Day 321 – Cabopino – 17 Jan 11
For piccies – see www.eastmidlandsdea.co.uk
You will be jetting home after your trip out to see us by the time I post this.
So, we shall report on your visit, Mums trip to Granada with the Morris’s and our beano to Morocco.
25C today and I cleaned the van before having a BBQ sitting out til 1700.
But first, our 10 most important lessons learned since we started, 5 from me and 5 from mum.
1. Don’t bring so much stuff – ESPECIALLY CLOTHES. We could have brought half as much. Also the top box might have to go.
2. We have overspent by 25%. It was a bit more to begin with but we’ve settled down a bit since Italy. Less touristing. Got to realise that we are not on holiday – although it is really difficult when we are visiting such nice places and the weather is so good.
3. One needs to pick ones pitch very carefully. Passage of the sun, location on the campsite and position for water run off. Being tucked away in a corner is not ideal for social contact. Being near the toilets and washing up facilities saves on water and chemicals.
4. Having Smartie has been a boon – shopping, touristing etc would have been very difficult in isolated hilly campsites. You can’t just hump shopping onto a bus all the time.
5. Elect to use Wi-Fi provided on campsites. It's easier in the long run. Get a booster – such as a TP Link High Gain booster. Wonderful piece of kit and €16 well spent.
6. Go to a boot fair and buy a load of cheap DVDs of any old films. Useful if, like us, you don’t have satellite.
7. Buy hair colour from the supermarket and get a friend to colour your hair. Big saver when you consider the Italian rip off!
8. The Safari room has been really, really useful. Now we know how to erect it properly it's a boon. Good for storing stuff outside, entertaining and eating. It was only the bloody wind at Benicassim that made us temporarily doubt it. Also, get a skirt to keep the undervan wind out – it works.
9. Generally, it is better to wash up at the facilities. It prevents grease going down the van system. Also, saves water and gas and electricity. Use melamine NOT glass or crockery – weight and breakages on the stone washing up sinks!
10. Skype has it's pros and cons. On the up side it's free comms with friends and loved ones BUT the quality of calls is dodgy and unreliable. Often having a picture causes severe breakdowns.
Carole went to Granada to see the Alhambra Palace with the Morris’s on Wed. Long day but worthwhile.
The journey took 2.5 hours but was well worth it. Alhambra is a complex of Moorish buildings positioned above the city of Granada backed by the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada. The buildings comprise the citadel being the oldest section, about 9th Century, with its many towers that overlook the Albaicin area of Granada; the Nazaries Palaces, built approx. 15/16th Century, includes magnificent Moorish architecture of fretwork, patterned tiling and intricate wall decorations. At every opportunity there are water features, fountains, quiet courtyards surrounded by arched arcades, banqueting halls with decorative windows offering views of the surrounding area, giving a feeling of total tranquillity. Finally a footpath led us to the gardens set on higher ground, called the Countrylife. This was the country estate of the Nasrid kings, being their summer retreat which gave them the luxury of coolness offered by shaded walkways, arbores, enclosed balconies all interspersed with more fountains and rhythmic flowing water.
What we see today is a result of many years restoration from the time Washington Irving came across this rather sad derelict area and with his foresight, and of course with the help of his book, Tales of the Alhambra, there began a continued programme of restoration and since 1984 Alhambra was declared a UNESCO heritage site.
I would like to say that other than this trip of the week it has been fairly quiet, but I cannot.
Sunday saw the 2011 Petanque Championship Competition. This took place between the Englands, Morris’s and Eatons. Congratulations to the Morris’s who wiped the floor with the lot of us – Maxine being the Queen of Queens and Ben being the best of the ‘not so goods’. I hope they don’t spend their prize money all at once!
This was followed by one of Bill’s famous Paella Sundays which all entrants enjoyed sitting in the sun after which the men smartly departed to go and watch the footie leaving us women to chat until the sun disappeared behind the pine trees. What a perfect Sunday and to add to it Maria and Pat have arrived back from Ireland ready to join us on our adventure to Morocco.
See you Friday
M and D
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