Monday, 24 April 2017

18th. April 2017


From Figueras we headed for Toulouse, a city I now realise we have never visited before. The campsite is close to a water park where we watch water skiers being dragged round by zip wires with varying degrees of success, attempting to avoid buoys and tackle ramps. Most entertaining. Odd campsite opposite Gypsy campsite, bur security is visible and tight. Discover that there are 500kms+ of cycle paths, like Bordeaux, so make note to return here and spend a few days sometime.

Aire in Jonzac. Pretty little town and we cycle to Dave's Gite. No entrance for motorhome so will need to rethink plans for summer. Weather glorious.

Ste. Maure de Touraine. Aire in town centre south of Tours very handy.

Intend stopping at CampingCarParks site in Dreux as I have a card with €20 credit which has been sitting there for 2 years. Find site without problem but it is on industrial estate and we are only ones there. Manage to open barriers with card ok so that works, and ir is ok, new, electric points etc but lonely. By 5pm, nobody else has arrived and the industrial estate has emptied. Although there is a 6ft wire fence around us it doesn't feel good so find campsitea few miles away and head there. On checking my account later, we have been charged €5 for parking which was fair enough.

Had intended stopping at Castels site in Guines, outside Calais but decide to go to Calais aire as we paid for a campsite last night. Discover rumour about the aire being demolished is correct and that it is in the process of being moved closer to Sangattte. It is still a building site but the barriers are in place and require €10 but no hook ups. As it is now too far out of town to walk to a restaurant we head back to Guines where the campsite has a nice restaurant and have a jolly good meal. The new aire will be ok in the future as it will be much quieter and is only 2 miles from the Tunnel terminal.

To Fleet and 3 days at the Little Bramshot Farm CL whilst we visit J&K.
15-17/04/17 Chez William for the Easter Weekend and home on 18th.

 Great trip

Thursday, 6 April 2017


1st-6th April 2017

Stayed at Aquarius for a week in the end, leaving Friday 7th. and taking a slow route back through France as the weather is so fine. I didn't expect to be leaving Spain on the Mediterranean side when I suggested that we check out the Pates Summer Residence at Jonzac which is north of Bordeaux on the Atlantic coast side so we have a longer route than  is strictly necessary so we are taking 5 days.

We have had a great week ; the weather is very warm but this area is windsurf and kitesurf central because of the wind which does not do the GF any good at all as we all know, and the wind has sometimes been extremely strong making cycling a joy one way but hell on the return.
Lots of cycle paths around and good maps available and the route signposting usually quite good, so we have been out and about most days......and I did a great little route to pick up 5 caches one afternoon on my own when the wind was too much for the GF. In fact this was quite a rich area for caches and my total is now 347.
We planned a day in Figueiras by bus, believing that it stopped outside the camp only to discover that it only comes down here in the summer and that the rest of the year you have to walk over 2.5miles to pick it up. Consequently research showed an Aire in Figueiras within walking distance of the centre so we took the van and parked in a supermarket car park along with 20 other vans probably doing the same. Figueras is the home of several Salvador Dali museums and we can thoroughly recommend the Teatro Dali which he created in his lifetime. Astounded by the crowds and school parties which made it almost as bad as the Hermitage in St.petersburg.  Amazing place and the volume of his work here is truly outstanding.  Even the GF  was finally won over after muttering 'Weirdo' for the first hour. I loved it. An we had a nice lunch.
We cycled to L'Escala down the coast, past Roman and Greek ruins and having such a nice time rather foolishly decided to continue on another cycle track . ... mountain bikes would have been good, or rather essential. It was a bit stressful and the route was not well marked. Fortunately  a very nice family ( on mountain  bikes) confirmed our whereabouts on our rather sketchy map and we didn't get lost . Ascending had been a pain....descending was a nightmare in places and the descent was a third of the distance of the ascent and all on rocky flint tracks. I was quietly terrified that one of us would pick up a puncture. Amazingly we were passed by a motorbike  and 3 4x4s out for a spin. Very relieved to get back to town and have a jolly good lunch before heading home.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Mothering Sunday 2

Mothering Sunday lunch in Benecasim

Conil Sunset

I have to cycle around in the heat followed by .....

Better Late Than Never....

BJanet 16th.2017 to 2nd Feb 2017.......

Having spent the worst Christmas  and New Year ever, most of it in bed, and delayed our departure by a week, still coughing intermittently we left home at 8.30 on Monday heading for what looked a cold journey. Changing our usual pattern in order to try a new route avoiding the either long drive  or expensive tolls to LeMans we were intending to cross at midday and stop  at an Aire near Dreux followed by an Aire at Vendome the next today before picking up the old route again at Bordeaux.  Since we are still both recovering from the illness  however,  the weather forecast rather put us off the thought of nights in aires so we headed to a campsite just past Rouen where we could at least have a radiator on overnight. It still left the option of of going via Vendome but the next forecast showed another -5° night so we headed to LeMans where the aire has electrics. The daytime temperatures never rose above -5° either and the next night at Bordeaux dropped to -10°  so it was cold to say the least but at least it wasn't snowing.
Burgos and Caceres never rose above -5 during the day but the sun was shining. Stayed at the campsites at both rather than the Aires in order to keep warm overnight. Dropping down from the plateau the temperature finally started rising as we approached Seville. We later heard news of 10ins. snow at Valencia and La Manga so we probably got off lightly.

Arrived Conil on Saturday afternoon in bright sunshine and very warm weather and everyone looking very tanned. Much greeting of old friends ensured that we didn't get much setting up done.......

We'll I began that on Jan 23rd but never got round to either finishing it or carrying on. As we now have an unusual morning of rain I shall try to bring it up to date, although the sun has suddenly appeared so I might not get too far......

1st April 2017. Sant Pere Pescadore

Conil was a riot this year . We never stopped enjoying ourselves and the 8 weeks we spent there disappeared in a flash.  We spent more money in the restaurant than the supermarket. ...
Having arrived later than usual, we teamed up with Jeff & Kath for the quiz and had a highly successful run of 2 wins, 3 seconds, 2 thirds and a fourth which was most satisfactory. I won the Whist twice and the GF once so once again we subsidised our bar bill.
Weather was warm but unsettled ranging from high winds to heatwaves but little consistency.  February  was the dampest but on the whole we had less rain than previous years and definitely warmer overall......(esp overnight)
We were entertained with 2 Golden Wedding parties which involved nearly everybody there and we spent much more time with Nick,Barbara, Dave & Geraldine,  including 2 terrific luncheon  parties chez nous and chez them which seemed to last all day....
Had an excellent day out with Larry & Pat at Rota, North of Cadiz where the US naval base is situated and discovered a very pleasant town to amble aound....
Ken and Jacky arrived mid February for 2 weeks and we certainly enjoyed their stay and their company. ......they went on to Portugal and we had thought of following but having such a good time in Conil, it was difficult to leave. 
The switch controlling the hot water and heating packed up after the GF had fiddled with it and wouldn't turn off which meant dismantling a control panel and disconnecting it completely. The good news was that a replacement took 3 days, the bad news was it cost €170...
Fortunately it solved the problem as an Internet search after I had ordered it paid 50% deposit suggested that the switch might not be the problem....phew!
We cycled a lot, found a few caches,played boules a lot and apart from the tragic accident (which I do not wish to dwell on here) it was a cracking 2 months.

Leaving was a wrench and farewells protracted...hear from Ken that he's fallen over a wall and broken 2 ribs . Offer to go and help but he says just needs rest and take it easy. It seems he may have done it deliberately in order to get Jacky to empty the loo. She's not amused by all accounts.

21st March
We have 2 nights at Puerto Ste. Maria so that we can take the catamaran to Cadiz (€5.80 each return)and spend a nice day wandering the streets with the excellent walking guides.

23rd March
North to Villafranca de Cordoba. The plan at this stage is to go north to Zaragoza, spend a couple of days exploring the city before crossing the pyrenees via the Somport Tunnel to Pau and then St.Jean de Luz for a week. Ken seems to be recovering, not sure about Jacky.

24th March
Kiko Park Rural. Weather hot but 0° overnight and frost on the roof lights. Look at long range forecasts. Snow in the Pyrenees,  rain in St.Jean de Luz for next 10 days. Ken has snow in Salamanca.  Snow in Burgos. Management decision and we change plans and head to Benecasim.

25th. - 30th March
Bontera Park at Benecasim. Weather brilliant for 6 days and cycle paths undr construction 2 years ago are complete from Orepaso to Castellone/  Grau. and we have a great time. Hate the site but the area is excellent. Pick up loads of caches...15 only hidden on the cycle route the day we arrived so spend 2 days getting all but one which we agree with Kevin (another Geocache we keep meeting from the campsite) has gone missing. I trek into hills to get 2 more caches and end up scratched,stung bitten and bleeding(nearly lost) with no sympathy from GF who claims I bled over the bed sheets. She is annoyed after I climb tree to get cache and accuses me of recklessness and acting like a child(nothing new there then😆)
Have great meal on the seafront mothering Sunday which her sons will pay for......hmm.

31st March
Weather forecast no better for SW france so move up coast to near Figueras at Sant Pere Pescadore and camping Aquarius which is a lovely site on the beach of the Bay of Roses. Will stay here and week + and go visit the Dali museum about 20km away which has been on the tick list for 9 years.