Our neighbours across the way, Steve and Jane, left yesterday morning with their car and caravan heading
back to the UK following a five week stay here. They had been good fun. It was their first experience of an extended stay in Spain, and couldn't stay longer as they have a business to run back home. They expect to be back in a couple of years.
After scrubbing up I lifted the bonnet and uncoupled the C-Tek charger from then vehicles engine. Now that it's fully charged I'll just give it a top-up every couple of weeks. It had been my charging the laptop
and phone from the 12v plug on the dashboard which had identified the non-charging of the battery initially.
Next I wanted to drive the vehicle off the levelling ramps, having released some
air out of the rear air assisted suspension, we were now on a bit of a slant, leaning the opposite way. Having done that I decided to bite the bullet and attempt to close the gap between the motorhomer and the awning in order that we could leave the large
back flap unzipped and rolled up, which would allow us to open the habitation door and step straight in to the awning. After some careful manoeuvring being careful not to run a wheel over a tent peg we made it, and my word what a difference it has made for
us, it's completely transformed the living space. I've had to botch the coupling a bit as I very foolishly cut off a piece of the awning, removing one of the two options for connecting the two together thinking I would never need it. Needless to say that will
have to be put right when we get back, though I've no idea where I'll find a company to undertake the work these days.
By early afternoon we had new neighbours across the way, Brits with
a motorhome, though I suspect they're pretty new to it as they kept many fellow campers entertained as they attempted to park the vehicle sideways across the pitch, even with up to three 'advisors' it was a struggle. Never mind they got there in the end.
Our main meal was a mid-afternoon barbecue of chicken drumsticks and home-made beefburgers, salad and chips. It was really rather nice, and very filling. We were pleased that we could add Spanish minced
beef to our items of food which we could buy with confidence over here.
Sat there after lunch I spotted that, of course, we now had a gap running the length of the unzipped rear opening and
the ground to underside of the vehicle. This would result in our losing heat once zipped up, but more importantly wind could get in to the awning causing stability problems, and so I need to make a strip to fill the gap.
Fortunately I have a piece of cheap groundsheet in the rear garage which I could use, and so we popped over the road to the supermarket to buy five x 6ltr bottles of water at 59 cents each. These will be used to weigh down
the bottom of the edging strip.
This morning we were able to throw open the motorhome door to be met with nice warm air, with the sun having armed up the awnings interior. That was such a
nice change from the very cold air which usually greets us.
The bathroom I go to each morning is usually deserted when I go up there, but not this morning. The campsite is now full, with
a waiting list of those wishing to extend their stay. Brits dominate the population of the campsite by far, with some Germans, Dutch and Belgium's. It's getting to feel a bit like 'Warner's for Riff-Raff'.
Whilst I got started on making the skirt to fit in the gap under the vehicle, The Chef set about making some scones of all things, as we bought along a tub of clotted cream, which until a few days ago had been stashed away in the freezer.
So a cream tea became our lunch today as a very special treat.
This afternoon we went for a bit of a stroll down to the beach and
along the promenade. It was good to get off the campsite for a bit. We have decided to make more of an effort to do things as from now, starting with lunch on the beach tomorrow and a bike hire on Tuesday.
We've been here nearly five weeks now and we've decided to shorten our stay here and start making our way back to the UK mid February. There are two reasons for this. Firstly we aren't really far enough south to enjoy the best of Spanish winter sunshine.
At best we get up to about 18˚C in the regular daily sunshine, however the nights are very cold, dropping to about 4˚C although we have had it lower. Down south in Malaga they're getting a couple of degrees extra during the day but more importantly their nights
are about ten or eleven degrees. That's a huge difference, and takes the pressure of having the heating on in the evenings, and making it possible to sit outside for longer. Secondly we prefer to tour. There's no adventure in turning up here and sitting around.
It's just not what we do. The last time we were here we only lasted five weeks before taking off and touring further south. But this time we're dragging the awning around with us and that's weight and space I could do without having in the back. So we'll stick
it out for as long as we can and then head home.
Everything is subject to change, but our thinking for the future is that we'll stay at home for the winters, taking a ten or fourteen day
holiday in the Canaries in the January, just to give us something to look forward to and to warm the 'ol bones up a bit. On alternating years we'll set out for Spain in the motorhome at the beginning of March, travelling light and touring around. We really
did enjoy the bit we did a couple of years ago. So our first such trip will be next year. The following year we'll probably have a crack at delivering a new motorhome from Chicago to somewhere like San Francisco, which will give us the chance to revisit some
places we went to ten years ago, as well as visit new ones. We'll return to Chicago using Amtrak the American railroad system. We can travel up the Pacific coast to Seattle and then across the northern states such as Oregon, Washington and Montana. Locations
we never got to see ten years ago thanks to the Yanks not granting us enough time to do so. We could do it next year but with all the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit fiasco, which is badly effecting the currency exchange rates, we'll postpone such a trip
in the hope that the Pound versus the Dollar situation improves.
Our second extended trip this year is planned to be a circular tour in September and early October, taking in the former U-Boat
pens at St Nazaire, France, in the Bay of Biscay, though I'll have to dress it up a bit to convince The Chef it's a good place to go, the Cognac area, then on to Provence, an area we love followed by a trip in to northern Italy, as I want to revisit Sienna,
which I know The Chef would have liked to have seen more of.
But for today, we have returned 'home' this evening having enjoyed our weekly Sunday Roast, Spanish-style, and very nice it was
Tomorrow I will start 'Benicassim 3' as this page is filling up. Hopefully we'll see you there in a couple of days.