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