Day 613 – Benicasim – 5 Nov 11

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Day 613 – Benicasim – 5 Nov 11
Primarily 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.
For piccies see
Hi Clo,
Raining today, but set fair after it clears. Read about the poor, unfortunate couple in Benidorm, swept away by a flash-flood. What bad luck and not their fault by the sound of it. There but for the grace of God go us!:Sad:

Off to find the golf course today. Might try a round since we’ve got the clubs. Depends on the cost and length of course. Drove up there, 15 mins, and the municipal course seems OK. 9 holes for €18 and is flat, much like a UK coastal links course. Should be quiet on Wednesday, We also went up to the Club Mediterranee Golf course and wondered why it was so busy. Loads of cars, no parking, catering trucks and police. Then we checked on google and found it was the final round of the Castello Masters with local favourite Sergio Garcia about to tee off on his final round, 8 shots in the lead. We scarpered PDQ.:Doh:

Drove to Castellon market on Monday. Very quiet, people-wise, and stalls full of cheap clothing, tatty jewellery and second hand shoes. Won't be going again. Then a short hop to Wok King for our annual feed-up. €8.25 for all you can eat – Chinese, European, Japanese, salads, fish and sweets galore. Boy, some people can eat! They must save it up for weeks! It's great value.

Rained during the night. Thunderstorms generated a small river down the site road at 2am, but all gone by the morning. Luckily the awning was out temporarily and Carole’s washing stayed dry.

Had another campsite Paella and I got a few tips from our friend David who turns out a fine example of the art. Excellent.

Bought 2 new bicycles today at Carrefour in Castellon. Bussed in and cycled 10 miles back. €129 each including a basket, dynamo lights and stand. Sold my bike already for €50 – so it's a bargain. See piccie. 26” wheels but OK as 28” was gi-normous. It also solves the problem of buying bikes in the UK and getting them from the shop to the Dakota. Also, I didn’t have to assemble anything – so no divorce!

Pat and Maria crossed the channel today and we should see them on Saturday. More rain today and we spent the night putting out/ pulling in the awning in between the Benicasim wind and showers. Should be the last rain for a while. Still warm though, and people who stay here over Christmas say it stays warmish – but not as warm as Marbella!:Cool:

We got up in the middle of the night, oh sorry my mistake, it seemed that way but it was 7.00am, to get ready for our coach trip to Morella. Off we set over the hills inland to our first port of call, Sant Mateu, passing the new Castellon airport, which has been ready for well over a year but still hasn’t opened. There’s seems to be very comprehensive road system around it, but still no sign of any activity. It looks very surreal and spooky as everything is in place – runways, landing lights, traffic tower, terminals but – deserted! Lots of local building works – hotels, apartments - have been built in the surrounding areas on the prospect of this new airport, but as it’s taken so long to open investors have become bankrupt on a promise that yet hasn’t happened.

Anyway, our arrival at Sant Mateu we were welcomed by an announcement over the town’s tannoy system. I think this just might illustrate the fact that they don’t get that many tourists, and our local guide was certainly excited about showing us around especially the Archpriestal Church which is situated just off the main square. Sant Mateu was of great political importance in the 13-15th century, positioned as a crossroads to many important cities. Its’ main trade was in wool and it celebrates a visit from the famous Papa Luna. The tour was fairly intensive as poor Kiko (our campsite organiser) had arranged a 40 mins tour not taking into account time for translation from Spanish to English, so after 1 hour our attention span was lagging. Bill’s interest had faded after 30 seconds.

It was then onward to Morella, along some very steep and windy roads offering amazing views across the craggy countryside. Morella stands out impressively against the horizon at an altitude of 984 m and is an historic walled town with terraced houses topped by the ruins of an ancient castle. We entered the town through a very impressive stoned gateway and spent time strolling around the cobbled streets enjoying the atmosphere, views and visiting the basilica with it’s incredible ‘golden’ ornate alter. That was one of those ‘wow’ moments, which completely takes you by surprise. Following all this culture business we had a very good value for money 5-course lunch, with wine, of course, and then we slowly returned to our coach for our homeward journey. All in all we had a good day out! Thank you Kiko. :thumb:

A quietish day until ‘THEY’ arrived. Pat and Maria drove in about 5pm after a 3 day race from Dublin via Cherbourg and Barcelona to pick up the van. Maria successfully drove the new VW Tuareg from Barcelona so now the sky’s the limit.

Carole and I went to a local bar to try and watch Burnley beat Blackpool but no dice. P and M turned up and we planned to get back for 9pm. But just as we were leaving, Finbarr and Susan appeared and after much vino collapse it was 1am before I poured your mother into bed! Lucky we had the extra hour!

Lunch at Sue and Bill’s today to welcome P and M back into the fold. Then a Halloween party on Monday night. Thank heavens we are leaving next Sunday. I need a bloody holiday!

Mum’s gone on a 9 mile hike through the mountains around Benicasim today with a crowd of fellow loonies! I’m in bed. My leg is still seriously dodgy and I would have just held them up. Bingo and BBQ tonight. Oh what a life we lead!

Guess what? Shirl won at Bingo - €19 - woo-hoo!
Mysterious Happening1
Explain this then, readers. Pat and Maria left Sitges to put their van into storage for a couple of weeks in Barcelona whilst they returned to Eire. When they picked it up again and travelled to Benicasim, they parked up and not unnaturally had a cup of tea, Maria went to the cupboard and one of the tea mugs was full of water up to one inch from the brim.

How did this happen? No leak in the van. Maria had covered the cups with a towel to stop them clinking, and the towel was dry. Nothing else in the cupboard was wet. To get the cup into the cupboard it had to be tilted, so it was not possible to store with water already in it. Anyway, who would put a cup full of water away after washing-up? Not feasible. Condensation? No, not possible to that extent and only one cup was affected.

So, what's your explanation? Did the storage people concoct an elaborate joke? Why would they?

Coming to the end of our month at Benicasim. Getting the chains on the bikes tightened and one more visit to the market. The weather is warm but drizzly. But saying that, it looks good for Marbella in November for your visit.

BBQ at P and M’s on Friday and then packing up. The campsite is getting emptier as more vans head south for the sun or north to go home. There are a few vans we might see at Cabopino – P and M, Biff and Erica, Rose and Paul, Paul and Jackie and maybe John and Maggie in the New Year. Also, Carole’s friend Carol from Grantham is visiting in Feb, plus Chloe next month. Might even see the Morrissesses. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Bill and Sue!!!! Should be busy…… poor liver!

Farewell John and Maggie …….Cabopino????????

Had some nice tapas at Gambrinus for lunch on Bill and Sue. I think they enjoyed their first taste of authentic tapas.

Shirl won at Bingo – again!!!! €35. Woo-hoo!

P and M’s tonight for farewell BBQ….oh dear!

Packing up today. Got the new bikes on the back OK and we’ll take the unsold bike to Cabopino. It's a bargain at €40 – hopefully it’ll sell.

Camping Marjal at Guardamar for 2 nights, then Roquetas near Almeria and onto Cabopino for Wednesday. Weather looks great for the rest of November, looking forward to your visit on 17th.

All for now

M and D

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