Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Tarragona–14th September

Having only done about 100 miles and not needing gas or shopping – yippeeeeeee, we arrived in Tarragona at the Las Palermas Campsite by lunchtime.  We had chosen Tarragona as a stop over because the Rough Guide said it was a place worth visiting and this campsite was the nearest ACSI site to the town. The ACSI book said that it was suitable for larger motorhomes even though it also said there was a low bridge at the entrance so we thought we’d give it a go. When we got there we found it was a 3.5m clearance. No problems, we’ve been under one of those before – just. You do always wonder if the measurement is correct though but I don’t suppose they want to be sued if it’s wrong, so you just have to trust the sign.  It must have been quite a sight seeing us emerge from underneath the railway line.

As for the campsite, it’s supposed to be 4**** but that leaves a bit to be desired.  Compared to our last site, it is run down, not enough toilet and shower blocks and you need a bike just to go to the loo.  You also have to like trains as the line runs right along the back of the site. It’s so noisy that you have to stop talking when the trains go by.


The train is the white thing with the red stripe – just behind the caravan

The one thing is does have though is it’s own beach, which is lovely soft sand.  I do love to see the sea and the beach and I like to walk along it but we’re really not the sort of people who want to sit on it.  However if that’s your thing then this is a fantastic place. I did take a dip yesterday but I’m a bit squeamish about the things that might be in the water, so I don’t tend to swim in the sea.

Looking to the left
Looking to the right
Tarragona from the campsite
Campsite, which actually looks really pretty at night, all lit up

The Wifi is again ridiculously expensive at 5 Euros a day, but at least the man was honest and said it was slow and then gave me 30 minutes free to try it out.  So that’s what I’m going to use to do my posting tomorrow morning. We’re not on a tight budget but I do balk at paying that much.

Last night we had the most spectacular electric storm.  It just went on and on.  Iain had already gone to bed and slept through the lot.  Then the rain started (it seems to have followed us since we left England over a month ago).  I sat on the step of the motorhome just watching it, it was fascinating.

This morning was clear and hot and sunny so we took a cycle ride into Tarragona, about 4 miles away.  We knew that the town was over 500ft above sea level so we were ready for some hills.  The only way into town was along a fairly busy main road with a 70kph speed limit, but at least they do have a wide “hard shoulder” that you can use.  I did manage to get up most of the hills towards town. I kept going until my legs turned to jelly.  We tied up our bikes and buggy and walked the rest of the way. I must stop worrying about things like, I wonder if the bikes will get stolen. I just have to accept that they either will be there when we get back, or they won’t.  That’s another reason why we don’t have expensive bikes, at least ours are old and tatty and no one is likely to want them.

The town is well worth a visit. It’s an old Roman walled city but surprisingly enough very small.  Historically it is very important as it contains some of the best Roman remains in Spain.  Outside the city wall, down by the beach is an amphitheatre, although we saw it from a distance we didn’t go down to see it close at hand as we were well aware that we had a lot of walking and cycling to do.

Amphitheatre – from the road
a-roman tower
Roman Tower
a-roman arches
Roman Arches
Of course there’s the Cathedral
Narrow shady streets
And no sightseeing trip would be complete without a picture of ---- the pink bag

Everything within the city is very close together and we had a really enjoyable visit.  It is such a shame that our visit was spoiled by having the worst lunch we have ever encountered.  It was just a tapas but the chicken wasn’t cooked.  I sent it back and they re-delivered – a bit more cooked, but not enough.  The dog ate most of it, I wish she hadn’t now and I wish I hadn’t eaten any either – now I’m not a fussy eater but we were appalled.  I’m afraid that whenever I think of Tarragona I will always remember that lunch.

Tarragona has wifi hotspots so with the campsite wifi being expensive, we took the tablet into town with the intention of getting our emails.  Unfortunately for some reason I was unable to get past the point of accepting the security certificate so we failed miserably.  Also I managed to delete all my trusted sites so I don’t know what might happen next.  Give me a laptop any day, at least you have a chance of finding out what has gone wrong.  These tablets seem to do everything themselves and you don’t stand a chance.  Oh well, I’ll just have to wait until I get good internet and I’ll have a look at it.

We had the long cycle back and I only had to stop 3 times, but as the dog had had a good walk, she wasn’t inclined to get out of the buggy and walk herself.  Such a princess in her carriage. She and I both had a snooze in the afternoon.

Tuesday 16th.

Last night we ate in the restaurant which was ok and reasonably priced.  The service was very good.  I decided to put a dress on as the evening was warm and then we wanted to cycle to the restaurant (I said it was a long way to anywhere on this site).  So there I was with my dress tucked in my knickers, cycling up to the restaurant.  I must admit I was a bit wobbly on the way back after a Soberano.

Today they have forecast rain and although the clouds came over a little while ago, they have dispersed and so far there is no sign of it.  However the dog isn’t well today, she was ill in the night and has been sleeping all morning without any breakfast.  I think it might be the awful chicken from yesterday.  I haven’t eaten either and feel a bit dodgy – so fingers crossed.

I don’t suppose there will be anything interesting to post about Tarragona now, so I’ll get Iain some lunch and use my free half hour of wifi to post my blog and get my emails.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we are off to Peniscola, a short 80 mile drive and to boot camp where the diet starts.  I have high expectations of the campsite there and I’ve actually got my way for once on the choice of campsite, which is called Eden.  We’re planning to stay there for at least 2 weeks and then our next stop will be winter in Albir. I wonder who will get there first, us or Jo and James.

I’ll be back when I have something interesting to share.

PS something I’ve been forgetting to share about travelling in Germany.  There seems to be some incentive to recycle plastic bottles and all the supermarkets we visited have recycling machines.  If you take your bottles back (do not crush them) you get 25 Euro Cents for each one – regardless of size.  You get a credit slip to spend in the supermarket, or you can donate it to charity. Therefore if you buy 6 bottles of beer for 1.69 Euros you get 1.50 Euros back on the recycling. Therefore it costs 0.19 Euros for 3 litres of beer.  I also remember reading on someone’s blog that if you buy water at 0.19 Euros you get 0.25 Euros back on the recycling – so they are actually paying you to buy bottled water.  It must be a government incentive.  Honestly this is real, not a wind up.

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