Thursday 2nd October 2014
Leaving day, but not before we took a final leisurely stroll along Milady beach as surfers arrived in their mostly VW vans and set about donning their wet-gear and unloading their surf-boards.
Elsewhere, the tractor driver performed his daily beach-smoothing operations as joggers passed by on the pathway overlooking the beaches.
It looked just like the type of scene that you’d expect to see on and around a Californian beach.
There was one particular young lady jogger who was ‘jogging and a-jiggling’ along the path before suddenly making a sharp right down onto the beach where she continued jogging (and a-jiggling).
Amanda noticed that a guy of about the same age, who had been jogging along the path at a distance of about 10 yards behind the young lady, also then took that sharp right turn down onto the beach, following ‘Jiggles’.
Could be coincidence, but, about half-way along that beach, ‘Jiggles’ suddenly stopped (as did the owner), took a breath, then she turned about-face, rebooted her body back into jogging mode and was now presumably homeward bound.
Nothing strange about that – except that the chap following her did exactly the same thing.
Amanda thought that he was a ‘perv’ fancying his chances with ‘Jiggles’, whereas I thought ‘minder’.
Another jogger, initially a little further away, also joined in the ‘pursuit’ of ‘Jiggles’.
Amanda thought ‘2 perves’ whereas I thought ‘2 minders’ – there were 2 things worth minding.
I needed to be careful here; Amanda highlighted that I may be portraying myself uncharacteristically (her words!) as having a ‘pervy nature’ when I blogged about the time that I offered to do some ‘window cleaning’ – a whiles back in the ‘Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’>Where did you get that hat’ blog.
Any ‘Perv relapse’ at any time during the rest of this trip and ‘wife-labels’ will be attached to me not unlike having ‘PERV’ permanently tatooed on my forehead.
I was ‘under watch’ – at least I couldn’t get ‘nailed to the cross’ for the picture of two young ladies wading in the sea at Milady in the last blog – that picture was taken by Amanda, not me. I wasn’t even there :0(
Knowing that there was a risk of further tarnishing my reputation, I begged Amanda to loan me the zoom lens camera (when I say ‘begged’, I actually said “Ah, I like that boat, can I use your zoom lens?”) but Amanda saw straight through that and told me that I’d already portrayed myself as a perv (yep, from the window cleaning blog – elephants and women!) and that she wasn’t going to allow that to happen again.
On reflection, I think it would have helped if I’d been staring at the boat (if there was one!) when I asked for her zoom-lens camera.
Therefore, I’m sorry folks, but I don’t have any ‘Jiggles’ pictures (blame Amanda), now we’ll never have a chance to find out the true identity of ‘Jiggles’.
I did take a picture of Amanda on my limited-lens Lumix camera (pic of Amanda at Milady beach in the last blog) and that was good enough for Amanda to use as her FaceBook profile picture. But we’re left with only Bloggerlugs knowing which picture <male> blog readers would have preferred.
I filed ‘Jiggles’ in my memory as being Rod Stewarts latest girlfriend; may have even been Neil’s following the latest revelations about his marriage break-up. Got to be careful here; Neil has already said how angry he is with David Crosby following David saying that Daryl Hannah is “A purely poisonous predator”. That’ll be no more CSNY then!
Neil if you ever read this (which you won’t) checkout Jiggly Beach at Biarritz (mermaids-to-go).
We returned to Twernt and put the van into ‘Travel Mode’; from the early days of our trip when we would check, double-check and then sit and think ‘what have we missed’, it was all now becoming ‘second nature’.
Amanda would take care of the hab side whilst I did the stuff that needed doing outside – the EHU cable usually being the last thing to be removed and packed away.
Before that. it was all about checking that external lockers were safely secured and locked (especially the small ones to thwart any midget immigrant hideaway), check for any roof protrusions:- hatches, WiFi aerial, TV aerial and satellite dish, clean and stow the step, check the cycles on the tow mount (especially the Fiamma cover which has a habit of flapping down over the number plate), give the tyres a final kick and then help out inside with packing and then the double packing of the new ‘All-in-One’ desktop PC.
Amanda will have taken care of checking for loose items in the bedroom, toilet, shower and kitchen, ensuring that draws are held by their safety catches, fridge secured and that the upper cupboards have been padded out with soft cushiony type things to protect them during travel.
I generally take care of my ‘office seat area’ which, much to Amanda’s annoyance, has become the 1st seating area of the couch behind the passenger seat.
Once the ‘all-clear’ is sounded from each of us (“Ready?” – “Yep”), I assume the pilot position whilst Amanda readies herself outside to remove, if used, wheel chocks and/or levellers.
Then it’s off to the service section (where one exists) to place Twernt’s grey waste outlet over the drain – Amanda presides over the tap opening/closing whilst I empty the Thetford (gloves on, absorbent type clothes at the ready – you never know!).
I may have missed some of the chores but the point that I want to make is that all of the above and more (like the setting up and fixing in place of the Super Trooper) becomes second nature, especially when you’re moving on every few days.
Before we started with Twernt, I can remember being a bit concerned about all of this stuff, thinking that something really bad would happen if we omitted any part of the ‘pre-launch’ checks.
Back then, I thought that we’d need a checklist to guide us through the tasks (some folk do use ’em), but, really? No, no, no – you quickly get into a routine in just the same way that you do at home from when you get out of bed in the morning and go through whatever process transforms you from a ‘horizontal grottsville specimen’ to the ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’ occupant of your chair in the boardroom. And you never needed a checklist for that.
Invariably, if you have missed something, you can usually take care of it whilst on the road.
Some forgotten items may mean that you need to stop your motorhome in order to remedy but that’s rare once you’re in ‘the zone’ of moving on every few days.
Twernt had caused a few problems at the aire (front end stuck out into the aire exit lane) so we thought our fellow aire-dwellers would be pleased to see us leave.
Still, it had been great entertainment watching exiting motorhomes come to a halt as they approached Twernt.
Wifey (or ravissante épouse, if you prefer) would get out and direct left and right, backwards and forwards, as hubby (or mari grincheux, if you prefer) deviated by up to 20°-30° from a straight line exit and often required doing something similar to the ‘Ali-shuffle’ (except that, in this case, mari grincheux had to manouvre his motorhome to replicate the ali-shuffle) in order to complete his exit from the aire.
It’s worth taking a moment to visualise a motorhome doing the ali-shuffle! if you want to see the real thing then you can take your 30 foot motohome to this aire and park where we had.
You really don’t need a TV in a motorhome when you can become a lead player in your very own soap opera.
As you can imagine, many of these manoeuvres were presided over by spluttering, muttering, tuttering, French motorhomers.
And they were watching from the sidelines as we departed the aire – so I waved enthusiastically as we made our way out.
You won’t believe this, but not one of them waved ‘cheerio, old chap’ to us as we left.
I thought that was rude, so, clutch in, right foot down, I gave them a diesel cloud to remember me by. ‘Mek ‘em ave it’ as Dennis would say.
Still, I do accept that we caused a few problems and I have learnt my lesson – you won’t see me waving to anyone again.
We spent two nights in Spain en-route to the Algarve:
With some 300 miles ‘under our belt’ we stopped off in Salamanca:
Friday 3rd October 2014
We decided to divide the remaining distance down to the Algarve roughly into quarters and set out to drive around 100 miles today:
The next morning we were off to head over the border into Portugal, we’ve been to many places but neither of us have ‘done’ Portugal before………………