Bienvenidos a España – adiós a España

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:

01

Leaving France

02

Someone forgot to set Super-Trooper to ‘no toll roads’ and someone else had to keep getting out to deal with the toll machines

04

Final toll in France before entering Spain

05

Close to the border

06

…and there it is…

08

..

09

Lush green countryside in N.Spain

10

..

11

Quite a few tunnels as we went through the mountainous area of N.Spain

12

and some mountains to justify the cost of building those tunnels

15-1

After the mountains, we started to enter flatter, more arid, land. Much less attractive but then it isn’t there just for us to judge it; it’s just there, and it is what it is, just like most things.

With some 300 miles ‘under our belt’ we stopped off in Salamanca:

16

That night we stayed at Camping Ruta de la Plata, 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:

Hadn’t realised that Olive groves had the Olive trees spread so far apart

22

2nd and final night in Spain at Camping la Chopera, Plasencia – EHU and WiFi but we didn’t like this site whch had a sort of dickensian feel to it

That’s it!

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………………

10 thoughts on “Bienvenidos a España – adiós a España

  1. Good to see that it’s not just me that’s a ‘Perve’, sorry, ‘Expert People Watcher’ :0) just a word of advice, ‘others’ may also be ‘Watching’ you so be selective when and how often you are seen to be getting your ‘Zoom Out’ !!!!!!!!

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  2. Entertaining log(us seafarers find it difficult to change). Will be following down just after christmas so your experiences are quite valuable. It would be worth it to know a little bit about the campsites you visit. ie acsi? Open all year? Etc.

    Keep it up………… Ned

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    • Hi Ned, good to hear from you, we won’t be starting on ACSI sites until mid-January. I have a love/hate relationship with aires – love the prices, love the places .. until someone parks right next to me, then it’s claustrobia-city and I want to move!
      I know that I said about NOT staying in one place for more than a week, BUT (as you can see, it’s a big BUT), I was verging on depression trying to find decent aires that have EHU and WiFi – being human and living in the 21st century (at least for a while!), I NEED those 2 things; there are alternative solutions but camping supplied is easiest – there was only something like 4 or 5 aires in the Algarve that had both … and then someone would park within a few feet (like 5 or 6) of our hab door. For all of those reasons we are now on a site Near Tafira for at least 1 month, maybe more and there are many here that stay from September to March/April and it’s easy to see why. Just over €11 per day for stays >1 month. We’re parked with A Concorde and a Tag Carthago Chic c-Line, ‘dem guys kno’s what dems doin’! – check it out: http://www.campingriaformosa.com/?lang=en
      I’ll certainly mention it over the next 5-6 weeks!
      Cheers now,
      Roy

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  3. Hi roy and amanda,great pictures and chuckles,been busy here with work and house decorating but your blogs are keeping us going.We both cant wait to get on the road but i take it you have a new all in one computer.What did you go for as its an idea im taken with and did you buy a good speaker system to enhance multimedia or do you have one inbuilt?
    I never did get around to writing to you on the 365 must make it my priority.
    Keep on with the good work of having fun for us.
    kev and corina

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    • Hey Kevin & Corina, took some pics just for you – see latest ‘Cabanas’ blog – including a place you can put a marker on for a couple of nights stay with free WiFi. Lovely place as well, you’ll be able to do a bit of busking along the front and earn a few shillings. I bought a ‘behind the cutting edge’ all-in-one Lenovo that was on special at PC World; it’s a C470 with a 21.6″ screen, Intel® Core™ i3-4010U processor, Windows 8.1, 1 TB HDD and 4GB memory. Standard speakers but have some either in our store or buried somewhere in Twernt – must check.
      We don’t do watching movies on it (got the Avtex) so the spec is more than adequate for my usage needs. Might have bought one with built-in TV if I hadn’t already bought the Avtex. Could have saved some $ buying PC before TV, oh well. Some aspects of what we’re experiencing since being on the road have P’d me off so some changes are a-coming next year. It’s not a certainty but we’ll see if we still feel the same way when we return to the UK in March (now need to be back for hospital stuff). Oh, almost forgot, Biarritz – surfing, enough said. Ciao both, won’t be too long now…time keeps on ticking into the future……Roy, Amanda & hounds

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  4. With you on the ACSI bit. On our 6 week tour last August on the way back in September found some in France that stated they were open to Mid October but on driving there were shut. Very disappointed with ACSI’s condescending attitude too.

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