The boys are back in town!

Saturday 6th December 2014

At midnight plus 15 minutes I left Twernt and walked down to the camping entrance to stand at the roadside and become a ‘live’ version of a ‘Google Earth Placemark/Pin’ for Ed & Will arriving from Malaga in their rental car.

It’s possible to arrive here from either direction so I needed to check out the cars travelling both ways.

I had sensibly donned my Schoffel Fleece (the ONE you wear in ‘brass monkey’ conditions) but then, living up to my ‘pensioner status’, I’d overlooked that I was wearing this BLACK fleece jacket when I should have been portraying myself as a yellow ‘Google Earth Pin’. ‘My bad’ – as they say in the modern vernacular.

Not to worry – I’ll stand waving and dancing in the middle of road once I’ve identified the lads car and hope that they check their rear-view mirror.

With the risks now assessed and my attire-fail contingency plan in place I arrived at the camping entrance ……………………… and it was locked.

An electric solid-steel panelled gate of about 5 feet high and 15-20 feet long was in the ‘you will not leave or enter this camping site’ mode.

Hmmm… should have thought of it that earlier – I’d missed ‘tasks needed to exit camping’ from my risk assessment evaluation and I had no contingency plan – it wasn’t an option to wake up the park owners (well it was an option, but I’m English and it’s not the done thing old chap).

Quickly re-assessing the situation I decided that the gate could be climbed – not by me you understand – I figured that our healthier offspring, in the throes of mutual salutations being exchanged, wouldn’t object too much about having to ‘hop’ over the gate – it’s just a shame that I didn’t know at the time that a hidden button exists allowing the gate to open about 3 feet or so. Sorry lads!

Their flight had landed at 10:55pm, so I took the temporary possession of a brain that used to be mine and figured on between 5 and 20 minutes to clear customs (they only had hand luggage), between 10 and 30 minutes to occupy a rental car and then between 70 and 90 minutes to scoot the 60 miles east  to us.

That gave an ETA window of between 0020 – 0115 hours.

Due to the gate ‘situation’, I decided to stay ‘in situ’ instead of using our pre-planned ‘be there for 5 minutes every 20 minutes’ arrangement – I didn’t want them to pass this locked gate.

They arrived at 0145 hours, 30 minutes after my worst-case ETA and during that 30 minute period I was grateful for having taken my simvastatin, ramipril, amlodipine, etc., just a few hours before.

There’s another ‘plan-fail’ – I should have have arrived ‘three sheets to the wind’ – it wouldn’t have been so cold then and my head wouldn’t be processing untold speculative scenario’s to explain their lateness.

It transpired that, after a detour via Estepona (west of Malaga!), they then turned east but the only navigation aid they had was what they could remember from our on-line conversation about one week before their trip.

I was not happy (and I was cold!), their only ‘excuse’ was “It’s what you do when you’re young Dad”.

I thumped them 6 shades from Mary and told them, “And that’s what you do when you’re a dad, lads”.

Seriously though, we were really happy to see them both and looking forward to the next 34.75 hours (amazing what you can conjure up from a rusted brain when you apply yourself!) ahead of us.

We were also happy that they had a rental car!


 The BIGGEST mistake we’ve made on this trip is to not tow a car down with us – this applies more so for anyone that has a dog – or dogs in our case – we ‘did’ 3 locations (plus a Lidl visit) with the lads before 6:00pm and without a car that would not have been possible; We don’t know the rules in Spain but it can be a major hassle in Portugal to take dogs on public transport – there were times in Portugal that we envied the caravan brigade as they headed out each day to explore areas up to 50 or so miles away from the camping –  we were limited to the local area. Who wants to use public transport anyway – it takes forever!

Without dogs, a scooter or motorbike would be my preferred solution (no trailer, just a tow mount rack).

Some motorhome owners bring their own cars down in tow – you have to question why large and expensive motorhomes park up in one place for many months and use their ‘toad’  for transport – why not just buy a car and caravan? I’m guessing it’s for the journey to/from their home but I’ve come across a lot of ‘buying justifications’ based on something that is ’employed’ for just a small percentage of time when living this lifestyle.

UK in the summer? Warmer climes in the winter? – you need a RWD, double-skinned floor, fortress built, lorry-like to drive motorhome my son, and, for the 5 hours that you spend on the road out of every week, just make sure it does 20 miles to the gallon and not 17, tut-tut.

I’ve seen £70K+ motorhomes proud to be wildcamping on a dingy car parks to save on campsite fees – why? Hey, spend £50k on a motorhome and buy some decent facilities and surroundings on camping sites for the next n years!   

Van conversions with twin singles at the rear and a dinette arrangement at the front are starting to appeal to us as being good ‘all-rounders’ – plus a quick-erect on-site tent and outdoor living set-up. Twernt had better behave or it may become Twas!

That’s down the line though, we agreed that Twernt was a minimum 2-3 year purchase and we’re wise enough to know that we may feel differently as we gain more experience!

We love the ‘moving on’ aspect of this lifestyle and will hopefully come to enjoy the ‘stay put’ periods more – but ‘stay put’ for more than a month? I don’t think so, there is SO much to see, and, so far, we’ve seen less than we could have. I could quite happily concentrate just on Spain as a winter destination, and, if it gets any colder before sunrise, then maybe Morocco – but we’ll see how Eric & Shazza ( Big Momma) get on over there first!


After ‘silly o’clock’ greetings with the lads, we all slept soundly until almost 8:00am (that would be about 4.5 hours then!) and, ablutions and breakfast behind us, we set out for our day of re-visiting locations from 2004.

First up, we decided to try and find the villa that we had stayed in.

This was located in the exclusive hillside urbanisation above Salobrena – almost all of these properties are €0.5m+.

After a few wrong turns we found the villa:

The white villa to my left has good memories from our last visit to Salobrena – Amanda, caught here in the act, is comparing the villa and great views to life in Twernt – I think Twernt won! – did for me!

After the villa visit we drove down to Salobrena beach….

for lunch at a beach-side restaurant……man with steak……and a ‘nearly’ wig….

and son, Ed, shared a dish of..................

and son, Ed, who shared a dish of………………

Paella with Amanda, 'eye' don't like paella, 'eye' don't

Paella with Amanda, ‘eye’ don’t like paella, ‘eye’ don’t

This little chap was also here , luckily for him, Amanda & Edward preferred the disgusting offerings in front of them so this little guy was safe

This little chap was also here, luckily for him, Amanda & Edward preferred the disgusting offerings in front of them so this little guy was safe

One for the album......thanks to Man-Well (is that how you spell it? sounded like that when John Cleese said it!

One for the album……thanks to ‘Man-Well’ (is that how you spell it? sounded like that when John Cleese said it!

After lunch we drove east almost 20 miles to visit Puerto Deportivo Marina del Este – on the far side is Almunecar

Ed tries to find where the fishy smell is coming from …

Then Ed & Will decided to check out the rocks.....

… and then Ed & Will decided to check out the rocks…..

whilst Amanda and the dogs showed a degree of concern ......

… whilst Amanda and the dogs showed a degree of concern ……

… and I took a moody shot of Will (into the sun)

We then walked around the corner to the marina – this pic shows the shops used in the Danny Dyer film, ‘The Business’ – although they would have you think that the ‘early doors’ scene of a Mercedes sports car (driven by Frankie – Danny Dyer) was at Puerto Banus Marina – it wasn’t – it was here.

Hey! Charlie Ruggle – of London – I’ve found your boat – it’s here!

This was the largest of the slimy fishy things swimming within the marina basin. How big? – I hear you ask well it was about ………..

thi big

this big! (pic from the beach-bar opposite camping – found a use for it!)

Other ‘alien’ creatures occupied the sea at Marina del Este …..

….. almost human-like as well

And then, emulating Neil Young’s search for Darryl Hannah, they left us in their wake. Toodle-pip, Flip

As we left the marina, I espied this ‘Mansion on the hill’ where ‘psychedelic music filled the air’ – more proof Neil had been here!

Meanwhile. Ed, still searching for the origin of the smell that he’d detected earlier, found a big clue…..

I'm a teacher and I know all about smelling, sorry, that should be spelling....

I’m a teacher and I know all about smelling, sorry, that should be spelling….

Perhaps he should have checked out the snacks that his Ma had brought along......

Perhaps he should have checked out the snacks that his Ma had brought along……

Ed’s investigatory methods could have incurred the wrath of Nicole – not a good idea Ed! (sign on the road-side when leaving Salobrena!)

We drove from the Marina del Este to Motril to visit Lidl in Motril for a vittles re-stocking exercise.

When we got there we discovered that it was closed due to ‘the festival weekend’ – we did not know that this weekend was a national 3 day holiday observing the ‘Feast of the Immaculate Conception’.

Well ‘F&%$ me’ (Aha, that’s what it should really be called, the truth will out!) …

Undeterred (and without supplies) we drove back to Twernt.

Later we had a few beers in the beach-bar across the road from our camping and then returned to Twernt to watch ‘The Business’ on Youtube.

I retired to bed early (midnight) whilst Amanda and the boys stayed up chatting until after 3:00am…………(fools)….

 

Sunday 7th December 2014

 

3 out of 4 of us were up bright and early knowing that the lads needed to leave by noon.

Amanda and Ed walked the hounds on the beach whilst  Twernt, fast  resembling a hippy doss house, proved irresistible as a continuing place of slumber for Will....

Amanda and Ed walked the hounds on the beach whilst Twernt, fast resembling a hippy doss house, proved irresistible as a continuing place of slumber for Will….

We planned to walk along the promenade towards El Varadero and ….after BLT’s all round ……  I waited outside of the camping……

the last guy out of bed took his time to meet up with.......

… as the last guy out of bed took his time to meet up with…….

Amanda, Edward, Shakey and Tilley as they waited just inside the camping entrance

…. Amanda, Edward, Shakey and Tilley waiting by the camping entrance

Still early morning and warm tops required

Early morning and warm tops are a requirement

Graffiti is common place in Spain (and Portugal)

Graffiti is common place in Spain (and Portugal)

Ed was keen to test out the beach-side exercise gear

Ed was keen to test out the beach-side exercise gear

...and again....

… and practices reindeer riding ….

...and yet again

… well,, this is fun …

locals felt inspired to wave the fitness flag for Spain

The locals felt inspired to wave the fitness flag for Spain …

and came in their hordes to prove the point

… and had clearly been alerted to the local ‘whiffy’ problem ….

meanwhile, a camping chap made the point that the day was now heating up. He did look somewhat familiar...

… meanwhile, a chap from our ‘camping’ made the point that the day was now heating up. He did look somewhat familiar…

Aha! It's the German chap that stood behind me when I was trying to get WiFi! - must still have a problem as he can be seen here sniffing his shoes

Aha! It’s the German chap that stood behind me when I was trying to get WiFi! – must still have a problem as he can be seen here smell-testing his shoes

Mum and sons pose for a final picture

Mum and sons pose for a final picture

as they stroll back to the camping

…. as they stroll back to the camping

When we arrived back I took the chance to get a picture of our German neighbour, the ex-coach driver, who had been very helpful to us when we arrived - hope he's still here when we leave in January

When we arrived back I got a picture of our German neighbour, the ex-coach driver, who had been very helpful to us when we arrived – hope he’s still here when we leave in January!

and then, within minutes of returning, the lads were in the rental car and leaving

and then …… within minutes of returning, the lads were in the rental car and leaving ….

Will suddenly became sad at having to leave his Dad....and it showed....

Will suddenly became sad at having to leave his Dad….and it showed….

and then it was going.....

…. and then it was going…..

...going.....

… going …

....gone!

….gone!

The lads arrived safely back at EMA, snow is forecast for that area – tough it out lads and one day……………………

8 thoughts on “The boys are back in town!

    • Thanks J & M, hope you’ve fully recovered now and that Marie and Kate are well. If the WiFi here would let me upload pictures faster than one every 15 minutes I would have some quite good sunrise pictures posted – may stay up tonight until the ‘video downloaders/streamers’ have retired for the night! xx

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  1. We weighed up whether or not to tow a car. Yes dogs and public transport don’t mix in Spain. We looked at the cost of the car, depreciation, mot, insurance, servicing, conversion to A frame, cost of A frame, is it legal? (not proven yet) and decided that we could hire a lot of cars for a lot less money. It’s just that when it’s already spent it’s easier to justify!!!! We also met a couple last year who were going to ditch their car as soon as they got back to England. They said for the amount it was used, it wasn’t worth the trouble. Also in Spain (again legal implications of A frame) the man drove the Moho and the wife drove the car – that’s not what it’s about for us. Must admit that we do tend to use campsites that are no more than a bike ride into the nearest town – which is why everyone loves it here – everything on your doorstep. Alternatively you could always think about making friends with caravanners.

    Also watching Eric and Shazza – think they are brave going to Morocco – keeping a close eye on them. Perhaps we should insist they post every day and tell the world exactly where they are!!!!!!

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    • A car for us will be a ‘must have’ if we stay with getting 30 day site deals; problem is we like ‘moving on’ but that may be because we don’t have a car with us. We feel that we would have used a car most days in Portimao, Cabanas, Andalucia and here in Motril – we’ll wait and see how we feel when we get back to the UK.
      Eric does seem to be posting every day! Looking good over there! He hasn’t mentioned what °c’s it is during the day yet but 9.6°c at 7:00am beats here!
      Looking forward to a taste of the lifestyle at Albir!

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  2. Have a look at “doyouspain.com” . After a recommendation from a fellow campervanner we have just hired a car for 80 euros for almost a month (plus a full tank of fuel and another £33 for an annual additional insurance policy). Public transport for the four of us soon adds up andcthis way we can do a lot more local exploring, even though we’re stood still for a month.

    Loving the blogs and the photos!
    Beth and Nathanial (a major break)

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    • Glad you like the blog, we’re also liking yours – takes us back a few years to having the children around. Hope you’re coping with the lifestyle better than we do at those times when one of our ‘substitute children’ – Tilley, the Cocker Spaniel – decides to repel everyone that shows any interest in her!
      Thanks for ‘doyouspain.com’ – now on my radar! It sounds like it is similar but possibly a better deal than the one used by our son, Ed, during his recent ‘flying visit’ to us.
      Ed paid €4 a day (2 days! – last of the big spenders!) plus a €30 one-off rental fee for ‘managing a fuel refill’ but I’m not sure what their monthly rental fee is. The problem that he highlighted was that he’d heard ‘stories’ of these rental companies ‘fleecing’ renters by claiming that damage had occurred during rental. Ed took a lot of pictures all over his ‘Corsa’ as a precaution. These ‘cheapo’ rentals seem to be ‘past their prime’ hire cars but the rental companies are often owned by the big players (Avis, Hertz, etc.).
      Not sure if you’re on the same site but Wendy & Iain (http://www.thefragrantone.blogspot.com.es/) are on a campsite in Albir, say hello to them from us is you see them but only approach them if you’re carrying alcohol!

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