Icing sugar?

A couple of days at St Cyprien (bottom left on France map) is as snuggled up to Spain as we go until February.

St Cyprien, plage et port

Despite the bright sunshine the weather is much colder now and all the t-shirts and sandals are back in the suitcase for a few months and the scarves, hats and gloves are out. Luckily I’ve got the new chunky jumper (and matching hat) finished and all sewn up as it really is that cold. There’s a rather brisk wind (gale) coming straight off Les Pyrénées Catalanes which are only a few kilometres away and look to be dusted with icing sugar, the first dusting of the winter.

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Les Pyrénées Catalanes + icing sugar

From here it doesn’t look as if the chains will be needed although I know where they are and how to fit them – no 3,000€ fine for me! My route was decided before the sugar sifter was used overnight and that route takes us up and over to Ax-les-Thermes and a zig-zag and very slow meander north. Well that’s the plan …

at the moment!

☃️ ☃️ ☃️

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

My winter preparations are almost complete, I say almost as I’m bound to have forgotten something, but then I’m only going to Benelux and Germany and there are shops there – but afterwards, who knows? As my regular reader will have noticed previously, all plans are subject to change.

Cold weather wear was dumped out of the suitcase onto the bed and considered for possible future wear. A few items did not make the cut and were taken to the charity shop for another chance. Most warm weather gear exchanged places with the cold weather gear, and was put into the suitcase and “garaged”.

Remembering the dense chill of winter, even without snow, above 1,000 mtrs suffered in February I did decide to make one new purchase and hot footed to Rohan (favourite outdoor wear supplier) for a new winter coat (at 15% off as I donated a surplus to requirements jacket to their charity box).

After much net searching and not finding I rang the local JustTyres on the recommendation of a friend and found the manager very helpful. My choices were indeed limited due to wheel size but I elected to go for quality rather than cheapness and R0X1 is now sporting all singing, all dancing commercial winter tyres. As long as the dancing is minimal and the singing tuneful I’m happy.

And just in case I do manage to find some white stuff I’ve splashed out on a snow shovel and snow chains.

Previous white stuff

🙂 🙂 🙂

This Maggie IS for turning …

We waited and we waited for confirmation of our tickets to visit El Caminito del Rey on Tuesday. By end of the business day we still hadn’t heard so we opened a bottle of wine and held a planning meeting. Simon said he would pass on the walk as he doesn’t do heights and 300ft up a gorge classes as a height but he was more than happy to Daisy sit as some of the surfaces didn’t look good for paws. Rose thought that the forecast weather temps were too low to expose oneself on the side of a gorge halfway up a mountain and I concurred, so we’d already decided to nix the walk and head for Granada a day early when email confirmation of our reservation finally arrived at 8pm CET.

By the next morning we’d all had time to think about the even lower temperatures forecast for Granada and Cordoba over the next few days and had independently come to the same conclusion; come down from the mountains they may be beautiful but we’re too old (well Rose and I are, Simon isn’t even a pensioner yet) to endure the cold for long. Everywhere in the hinterland is forecast to remain cold for the next 3-4 weeks so Daisy and I, awakening to another freezing morning, had a brief pillow talk and, although the remainder of our trip had been finalised, I made the decision, and Daize didn’t veto it, to nix all points inland, turn towards the coast and make my way back up through Spain on a similar route to our trip down.

So both vans sped down the “autovia” past the snow covered Nevadas to Malaga, turned northward and are by the beach, somewhat warmer this evening than last – by several degrees. We have planned another planning meeting tomorrow morning, with coffee and pain-au-chocolat, to decide where our next stop will be – I’m game for anywhere the warm side of the mountains!

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My itinerary for touring central Spain will be used at a later and warmer season …

🙂 🙂 🙂

Bye-bye Brashers, Brashers bye-bye-eye

I know it’s the end of November – but really, daytime temperatures down into single figures and sub zero overnight? Come on, this is Andalusia, Spain. OK, so it’s Andalusia above 800m; I s’pose I shouldn’t complain, especially as the sun just keeps on shining in a wonderfully blue sky. I just need to find an LPG station so I can continue to use the heating at night … Daize has discovered that her usually scorned dog bed is right next to a heating vent – need I say more? (Except that I’m feeling more than a little guilty about the haircut.)

There seems to be a song theme going today, what with the title and as we’re either in S. Wales or in a Beach Boys number – R(h)onda!

Ronda has some spectacular stuff to see, and my camera is feeling used and abused. It also has a sports shop and very sadly I have bid my Brashers farewell. They provided exceptional service for a good number of years but I was aware that their days were numbered, the soles were worn smooth and no longer giving the necessary grip for hiking. Today along the gorge I slipped one slip almost too many … I now have a pair of Hi-tec’s (no Brashers to be had) and am staggered by just how much tread they have!

Andalusia is fabulous, it has grass and everything …

P.S. That gorge up to the bridge picture – we climbed all the way. Daize is now almost unrousable!

🙂 🙂 🙂

Ever grateful ….

Sitting shivering and eating my breakfast this morning (boiler needs urgent surgery) I found myself thinking of the way Tin Can Traveler, frequently signs off her blogs …..

Having made up my mind I can easily keep warm by continuing my weekend mission of disposing of material goods to charity shops and going to the tip with the junk, I started to consider how privileged I am. The boiler outage is a temporary annoyance, the landlord has arranged for it to be mended. I am not, like some in war torn or so-called third world countries, without shelter and in imminent danger of hypothermia or worse.

I have had sufficient disposable income that my downsizing can bring benefit to others less lucky and I have the choice to dispense with “stuff” that is non essential to my new life. Although my pension is very small and I will have to travel within a tight budget, I am able to have a retirement living my motorhome dream, not grubbing around for subsistence living.

And if that’s not reason to be “ever grateful” I don’t know what is  …

Thanks Annie 🙂

Blooming cold

(Kerria Japonica currently flowering in the garden)

Cold hands

On a very nippy but bright late autumn afternoon, I finally found the time to capture some colour at Virginia Water lake, part of the Crown estate, Windsor Great Park.

Note to self; buy a pair of those fingerless gloves with the mitten cover before you lose another finger – this time to frostbite!