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Caravan Adventures

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Spain - November 2019 -- February 2020 - Part 10

The good weather was still with us so time for another day out. Looking at the maps, I chose a circular route through the mountains, parts of which I’ve done before and some that would be new ground. This was my route.     The drive began with seven miles in a westerly direction along the A7, before turning inland along the familiar valley bottom. Although I’ve already visited Viñuela three times this winter, I couldn’t resist pulling into the car park. I never tire of looki

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Spain - November 2019 -- February 2020 - Part 9

From the time my two daughters went home, it hasn’t been the best of times. They flew out at the beginning of the month to help me celebrate my birthday. No sooner had they gone than the weather went down hill, finally ending with Storm Gloria. The east coast suffered much worse than the southern shore, but we certainly had our share of rain. Malaga City also had a hail storm which left the streets buried for a short time under a 12 inch depth of ice. In our area the period of poor weather culmi

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Spain - November 2019 -- February 2020 - Part 8

No sooner was daughter, Jenny back home after spending Christmas week in Spain, than she was packing to fly out again, together with her sister and partner. This time to help me celebrate my birthday. They don’t normally come for the 6th of January but as this one ended in a nought, they considered it special. In fact it was my 90th. So on Saturday, I headed along the A7 to Malaga Airport to collect them. Although they were to be here for only three nights, they had been able to book the same lo

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Spain - November 2019 -- February 2020 - Part 7

On Saturday daughter Jen arrived at Malaga Airport for a week’s stay over the Christmas period. She booked online for an apartment not too far from the site – an apartment which was identical to the one both daughters used three Christmases ago – identical because the two apartments happened to be next door to one another. Having given her time to get settled, I later returned to her apartment, collected her and we drove into Nerja for dinner at one of our favourite restaurants —The Mirasol

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Spain - November 2019 till February 2020 - Part 6

0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0   The usual good weather had suddenly deserted us when we got a couple of days of dark skies and almost constant rain. But the forecast insisted that by Sunday the weather would be back to normal. And it was. Sunday broke without a cloud in the sky and very soon the sun was coming up. Which was just as well, because today was the date set for the Migas Festival in Torrox Pueblo – the last Sunday before Christmas Day. The Spanish are never want

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Spain - November 2019 till February 2020 - Part 5

Friday. Only ninety miles to do before reaching Camping Sierracillia however, I left Villsom at Seville at 9.15. I wanted to be there before lunch so that I could get out sight-seeing during the afternoon. Google maps suggested the first few miles cross-country but it showed no less than 22 junctions or roundabouts in the first nine miles.. I opted for the long way round, doing an extra six miles via the A4 up to Seville, then the ring road to the A92. Having programmed Tomtom with the GPS

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Spain - November 2019 till February 2020 - Part 4

Wednesday. The drive from Merida to Seville was only 130 miles and since I did it without a break, I arrived at the site in time for an early lunch. Camping Villsom is a wooded site laid out on a red sandy ground, consequently the sand is easily transferred from shoes to car or caravan. It does however drain quickly after rain. There’s only the one toilet block to one side of the site which has obviously been refurbished to a quite high standard. The electric bollards are situated in the ce

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Spain - November 2019 till February 2020 - Part 3

Monday.   Yes! There was a definite improvement in the weather. At least the rain had stopped. I only had 50miles to do to reach Merida – my next planned stop, so there was no great hurry to leave Caceres   .   In fact, it was nearly 11 oclock before I departed and headed north for a few miles to reach the nearest motorway junction. An hour & 10 mins later, I arrived at Camping Merida. Reception was closed, with a notice in the window to the effect that I

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Spain - November 2019 till February 2020 - Part 2

Camping El Astral is a large site situated alongside a wide and fast-flowing River Duero. The town of Tordesillas is built on a hill and is situated on the far side of the bridge The approach to the site is along an unattractive, potholed, dirt road, leading into an open space in front of the reception building. I entered the office where I was greeted warmly. My passport was copied but my ACSI card was rejected. I booked in for two nights with electricity. I was given a code with which to raise

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Spain - November 2019 till February 2020.

The Cap Finistère set out on the 30th of October from Portsmouth to Bilbao without me being on board. An ambulance ride to hospital at the end of August kept me there for a week, and what with further procedures and follow-up appointments, by the end of September, it was looking more and more likely that I would have to cancel – or at least postpone. I had no alternative other than to miss the sailing. So here we are setting out for the Costa del Sol about a month later than usual. For several y

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A Bit more Shakespeare -Part 2

On Friday I drove to the village of Shottery to visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Although it’s referred to as ‘her cottage’, it was in fact the family farm. Her dad was a yeoman farmer so he actually owned the property together with a piece of land.     This is Anne Hathaway's Cottage.   Later in the morning I drove the four miles on to Wilmcote to visit Mary Arden’s Farm. Mary was the mother of William Shakespeare and the youngest of eight girls. Her father was a ‘g

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To Be or not To Be

That is the question…………………….………………………...….   With a quote like that, where else could I be going other than Shakespeare Country. Or to be exact, Bidford, seven miles from Stratford. To a lovely CL situated on the banks of the Avon named Dovecote Moorings. In addition to it being a CL, it’s also a marina with moorings for boat owners. 10Amp electricity is available, the water supply is centrally positioned and chemical disposal is at the far end of the site. The nightly fee is a very r

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Ten Days in Norfolk & Suffolk - 3

My third stop was 60 miles away near Ipswich. The site requested that arrival should be after 1 pm so I was in no great hurry to leave Red House. Google maps told me that the journey time would be just under 2 hours, which I thought was over-optimistic. I had imagined that the road between Norwich and Ipswich would be dual-carriageway, but No - it was single nearly all the way, with heavy traffic and several stoppages. So I arrived at Bungalow Farm near Hadleigh just before one. It’s a Club CL s

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Ten Days in Norfolk & Suffolk - 2

With only 45 miles to do to reach my second site, there was no need for an early start. So I pushed it to the limit and left at 11 am as per site rules. Although it was a Saturday, traffic was free-flowing and I arrived at Red House in Thurne shortly after mid-day. The site is a five-pitch cc CL listed as for ‘Adults Only’. In addition to the CL, the owner also owns a basin off the River Thurne where boats are moored, together with hired craft whose ‘crews’ are visiting the village. The CL has10

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Ten Days in Norfolk & Suffolk - 1

There are lots of advantages in being retired but probably the greatest is being able to go away when the time is just right. So for me, that rules out Bank Holidays, school half-term holidays and periods of poor weather. I’d already mapped out a couple of routes during the early part of the year and from the 24th of June, my diary and the weather forecast looked good for one of them to be undertaken. The route I’d chosen was from home up into Norfolk & Suffolk, so on Tuesday morning, I bega

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My fridge had become a cupboard

I arrived in Portsmouth in the evening to spend the night on the dockside ready for departure at 08.45 the next day.    That was towards the end of October last year.    The BF guy assured me that I wouldn’t need to move the outfit until 05.30 the next morning, so I locked the car and got settled in the caravan.    My fridge was brim full so the first job was to get it running on gas.    But it wasn’t to be.    As soon as I released the gas valve, the pilot light went out.     Even after holding

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 16

In the late evening, four more outfits arrived at Pico de la Miel, bringing our number to six overnight.     Since I stayed hitched, I was ready to leave by 8.45.      A few minutes with the engine ticking over whilst rear lights and hitch were checked was sufficient to thaw the frozen windscreen.   Within 20 miles I’d reached the foot of Somosierra.      The next four and a half miles was a steady 6% climb to reach the top of the pass.      But it’s an easy tow on a three-lane motorwa

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 15

By mid-week, the weathermen were forecasting high winds and heavy rain for the Costa del Sol after the weekend. Certainly, by Saturday the view out to sea was looking very stormy.   In view of that, I thought it advisable to take down my awning on Sunday, ready to leave on Tuesday.    Saturday morning was spent cleaning the kitchen equipment and emptying the awning ready for packing away the next day.     I was most grateful to see Willy and Jim come down to lend me a hand.     B

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 14

Time is running out for me here and I wanted to give myself at least one more day out before I leave.     Somewhere I haven’t been before – which is difficult after so many years.     But the internet and Google Earth came to my rescue.     After packing some lunch into the cool-box, I was ready to leave El P by 9. 15.      I headed along the A7 in the direction of Malaga.     I took exit 251 and within five minutes I’d arrived at La Cueva de Higuerón at Rincón de la Victoria.     It’s one of th

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 13

I came across an old aerial photograph when I was visiting a local museum the other day. , It showed the coastline near to the site where I’m staying. The photo was taken in 1960 and had the lighthouse not been in the picture, there was nothing from which to identify the view.   Trawling through dozens of other pictures, I found one taken from a similar viewpoint but about forty years later.     Comparing the two images, apart from the lighthouse, the onl

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 12

Yesterday’s drive to Maro was only eight miles along the coast road. It’s a tiny place situated on the cliff top and long since bypassed, first by the N340, then more recently, by the A7 motorway.       All the parking is outside the village so I unloaded my bike in a space close to El Acueducto del Águila ---- the Eagle Aqueduct.        The design is copied from the Roman style of building aqueducts so it’s made up of 37 arches arranged in four tiers.       Buildin

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 11

Is anybody still using a Microsoft Autoroute programme on their computers?    I have the 2010 version and together with Google Maps & Google Earth, use it for all my route planning.    I had decided it was time to plan for another day out, away from the site.     Usually, I try to work out a circular drive with three or four stopping off points.     The route which I’d done for yesterday began by doing the nine-mile sprint westward along the A7, then taking the familiar road along the valle

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 10

Had it not been for a Senior Moment, you would be reading a piece, and looking at photographs of Nerja’s Three Kings Fiesta.     But I got the date wrong!    How could I do that?    For the past umpteen years, I’ve attended the Fiesta on the evening of the 5th of January.      For some reason, I got it into my head that it was on the 6th.       Fortunately, by lunchtime on the 6th, I’d realised my error.     So as my bike was already loaded in the car, I decided to drive and then cycle.      I d

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 9

Phew!………………….What a busy eight days that’s been. On the 19th Dec, I drove over to Malaga Airport to collect my two girls and grandson off an Easyjet flight from Gatwick. No sooner had they got themselves installed in their rented villa two or three miles along the road from my site,     than they were congratulating themselves on their choice of travel date, for that same evening, Gatwick Airport closed down for 36 hours because of the drone trouble. Once they had settled

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Spain - Nov-2018 - Feb-2019 ---- 8

The Internet is a mine of misinformation. A few weeks ago I Googled the date of the Migas Festival in Torrox. The answer came up as being “The Migas Festival is always held on the last Sunday before Christmas.” So this year that’s the 23rd of December. Brilliant – my daughters arrive in Malaga on the 19th, so for once, they can experience the Festival rather than listen to me telling them about it. They were delighted!. But then last Thursday I saw the warning notices for road closures on th

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