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!!!
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
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.