Day 1726 – Cabopino – 22 Nov 14
Primarily this blog is aimed at keeping our daughter in the UK, Chloe, and her new husband, Chris, 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.
for piccies log on to www.eastmidlandsdea.co.uk
Well, we set off from Benicasim on the 19th Oct and headed for Benidorm and Camping Raco.
At first glance the impression was not good. It's even more crowded and impersonal than Bonterra Park. Rows and rows of white vans and semi-permanents. The site fee is €27.50 per night plus electricity and wi-fi!!!! They clearly do not want short-term visitors as the fee drops to €16 for over 30 days and €12 for over 6 months. No water on the pitch, or grey water disposal and the chemical toilet is unsanitary. One feels crammed in and are so close to neighbours that you are forced to whisper.
However, the facilities are all there. It's only a 15 minute walk or 5 minute bike ride to Benidorm centre. There is a bus service as well. Shops and cafes abound just outside, plus a shop, restaurant and pool on site. There is even a camping shop opposite. We met Stephen and Olivia who are staying for a month, so they certainly enjoy it.
I suppose it's a compromise. Of course, there are plenty of other sites to visit – Armanello, Benisol and Almafra to name a few – but they are all out of town. The place was 80% full but less people are using it than a couple of years ago – or so we are told. I wouldn't return at those prices – it's daylight robbery, not good value for money at all. Nevertheless, we visited the Old Town and enjoyed tapas, followed by a taxi home (€8).
After two nights we set of for Banos de Fortuna, near Murcia, which is about fifteen minutes off the A7 on very good roads. The site has a swimming spa and is part of a complex of hotels and spas for ‘taking the cure’. It was full of aged Spanish folk soaking up the sulphates.
We had a good pitch, private shower room and entrance to the spa for €22 per night. A good deal I think. The weather is still excellent and we enjoyed 3 days of relaxation by the pool. We had a massage or two and came away re-charged.
On the 24th we stopped at Don Cactus, enjoyed their enormous free tapas, did a Lidl shop in Motril and headed off on the last leg to Cabo. We arrived at midday and most of the crowd are already here. Bryan, Paul, Jackie, Eve, John, Carole, Jim, Peter, Jackie, Steve, Edna………and Kelly and family arrived the next day.
Of course, a local had parked his caravan half across our pitch, so we had to wait two days before setting up. Our kit arrived on the Monday from storage and by Tuesday evening were up and running – new kitchen tent et al. Bryan did all of the assembly and saved a lot of time and wasted effort. Thanks Bry. Its a good system having a kitchen tent - keeps all smells out of van.
Other old friends are filtering in each day, and by mid-November should all be here. Then it's the first Petanca Tournament in December.
We hit Jorge’s on the first night to christen the Burnley shirt he has framed in the bar alongside the rubbish teams!
Halloween approaches and the locals take it all very seriously. They are crowding onto the site, which is now FULL. They build grottos and everyone dresses up. There is trick or treat on the 31st and on All Souls Night they have the ‘Tunnel of Terror’ for all to visit. Of course, it's loud and there are some late nights – but all very enjoyable to experience this part of Spanish culture. (Apart from the bloke urinating outside my window at 3am…but hey-ho! – they won't be back until the Spring)
A group of about 15 went down to La Despensa, and as usual they put on a good Halloween do. Dancing and good food enjoyed by all.
The quiz started on Nov 4th and the usual crowd were in attendance. Only 2nd!
We decided to rip out the carpet in the 'van and replace it with comfy lino. Our friend Kevin did the job, and for €140 we've got a new 'van! Great job. The old blue carpet was knackered and we couldn’t have sold the 'van in that state. Sid the caravan mechanic has fixed our water pump, told me how to fix the loo door and will fix the toilet flush when the parts arrive. All good.
The social scene is well underway and almost every weekend until Christmas is now taken, with mid-week cards and meals in between. We even had a mini-Paella Sunday. Never a dull moment – but I've finished the book! Hurrah - and have nearly a hundred pre-sales. Flood! comes out on Jan 10.
Bryan has had some grief and has had to disconnect his washing machine. Someone grassed him up! It's pity really that such pettiness exists!
Eight of us went out to the north of Malaga on a Sunday to a good restaurant called La Tintero. It was outdoors and there was some Spanish dancing as entertainment but no menu!. We sat at a long table and the waiters came round with prepared dishes of salads, fish, meats, cheeses, lamb chops and joints – all sorts – hot and cold, plus vino. It was really different and next time we might not rush, as the service goes on all afternoon. €20 per head. Good value.
When the mail got here, I had a letter from DVLA stating that I needed a ‘Clinical Medical Examination’ with my own GP in the UK. This after they stated twice that no medical was required. I argued the toss with no joy and after a week the GP finally gave me a private apt. So I spent £200 flying home, starving and psyching myself up for what ? - for a ten minute session with the doctor who merely ticked a list! It was a total and utter waste of time and money! The GP got £85! She didn’t even look at me!
Paul and Jackie’s new caravan arrived, as did the awning and they are in the process of erecting a solid base before putting up the awning. Pat and Maria have done the same and a lot of money is being spent at the local equivalent of B and Q.
We are debating as to which pitch to choose for our caravan – and we’ll probably stay here, if they cut down the trees in the middle of the pitch. If not, we might have to gazump somebody.
We've been lawn bowling a couple of times and I reckon it’ll take a few sessions to get used to my new bowls. I was rubbish!
Tonight, 22 Nov, we are off to the German bar for a meat fest. Giant pork knee joints – HAXE – are on offer. You could feed a family of 4 easily but the Germans eat one each. Carole and I will share.
The car loan system with Kevin is working well and is much cheaper. At €10 a go, we've only spent €40 in a month. Renting would be €50 per week minimum, and the car just sits here for most of the time.
Well, off shopping now,
M and D
PS. At least the Clarets got their first win.
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