If at first …

The exit from Camping Marjal (Costa Blanca) was without regret, it wasn’t really my scene. Great for long term or over-wintering couples, and at the very least it needs a bike to get round as it hasn’t even got any decent off road walks nearby. With Vall de Laguar (Campell) a very fond memory in mind, I headed inland for two possibilities from the ACSI book.

Possibility One; wasn’t looking too hopeful on the approach but then the V de L didn’t look as if it would be anything halfway decent at 8K out, so I stuck with it despite the area bearing a distinct resemblance to 360of yellow slag heaps, never mind the resemblance bit, it was 360 of yellow slag heaps. Unlike V de L nothing improved and the actual campsite was dire (and in the middle of a yellow slag heap). I parked up at my pitch, remained in my seat, and had a think. The end of October is a bad time for me and I was uncertain if it was just a case of nothing and nowhere would be right for the next few days; however I went with my gut instinct, handed back my loo key, said my Adios’s and got the hell out of there.

Possibility Two; and as R0X1 climbed and twisted on the best and longest green squiggly line yet my mood started to lift. As I entered the small site it felt like I was arriving at a close relation of V de L, 900m up, surrounded by peaks of 1500m with a sleepy little village an even shorter walk from the entrance. Angela, Ivan’s female equivalent, just as friendly and helpful, loaded me up with dog walking maps and told me to pick any empty pitch I fancied, and so two happy puppies are hooked up with a great view from the windscreen and set for the next week.

Next stop Lorca!

🙂 🙂 🙂

Life on the edge.

Woke this morning to bright warm sunshine after night of heavy rain, left the runway campsite with no destination in mind other than the monastery at Montserrat. Usually I at least have campsite or Aire co-ordinates in the sat nag, it’s sort of an anchor, but not today – I let the adventure take me where it would.

And the first place it would was the road up to the monastery, I’d planned to stop at the 2nd station on the mountain railway up to the monastery where there is free parking, this was not to be; I couldn’t find the second station. So I just headed up the road as signposted. Now this turned out to be the road that put the squee in squiggly … even the hairpins had hairpins, and the views were incredible until I reached the cloud base and the visibility dropped alarmingly. Well eat your heart out Clarkson – when it comes to throwing 3.5 ton of motorhome around bends in almost zero visibility I’m the master, and I was laughing with delight all the way. Stuff free parking, I was so pleased I didn’t find the railway and it was worth every cent of the exorbitant fee to park (motorhomes get charged the same rate as coaches – fair enough, having to park parallel I did take up 5 spaces) for the sheer joy of the drive. The monastery was OK – not too full of grockles until 11a.m as I was coming away. Unfortunately the basilica was closed for services 10.30 – 12.30 so I didn’t get inside – that seems to be a developing pattern  … the drive back down? Colour me cool.

And the adventure eventually brought me to Torredembarra and a quiet and very friendly campsite by the beach. I was booking in for only 2 nights until I was informed of a fiesta in the village on Sunday lunchtime, so 3 nights it is – now that’s what you get for living life on the edge.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Self (un)restraint.

I was most disappointed during our afternoon walk around town yesterday, after a cuppa and summer berries gateaux in which I was definitely not disappointed, to discover that there had been a concert in the town on the evening of my birthday and some pianist of note had been playing, amongst other things, Rachmaninov. I didn’t read the notice too closely in case it was Rach 2, in which case I would have had a hissy fit of disappointment. As a consolation prize I got some good shots of the sea which was somewhat choppy after the overnight storms, but I was still p’d off enough to leave this morning … (well actually I left according to plan, but saying that doesn’t have quite the same effect!)

Managed to do a bit of squiggling on the drive south, it wasn’t terribly exciting, the tunnels and traffic in  Barcelona, a previously unplanned destination, were hairier. The weather remained a tad inclement, and there was zero chance of any decent views, let alone of the monastery at Montserrat so I decided to divert slightly to a campsite just south of Barca for a couple of days until the weather clears enough to go to the monastery. Whilst here the bus journey into the city centre being both cheap and quick, I’m hoping to get into the Sagrida Familia. R and I decided when we were here a couple of years ago that the length of the queue to go inside (at least twice round it) meant we would miss our flight home the next day so we didn’t bother joining! That was a weekend and I’m hoping that midweek queues are not as long or poor Daisy might get a bit hungry.

Talking of hunger, I shopped at Aldi as I was leaving d’Aro, and rather unfortunately came across some tins of all butter Danish biscuits. I might have managed to leave them shelf bound but the tin had a pattern on it that fits right in with my decor, and I am short of storage tins … won’t be for long, inroads have been made into the contents. But I was very good, I only bought one tin. (But then there are loads of Aldi’s around!!)

🙂 🙂 🙂

Squiggly green lines.

After sitting in the shadows of the Pyrenees which dominate the most of the skyline round Argelés-sur-mer and so much anticipation of hairpin bends, magnificent vistas and a practice run via Quillans it seems the crossing into Spain via the D900/N11 was not the route to take for an intense driving experience. Colour me gutted, what an anticlimax; the practice run was just so much more fun. I almost feel like going back and turning right at Quillans instead of going straight on and coming over that way, the road looks squiggly enough on the map to provide good entertainment. Again, looking at the map, a drunken spider appears to have drawn a green line south of here (Platja d’Aro) I could try that route to hook up with the N11 again when I head south. Ah, light dawns – I didn’t cross the Pyrenees, they are further west, I crossed the Alberes mountains. Note to self – more thorough research needed for accurate results. Next time …

So three nights have been spent on an aire here on the Costa Brava and it’s costa nada! Parked up alongside a wetland nature reserve, it’s actually quite pleasant and only about five minutes walk into the town centre and bit more to the beach, all very modern and touristy, but minus the tat, in fact many of the shops are way out of my spending range. More lovely sculptures here, even on the nature reserve! It’s been hot, hot, hot in the middle of the day so I’ve adopted Spanish hours and a siesta, or as my Aussie mate would call it – a Nanna Nap – so easily managed to wake up early enough to catch the end of the lunar eclipse.

Currently in the local library to download Chrome or Explorer as none of the Spanish cafés seem to support Safari – I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to get on line. A couple more days here and then off inland a bit to find some history and some nice squiggly green lines …

🙂 🙂 🙂