Edit Blog Post
Published: February 19th 2016
Now, where were we…..oh yes, we had just left Valencia – a mere four months or so ago. My goodness, what a lot has gone on in that time, so dear readers, if you all come a bit closer and sit down by the fire, I shall bring you a bit more up to date…
We dusted down Claude, which, to be honest didn’t really make much difference as he is now in full desert camouflage colouring. If we parked him on the beach, he would just blend in with the colouring. This has led to a few deep and meaningful conversations over whose responsibility it is to clean him. Wendy the Navigator pointed out that her job is to navigate, while Cusco the Chief Spaniel gave me a look of scorn and explained that his position is too important to be compromised by cleaning, which left your correspondent desperately trying to change the topic of conversation. This is a subject to which we shall return to, no doubt.
At this time of year, The Rain in Spain, seemed to be mainly falling on the UK, so we merrily trundled further south on the sunny, warm Mediterranean coast. Following
the map, sat nav and a recommendation we arrived in a town called Albir. This was unknown territory to us, a fact made clear as I drove through practically every red light in the town as I was concentrating on having a good look around – Cusco raised an eyebrow scornfully but said nothing. The campsite we pitched up in, was easily the biggest we had stayed in during all our travels, your correspondent did a quick count and reckoned there must be over 1500 pitches – my navigator gave me a disdainful look and said there were 300.
It was a campsite that was packed. The receptionist gave us a map of the site to choose from, as long as it was one of the six that were available. We walked around and chose the prefect pitch. Well, it would have been the perfect pitch if it hadn’t been beside the wall with a main road behind it, if it hadn’t had a tree in the middle making setting up practically impossible, if it hadn’t been near the building where the workmen were installing new solar panels, if it hadn’t been covered in new gravel into which Claude
happily sank down into – apart from that it was fine.
The saving feature of the site, was that the beach was directly opposite. A mere ten metres across and Cusco could run free, as long as we continued to ignore all the no dog signs everywhere. To clarify this breaking of the law, I did ask a local on a beach with his dog about this and he told me that it was ok from October to March to allow dogs on the beach, so all was well. Of course he had answered in broad Catalan, so perhaps I interpreted the words the way I wanted to hear them!!
Cusco now has a plan when he gets to the beach. He waits for the ball to be thrown, chases after it, picks it up and then legs it as fast as he can to the sea. He claims there is a philosophical reason for this, we merely think he is mad. A particular trait to this beach was that it dips sharply to the sea. Where you think the land meets the water is misleading as there is a slope of around ten feet before the waves
come in. It is here most people sunbathe, to get shelter from the wind and a bit of calm privacy. Imagine how they then felt when a black, grey and white spaniel suddenly comes flying in to their midst, with a tennis ball in his mouth and a look of confusion as he realises he has misjudged the distance to the water!!! I would imagine they took it a lot better than when your correspondent arrived chasing the aforementioned hound and also misjudging the distance to the water.
What else can I tell you about Albir? Well dear readers, it has the population of Norwegians anywhere in the world outside of Norway. Your correspondent had noticed that bars and restaurants menus in the usual languages but also Norwegian and that the flag of Norway was prominent around the town. To get to the bottom of it, I asked a passing Viking for the reason,but it turned out he was a Visigoth, so still none the wiser.
As well as Norwegians, we also came across Fiona. Yes, THAT Fiona – Fiona of Westbourne no less. Your correspondent was amazed by the chance coincidence that she would be here at
the same time as us, until it was explained that all movements had been known to each party and the meeting was prearranged. I could feel a look of scorn from the Spaniel stood behind me. Fiona was in town for a few days on a course, so we met up a few times, for food, beer, wine and laughter. The first two times were the best for your correspondent, but the third was awful. Fiona forced marched us to the nearby town of Altea – in boiling temperatures – and if that was not enough, then cajoled/threatened us to climb a steep hill, through the pretty cobbled streets, to a mirador at the top. She then forced your correspondent to stop for cold beer and grilled fish while she drank wine and ate sepia. A tough taskmaster indeed!!
The next day Fiona left and so did we.
Spending too much time lazing on the beach in the sun can be bad for morale, so a team decision was made to head into the mountains. Not just any mountains, but the ones closest to us and a small village called Banos de Fortuna – with a name like
that, how could we go wrong. Let me give you a clue – the bloody sat nav!! The first part of the journey was straightforward being along the motorway. The second part was quite easy as well, just follow the signs. The third part descended into a new level of hell as the satnav took over.
About 5 miles north east of the campsite there is a quarry. This quarry is at the top of a very, very big hill. There is only one road up to it and one road down. The road up is full of empty trucks racing up and the way down is full of trucks packed of stone, bouncing all the way back down. Thanks to our friendly, neighbourhood satnav, there was a very lost looking motorhome caught up in the trucks going up to the quarry and a very nervous motorhome embroiled in the trucks coming back down. Thankfully, we reached the campsite without any other mishaps – mainly by ignoring the satnav.
The campsite was in the middle of nowhere, where it was very hot. It was also in the middle of a thermal spring area, so Wendy enjoyed a few
hours soaking in the pools provided. Two restful days were spent here until the need to move kicked in.
Puerto Mazarron was the next port of call. A large campsite on the side of a hill, where we caused chaos by not being able to park in any of the pitches. The man in charge kept a fixed smile as he turned electricity on and off at each pitch we attempted until we found one that would fit Claude. A pleasant site, but was blowing a continual hurricane and the walk to the beach was a lot further than the website stated and the town centre was a distant view.
But what has happened to the washing of Claude, the more observant of you as ?! Well, it was at this site that your correspondent hooked up the hose to the water supply and gave Claude a good hosing down and wash with a big sponge. No part was left unclean and when I was finished, a step back was taken and I admired my work. Sadly, the effect did not hold until the next morning, as I had not followed up the washing with a shammy leather,
so there were a multitude of streaks covering the van and Claude looked worse than before I had started.
A raised Spaniel eyebrow was seen looking out at me.
Time to go…
Tot: 2.231s; Tpl: 0.053s; cc: 12; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0522s; 2; m:saturn w:www (126.96.36.199); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb