13. Mar, 2020

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FRIDAY 13-03-20

Funny how sometimes, days just don't work out as you'd planned. We'd made the effort to get up in time, get scrubbed up and down to the local Sports Centre  to hire our bikes, just for today really, though you can have free hire of them for up to a week.

On our arrival at the Centre the office was locked and the desk deserted with a notice saying that the office up the stairs would deal with all questions, so up we went. "Yes", we were told "Just wait downstairs and I will be with you", and after a reasonable wait he joined us to tell us that he had just received a phone call from the Town Hall telling them not to rent out any more bikes. So that was it, we told him that we were disappointed but understood.

As we walked away I said to The Chef something was going on, that I reckoned they were going to gradually retrieve all of the bikes currently out on hire over the next few days and then close the Sports Centre. On the way back I wanted to pop in to the largest Chinese Shop in the village - but it was closed, they never close. So back to the supermarket across the road from the campsite to buy a baguette for lunch as our plans had now changed from 'Biking to Oropesa and buying lunch there before riding back' to 'Take a lunch with us and walk towards Oropesa and stop when we've had enough, eat lunch and walk back', and as it happens the supermarket across the road sells crustier baguettes than the Lidl store which we had passed on the way back.

When we walked in to the store it was like the start of the January Sales. There were four tills open and all of them had long queues. Loads of shelves were empty, and customers had their trolleys piled high, so the cunning plan was that The Chef would buy bits that we needed or would need while I nipped across the road to pick up the shopping bags. I wasn't gone long and when I returned she had bought the few items we needed that were still available. So I took the trolley  off her and joined a long queue armed with one of the shopping bags, while she went back down to Lidl to see what she could get and I would join her after I'd taken my bits back.

As it was heaving with skanky Spaniards I decided to put a face mask on. When the woman in front of me in the queue turned round and saw me with it on she nearly crapped herself and stood right to one side of her trolley as far from me as she could. It was only after a while when she realised I wasn't coughing or sneezing and that I posed no risk to her that she rejoined her trolley.

I swear I was in that queue for 20 to 30 minutes, but eventually I was through the checkout, paid by card, then wiped the card with sanitiser and legged it back to the campsite. Having dropped my bits off I walked swiftly down to Lidl and when I entered I couldn't believe it. There stood the Chef with the remaining bits we needed and wondering where on earth I'd got to. Honesty it was like a normal day in there. No queue at all, not even busy. I can only assume that generally speaking the Spaniards shop at the Supermercado across the road from the  campsite, and the campers use Lidl. Because I know if I'd been a local who arrived at Supermercado by car I would have soon jumped back in and checked out Lidl.

Never mind we made our way back with our bits including a couple of large bottles of water.

Once back we put things away and the Chef made a lunch which I put in the backpack and we set off. By now it was about 11:30 - much of the morning had gone.

I have to say it was a lovely walk along the disused railway track with the sun by now up and very warm. We knew we wouldn't now make it to Oropesa but we had much pleasure in just heading in that direction. Eventually we decided we'd had enough, found somewhere to have lunch down on the rocks and then made our way back.

Once back we decided to have a bit of a sort out with the garage etc as we need to think about getting back on the road. The long-term campers here have been shaken out of their little bubble, as suddenly the problem has arrived on their doorstep.

Before this evenings meal we made our way back down to the village to get The Chef a hat which she can wear in public to cover her hair. It's white and looks like a trilby and I think it suits her, though it does have tiny holes in it. I told her it would do for now and if we came across anything better we'd get it.

The village 'High St' was really quiet and when we popped in to the Tourist Information Office they had already erected a barrier to keep punters away from their counter. So for us that was confirmation - it's Showtime!

Word has it that all bars and restaurants must close until further notice throughout the Valencia region starting as from tomorrow night, and that includes here.

So tomorrow will be a chores day as we ready the vehicle to leave on Sunday morning heading to Denia where we plan to spend the night in the Marina complex. We've only seen the top part of Denia close to the port and railway station when we once caught a train there from Benidorm. So after a look around we'll  head to Benidorm for just a couple of days before heading further south.

For the rest of this trip we'll need to be totally flexible and think on our feet because a lot of what we do now is going to depend on what we will be allowed to do, and where we're allowed to go.

.....Watch this space.