Saturday, 1 April 2017

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.

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