Tuesday, 21 February 2012


February 21st 2012

The adverse comments left after the last post have caused me to review and recalculate the whole raison d'etre of this blog which was only started after pressure from offspring who expressed a desire to know where we were and which replaced the daily journals which I used to write as a diary of our travels. Those journals which now number many notebooks were written up each evening with a glass of wine and rambled on with what we had seen and done that day and contained the minutiae of travels in a motorhome and the trials and tribulations of daily living.
The Blog has changed that, as I now write it up every once in a while since I can't be bothered to get the computer out each night. The posts contain a lot less than the journals ever did, and far less detail of places visited, simply because I can write faster than I can type and I get bored with typing. I am also conscious that other people read it, which was never really intended with the journals (not whislt we were living, anyway) and have become increasingly dissatisfied with the thought that I now try to find 'interesting' things to share with a wider audience rather than describe the problems of replacing the roof-light winding mechanism which I did last week;the efforts to stop the water tank overflow pipe from syphoning fresh water;the investigations into the erratic behaviour of the battery charging system and the solar panel;the day spent with Paul sourcing a cheap battery charger in Conil & rigging up an alterative charging system for him;the hilararious games of boules;the fun Roy and I had trying to convince an LPG depot to replace the Cepsa gas bottle with a Repsol cylinder since Cepsa is only available in Spain not Portugal whilst Repsol is available in both ( I only discovered this last year when needing a new Cepsa gas bottle and vowed to rectify it this year) and we only managed to persuade the manager after taking an interest in the dozen Goldfinches he had in tiny cages staked out in his garden as lures for other finches which he caught with a net;the discovery that some Terry's brandy bottles are 36% and some with identical labels and prices are only 30% and you have to check very carefully as they are all togther;the english hippies we are parked next to at Isla Christina with the requisite number of tattos and piercings,two dogs called Tequila & Tia Maria, who have been parked there for 18 months, are leaving for Bulgaria in October for a job offer and who are a wonderful source of information and have been very helpful;the apparent demise of my ereader;details of the many fascinating people we have only met for a short while (Harry who played in then coached the GB Water-polo team)
....and those are just a few omissions that spring to mind as I type with time on my hands.....
To those who posted the comments I can only say that a straw-poll of other followers produced a 100% positive response - thank you, William -(who,incidently, spotted the point of the article and went straight to the nub of the matter by highlighting the ridiculous situation whereby the Spanish can ignore EU legislation unilaterally at their leisure. The Portuguese tolls will be of interest, I am sure, to Derek & Margaret who are heading down to meet up with us at Olhao and who may not have been aware of the situation.........
The GF has just read the above and told me to go back to writing in the notebooks so I am going to have to reconsider my position.
(the GF says he is a pompous git !!)

And now to the latest news..........

We left Conil after the Valentines Night Dinner Dance which was raucous rather than romantic and great fun with a Spanish blues band..

Headed down to Tarifa in bright sunshine which turned to rain when we got there. Didn't like the campsite we were headed for & the GF didn't like the wild camping spot on the beach full of German windsurfers in beaten-up ancient Hymers and VW-campers so went into the town and had lunch in a car-park overlooking the Straits to north Africa and the Atlas mountains whilst we thought out plan C.There was a very nice looking campsite just outside the town on the beach but when we got there the wind was blowing hard (as it usually does in this, the southern-most point of Europe where the Atlantic meets the Med.) and the GF who is still not 100% decided we should push on back up to Isla Cristina which we did. Rain stopped, sunshine returned and arrived at Camping Giralda without mishap about 5pm. Site similar to Fuzeta last year, ACSI €16 a night with 12 nights for price of 11.Only about 15 kms from Portuguese border adjacent to beach which stretches for miles. Site very busy and all best pitches in the sun taken by long-stay dutch & german plus one english van as above. Other pitches are under the pines and will be best pitches in the summer. Lots of permanent spanish shanty-town caravans which fill up at weekends with wonderfully noisy spanish families who arrive en masse....this week is local Carnival and half term.

The GF still not recovered from bad throat so by sunday we bit the bullet and got a taxi to local health clinic where we saw a doctor with 2 minutes and with much thumbing through the Berlitz Useless Phrase Book, gesticulation and method acting I think we conveyed the gist of the problem. Industrial strength paracetamol were dispensed and a prescription for a codeine linctus issued. We had timed it right as when we returned to recpetion the place was in chaos. Our french-speaking spanish taxi driver had waited for us and knew the duty pharmacy luckily and for the first time abroad a chemist asked if I had any medical cards and accepted the EHC111 in lieu of payment for the prescription with a bright smile. Unlike France. So the Gf has stayed indoors for 2 days and is getting better..............

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