Day Fifty Six - The Return Of The Jagi

Couldn't think of a better title. We set off in brilliant sunshine, with what turned out to be an extreemly full car, we didn't even bring the new wok with us and we left 3 big puzzles at the charity shop.

Anyway our route was to be through the middle of Spain. Our first hotel was near Madrid just short of 400 miles away. The scenery was changing all the time with mountains one moment followed by flat plains then more mountains. The soil changed colour and it was a much better route than coming down the coast road. The road was excellent with very little traffic about. Mind you the way the Spanish tailgate, less traffic is better. They don't tailgate to make you get out of the way and then overtake. You can be the only two cars on the motorway in the slow lane and the Spaniard will stay 10 feet behind.

The hotel IBIS, was found on our second attempt and was very comfy. The menu was difficult even though we had the English version. They had two main section. The first was Scrambled Eggs with a range of things added like ham, sausage, cheese etc.
The second was a similar list of things like ham, sausage, cheese and other things.

There was no mention of veg in a way that made any sense. I ordered Scrambled Eggs with Chorizo sausage. Gill ordered Ham.

The eggs on mine were fried and were served on a bed of chips, sausage was scattered randomly. Gills was bed of chips covered with fried eggs and ham covering that. Not at all what we expected but very tasty. Didn't see anyone get scrambled eggs.

Day Fifty Five - The Last Full Day

First I did a check on the Jag to make sure we had oil and water. Topping up the washers was easy, they were almost full. I needed a drop of Castrol 5-30 and that was easier to get than I expected. Gill has packed steadily and also did a last load of washing. The car is now nearly packed and we have much more space than when we came down.

The sun was very warm today, the wind easy in the morning and we did our last bit of shopping. It has been a great way to spend the worst winter months, my arthritis has hardly shown itself. The locals tell us its the coldest winter for 10 years, great we thought, next year should be even better. It seems shame to leave now that the sun is warmer but we do miss the boat and our friends.

Our last photo, I am sure the grass is greener.

Max 20.7, min 12.5,

Day Fifty Four - They Do Exist

We saw them today, the golfers who are playing for money. When watching the normal golfers, the struggle on the 17th Par 3 is worth watching. The bunker in front of the green is very deep, the green is not close to level so it is quite amusing to watch.

The competitors were playing in threes today. We took a seat and the first ball arrived, straight onto the green about 10ft from the hole, the second player was 8ft away and the third was about the same. They all achieved their par and off they went. Just amazing they new just how hard to hit the ball to travel 170yds.

The next trio did the the same and then the next and so on. No digging in the sand pit or ball searching, took the fun out of it I thought. It was a nice warm day with little wind so we went for a walk deciding we hadn't missed much the previous two days.

Max 21.4 min 8.4.

Day Fifty Three - Bit Of Wind

It's fair to say this is a windy part of Spain. We have felt it and read about it. When it's hot it cools you, at the moment it just blows us. In the night there were a couple of good gusts which woke us up and the dog who came in to make sure we were all OK.

When we finaly got up I took a look outside. The owners have a selection of pool toys hidden behind tables and chairs on the balcony. The wind had found them and also found new places for them. I rescued the big rubber ring which was making a bid to leave the balcony. The problem we have is that we have no idea what might have blown away as we haven't had them out. I searched surrouding areas but found nothing, mind you with that wind they would be in Algeria by now.
Missed the golfers again today.

Max 17.5 min 9.7.

Day Fifty Two - Costa Coffee, Take Note

We went back th La Manga strip today and stopped for coffee, La Manga is a place where our underpaid footballers come for rest and training. So I expected quite a price tag on the coffees. Unlike Costa we were waited on and it was served at our table outside. A really nice coffee. When I paid, I was charged €2.40 for the lot. That works out to around 95p per cup. No wonder there are coffee shops all over Market Harborough, they are raking it in.

You may remember I bought a strawberry cream drink a while ago. What usually happens with this sort of thing is that it gets put in a cupbard for several years and thrown out. This time I opened it and it was lovely, so much so we had to go and buy some more as we have finished the bottle. We bought some more.

Lovely Stuff

We had drive through the villages on the way back and found a few more options for next year. I went out to watch the golf match later to find the last team had just passed, must try earlier tomorrow.

Max 14.8, min 8.9.

Day Fifty One - What's A Fartone

Not a clue but with a name like that I had to buy it.

They look a lot worse than the name suggests, Turdones would be closer
Actually they taste ok, a sweet croissant that didn't rise properly. I've eaten two so far and will finish them tomorrow.

We went looking for more potential villas for next year. The place we are in is still good, but we would like to try a villa next time. Warm day today with a gentle wind, Major golf competition here for next three days, our neighbour was very excited as professionals from the European tóur are playing. I might se if they can give me any tips.

Max 21.4, min 12.5.n

Day Fifty - It Was Fight To The Bitter End

Another nice day, bit of wind for most of it,so what's new? Today is the day of "The Great Race", This is something I have watched for years, nothing gets in the way except of course being in Spain. No-one here knows what I am on about. Cycle racing, football and F1 is all they know here as well as golf I suppose. I may have dozens of TV channels but not one has coverage.

I had to resort to the internet and downloading an ap on my tablet. This promised to show me the race for €3.99. Not the same as the TV but better than nothing. At 7.00pm I sat glued to my tablet and watched for 4 hours, not the less than 2 hours for the F1, and watched the Daytona 500 and enjoyed every minute of it. My payment lets me watch next week as well, great.

Max 17.5, min 7.5.

Days Fourty Eight and Nine -

We've been having a couple of quiet days not doing to much, but relaxing with a book. An excursion for more bread and Cava broke up the day and we now have enough food to last us till we start back to the boat. A change of plan means that Zaragoza is no longer on the route but Madrid now is along with Pamplona. A couple of nights in Albert means an opportunity to explore the WW1 battlefields and find a vet for Biscuit.

She has to be de-ticked and de-flead before we are allowed on the chunnel. This meant booking up 6 nights in hotels, we tend to use Ibis as they are very dog friendly and as long as you steer clear of the budget ones quite comfy.

There's a golf competition on for teenagers at the moment, Spain verses a Euro side. Some of them are very good. The sun is good again but the wind is back making it necessary to have a coat on. Watching the Spanish news and weather we are supposed to be the warmest place in Spain today, even warmer than Gibraltar.
I see that the weather back home is still dreadful but at least the canals should be full this year.

Max 16.1, min 7.5.

Day Fourty Seven - In Search Of Paradise

We set off to find somewhere else to stay next year. Needless to say the satnav fooled us again and we ended up in the wrong village. It was very pretty and much better than the one we were after.

Biscuit doesn't trust the sea.

We had lunch at a cafe overlooking the beach and there were two women swimming in quite a heavy surf, the wind blown sculptures were really amazing on the other side of us and the sparrows besieged anyone with food. It really was a lucky find, thanks satnav.

Driving further along the coast there were acre upon acre of growing houses, they were white, 3m takll and very long, they covered every square inch of valley floor. We discovered they were full of tomatoes, millions of them. Wrecked the countryside though. After that we drove through a delightful mountain pass with stunning views, this was more like it.

Our next stop was just a tourist town with too much housing. None the less we have found some nice areas gfor next year. On the way back approaching Cartagena from the west was a delight, stunning landscape and low density housing, more our cup of tea.

A typical Spanish windmill.
Max 15.6, min 8.6.

Day Fourty Six - Time To Recover

Our fellow boaters left this morning, taking their lovely dogs with them. I was feeling rather tired so I went back to bed till lunchtime. We had rain on and off during the day so I didn't miss much. Trying to plan next years winter trip is top of the agenda, so we are off to the south coast for suitable accommodation. If all else fails we will come back here. More months next time.

Max 15.6, min 9.1.