidity and fully understand the situation I now found myself in, miles away from camp and now carrying the extra weight of a heavy backpack also a now massively heavy almost useless bike weighing another 35kgs with no battery power… trust me peddling alone even in the lowest gear I could, I was still sweating like a pig on a spit roast with the afternoon sunshine really not making it any easier… I’d made it almost all the way back and had got myself finally to the turning off of the main road and was now at the bottom of the small hill near the end of my journey, when I finally caved and phoned Pete asking him to please come to my rescue and carry the backpack the rest of the way, to be fair by the time he reached me I was nearly back at camp, but jeez my shoulders and the base of my back had truly given out by then and have been a bit tender ever since, my own fault for not charging the battery of course and for taking a blasted backpack to boot… lesson well learnt!!!

Well the next day I’d decided to have a cooking day and the Marmalade was made along with some sugared fruit sweets too!!! I have no idea if the marmalade is any good taste wise as ironically I can’t stand the stuff… but Pete did say it was a little sharp (due mainly to the type of oranges used, Carolina had said they were a mix of Oranges and Lemons and had called them “Lemanges”!!!) but the marmalade should be perfectly fine for on toast, or at least I hope so, I gave a jar of the sweets and a Jar of Marmalade away so Pete now has 2 jars of this Marmalade to get through… first time I’d made Marmalade so I didn’t think it was bad for my first attempt!!!

We have had a couple of nights at the bar with meals, although Pete is currently recovering from last night’s episode after having rather a lot to drink, He has been hiding away in bed all day it’s nearly 2.30 pm, I think he has a rather sore head… Last nights drinking shenanigans for Pete included a rather large gin and tonic (in fact it was the largest gin and tonic I have ever seen in my life!!!) followed by a whole bottle of white wine to himself and then some glasses of whiskeys to follow…

We hadn’t even noticed the time and didn’t leave the bar till nearly 1am, which was when I was finally able to entice Pete to leave and stop drinking, but on his way back to the motorhome he proceeded to fall down twice making a right old racket (bumping his head and grazing his eyebrow and forehead), I managed both times after a huge struggle to finally get him back up on his feet and help him walk the length of the campsite to near where our motorhome was parked, which was when he then decided to drunkenly aggravate the big Bull Mastiff guard dog probably aptly named something along the lines of “Rocky” whom the neighbours keep in the garden just opposite the campsite fence… Yes, Pete was actually barking at the dog hence a barking match between them then ensued, I grabbed the keys and left him to it by now I had had enough, and he was on his own… but here’s where things got even noisier after thinking I had muted the van alarm… the alarm siren then went off, Pete hadn’t bothered setting the alarm… so I had then accidently turned the blooming thing on thinking I had just turned it off and then triggered all the alarm motion sensors by getting inside the vehicle… What a Palava, it was like some sort of comedy sitcom, I can only apologise to those on the site for the lack of a decent night’s sleep, for Pete’s outrageous drunken behaviour and again my stupidity for the alarm noise late last night!!! trust me Pete has paid a heavy price for it today, not even getting out of bed till way gone 2pm!!!!

Well the campsite El Tranquilo here is great… We’ve met some lovely people here… friendly long termers Anna and Mark, then Karen and Gary, the owners Carolina and Terry, Steve and Sarah (not sure if I have that name correct), along with another older couple whose names also currently escape me (I am really terrible with names so if incorrect then… oups… sorry!!!)… the facilities here are spotless, the site has only been open for 13 months so everything is new, the owners Terry and Carolina have worked extremely hard getting the site to where it is now, it is definitely worth while having a visit with them, there are not many campsites of this standard that we have found in Europe, and we would definitely come back if ever we are in the area, so we wish them the best of luck for the future!!!

Off to start clearing things away ready for our next road trip to Benicassim tomorrow have fun!!

Happy safe travels everyone!!!

Donna x

Camping El Tranquilo, Pinoso, Alicante. GPS Coords N38°24’34” W1°5’13”   €13 per night on ACSI with 4kw electric free per day.

 

Off to Alicante…

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Most of the long termers staying at Camping Cuevas Mar campsite started to pack up and leave for their journeys back to their own countries until their next overwintering season, when most will then return to their favoured spots and campsites some even leaving their caravans on site… There was an older Irish couple next to us in a motorhome who left the campsite a day or so before us… To be honest I didn’t catch their names… They were nice enough people, but mentioned several times they are not dog people and don’t really like dogs around them, but apparently they thought Toffi was very well behaved!!! They even went onto give us advice on how to train our dog using a “rolled up newspaper method” to stop the dog barking at any time… I did tell them I didn’t really think it would work on such a highly strung dog such as Toffi… But shamelessly offered (dared them even) to feel free to give it a go, but I did pre-warn them that it’d be their own fault our course if she tears that newspaper up or at worst she bites them for swiping around her with a rolled up newspaper!!! They also mentioned if we were to come back next year we should look for a much better more private and much more sunny spot… I think they may have been dropping a polite hint that they’d rather us not be in the pitch next door to theirs… It did make me chuckle… the pitch we were on was pretty sunny from midday onwards… so much so that we had to put up a small tent to give the dog a nice cool shaded area to retreat too!!!  we were thinking of popping back over in October for a few days and taking the same pitch just in time for our neighbours return and tease them by telling them we were there for the 6 months maybe borrow a few more dog’s just for the trip!!!

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we stayed at Camping Cuevas Mar for 28 days in total due to some storms and also to enjoy the good weather afterwards, plus waiting for the religious Easter holidays to pass and for most of our stay we had marvelous weather apart from a few storms but on bad weather days I was starting to get restless and bored… I purchased a pack of cards and asked Pete to teach me some card games, unfortunately for me he didn’t know any!!! so I taught myself Poker online for free, I am thinking of taking this hobby up professionally as so far I have only lost 30,000 out of 60,000 in poker chips all this week while teaching myself the game from scratch… I didn’t think it was bad for a total beginner as my large losing streak has started to drop significantly over the past few days… I am after all a good fast learner… so I think I am ready to play with the big guns now!!!

Towards the end of our stay I even made Pete get my bike out for me (yep we had been that lazy that even the bikes stayed in the trailer till the last week we were there), I took a couple of nice rides just to the shops and enjoyed the surroundings to be fair there were some lovely places nearby to this campsite and it seems to be in an excellent position with local towns nearby, supermarkets, plus weekly markets and the lovely beach all on its doorstep.

After chatting to one of the other regulars at the site I managed to find out what the deal was with a lot of the other male travellers having weight benches and weights with them on their travels, I was curious mainly because it’s not really the sort of equipment you would normally find motorhomers using up valuable weight allowance for, it turned out one of the regulars Ian used to be a professional weight lifter and entertainingly it seemed he’d got them all into lifting weights, I’ll be honest with you though and say most if not all of those new to their weight lifting regimes didn’t really seem to be reeping any benefit from it…. yet!!!

After saying our goodbyes to the lovely people we had met during our time there we left Cuevas Mar on the morning of the 6th April 2018… the final bill was a whopping €479 for the 28 days, the advertised 10-15% discount for longer stays was never applied to us and when Pete enquired the grumpy manager came up with some excuse or other, plus we also paid another whopping €40 on top for wifi during that time which also should have been discounted for as it was priced €10 for a week, €15 for a fortnight and just €25 for a month, seems he wanted to charge on a week by week basis only… Pity really as we could well have been returning customers, but once bitten as the saying goes!!!

I’d also felt rather deflated last week when Pete booked our return journey back to the UK via the Channel Tunnel our departure date from Europe being in the 2nd week of August as the MOT for the motorhome is due around then, also its Pete’s birthday mid August and my sabbatical if I recall rightly ends in September… disappointingly we had planned on visiting far more countries than we have managed so far on our trip, but this has been mainly down to bad winter weather conditions across most of Europe this year, not helped by the fact that we do not have winter tyres on the motorhome so we couldn’t go into some countries over the winter months, and we also carry no snow chains etc so this has kept us limited to much warmer parts, amateur mistake on our part perhaps as we had to pass through France to get to Pyrenees mountains to access Portugal & Spain whilst avoiding the snow season in said mountains on the way… which we did achieve luckily with just a mere 3 days to spare before the mountains were then struck down with snowfall… but to replace the tyres twice along our 12 month journey would have been far too costly and would have added approx £1,000 to travelling costs hence our decision not too!!!

But we now have just over 4 months left of this trip to enjoy so I think it maybe a busy 4 months as we aim to make up for this lack of countries visited so far, we will travel back up to France and across hopefully into Italy and by then the winter weather should fingers crossed be fully over and dependant on conditions, we may get to the see some of the other countries we had hoped to travel too on this adventure, if not we shall have to plan another expedition perhaps!!! even the English who over winter here in Spain every year, along with the Spanish nationals have all confirmed it’s been their worse winter weather wise for over a 100 years (although some of these people were only about 30-60 years old so I hope they are speaking from past weather records and not just from personal experience) Typical of us to choose an odd year!!!

We travelled on up to the Alicante region the drive should have only taken us 2-3 hours but took us 4 hours after we had stopped at the supermarket to get shopping, the satnav then thought it would mix things up for us and take us on a bit of a trek of a journey, but other than passing through one busy city the roads were then almost empty the whole way, we arrived somewhere slightly inland Spain at a site called El Tranquillo in Pinoso late afternoon…

 

Our views for the week are of Mountains in the distance and of rolling Spanish farmed countryside beneath them, these fields rolled on for as far as the eyes can see, the campsite so far is living up to its name and is extremely tranquil, with a peaceful quiet to the place, we are booked in here for 7 nights, @ €13 per night,  the campsite is situated near to the town of Pinoso, so we shall explore the surroundings, the weather this week is due to be a bit hit and miss but to be fair it may make getting out and about easier and be much cooler for walking than in the last week of 20-27° temperatures, we took a short walk the day after we arrived before the weather drew in, and sat sheltered in the van for a few hours while a thunderstorm rolled in on over the mountains…

 

We received a warm welcome at Camping El Tranquilo, the owners a British couple Terry and Carolina were very helpful, the site is fairly new and has only been open just over a year, the shrubbery planted here is just starting to take hold so once matured it will give campers visiting here plentiful privacy, the pitch sizes are massive here allowing larger motorhomes and each camper their own space without the feeling of being hemmed in, the facilities are spotlessly clean with lovely hot showers, homemade bread and even freshly cooked breakfasts and evening meals are available to pre-order, the site is adult only which to some may seem unfair but to be honest having lived full time on campsites for the last 7 months you get to savour the sites you find with no children allowed (as much as it is lovely to see and hear children enjoying themselves, sometimes when they are kicking balls or even stones and rocks at your pride and joy motorhome, while mum and dad look on, it can make your blood boil!!!)

Well must go now have a game of poker waiting for me… plus a lovely jug of Sangria to consume just to help me win of course!!!

Have fun Take good care of yourselves

Love to all

Donna x

GPS Coords, Camping Cuevas Mar, Palomares N37°14’16”  W1°47’56”  €17 per night + paid for wifi €10 per week

GPS Coords Camping El Tranquilo, Pinoso, Alicante N38°24′ 34″ W1°5’13”  €13 per night 4kw electric free anything over is charged for, free wifi is available only at the bar area.