Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Dreadlocks and Dead Batteries

I have been wanting an Australia sticker for Dickie and I finally have been given one by a fellow Aussie. We met a great family in San Jose who had a spare and I must say the sticker enhances the bumper of Dickie nicely. Thanks Al, Sarah, Ella and Leilani Koch for making my Aussie dream come true.
Ella, Leilani, and Al

We've spent the last few days in La Isleta and Las Negras in the Cabo de Gato National Park. How beautiful is this area?!  No high rises, lots of young dreadlocked hippie types, and a very chilled out atmosphere. So chilled out that our Dickie battery died and we couldn't start the engine but thanks to Graham doing something clever with the leisure and engine batteries connecting up, all we had to do was wait for the sun to charge the solar panels and we were able to head off. If you get the chance to come to this area please do, the beaches are stunning. We caught a few para gliders readying themselves for a fly in La Isleta - a lovely site.
para gliders at La Isleta
chomping


spot the Dickie - near Mojacar
spot the Dickie -Agua Amarga

We're now at the Cabo de Gato campsite for a night. Catching up on washing and electricity is our main objective but it's also nice to hear British people speaking slowly and loudly to 'foreigners' to make them understand what they are saying.

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We had some sad news last night that a great friend of Graham's, Pearl O'Neill, has passed away. Thanks to our friends in Boscastle for getting the message through to us. Our sympathies are with her husband Tony and all her friends and family.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Pootling...

Agua Amarga
As the saying goes 'the best things in life are free' and we've certainly had our fair share of the best free things in the last few days. I think we could say we've been 'pootling' down the coast around Vera towards Cabo de Gato, taking in a few gorgeous beachside locations as we drift towards Portugal.
near Mojacar


tummy tickle at Villaricos

We have been so close to the sea on occasion that if there had been a tsunami we would have been 'ex-pootlers' and ended up as people in a tin box bobbing under the waves, much to the ironic delight of the sardines and pulpo along the way.

The weather has been a tad rainy and mucho windy so the seas have been wild. Dickie was covered in wave spray last night as we could almost touch the sea out our window. Today we are a little farther back but still in a tsunami risk position if you ask me. 
not a bad spot

There's a yummy Chiringuito (restaurant) 100 metres away where we munched on calamari and chiperones for lunch. Hugo is now curled up on Mr Fluffy's lap and we've just completed our art project of the day where we both draw a sardine and ask Facebook friends to judge the best. 

We had hoped to go to the Burning of the Sardine Festival in Mojacar but due to the inability to park anywhere closer than several kilometres away we had to give it a miss hence our decision to make our own sardines.
Sardine A


Sardine B

We met a lovely English chap a few days ago who gave us his list of wild camping sites along the coast which has worked out a treat as we would not have found half these wonderful out of the way places to park without it. I hope some of our photos will give you an idea of the gorgeousness that we have come across in this fairly wild part of Spain's coastline.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Weird Fish and Cross Dressers

We were hoping for a virgin on a stick but we ended up with a brandy-swilling cross-dressing Spanish man and a group of kids dressed as pin cushions.
not a virgin on a stick

The carnival at Vera started yesterday, kicking off the festival season for this part of Spain. Graham has always wanted to see the statue of the virgin paraded through the streets of a Spanish village and we thought this might have been one of those. Sadly it turned out to be one of the lamest carnivals we've seen. The floats were made by the local school kids so I shouldn't be mean but we had waited several hours for this, having gone in early to catch the market (which was closing up just as we arrived). The worst art was Hugo became so distressed by the noise we only saw the first two floats and had to leave as he was shaking violently. 
exciting float

weird fish at Playa Carolina
Playa Carolina
We are staying in a small campsite just outside Vera and have met some lovely people, one of whom is a fellow motor home blogger called Tony. You can check out his blog at www.snugglywuggly.wordpress.com . We have great views but we wil be heading back to the beach today - I belive there is a nudist beach close by so that could be a laugh. I think Playa de Carolina is the most beautiful place we've stayed so far so we're keen to get back to the seaside.
spot the Dickie - Playa Carolina

Getting Gassed (Almost) and Doggie Romance

We were thrilled to have survived the night without being poisoned by carbon monoxide.

Our alarm had gone off while we were walking in Cabo de Palos and we were concerned to see the meter was reading 61 (apparently a fairly dangerous number according to the instructions on the CO meter). "Perhaps it was the wind blowing the fridge fumes in". We decided to keep an eye on it but after a couple of days and nights of open windows, the strange smell seeping from the top of the fridge and the rising numbers on the meter urged us to action.
 
Spot the Dickie - Cabo de Palos

It's our secret - I'm not really an animal

There has been no wee fee for a few days so we phoned Chelston Motors back in England who gave us the number of a dealer in Almeria. "We can't fit you in till the 18th February", were not the words we wanted to hear as we may have been six feet under by then - looking ruddy of cheek as CO poisoning does to you but quite deddles all the same. "Try Caravanas Lorca - they're close to you".

Well the Lords and Ladies of Magic must have been smiling on us as within ten minutes, at the dunny emptying point of all places, we met an Englishman and told him of our trouble. "I've just been given the address for Caravanas Lorca this morning." He produced a piece of paper with all the details of how to find the aforementioned and gave us his phone number to report back as he, too, was having problems with his fridge.

We duly arrived at our destination and with a confident (if a little casual in a Spanish way) manner the shop attendant dropped everything and discovered that the gas jet had oxidised and the exhaust pipe from the fridge was filled with soot - hence the aroma. He and his boss spoke not a word of English despite the sign saying 'English spoken here' on their door, but with the ipad translator and a bit of pointing and, of course, us speaking very slowly and loudly so they could understand (just kidding) we managed to get things sorted. I can now sleep without checking to see if Hugo is breathing every 5 minutes.
Calnegre - a 100 metres from the van

We are now back by the seaside at a beach just outside Aguilas. A few days have been spent wildcamping at Cabo de Palos where the weather was gorgeous and the restaurants even better. Hugo met a lovely little Yorkishire Terrier in a leopard print dress and pearls but nothing came of their tryst due to a locked gate and an unsympathetic owner. Calnegre was the next stop where we stayed at an Aire 1 minute's walk from the beach.
 
a kiss

oops caught

farewell my love


It is now a 20 second walk to the beach here. There is a short stroll to some cliffs with ancient rock carved chambers just over the hill. I think we'll stay on that beach tomorrow - there are some surfers braving the cold waves and a group of French people playing boule over there so we will be able to watch some sport with interest. 
Beach caves - Playa de Carolina

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Exposed Elderly Nipples

Guarding the door
Hugo's been enjoying the sun in El Campello for the last week as we bit the bullet and stayed for about eight days as the weather was so nice. Normally we only stay somewhere for one or two days as we like to move around so it was a bit of a change. We were even on 'Ola!' terms with a few of the restaurant barmen. Hugo is enjoying his walks by the beach and is working on his suntan. 

We met a few English people who gave us tips on wild camping sites so we're now down at La Marina, south of Alicante, parked up by the beach with about 30 other motorhomes. The chap in the Niesmann-Bischoff next door has just removed his shirt exposing an elderly chest. To say we're a little packed in is a tad of an understatement but it's free so we're not complaining. If he removes his trousers I may have to have a lie down.

There's a great restaurant 'Galego Playa' that does a 3 course menu del dia for 10 euros - including wine. We've eaten there twice and Hugo has only disgraced himself a few times by barking aggressively at customers as they walk in. Amusingly as soon as anyone goes to stroke him he goes all gooey and starts licking them....weird dog.
Lunch Munch

Rare clouds over El Campello beach
We're off towards Malaga tomorrow taking in a few wildcamping sites along the way. OOh our neighbour has put a clean shirt on ... thank heavens!!