Day 1331 – Bonterra Park – 23 Oct 13
For piccies see www.eastmidlandsdea.co.ukPrimarily this blog is aimed at keeping our daughter in the UK, Chloe, abreast of our adventures in Europe. Additionally, we hope that other readers will find snippets of info regarding campsites, prices and foreign travel interesting or perhaps just informative.
Like a good read? Then try ‘SNOW!’ by Ryan Clifford on Kindle.What would happen if it started snowing in the UK and just didn’t stop? Not just for a couple of days, but for a whole month? Would anyone survive? Would you?
Hi Clo and to all our readers,:thumb:
A word of thanks for reading our blog and for the responses we get. It's very encouraging, but how 1150 hits on the Ipswich episode is possible..I do not know!!
Settled in to Bonterra quickly enough and heard from Paul and Jackie who have crossed over into Spain and are in Barcelona (5th). We expect them soon. Went into Benicasim last night to listen to some live music at a pavement bar. Really enjoyable, despite the mile walk each way. Going out to get a BBQ today so we can squeeze a few in before Cabo. The sun is blistering outside and despite the heat, the humidity has gone after the short TS yesterday. The air is really fresh and I got a chance to wipe the 'van down after it stopped raining. We’ve had 23 hot days in a row now – the record being 52. The most we’ve gone with rainy/cold days in 4½ years is 5!
Stats from the Tolls – it may interest some of you!! We’ve kept records for 3 years now, but Germany, Italy and Austria are just this year.
Total Kms €/km
Austria includes €8.70 for a vignette. Switzerland is 2 x vignettes in 2010 and 12.
You can see that Portugal and France are a similar cost, but Spain at 5 cents per km is clearly the best value. It's down to the A7 running parallel to the AP7, so you can travel free a lot of the way down the east coast. Also many inland Spanish tolls are free. Portugal is a shambles and it is possible to travel completely free if you wish to flout the law and risk it. If you pay – it's very pricey! Austria was a pain. Most people I have spoken to just ignore the system. €80 for a box for vehicles over 3.5T is prohibitive.
Spain has increased its tolls this year, probably as a result of impending bankruptcy looming over the toll management companies. It's all automated now. Use a CC – it's simple and quick. Less than 10 seconds and you’re through.
For those of you who say that toll roads are a no-no – I can appreciate that, - if you are on a 2 or 3 week break in France and want to experience the atmosphere. However, if you are en-route further east or south – forget it! The continuous change of speed limits, traffic, poor road surfaces, other drivers, roundabouts and incessant small villages caused our fuel consumption down to 19mpg from 26mpg. Add to that the extra time required – 50% +++ - the stress and French road numbering system and it's JUST NOT WORTH IT. Hit the Autoroute - it works out even financially and you are well ahead on the divorce stakes!!!! In total at 8.4 cents per km we reckon it's good value for money.
Completely into Benicassim life now. Beach, bingo and booze! No, not really. We’ve been very good and are restricting vino to the weekends unless we entertain or are entertained. Played crib last night (7th) with John and Maggie. Off to the camping shop later to see if we can get a new awning winder. No joy – he’s running out of useful stuff and his prices are ASTRONOMICAL! However, Shirl did win at the first bingo of the season. This morning (9th) is a Spanish holiday, so we are biking it into Beni to watch the parade.
You can understand why the Spanish economy is in meltdown. Yet another random ‘fiesta’ on a weekday!
The Silvonnies arrived on Friday lunchtime with tales of Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. Might give it a try sometime. Had a good day quaffing Blue G and T’s and then Petanca, supper out and watching England win.
Changed our travel plans slightly. Will go to Benidorm on 24th and meet up with the Silvonnies for Jackie’s birthday Part I, and then on to Cabo by 1 Nov, so I’d better tell reception.
Last night (12th) we went into Beni for a ‘blues’ music evening. Live bands playing outside a café preceded by a great tapas/degustacion in the back room of a back street delicatessen. All the meat and cheese and wine you can drink for €5 per head. Fantastic. Lots of dancing and chat followed by crib at P and J’s and we only just got away from their 'van at around midnight after having arranged a music night at the 'van of a Dutch group – the Shoes – tonight…Oh God!
Well, what an interesting night. The Shoes were a really popular Dutch band formed in the 60’s and were the top selling group in Holland for several years and had a No2 hit in Italy. They just celebrated 50 years together and played an unplugged session for us outside their 'van. It was amazing to see other Dutch campers passing by and recognising the singers. Soon there was quite a crowd. One chap said he’d seen the group when he was 18! I suppose it's a bit like us meeting Gerry and the Pacemakers on the campsite. :Cool:
The groundstaff at Bonterra are in the midst of tree pruning and we've had 3 days of cherry-picker noise and pneumatic power clippers. Our shade is now gone.
The Silvonnies have moved on (16th) to Valencia 7 we should see them on 24th in Benidorm. It's been a hectic few days and not done anything for my gout…nevertheless great to see them even if I had to cycle 14 miles to Orapresa!
Ian and Ann went to Benidorm on Monday and rejected 2 campsites immediately – La Turreta and Cap Blanch, indicating that they were not at all pleasant. They have gone to Eco Marjal now and like it a lot. Pauline and Brian arrived from Vilanova and are settling in.
Bryan and Sam the dog should arrive today; be nice to see him…Sam that is!!!
I’ve been looking at Polish Motorways for our visit next year, having read some of the grief that other motor-homers have experienced. I checked the cost of the 19kms we want to use into Szczecin and it is 75p. Therefore, I am not prepared to risk the random chance of being hijacked by the traffic police and fined. I’ve found a detour of around the same length and will try to stay out of potholes!
Good night in Benicasim at the Degustacion rooms with about 35 campers enjoying meat, cheese, salads and black sausage with copious amounts of vino – then entertained by a couple of Spanish dancers. All for €10.then into town to watch some live bar music and guess who we saw hiding in Beni?
A quiet night in followed by afternoon Arroz del Forno with Finbarr, Susan and John, who is awaiting the return of his beloved.
Those Clarets won again, putting them 2 pts clear of QPR at the top. Playing them next week which will define our season.
More good news, just got my Amazon payment for my novel ‘SNOW!’ which is available through them on Kindle . Must have sold well over 500 now. I can see Daniel Craig in the lead.:Wink:
My sun chair collapsed today as I sat on it. Shirl announced ‘ you’ve really broken it now!’ Doh!!!
Well, it's still very hot and we are now running down until we leave for Benidorm on Thursday. We’ve managed to see off two ant attacks but can’t work out where they are getting in!
Bye for now,
Glad the wedding planning is going better,
M and D
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