Well there's a month gone and apart from the loss of many little grey cells and probably quite a lot of the functions of my liver, not a lot to show for it.Except that it's been a very social,enjoyable and fun.
The Gf returned to the Uk on March 2nd in order to be with the family for Mothering Sunday and will return on the 11th. In the end Nick drove us to Seville ( 90mins drive, 30 mins to discover how to get into the car park)
as he and Dave had hired a car for a month and were looking for things to do to justify it. Larry has still offered to provide the transport for the return trip but as he will have to drive friends to Gibralter airport the following day I may ask Dave...or Mike...or Bryn...whatever. Or drive the van there as a last resort as I would have to use the long stay carpark at 14€ for only a very short stay, plus 14€ in tolls plus fuel for a 180 mile round trip at 30mpg as opposed to 45mpg in a small car.
Right, so what's been happening to explain the attractions of wintering in Spain. Well not really the weather. The sun has shone a great deal and is very hot but overnight temps have been down to a very unseasonable 4-5c making evenings and early mornings very cold. There has been snow less than 100 miles away (Seville & Ronda) and blizzards and bad snow from Madrid to the north. This has been caused by the Jetsteam lying just over the straits of Gibralter rather than north of Scotland and pulling cold air down over the whole of Europe rather than pulling warm air up from Morocco.
Consequently we've had winds most of the time that are very cold if you are not sheltered or outside of 12-3pm. The Spanish think its start of the ice-age and wear more clothes than the Gf whilst the brits stoically walk around in shorts as its just like the average uk summer. The Gf now has a ski mask whilst cycling and has alarmed more than one passing police car and several shopkeepers. She's been christened Eskimo Nell on the campsite and on one very hot afternoon with no wind when she dug out her shorts for an hour or two people came from all over to gaze in wonder. I jest but those who know her will understand completely. As we move into March the temps have risen overnight due to cloud cover but we also have strong winds causing minor havoc. The low temps have meant using more gas for heating than anticipated ....electricity is metered on monthly stays, and charged at 0.25€ kwh and we are already running at about 10€ a week so using gas makes sense. Except that We now have refillable LPG cylinders and unlike the rest of europe, Spain has not embraced Autogas universally following a massive loss of life after an LPG storage tank explosion. So we have to drive to Jerez to refill which is about 40 miles away. Not really a problem as we can have lunch and a day out in a very pretty city. We've only had to go once so far but are probably getting close to one cylinder needing a refill soon. Hopefully it will last to our departure which will now be next week so that we can fill up on the way to Portugal (which has more Lpg stations than Spain).
On the quiz front we've won 4 times out of 7 and both the GF and I have each won the weekly whist tournament once bringing total earnings to date to a rather handy 126€. Since Harry & Joan have amassed 122€ in the same period we have rather cleaned up between us as no-one else has won more than once. We all felt so chuffed with this that we took Mike the Quizmaster out to lunch just to start the rumour mill rolling and managed to spend 190€ on a meal for 5 in a fantastic restaurant on the beach within feet of the crashing surf with a view to die for. Since we then won the next quiz we managed to annoy a lot of people.
Boules has become very competitive with the ladies now having the edge, the Gf,Patricia and Joan making a formidable team even without Sabena who left a couple of weeks ago. The afternoon matches are extremely good fun and the apres-boules does nothing for the liver.
Lots of good evenings at the restaurant, including a very good Valentines dance, a paella night and a complimentary Andalucia day meal ....when the food is free why do we spend more on alcohol?
Don & Sandra did an excellent BBQ spare ribs on their enormous gas bbq which is so large I'm sure that they have to tow it behind the motorhome for all the usual suspects and a very alcoholic lunch lasted from 12-7pm when it got too cold to sit out any longer.
Despite what I said about the weather we've been out and about on the bikes and had a lovely day walking along the beach towards Trafalgar, 3hrs each way and a picnic. Discovered that the tyres on my bike were wearing badly so the local bike shop replaced them with very good michelins for a reasonable 40€ (17€ each plus 6€ for fitting which as removing the wheels from electric bikes is a daunting prospect seemed a good deal to me).
That'll do for now, I'll post more later in the week.
1 month ago