Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Moving On

Before we left

I left you last on Wednesday with only two days before the off.  Our last Wednesday we took Liz, Gill and Mike out for a Chinese before going to the quiz.  Gill and Mike have been very good to us and looked after Connie while we went back to England, it was a great help and something that we didn’t need to worry about. As we were in a somber mood and we both had flu when we got back we hadn’t treated them, so a Chinese was at least a small gesture of appreciation, plus a little gift from the princess (Connie) herself.  We left the Chinese in plenty of time to get a table for the quiz.  As this was our last quiz before we moved on we saved our most appropriate name for last, which was Onward Quizteam Soldiers.  Drew the piper and of course part-time quizmaster had a little giggle with that one.  Not a successful night but for the first time ever we got 10 out of 10 for the music round – AND I STAYED SOBER!!!!!! So I suppose that makes it fairly successful.

Lots of hugs and kisses and goodbyes but hopefully only au revoirs. So hopefully see you again in the winter Gill, Mike, Liz, Drew, Chris, Geoff, Bev, Jane, Jane, Ronnie and to anyone else, sorry if I’ve missed you off the list.

Thursday – our last Thursday

Martin and Jean whom we hadn’t known long but whose company we enjoyed left to go to Benidorm for a month with friends.  We hope they enjoyed their stay at Albir.  In fact they enjoyed it so much that about 3 hours after we did all the goodbyes, a new motorhome arrived and we said “Oh look a new one coming in ----- oh look it’s Martin and Jean again”.  Our first thoughts were that they missed us soooo much that they couldn’t bear to leave or that maybe (more likely) there had been a mix-up with their booking in Benidorm. But no, they had got to their pitch in Benidorm and on setting up, discovered that they had left their awning poles in a bag stood up against a tree on their pitch.  Good job they had only gone 4 miles down the road to Benidorm and weren’t 500 miles on their way home before discovering.  So it was lots of waving and stuff again.  Hopefully we will keep in touch.

We had planned to go to lunch at Oasis and say au reviour to Dave and then go out to dinner to Brise del Mer in the evening but James and Jo invited us to join them at Zero Zero for lunch – a treat from James.  Zero Zero is their favourite restaurant and you could tell when we were there that they were frequent visitors.  The restaurant is on the seafront and you can sit and enjoy your meal looking over the azure blue sea and into the bay, it is an idyllic setting.  Thanks Jo and James, we hadn’t been there before and really appreciated it. And guess what – I stayed sober – I said I would.

Before going to Zero Zero we did manage to pop into Oasis and say bye to Dave (not CFD) who gave hugs and kisses – well that was for me – I think Iain got a handshake.  Looking forward to many more breakfasts and slimlines (euphemism for beer) later this year.

So Friday morning, time to leave.

We got up at a reasonable time.  Our plan was to get off the pitch about 10 am, do the necessary F&E  (we know our non-motorhome friends can be a bit squeamish about detail tanks full and empty, so I won’t go into detail), leave the site by 11, get fuel and shopping and be away from Benidorm about 12.  Our destination I’ll come to later.

Our awning is a bit sticky and doesn’t seem to line up properly, so this was the only thing that we had left until the last day, otherwise we were fairly well ready to leave.  Of course it wasn’t going to play was it.  We’ve had two companies look at why it doesn’t retract cleanly and neither has been able to sort out the problem except by using brute force.  We got the screw drivers out to try to lever it back into place properly but that wasn’t working.  Actually I think we have found out finally what the problem is, the brackets at the top holding the awning to the van need to be adjusted – but – do you want to do that just as you are leaving a site – NO NO NO.  It’s one of those things that might just work straight away or you can be left with bits in your hands wishing that you hadn’t started the job and having to call in experts to get it sorted.  NO NO NO not before you leave if you don’t have to.  So with some extra special brute force – Iain you are my hero – it finally went back into alignment, so we were ready for the off.

More goodbyes – I think we had as many here as we had when we left Fillongley to go on our adventures.  This time – Jo and James who were also moving on (but after a big breakfast) and Chelsea F**king Dave – who I think tries to avoid these goodbyes as living permanently on site he sees so many of them. We did manage to catch Terry and Jack (the collie) before we left.  Terry is on his way back to England just a few days after we leave to go south.

Back in January
It was all very sad and emotional, we had been on the same pitch now for 4 months – I can’t believe it, 4 months!!!!! Although we had the disruption of returning to England and flu, which sort of wiped out the first two months, we had never stayed anywhere longer than a week before.  It really didn’t seem that long.  The trees had gone from bare to full leaf and fruit in some cases.  The weather had of course changed considerably in that time, it was warm when we arrived but could get quite cold in the evening, but now it was hot in the day and pleasantly warm in the evening.  But now it was time to move on.

Springtime in Albir

So Where are we going next?

We have a vague plan to head south to Almeria then across to Granada, Toledo, Zaragoza and Pamplona and the get into France via Biarritz.

When planning our journey home we will try to do about 250 miles a day and then allow two night stopovers so that it is not too arduous.  The journey to Calais is about 1600 miles.

Our first plan was Almeria but then I looked up the coast a bit and thought I might like to try Cartegena  – there was an ACSI site at La Manga which looked interesting so we thought we’d like  to spend a few night there before heading inland to Granada.

Now I don’t use facebook much, I really don’t like it, but only a couple of days earlier I had had a browse on facebook and an old friend and work colleague had posted that they were just leaving Mar Menor on their boat, travelling up the coast to Torrevieja on the way up the Spanish coast.  Now I’m hopeless with place names but Mar Menor rang a bell – it’s the lagoon which La Manga shores and we were going there in only two days time.  And of course Torrevieja was between La Manga and Albir.  Now that’s a coincidence that should not be missed.  So I dropped a quick note saying that we were heading for Mar Menor and if possible we could meet up somewhere in between. 

So as all plans, ours were about to change. We were off to Santa Pola which was only about 10 miles south of Alicante.  A short drive for the day of just over an hour, which we now believe is a good idea on the first day after leaving a site you have been on for ages – but I’ll come to that in my next post. Santa Pola was not on our chosen destination path as it was a bit close to Albir – but hey what does that matter, we’ve got a month to get back.

BUT FIRST OF ALL WE HAD TO GET THERE!!! And I haven't driven this beast for 4 months.

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