23. Feb, 2017

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THURSDAY 23-2-17

We awoke to a cloudy sky this morning but we mustn't grumble as the folk back home are having to contend with Storm 'Doris' bringing strong winds and snow.

Our local feathered friends were in fine form this morning. We get lots of hedge sparrows here, a few ring-necked doves, a gang of magpies which appear from time to time and a robin.

Soon after breakfast we heard the sound of very light rain on the roof. Never mind it wouldn't deter us from walking in to town, for today was a major event - the grand re-opening of the 'Lidl' store. We think it's been extended since we were last here. Not only that it was Market Day. Life doesn't get edgier than this.

It was heaving as we passed Lidl on the way to town. It looked as if everybody who made a purchase took their receipt to a stall on the car park and collected a free, small, bouquet of flowers. It was good to see that Benicassim has now entered the world of International cuisine as they now have a 'Burger King' next door to Lidl.

We overtook our next door neighbours on our way to the market who said that they'd spoken to somebody back down the road from the campsite who claimed it took them a whole hour to queue and get through the tills. More fool them I say.

The market was nothing special, but it did provide a good selection of stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables. The Chef selected some potatoes, black grapes, and just over two kilos of oranges for €1.64, about 4 pounds for £1.40.

Then it was a stroll up to Lidl for a look around without the intention of buying anything. The Chef was quite impressed with their food and intends to shop there fairly regularly during our stay.

At the supermarket across from the campsite we bought some discinfectant. This is to be used in the motorhome toilet allowing us to save the proper fluid for when we go touring. It all does pretty much the same job. Infact lots of people use cheap Lidl or Aldi automatic washing machine liquid in their loos and nothing else. It's rather like the toilet paper for these loos. So many people buy toilet rolls made by Thetford's the camping toilet manufacturers, and they are by no means cheap. Well there's a way around that - just but cheap toilet rolls instead and use as required, confident that they will disintergrate just as efficiently as Thetford's expensive ones.

After lunch I had a play with the satellite dish I had bought along. My expectation was low as I am new to this dark art, and was aware that I should have bought the larger 85cm dish along, but didn't for fear I couldn't master it and end up dragging it around for three months. Needless to say it was a fruitless effort, I think I must wait until we are up in France before I try again. I have added to my list of jobs to do 'Master Sat TV before next trip'.

It has been quite noisy on the site today with numerous yelping balls of fluff being extra vocal. Much more of it and I shall deploy 'Henry Horn' and clear the wax out of their ears.

Now I was going to pass comment nearer the time on the flock of sheep from the Caravan Club, which has just changed its name to 'The Caravan & Motorhome Club' to much consternation from the caravanners it seems. But I thought whilst the link to the holiday exists I can provide you with it.

Now I can certainly see the benefit of escorted tours using caravans or motorhomes, especially for those who have never ventured across to the mainland of Europe and have always fancied doing so. An escorted tour meeting, say, at Dover or Portsmouth, spending a night at a local campsite meeting up with their experienced escorts before crossing the water and setting off in convoy. I get it.

What I don't get is this particular tour which requires those joining it to travel at their own expense all the way from the UK and to arrive at the gates here at Bonterra Park. Here they will get a pitch for two weeks, a meal on the first night in the restaurant as I recall and a few coach trips out, before then leaving this campsite and making their way home, again at their own expense.

https://www.caravanclub.co.uk/overseas-holidays/holiday-ideas/european-tours/spain-and-portugal/the-orange-blossom-coast/

Now I would have thought that anybody who could get themselves and their rig all the way from the UK and arrive in one piece at the gates of this campsite halfway down the coast of Spain, would not need help in getting on to a train or coach for a day out, and on top of that the pitches are only about £13 a night including electricity for such a short stay. Yet these people seem willing to spend over a thousand pounds for the privilege of having their hands held for them during their two week stay here. It will be interesting to see just how large the party is when it arrives and congregates somewhere.

I have a policy when buying items for the motorhome - buy quality. Having things break on you when you're miles from anywhere is of no help. And so it is that we carry quality John Lewis salt and pepper mills. They've never let us down, well not until after dinner this evening. As The Chef picked the pepper mill up, the bottom came off and covered the table, seats, sofa and floor with hundreds of black peppercorns. Fortunately I had charged the hoover up a day or so ago and was able to set about rounding them up, but I have a horrible feeling we'll be finding black peppercorns everywhere for days to come.

We are due to get rain overnight tonight and all of tomorrow morning, but they didn't forecast the little bit of rain we had this morning so who knows what we'll get.