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  1. Day 1879 – Cabopino – 24 April 15

    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 photos go to

    Hi Clo,

    Apologies for the lack of blog to you and all of our readers.

    It's been 92 days since I reported on our life in Cabopino and although life has been hectic, there is no excuse for not blogging. Another problem has been the inability to attach photos to the story, which has disinclined me to chat.

    However, three months is too long to go silent, so I’ll report on the major happenings since we returned from Benidorm after the New Year.

    17th Jan: The first major event was the Twenties Casino, kindly hosted by Bryan again. It was a great night and about 50 fellow campers dressed up in Gangster Gear and entered into the spirit of the night.

    Olivia won the best costume, John S and Val won best dancers, whilst Phil the Foot broke the bank and won best gambler. Kelly and her birthday girls didn’t quite make it – sun and vino to blame!!!!

    Thanks everybody for coming. Next year it the Swinging Sixties – don’t forget to bring a photo of yourself from those days.

    21st Jan: A group of us went down to Albert’s in the Port to experience a Wine Tasting evening. Great value at €22 which included at least a bottle of wine each and four huge starter size tapas. A good night had by all and we learned a fair bit about wine.

    23rd Jan: round to Edna and Steve’s for a superb steak pie; great evening.

    25th Jan: Burn’s night at John and Eve’s. All the normal grub including Haggis and Whisky. Speeches great – especially from Pat.

    28th Jan – Round to Pat for her birthday and more cake!

    5th Feb: Mo’s birthday bash sitting in glorious sunshine on her pitch with 40 others. Jackie B and Peter came to supper.

    Our friend and Peter’s brother sadly passed away on the 8th. He was a lovely chap and will be missed.

    9th Feb: Gunter’s birthday party on his pitch. Great German fare.

    Shirl has been having trouble with her hip, so after a consultation with a local doctor, she went for n X-Ray in Marbella - €70 but instant results – which is more than you can say for the NH bloody S! The hip is dodgy but not too bad. She will have to take it easier from now on. Less gin might help!!

    17-24th Feb: Shirl in England to visit you and attend the Twins Christening. A week of peace for me!

    25th Feb: A repeat of the Wine Club – 20 people this time.

    26th Feb: Round to Alison and Mike’s for supper.

    27th Feb: At Val and Dave’s fpr his birthday BBQ. Another great afternoon in the sun.

    5th Mar: Lawn Bowls competition organised by John S at Miraflores which John and Eve won on countback from me and Shirl. Followed by a great party at their place with a bit of group Karaoke and an impromptu striptease by Bryan….oo-er!

    7th Mar: You ran your 10K in London. Well done!

    8th Mar: Sunday lunch with Eve, John, Alex and Britta. It was a thank you to our Danish friends for offering their pitch to us. We had coveted it for some time but never thought we'd get it for the caravan next year. Great news!

    12th Mar: Round to Elaine and Jim’s for supper.

    14th Mar: We moved pitches – only two up from the old one but we gained 15sq metres of space and we get the sun ALL DAY! It's brilliant. Shirl has organised a small cottage garden. It's very pleasant.

    15th Mar: Off to La Sala Restaurant in Puerto Banus for lunch with John and Eve – a treat from Chloe for Mother’s Day.

    18th Mar: An excellent lunch for 14 at Eve and John’s to celebrate Robert and Alice’s 60th Wedding Anniversary – and Robert still drives to and from Cabo to Scotland every year. Marvellous! Hope we can still be that active in our 80’s?

    20th Mar: The tree fell on Kelly’s pitch. It was raining hard and a mud slide tipped it over onto the awning. It was clear negligence on the part of the Campsite as they had been warned about it several times. I had been inside the awning only 2 minutes before it crashed through. Oooh…so close to compo!!!!

    Anyway, Kelly flew out and with the help of many willing campers, she turned the 'van through ninety degrees and fitted a new awning within a week. It's an ill wind! It all looks great now.

    22nd Mar: We had a Fondue Party at Eve and Johns. Great fun followed by raucous game of Cranium! Some competitive people here!

    25th Mar. My birthday. Thanks for pressie. Shirl and I went to La Cala and had an excellent 5 course lunch and wine over 3 hours at the Arroyo Chiringuito on the beach. Nice day.

    26th Mar: The weather delayed Race Day at Bryan’s. 50 folks dressed in racing gear or green and we had six exciting races. The old race course got flooded with vino, so there’ll be a new one next year.

    28th Mar: Paella Saturday at Steve and Edna’s in the best weather for two weeks. We did have a patch of 5 days horrid rain, but it's gone now. We snuck in a WOK to cheer ourselves up!

    2 Apr: Over to Wilma and Pete’s new Casita for a BBQ. It's very luxurious but at £40k plus too rich for my blood. A money pit!

    3 Apr: Into Fuengi by bus with J & P to check out Tipi Tapas for lunch.

    4th Apr: Sundowners at Phil and Doy’s where they put on a great spread in the evening sun. Wilma managed to force me into revealing the new tattoo!

    5th Apr: Steve and Edna came to lunch to discuss the trip to Croatia in the late summer, when we hope to meet up. Kelly and the kids arrived.

    6th Apr: We bussed into La Cala to have lunch with Andrea and Ron. Andrea is an old junior school chum of Carole’s. Small world eh! They have a bungalow in La Cala.

    10th Apr: After Bowling, we held a street happy hour for our new friends from Gibraltar, Sharon and JP, Bryan and his family who are visiting, Eve and John, Kelly and Paul and Jackie. I think it got rather raucous and the Table Tennis cabaret provided by Paul and John was the highlight.

    13th Apr: Off to Fuengi with P and J and Bob and Pat to watch ‘Allo, Allo’ by the local Amateur Dramatics Society. A late supper finished off a pleasant evening. (I won't be going to watch anymore amateur dramatics!).

    Well, that's almost that. We have played literally no Petanca, except for at the Camp BBQ – which P and J won again. We Lawn Bowl every week and play a bit of golf. Quizzes every Tuesday – which we win quite often.

    So you can see, in between our busy social lives and admin, we don’t get much time to blog.

    The campsite is now quite quiet as many of our friends have headed off home. The Spanish were on camp for Easter in great numbers. However, it's a bit of a ghost-town now. We go on 11th May via France and should be at Lee Valley by 25 June.

    Hope to see you out here on 30th April – notwithstanding the effing French ATC Strike! Typical of the French. If it's not ATC, it's the ferries or their lorry drivers blockading the ports. And they want £900million of our money! Pah!

    Well, that's all for now,


    M and D

  2. Day 1777 – Cabopino/Benidorm – 12 Jan 15

    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

    Hi Clo,

    We have some strange friends….

    Well, Kelly and family arrived on the 22nd and most of the crowd on camp have gone their separate ways to local hotels, back to the UK or are just doing Christmas stuff like us.

    We went to Jorge’s for a few drinks on the 22nd with Kelly and Rich, round to Bob and Pat’s on the 23rd and into Fungirola on Christmas Eve, by bus, to have lunch and do a bit of shopping. The campsite is very quiet, and after another drink and some piccies at Jorge’s we retired fairly early on Christmas Eve.

    Christmas Day saw us walk to the beach and have some breakfast with Kevin and a few others, followed by a splendid lunch cooked by Kelly. An evening of cards and computer charades followed and Bryan turned up about 10pm.

    Boxing Day was quiet – off the booze until NYE now. Picked up the car on the 27th and received a huge Fiat family Doblo. Actually quite useful for going to Benidorm on Monday. Looks cold there so we are taking duvets and a heater.

    Went to the market on Sunday morning and, yes, you guessed it, someone scraped the side of the car. Good old extra insurance. Shouldn’t cost us anything.
    Driving up to Benidorm on Monday the 29th and look forward to six days off camp. Will report on our return.


    Packed up and set off at 10am. We went via Granada and Murcia and it was a very straightforward trip, spending only €7 on tolls. Arrived at 4pm after a couple of stops. The fuel tank was bottomless and the whole trip cost only €80.
    The Buenos Aires apartments were at the ‘New Town’ end of the beach and our 17th floor flat had three balconies and fantastic views over the town. We settled in after loading up the lift with our gear and help from the affable reception staff.

    We met up with Geoff and Linda and spent two very nice evenings in the Old Town, taking in ‘Tapas Alley’.

    Paul and Jackie arrived at 2.30 am on the 31st and we slept in before exploring. NYE saw us in the ‘Rich Bitch’ nightclub and ‘Penelope’s Nightclub’ where Jackie excelled herself.

    Another couple of days touristing and we set off home on Sunday 4th for an easy 6 hour trek home. No traffic at all! Good old Spanish roads.

    Took the car back on Tuesday and although at least two cars had seriously scraped the paintwork whilst parked, the Hire Car bloke couldn’t have cared less. My advice when hiring in Spain – ‘ALWAYS BUY THE EXTRA INSURANCE’… there are no cars in Spain without dents in the side or corners and the drivers JUST DON’T CARE whether they put a dink in your vehicle. The Hirers will sting you if you don’t buy the cheap extra insurance but don’t care how you return the car if you buy it. It complete peace of mind.

    Cabo is fairly quiet and we are into a serious no alcohol January ( barring Casino Night and Burn’s) and Carole has got me on the 5:2 diet. Trying to lose 10 kilos.
    Most people have got – or had – colds or flu. We’re clear so far.

    We are also having a crisis of decision making.

    We want to go permanent at Cabo – that is pay the €1500 refundable deposit to reserve a pitch and put a caravan and awning on full time. Our current pitch is too small – as we want a 3.5m awning and space outside to sit and sunbathe. We have a tree to cope with as well, so we must move.
    We have found a pitch which satisfies our crtieria – depth, width, location on the campsite and NO fir trees above. We have found one – F20 – but there is a longstanding couple on there who won't give it up, so we might have to go next door onto F18 which would make us neighbours with Pat and Maria. That's not a bad thing but we don’t want to be in their face. We’ll have to think more about it.
    So we were ready to buy a caravan which a friend has for sale. It's in Mazarron in storage and if it's the right price we’ll take it. It's not available till Nov 15, so it about the right time. Of course we’ll have to sell the 'van and buy a car. It's going to be a busy year.

    Then we had a change of plan. We are going to tour for one more year…do Austria, Croatia, Slovenia and Italy in the Autumn.

    We can settle down next year.

    The Clarets are doing much better now and hopefully we’ll beat Spurs in the cup on Wednesday.

    The Quiz starts again tomorrow. No booze though.

    We are also starting a weekly entertaining night on Weds, inviting friends round for a nosh and cards. We owe so many people!

    Casino on Saturday...should be good!

    Well, all for now,
    Keep up the good work in the Fantasy Football.
    M and D
  3. Day 1749 – Cabopino – 15 Dec 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

    Hi Clo,

    Well, the silly - but nice – season is truly with us.

    Two nights at the German bar – once for a Pork ‘Haxe’ leg joint, which fed us for three days after we took a doggy bag home.

    Secondly, with you for Lamb roast! After you turned up unexpectedly for the weekend. Your mother was so surprised that she didn’t recognise you at first glance. Of course, you brought the rain, but we had a great weekend, finishing up in Fuengirola for Tapas on Saturday night. Got our first taxi home – only €25 and ten minutes. Quite good value I thought.

    Carole has had trouble with one of her tooth implants which were installed in Budapest in 2007/8. They have been good, but the Upper Left 7 got infected and after consulting with London and Hungary, we visited the good Dr Kamberger in Calahonda, and it was removed last Monday, 1st Dec. All is well and we get a refund after the old implant is returned. It is possible that a new implant might be possible in a few months, but at least Carole will not have to keep visiting London for check-ups each year at £300 a go.

    Most regulars have arrived and are settling in. P and J’s awning is up and running with extensive flooring installed.

    We did three parties in 36 hours around the 7 Dec and are feeling very bloated and have put on too much weight. Luckily the main ‘troublemakers’ have gone home for Christmas, so the chance of being seduced is greatly reduced. We had dinner at Bryan’s on Tuesday – which was excellent – and we drew up the invites for the Casino Night in January – ‘ Twenties Prohibition’ theme.

    We have played Lawn Bowls a few more times and I'm getting used to my new little babies!
    We held the 4th Annual Petanca Competition on Thursday 11th and your mother battled through to beat 19 other pairs and was also player of the tournament. She even knocked me out 13-4 in the quarter-final. She thoroughly deserved her victory as everyone agreed that she was ‘on fire’ from the start. We had a drinks party at Bryan’s after Petanca and it also was a great success.

    The Clarets have been doing well recently and each Saturday I go down to Santi’s bar where he has feeds into Emirates TV. Well, you know, you came in for the Villa match.

    Paul is back from his trip to the UK, and we are looking forward to the trip to Benidorm for NY. We pick up our Wowcher car on the 28th. Kelly and Rich visited on the 13th and we played cards till late. They are back for Christmas next week and we hope to spend Christmas day with them and the kids.

    The weather is generally excellent – we've had three days of rain in six weeks and you can't complain, with sun being forecast until the 27th Dec. It's warm during the day but can get chilly at night.

    The quiz is going well, we won the last two, and it's a Christmas theme on Tuesday.
    We posted the chocolate and piri-piri. Hope you get it before Christmas. Still no sign of the other parcel, I reckon it's in customs in Madrid.

    The final night out was after the Petanca. I was going to take your mother out for a celebration dinner – just the two of us, but Eve and John heard about it and it ended up as 8 going to the Playwright restaurant up the road. As it turned out it was really good. Great food on the Early Bird menu - €25 – a good live singer and we danced until 12.30. Well worth it.

    A Merry Christmas to all of our readers if I don’t post before – and thanks for logging on.

    All for now
    M and D
  4. 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

    Hi Clo,

    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,
    Take care
    M and D
    PS. At least the Clarets got their first win.
  5. Day 1691 – En-Route Spain – 18 Oct 14

    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 log on to

    Hi Clo,

    Well, we left St Jean de Luz in good weather, after going down to the beach on Sunday night where there was a band playing and all the BP’s had turned up to flirt and look for rich husbands. It went on quite late.

    The trip to Haro was uneventful except for a minor mishap by Bill ignoring the SatNav. But we climbed up to 3000 ft altitude with no probs and settled in. The staff were very helpful – the French could learn a thing or two about customer service! They organised a trip to a local Rioja vineyard and advised on buses as the train we wanted to take had been dismantled years ago. Poor old Michael Portillo would have been distraught.

    Of course, we are now in Spain and I, for one, am grateful. However, one should not forget that as soon as one crosses from France the flies appear and the dogs bark through the night. However, it's a small price to pay for the general climate and Spanish friendliness.

    We walked into town, had a drink, looked round and did the inevitable shop. The site is pleasant enough, with most people popping in for a nitestop before or after the ferries from Santander or Bilbao. The site is situated on a huge plateau at 3000ft and it's quite strange. I expected steep rocky mountains and narrow roads – but it's quite normal actually – with fantastic scenery.

    The Rioja wine industry is going strong and we visited the Muga Vinery for a visit and very slick and professional it was too. They’ve got over 3 million bottles on site plus all the vino in vats and barrels – about 10 million bottles in all but just a drop in the ocean when you consider worldwide wine consumption. (40 billion bottles per year!) Extremely enjoyable and of course we bought the vino after a tasting. Then it was into town for a €12 Menu del Dia – which included a FULL bottle of wine.

    Next morning we taxied into Briones to visit the Vivanco Wine Museum (€8). What a spectacular facility. The complete history of Rioja wine, with superb exhibits and featuring 3 x Picasso’s, a Miro and a Liechtenstein. Well worth the visit. We walked into Briones to visit the 12th century church. Fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.
    Haro is a little gem, and to be preferred to Burgos to and from the ferries.

    Tomorrow (2 Oct) Zaragoza. The drive down the A68 was the quietest motorway experience yet. Expensive at 17 cents per kilometre but absolutely no traffic and smooth roads. Found the Municipal Campsite Ok and despite warnings of horrendous fees it is only €26 per night for the biggest pitch you’ll ever see. We caught the No 41 bus into Zaragoza (€1.35 and 30 mins). It's a big, clean, open plan town and seems to have been rebuilt to a plan. It's a bit Stepford-like. But the traffic flows and it's a very pleasant experience wandering around the ‘old town’ – which is not so old! Well worth a visit en route to France or the ferries.

    On to Camping Pucol on the coast near Valencia. Four more hours on uninhabited dual carriageway, but free as it's only an A road. The sun came out after a lot of hill fog at 4600 feet in the mountain passes and after a bit of a faff we reached the campsite near the beach. Only 3 vans including us and hundreds of semi-permanent Spanish caravan/awning set ups. The restaurant /bar was shut so we walked the five minutes to the promenade. Only one restaurant in sight, so we had a nice lunch and lazed on the beach. It's clearly a local Spanish holiday resort. I would not recommend it for passing Motorhomers – unless all you want is beach-time.
    It would be very noisy – and was to an extent – as a Spanish MH arrived at 1145pm! Also, two sets of tenters with cars decided to start erecting their tents at 1015pm and hadn’t finished by midnight – doors slamming incessantly!

    We will not be visiting these un-validated / un-recommended sites in the future. They are generally difficult to find and there is little to occupy the time. However, it's ‘horses for courses’ I suppose. Not for us.

    Mad the short hop to Bonterra Park, and we are glad that we booked. It's packed! Got a good reserved pitch close to last year’s slot. It's a bit sloping – but we’ll cope. ( Although the fridge did start leaking!) Met up with Finbar and Susan, Ian and Ann and chatted to a few of the other usual regular visitors. Nice to be back.

    After a good meal of garlic prawns from Mercadona, we walked to a new bar on the front and sat out until 11pm. Really nice weather – in the low 30’s every day. I think Shirl will be on the beach today. I need to wash the awning and get started on ‘FLOOD’ again. I want it published by Christmas.
    We’re into the rounds of eating out, visiting pals, playing Petanca, going to classes and walking to the beach to listen to live music in the sunshine. It's a nice place and the weather (32degsC) helps. However, I couldn’t spend more than a month here. The average age is quite high and we are literally surrounded by white vans. Big pitches but no real privacy and to make things worse, we've got a Whirr-Clunker next door! Can't they hear how noisy their bloody doors are? Why not just leave them slightly ajar all day? It's a real pain – whirr-clunking from dawn to dusk.

    So it’ll be off to Cabo on the 22nd as planned or maybe a couple of days earlier. Got forty pages written in the last couple of days and we should be ready by 31 Dec.
    Well, our time at Beni is coming to a close. We leave tomorrow, 19th Oct, and head to Benidorm and onward to Cabo by next Saturday 25th.

    I'm not too sad to leave. The flies and biting midges are a pain and the tree cutters are at it from 9am – 6pm and it's impossible to do any writing or reading round the 'van. Next year, if we come, we’ll leave before they start trimming the trees.
    Carole really likes the place but it's not the same as Cabo. It's very regimented and a sea of white greets you as you look out of the 'van window. The town is nice and we've had a couple of good evenings out. However, I couldn’t stay for more than a fortnight. On the way home we’ll stay at Mazzaron/Bolneuvo.

    We also took a look at Camping Azahar. It's rough! The pitches are dreadful. Low trees, restaurant/bar shut and scruffy. Full of Dutch trying to get a cheap deal at any cost! If it rains then the mud will be a nightmare.

    There’s definitely a compromise between these two types of campsite – and I think Cabo fits the bill.
    We cycled to Orapresa and Marina D’Or yesterday. 15 miles return along the old railway track. It's a sad place. They tried to construct a purpose built Las Vegas/Orlando type super resort but the developers went bust and the proposed airport hasn’t opened – and so the customers haven’t arrived. It's a great pity and some people must have lost a lot of money!
    Well, that's all for now…Cabopino next!

    Take care.
    Well done on the Half Marathon
    M and D xxxxxx
    Sunsets Unlimited. likes this.
  6. Day 1671 – En Route Spain 14-1 – 28 Sep 14

    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 photos see

    Hi Clo,

    Well, we set off from Lee Valley in good shape, having picked up some RAF memorabilia from an ex-RAF WO who was refereeing at the Invictus Games. The trip to Ashurst in the New Forest was uneventful and we spent a pleasant evening with Sue England, mainly reminiscing about Bill, who passed away last winter.

    Then on to Chard to get the sink and shower tray fixed. After a few minutes I realised that the bloody Turbo wasn’t working again, so we limped into the town and called out the AA. They sent a mechanic whilst the shower tray was being recoated and suggested we call in to their garage when we were done. We did so and they completed a diagnostic and found about 10 old/new possible faults. However, the turbo has started working again, so on we go.

    Reached the Riverside Campsite in Plymouth, just 15 minutes from the Brittany Ferry to Roscoff (£206). And guess who we met there – Penny and Kenny from Cabo! Small world! Got up at 0500 for an 0700 sailing and we were in Roscoff 20 minutes early. We drove the 10 mins to Camping Ar Kleguer and got the last pitch overlooking the bay. Very impressive. It's a pleasant area and well equipped site. Perfect for a couple of days resting up pre/post ferry.

    We are heading on to Quimper tomorrow (14th) in the south of Brittany for a couple more days.
    L’Orangerie de Lanniron was an expected pleasure. Huge pitch, fantastic facilities, golf course and superb shower block. Also we had great weather and walked the two miles into town – TWICE! - for the Noddy train and cathedral. Well worth a visit.

    Then on to Nantes for a nitestop and after about 50 miles, just approaching road works we slowed down and at about 30 mph – we had a rear tyre BLOWOUT! Merde! We slowed and swerved into the outside lane, which was protected by bollards and work vehicles. We assessed the damaged and called out the AA via SAFEGUARD. Once again they were superbe!

    The rescue vehicle was with us in 20 minutes, changed the tyre and we followed them back to their garage in Auray. After waiting an hour for lunch!!!...we got both tyres changed by 3.30pm – just 4 hours after the incident – at a cost of €294…cheaper than the UK.
    All in all a lucky escape but great SAFEGUARD service.

    A quick nitestop in Nantes and on to Cresse and a meet up with old pals from Grantham, Andy and Eileen, who are house-sitting a lovely place near St Jean D’Angely. The rain showers have started but we are safe inside.

    Transit to Cresse was uneventful, but we hear that the weather in Bermuda is a bit ‘iffy’. Never mind – no work!

    Andy and Eileen’s cottage is really nice, but a bit isolated. We got the 'van into their backgarden OK and spent 2 days exploring – Ruffec and St Angely. Crib was played to late hours and we set off to Verneuil near Limoges on the 20th to visit with P and J at Paul’s sister’s farmhouse. Of course, I got lost and disregarded the Sat Nav. So the journey took 45 mins longer than expected. The farmhouse is in a very out-of-the-way area but we found it OK and parked on the drive.

    We enjoyed a few days of sunshine and visited the destroyed WW2 village at Oradour-sur-Glane after a walk round a local boot fair – or Bric-a-Brac. Saw some very nice old cars. The farmhouse is an ongoing project but clearly will be a very fine place when finished.

    After clearing up around the house, it's off to Bob and Pat’s in Condom – a 4 hour trip south. Bob met us on the outskirts of Condom – come on now! No Sniggering! He led us through some very narrow backstreets to a parking place up against a city wall just 20 metres from his palace. Actually there is no other way to describe this medieval structure of gargantuan proportions. They have only just sold the place and we were their final visitors. We spent 3 days being royally entertained. Condom is a very pretty town nestling in the countryside. Thanks Bob and Pat for a great visit. We met Keith and Sue who are helping B and P pack up their gear. Not an envious task – as there is so much of it. We hope to see them all at Cabo in October.

    Transitted to St Jean de Luz on the 26th and parked up by the seaside. Caught the bus into town and enjoyed a walk through the old section. Lots of street artists and we were entertained by a display of the French Red Arrows – Le Patrouille de France. There were literally thousands of spectators lined up and sitting on the beaches. Excellent bonus.

    We tried to get to San Sebastian but were foiled by the lack of trains and buses. Because of the change at the border town of Hendaye, it became all too difficult and the railway staff were particularly unhelpful. So we trained it to Biarritz instead (€4.30 single on TRV) – and once again, the directions for tourists was poor. The railway station is 5kms out of town and only a bus gets you there. Shirl found the info tucked away on a board in the station entrance. Anyhoo, we got there and took a Noddy train round the town. Basically it's a big beach with a hotel that royalty used to frequent. Don’t bother is my advice.

    We've decided to head inland tomorrow to Haro as the excellent weather is set to change here. We’ll do the Rioja region, Zaragoza and then get to coast near Valencia for the 4th. Then on to Benicassim for a fortnight.

    Hope you are nicely refreshed after the honeymoon.

    Speak soon
    M and D
  7. Day 1653 – Wedding – 11 Sep 14

    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 photos visit

    Hi Clo, (sorry, Mrs Tanswell!)

    Well, the wedding has come and gone and what a fantastic day it was. :D

    But first, a catch up on the mundane before I summarise the great day for my reader!
    We closed the house down as usual, sorting out the admin for another 10 months away. We travelled to and from the 'van numerous times and got it packed up tight for the journey south. It must be a great deal lighter without 80 bottles of fizz in the ‘garage’. By the way, the Cava at the wedding was excellent. It travelled from Spain with no ill-effects.

    We travelled over to Skeggie to visit with John and Kay. John and Janet from Cabo were also there and I was shanghaied into getting another tattoo. (piccies to follow).

    We went to the Malvern MH Show and spent far too much – but managed to get the fridge serviced. The internal gas burner was severely rusted! Steve and Edna were there and we also bumped into Ted and Mary.

    We also managed an afternoon with Denis and Eunice in Newark and Derrick and Jean popped over for final BBQ. Thanks again Dirk for looking after our garden – It's much appreciated.
    So we packed up the last bag, set the Central Heating, prepared the pre-paid mail envelopes, took the gas and leccy readings, locked the shed,turned off the fridge and water and evacuated on the 3rd of September and decamped to Lee Valley and the ‘Wedding’.

    Of course, everything was under control and everything ran like clockwork.

    It was a brilliant day and everybody had positive comments to make. Hackney Town Hall was a superb venue and the wedding suite was excellent. Stour Space was a unique setting for the reception, which combined the conventional with quirky and original perfectly. The food and service were brilliant and the view overlooking the Olympic Park was fabulous. Everybody enjoyed themselves immensely and you should be very proud to have organised such an important event so well.

    All in all, a perfect day.(y)

    Thanks so much for making it such a memorable occasion for us.:)

    We now sit at Plymouth awaiting the Brittany Ferry to Roscoff on the 12th. We dropped in to see Sue England on the 10th at Ashurst in the New Forest. Then we had the shower tray fixed at Chard and met Ken and Penny waiting for their ferry on Sunday. Small world.

    We meet up with Andy and Eileen on the 17th, Paul and Jackie on the 20th in Limoges and then down to Condom to see Pat and Bob on the 23rd.

    Then it's on to San Sebastian, Rioja country, Benicassim and Benidorm before reaching Cabo around the 28th October.

    Hope you enjoy the Honeymoon.

    Speak Soon,
    M and D
  8. Day 1545 – Lee Valley – 26 May 14
    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,
    Left the extortionate campsite at Nuremberg after visiting the ‘VolksFest’ fairground where an enormous fair was taking place. We ate yet more Nuremberger sausages in buns and mum wouldn't go on the big wheel.

    Earlier in the day we walked to the U-bahn (underground) and tubed it into the city centre for €5 return. The main walking areas were full of hot food and veg stall selling all sorts – especially Nuremberger sausages! Pleasant place to visit and we just missed their Blau-Nacht festival by one day. Tubed to the outskirts and visited the Nuremberg Trials Courtrooms and learnt about the Nazi War-Crime Trials. Interesting. Worth a visit.

    The journey to Colditz on the 3rd was cold. 3.5 degrees in the mountains at 2700feet. The Camping am Waldbad is in the middle of a wood about 1km from town. Your mother has just gone on a walk to investigate. We’ll visit the Castle tomorrow.
    10 down – 12 campsites to go!

    Very cold night – frost on the grass at 8am! Heater on all night. However the sun came out eventually and we walked through the woods to Colditz town where they were having a town Fest. Singing, funfair et al – including Irish Coffees for someone at 11.30am! Had a nice Zigeuener schnitzel in a local bierstube and then the Tour of Colditz Castle. A very interesting €15 two hour tour of the prisoners lives during the war. The film ‘The Colditz Story’ used some poetic licence but was fairly close to the truth. Weird, but the guide kept referring to the Nazis as ‘the Germans’ as if she wasn’t one! Finished with a Bratwurst and a walk home. They used Stirling Castle for the filming.

    Tomorrow, Lidl, Czech Rep for lunch and then Dresden for three nights. Halfway home!

    Set off from Colditz and it was bloomin’ cold! Short drive to Petrovice in the Czech Republic for lunch. Avoided the toll road and enjoyed a nice lunch in the frontier town. It was full of Chinese Shit-Shops selling all sorts of gear including giant pine windmills! Bought some jeans though.

    The exchange rate should have been 44 Krone to the Euro but they only gave 27!!!!! Best to get Krone if you want a deal. Diesel was only 80c per litre – and I'd only just filled up in Germany. Curses!

    Spotted a weird restaurant – a converted Russian/Czech TU-104 airliner from the sixties. Bloody good landing if you ask me!

    Then the quick transit to Camping Mockritz in Dresden, who now holds the record for the longest lunch break. 11am to 5pm!!!!!!!! So we just found a pitch and checked in later. Shirl had a drama with the washing machine but all was solved. €20 per night and quite crowded with Dutch and Germans – who are currently having a singsong accompanied by an accordion.

    Bussed into Dresden from outside the gates – 15 mins and €2 Euros. Ten minute walk into the centre which is very impressive. They have restored much of the damage inflicted by the USAF/RAF on 15 Feb 44. It's really quite remarkable and extraordinary. There is plenty of evidence of non-imaginative East German architecture, much of which has been converted to hotels in the centre. We took the Stadtrundfahrt Bus for €20. Nearly two hours but a good deal. Lots to see and three walking tours included for tomorrow. Sunny today and rain expected tomorrow.

    Change of plan and went to Meissen. Bus to Hauptbahnhof - €2, train to Meissen - €6 and walked into Alt Stadt after bollocking from train guard for not stamping the train tickets. There was NO ticket office at the station. ALL MACHINES…1984 is well and truly here!

    Meissen lovely. Great castle, DOM and Rostbratwurst! (€2) Visited the Meissen factory for tour (€9) and got Chloe a nice wedding present. Well worth the visit. Now off for a Schnitzel und Pfeffer Saus mit pommes! Whoo-hoo! (€8.80)

    Set off for the short journey to Tropical Worlds at Krausnick, about 50 miles south of Berlin. It stands on the old East German/Soviet Air Force base of Brand. There is an enormous Airship hangar which was built in 2000, and has been converted into a mega-Centre Parcs type water park. It has restaurants, bars and amusements for all.

    The campsite itself is new and has all modern facilities. Pitches are hardstanding and we catch a free bus to the hangar. It's €33.50 per night for the comfort pitch, but we get into the resort for €8.50 instead of €30, so it works out really well.:thumb:

    Clearly, there are loads of kids and families from all over – Poland, Russia, Czech Rep, Slovakia and Germany. However, to one end is a Sauna and Spa area primarily for adults. It's €12 per day extra but worth every penny. It quiet, relaxing and there is a plethora of saunas, steam rooms and treatments. It's all ‘Textile-free’ in the saunas. Oo-er!:Blush:

    We are off to Poland for the day (Sat 10th) and then into the Hangar to watch the nightly show. Then another day in the sauna area before heading north on Monday. One good innovation is that you don’t need any money – they supply you with a wrist data reader which pays for everything. It's all god value and at £20 pppn including the camping – it's well worthwhile. Of course, there are extras for food and drink – but that's the same anywhere. And when you consider that Nuremberg was €34 per night just for a pitch – it's a bargain!

    We drove the 90 minutes to Poland for a sticker verification. It was much busier and brighter across the river in Poland and LIDL was rammed. We just kept on going and headed back via back roads. However, we had a weird situation with the wag. The RPM became limited and power was dropping when I accelerated. It showed all the symptoms of a Turbo Actuator problem, so we called out the ADAC man when safely limped back into camp. He could find no problem, but didn’t have the engine computer adapter as our 'van is too old!

    So we found a local Merc garage and planned to go there on the Monday (12th) morning. However, I had noticed that the windscreen washer reservoir had emptied via a leak and wondered if that had caused a short! Well, it must have, because on Monday morning, the engine was ‘sweet as a nut’. So we just headed straight onto Wismar Stellplatz on the Baltic coast near Lubeck, The camp was almost full but well organised. We missed the turning but made it via some very narrow roads and a U-turn!
    €10 per night plus €3 for leccy and €1 per shower. Friendly staff and five minute walk to Netto and ten minutes into town. Wismar is not how I imagined it from the descriptions. It much more open and there is still a lot of E German architectural evidence and unusual old building are rare. Actually, I wouldn't go out of my way to visit the town. Had a nice meal and an early night.

    On to Gromitz today to meet up with Britt and Gunter at Camping Porta Del Sol!!!
    An eventful journey on minor roads. Saw an old E German border post and then got a flash from a speed camera – doing 69kms in a 60! Might get away with it. I hope!:Doh:

    Found the site after some nav issues and met by Britt and Gunter who have hosted us royally. Schnitzel mit Spargel – excellent and then cards. Looked round Gromitz which is a charming seaside resort with all facilities – shops, restaurants and pools. Take note Spain…they were ALL OPEN!!!!! It's a nice campsite – mainly permanents, but excellent facilities.

    Off to Lubeck today after a hearty Germanic breakfast! Weather poor but who cares! 'van is nice and warm .

    The loss of power happened again yesterday and I reckon it's similar to the electrical fault we had on the nearside indicator housing in Italy. The water leaking from the windscreen washer reservoir has shorted the power switch to the pump and the ECU has reacted in a similar way to the condensation in the indicator. I'm hoping that when it's dried out – all will return to normal.

    Have eaten ourselves into a coma! So much lovely food provided by Guenter and Britt. They have been so kind, showing us around this lovely area. We topped up with vino and set off to Camping Sejs Bakker near Silkeborg in Denmark to see Britta and Alex. The 'van DID NOT recover and the turbo is not working. To make things worse, the mains electrics has shorted out and we have only the leisure batteries and gas. Denmark has no LPG outlets for us, so we will now go home one week early. No choice really.

    Britt and Alex are looking after us – Aquavit for lunch!!!!! – and cycling to the local tourist hotspots. The weather is fine so we can enjoy our last few days in the sun. Hopefully, both problems are not major fixes.

    We set off from here on Tuesday (20th) and catch the ferry from Esbjerg on 22nd. Lee Valley to see Clo and drop off Cava and then back to Welby on the 26th. Our gas should last and I'm sure we’ll survive.

    After some raucous games of Clag and Mexican train lasting until the early hours and much hospitality supplied by Britta and Alex, we set off to Ribe Camping near Esbjerg. The highlight was a day on the lakes on a paddle steamer and a climb up to the highest spot in Denmark – 171 metres!!!

    We drove to coast with the engine struggling and visited Sondervig. As we passed Esbjerg we decided to try for the ferry on the 20th as the engine was not happy, so we diverted to the port only to find the ferry fully booked!! So we drove to Esbjerg Camping and will stay here for 2 nights. It's OK and we’ll bus it into Esbjerg tomorrow – if it's not too wet!

    And – miracle of miracles….the electricity came back on! And driving from the port the engine sparked back into life!!!!!:BigGrin:

    So we sat at Esbjerg Camping where they charged £12 for a ‘Camping Card’ which apparently is required in Denmark. Wouldn't let us in without it. However, at Sejs we didn’t need it!!

    Got loads of jobs done and leccy seems OK. Ready for ferry at 1845 and should be back at Lee Valley on Friday at 1500. Arranged hire car - £730 for 7 weeks – but it's cheaper than owning one! 'Van Annual Service on the 28th and MOT in July. Just hope that this Turbo Actuator is not too pricey. Also need a new wing mirror and windscreen washer bottle.

    Have got May and June off with no visiting except locally and the hen night.

    That’ll do for now
    See you soon
    M and D
    Postscript: Both the Electrical Problem and the Turbo Actuator have miraculously fixed themselves. Weird but good news!

  9. Hi All,

    Once again thanks for reading our blog.:BigGrin:

    I know that there may have been some issues accessing the website version which includes photos.

    It was hacked some time back & I only discovered the problems this Spring at Cabo.

    My webmaster has fixed the problem - allegedly, so please resume your efforts to view the pictures on the web blog at

    If you cannot access the site, please PM me & I'll get my chap to re-visit the problem.

    Kind regards

  10. Day 1521 – Somewhere in Germany – 1 May 14
    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,

    Well, the final two weeks a Cabo were as busy as usual. The weather has been fantastic. Low thirties on most days. Loads of our friends and acquaintances are wending their way home for Easter, only to return when the little darlings are safely back in the classroom. Why is it that parents cannot hear their own children screaming!?:Doh:

    We've had the final quiz at Mario’s, the last drink and footie at Jorge’s, the last meal at La Despensa, the last musical afternoon on the beach at Andy’s and the final Thursday night music at Mario’s. Eve and John have hosted a couple of late night parties and we've had the security man round flashing his torch in an attempt to quieten us down. Some hope!

    We set off on our journey home currently via 27 campsites, seven countries and endless touristing on the 14 April. The campsite is really quite empty, but the Spanish are starting to pile in for Easter.

    We stored about 12 boxes and 5 large items with a Dutch company in Mijas. He picks it up, drops it off and stores it for six months for €60 – bargain!:thumb:

    Having said our goodbyes, we made the 2 hour journey to Motril and Camping La Poniente.

    Let's say we’ve seen better much, much better. As usual for this part of the coast the beach is dreadful. Large rocks and pebbles mixed in dirty grey builder’s sand. The vast majority of restaurants and bars are closed and campsite itself is very poor. Tiny pitches and access roads and we had to park at a diagonal just to fit on. It is full of very scruffy semi-permanent caravans/awnings. There are horrible Lime trees dripping on everything and nasty sticky leaves which get everywhere. To make it all complete, some idiot pitched his tent right under our bed window and giggled like a girl until well past midnight – when there were dozens of other pitches available close by. €3 per night WiFi. This is the last night of ACSI here before Easter – so we’re off to Mazarron where ACSI is good all week! Hurrah!

    There is ABSOLUTELY NO POINT in camping for fun between MAZARRON/LA MANGA and MARBELLA because it is just awful. Drive as quickly as you can along the coast and get to Cabo or Bellavista! We've tried five sites now and they are all well below standard (except perhaps Don Cactus – which is average)..
    Los Madriles – Isla Plana, near Mazarron.

    What an extremely pleasant site. Whereas Poniente was rated 152 out of 163 campsites visited, Los Madriles is number 10!

    Friendly welcome, nice big, even pitch overlooking the sea. Water and grey water dump on pitch. ACSI over Easter and fabulous spa-generated heated outdoor and indoor swimming pools. Bar and other activities, good facilities and bus into town at the gate.

    The weather is great here and it really feels as if we are on HOLIDAY. Had a great afternoon lazing at the pool after a bike ride to a local village – La Azohia. We saw the fishermen unloading the catch and were sorely tempted to buy a big, fat, juicy Mackeral.

    Spent the evening eating Moroccan food with Eve and John, who are staying at El Portus a naturist site just up the road. We visited and it's very pleasant – like a small village really. Might give it a try sometime next year – if Shirl is brave enough.

    Left the very pleasant Los Madriles after a restful week. We got into Mazarron for a looksee after a fellow German camper gave us a lift. Got the bus back after buying fish at the market. Prawns at €34 per kilo!!!!!!!!

    Then a four hour trip to KIKO PARK OLIVA south of Valencia. Got LPG en-route near Alicante. Worth remembering as it's just off the A7.

    Kiko Park is right on the beach and it could be a lot better than it is. It's ACSI at €18 but they discriminate. Only if you pay €22 can you get a decent pitch. Most ACSI standard pitches are small and our electricity point is over 50 metres away. Make sure you bring plenty of cable to Europe! And the WiFi is extortionate.The Spa, restaurant and shop were closed on our day of arrival and it took us twenty minutes of horrendous manoeuvring to get onto our pitch. I think that they are taking the piss! Will not return.

    However, having said that, the beach is great and it's a good chill out location. We walked up towards Gandia and watched the kite-surfers speeding across the waves. Went to a bar in the next urbanization and asked for ‘dos vinos blancos’. They had NO white wine. Large bar in centre with TV and food! NO BLOODY WHITE WINE – IN SPAIN ! I'm agog. We left in high dudgeon!
    Be happy to move on to Sitges on Friday (25th).

    After a very windy night – glad we put the awning in – we made the 5 hour journey along the AP7 (€35) to Sitges. We tried Sitges Camping, but they wanted €27 pn, So we returned to El Garoffer at ACSI rates. Eve and John called in and we hit Sitges. Found a Sky TV bar, played dats and then found some live jazz. Your mother ‘enjoyed’ herself and we got to bed around 1pm after scaring the security guards.

    Into Sitges by bus to shop and eat. Taxi back which was only €3 more than the bus!

    Early start for La Nautique near Narbonne for the first of four single night stops. A chance for some admin. All shortish hops of around 3-4 hours. All motorway and it works out at 7c a km in Spain and 14c a km in France for the tolls. Got to be worth it. The weather is changing of course, getting cooler and Nuremberg looks wet for our visit. It’ll be a schnitzel and HopOn-HopOff bus! However, after that it gets sunny. And we've planned a dirty dart into the Czech Rep for a sneaky lunch and sticker qualification. We’ve reduced to 22 campsites in 8 countries (plus Germany 3 times and Denmark twice!) – cutting out a few stages to reduce mileage.

    We will need our 4 days at Tropical Islands near Berlin on 8th May.

    Departed La Nautique after cold showers and strong winds. Could be the Mistral again. Set off up the Autoroute for Les Pinedes near Orange on the A9/A7. The exit I wanted didn’t exist, so we ended up going through a small town on Market Day! Not best pleased. Could not find site as Sat Nav took us into the bundu. So we eventually found a Camping Holiday Park - BEAUREGARD. €25 per night but has all good facilities – pool, shop restaurant and big pitch. All’s well I suppose.
    6 down 16 to go.

    Set off at 9am after a quiet night – 4 nights with no vino. Don’t know whether we’ll survive tonight. Going to the Camping Municipal de Varennes restaurant for the Diner de Jour. It's a good site – non-ACSI – just ten minutes from the A6 with big grass pitches and good facilities. Also opposite a Lidl and a Buffalo Grill. Auchan is five minutes away. €22.90 per night though. It's gradually filled up all afternoon whilst we shopped and caught up on free Wi-Fi.

    Early start tomorrow heading for Strasbourg. 5 hours driving. Reached Europa Camping after a long drive but it wasn’t raining – much. Very quiet, so we used the free wi-fi and had dinner in the restaurant which has got very posh. Nice nosh but pricey. Left at 1030 the next day for Nuremberg and reached it at 3pm after a long, wet drive. However, as it was May Day, there were no lorries on the roads. However, all rest stops and petrol stations were rammed with parked up trucks waiting for the off!

    Idiot of the week. Leaving Macon, I forgot to put the step in and when Shirl drove into the toll booth lane, it scrapped along the side. She had a heart attack thinking she’d bashed the 'van. Luckily, no real damage done. Phew! Eee-Ore!:cry:
    Knaus Camping, Nuremberg is OK, a bit scruffy with few facilities and VERY EXPENSIVE… €34 per night!!! The most we've paid…anywhere! But there’s no choice. It's the only campsite in town. Off touristing in the morning. Aaaarrrrggghhh!!!!

    Well, all for now as it's MayDay and time to post.
    Your birthday pressie is on the way,
    Good luck with the hen night preps,


    M and D

  11. Day 1489 – Cabopino – 30 Mar 14
    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,
    Well, after your surprise visit, I’ve decided only to include two items in this month’s blog and a short summary of the past month at the end.
    But firstly, it's been sunny – 50 days of warm sunshine with no rain until last night, which was sandy and red, so everyone on the camp had to hose down their vans and awnings. Yuk!
    But I digress.
    On 13th March we had our annual St Patrick’s Day Race Meet with 40+ friends meeting up at Bryan’s (thanks again Bryan for letting us use your pad) and we had six exciting races. I think every syndicate had at least a 1st or a 2nd.
    People were generous with their food and drink and the sun shined on a great day.

    Secondly, my Birthday! 60 years knackered! Carole outdid herself.
    On the Sunday we drove up the coast and had dinner whilst watching the Rat Pack tribute with Paul, Jackie, John, Eve, Peter and Bryan. A fab night. Finished up partying at Bryan’s until the security man told us to go to bed at 1230! :Blush:

    Then, on the Monday evening Carole tricked me into going to Jorge’s where about forty people greeted me with Happy Birthday. Tapas and wine flowed and then Chloe and Chris turned up unexpectedly – at least I was the only person who didn’t know that they were coming. Again there was jollity until well past midnight.

    Tuesday was a little more sedate, but at the quiz I had my Birthday cake ( baked by Pat) and we won!

    All in all a great three days.
    Thanks Shirl and thanks Clo for coming out to surprise me!:Eeek:

    Back to normality now, as people are starting to filter home. By the time we leave on April 15, we’ll be the last!
    We are storing a load of gear this year with a local firm which saves us cramming it in and dragging it round Europe for six months.

    We have arranged visits to Britt and Gunther in Lubeck and Britt and Alex in Denmark. Should be a busy six weeks on the road.
    Well, all for now,

    Except to say I took your mother out for Mother’s Day at La Dispensa. Lovely, sunny day, great food and ambience and live music. She really enjoyed it.:thumb:
    Thanks again
    M and D
    PS: Those Clarets are really close now. 10pts ahead with 7 games left. Only ours to lose – but our 4 best players are out injured! Could be nail-biting!:Sad:
  12. Day 1453 – Cabopino – 22 Feb 14
    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,
    Its been more than a month since we last blogged. It's been so busy here and combined with finishing THAW!, I just haven’t had the time……
    But firstly, a sad announcement. Our old friend Bill England who spent a couple of winters with us here & at Benicassim passed away last week. He was a lovely chap & our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his widow, Sue.:Sad:
    Been doing a bit of planning. Our trip home via Denmark, (booked the ferry home from Esjberg - £300 with DFDS) then back here after the wedding via the west coast of France and N Spain. Then home via Paris in 2015 and Croatia on the way out in Sep 2015. Nothing like planning ahead!!!

    Played golf with Paul, Jackie, John, Eve, Peter and Jackie up at Green Life Golf in Elviria Heights. Great course and only €20 for all day. We played 20 Par 3 holes and I got a Birdie. Still got it!

    It's been all go here for a couple of weeks! First leading up to the Hawaiian Casino Night on the 18th. Paul has been struck low by a kidney infection which just won't go away. However, he made it for the Casino and we beat the weather, which was threatening all week. We had about 40 friends and neighbours in for Roulette and Blackjack. Everyone dressed up and brought great grub. A real success – again.:BigGrin:

    Then I got gout – a really bad attack and had to hit the Colchicine to cure it. Even had to miss the quiz, so it must have been bad! But it's now under control again, just in time for the Burn’s Night Supper at Bryans. 16 of us got into the Scottish spirit in more ways than one and had a brilliant night. Thanks John and Eve for hosting.:thumb:

    Kelly and her friends came out for 48 hours & made their presence felt. Got my Curly Wurlies!
    Paul is on the mend after going to A and E where the Spanish doctors gave him the proper strength anti-biotics. Just what is wrong with our NHS?

    The weather is now officially hot. Looks good for a while – hopefully we are past the winter.

    Pat and Maria arrive today (27th). That should liven things up. They might have trouble finding a pitch as it's chocka-block! Yup, they had to go right up to row M.

    Played Petanca today and won all three matches. Still got it!

    Quiz night and it was past 9pm before we got our pizzas! Two hours! Never mind, we won by one point with Shirl, Bryan and Pat. Still got it.

    Shirl went home with Jackie on Wednesday (5th) back to do a few jobs and see Chloe. I'm here getting on with the book and have managed to finish it. Just a bit of editing and it’ll be ready to go. SNOW! Is still selling OK, and hopefully, THAW! Will give it a boost!

    Been raining here for two days, but luckily was able to play Lawn Bowls on Friday in bright sunshine. Beat everyone..Still got it!

    Helped put up Eve and Johns new awning on Thursday (6th). It's a giant but looks great and just in time as this rain is quite wet!

    You will have seen your mum for a week (5-12th Feb) and hopefully enjoyed a good chat.

    Life continues as normal here. The weather improves a bit each day and the bowls, Petanca and quizzes continue. However, were taken aback when two of our friends were hospitalized with very high blood pressure. We wish Kay & Penny a speedy recovery.

    Pat gave me a kitchen tent which we erected on the pitch. It's useful and next year we’ll position it properly and use it more. It's great for cooking smelly fish, so the 'van isn’t stinking of fish for a week!

    We had the annual Camp Petanca competition and BBQ which was a bit quieter this year. Paul and Jackie were runners up and Kelly and Rich came a very creditable 3rd – bearing in mind it was only the 2nd time they had played.

    Well, that's about it for now. All a bit samey, but that's life at Cabo when not travelling.

    It's a damned sight better than being flooded out. So we are very grateful.
    Take care
    M and D

  13. Day 1414 – Cabopino – 14 1 14

    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 photos see

    Hi Clo,

    Look at the blog date and Day number. Spooky or what????:Eeek:

    Went for Big Bobs Birthday Breakfast on Sunday (22nd) – a full fry feed-up with Bucks Fizz. Excellent nosh from Bob and Pat.

    Kelly, Rich and the girls arrived that afternoon and after John and Kaye dropped by, it was 11pm before we all got to bed! Another day disappears into oblivion.

    On Monday 23rd we dropped Paul and Jackie at the airport and then went into Benalmadena to catch up with Dougie and Elizabeth for lunch. Then to Fuengirola and shopping at Icelands. Stocked up on a few goodies! Then into Kelly’s for Fish Fingers and Chips and cards till 1.30 am!!!! Linda and Geoff arrived and joined us for drinks.

    Christmas Eve was a visit to Fuengi on the bus for Fish n Chips at the Crispy Cod –‘ best F and C on the Coast’ – it was OK! Got some garish Hawaiian shorts for the do on 18th Jan. Then back to the 'van to batten down the hatches, before going round to Peters for a few drinkees. Then collapsed in 'van. We should have gone into Jorge’s for drinks and Tapas but couldn’t manage it and missed a good party apparently. :Doh:

    The winds blew up to 60 knots on Christmas Eve and many awnings were damaged or even shredded. Pine needles and cones flew down all night. We were OK, thankfully. John and Eve and Peter suffered badly.:Sad:

    The sun came out about midday on Christmas Day and we had fizz and smoked salmon with Bryan before going to El Cortijo for lunch with 26 other campers. Ate too much! Walked home and collapsed with huge gut!!! ODG!

    Boxing day we had ‘cold cuts’ at Kelly’s with crazy scrabble and cars. Another late night with Bryan cheating all night.

    27th – I hid!:Wink:

    On Saturday Geoff and Linda came for supper and much merriment. Our neighbours must be getting fed up with us – but we always stop well before midnight when we are in the awning.

    29th sees us playing Petanca followed by roasties at ours and cards with Kelly and Rich.

    30th off to the Golf Course at Elviria. €20 for a day ticket for the excellent par 3 course up and down dale. Rich, Peter, Shirl and me all played really well with pars a plenty. Good value. Then quiet night in, building up for NYE with Geoff and Linda at La Despensa. It’ll be €100 a head but they put on a good do.

    New Year’s Eve at La Despensa. Always great service and a good night out, if not a tad expensive. Went into Jorge’s to meet up with the crowd at around 1am and got to bed at 2am. Up early for the Cabopino NY Splash – see photos. Quite a big crowd for the annual dip. Lovely sunny day enjoyed by all. Then back to the 'van for a Paella Wednesday.

    Christmas and NY has been very enjoyable with a really hectic social scene. However, we are both beginning to flag a bit now and we really need a few days off the booze and rich food.

    Been off the booze for 4 days now and feeling better. Picked up P and J from the airport on Friday night and they were greeted back with rain this morning. Poor old Geoff and Linda! Not only was their ferry cancelled on the way out, but also on the way back – so they have to drive all the way through France in this horrible weather to get a ferry or train from Calais. What bad luck.

    Settling back into normality with bowls and early nights. No quiz till the 14th, but we had the 4th International Petanca Competition on the 8th. John and Olivia won and I think all 32 entrants enjoyed themselves.

    Off to Caseres, near Estapona, today for lunch with P and J to restaurant recommended by Alison and Mike. Found the Forge up in the hills. Very nice restaurant, excellent menu and surroundings. There were about 40 covers for lunch on a Saturday. Not bad for January in the middle of nowhere! All we could eat and drink for €35 ph. Bargain. It's about 45 mins from Cabopino but only 10kms off the A7.

    Then Sunday evening at El Cortijo. I think we’ve done that restaurant for this year. It's fine but there are so many others we haven’t done yet.
    The quiz is back on Tuesday, 14th. Looking forward to it.

    Glad to hear that the wedding plans are moving on.

    Clarets still second – 20 games to go. Getting nervous now!

    Raining today and hope it's dry for Saturday’s Hawaiian Casino!

    Your mother is walking about Cala Mijas in the rain while I get on with the sequel to SNOW!....THAW!

    Golf on Wednesday.
    All for now,
    Don’t work too hard,
    M and D
    PS. Rich achieved a good tick. Snowboarding in the Sierra Nevada and swimming in the Med in one day. Spectacular!
  14. Day 1390 – Cabopino – 21 Dec 13

    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,



    Paid the rent for the first month at Cabo yesterday (2 Dec) and it worked out at €13.10 per day and at the current rate of €1.21 to the pound – that is £11.10 per day including electric, free animation programme, restaurant on site, indoor swimming pool, v large pitch with water, and a great bunch of people. Can't really complain at all – especially as we've only had 2 poor weather days since mid-September.

    Cabo ticks over with everyone getting into the Christmas spirit. There’s several parties every week and final plans are being laid for the 4 important dates – 24-26th and NYE. Jorge will get a lot of custom.

    6-9 Dec has been busy on the site with loads of locals invading for their holiday weekend. Had to move my bl**dy car to let someone move onto the pitch next door!:Wink:

    Went down to Andy’s Beach Bar to watch Revival again doing their show. Went via La Lonja to see stElvis and Paul sang the German bit in Wooden Heart! It was complete gobble-de-gook but no-one knew! Then to Jorge’s for a quick one, watched the footie and then to Mario’s for supper cos no-one wanted to cook! Then carol singing outside Eve and John’s to bid them farewell – they go home for Christmas. Got home at 1130! So much for a quick hour at the beach! But that's what happens here.

    Put the xmas decs up today. Saddo’s that we are! Our tree is enormous! Your mother is out distributing xmas cards before it's too late. I’ve got a load of Burnley cards that Shirl got me and I’ll be giving them out at the quiz – now that we’re top again!

    Found a great little restaurant called La Tienda in a suburb of Marbella. Kelly recommended it and we drove over to investigate with P and J. It was really nice, so we had lunch and booked for Christmas Lunch on 20th Dec – just before P and J return to the UK for the week. It's in a great little white Spanish village on the side of a hill on the heights above Marbs.

    Had a session watching Game of Thrones on Friday and we ‘might’ have been a bit loud. Then the quiz on Tuesday which I set with a Christmas theme. Out for Christmas Drinks today – 19th – next door.

    Won't be able to get any more of my sequel written this week – just too busy. I'm hoping to get it published by early March. I'm half way through, but that's the easy bit. And just to prove that snow can be 30 feet deep…..

    Hosted the Christmas Quiz at Mario’s with help from my Elf!

    Really windy last night and spent an hour looking at the 60 ft high pine tree on the next pitch swaying. Loads of cones and branches fell onto the 'van on the pitch during the night. I just hope the roots are deep, cos if it comes down there will be carnage.

    Bowling this morning and then out to La Tienda in Marbella for Christmas Dinner with P and J.

    Superb dinner and service and thoroughly enjoyed our mutual Chrissie Pressie!

    Well, all for now,

    Have a great Christmas.:wine:

    Really pleased that you have set a date for the wedding.:thumb:


    M and D
  15. Day 1370 – Cabopino – 1 Dec 13
    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,
    Well it's 60 days of continuous sunshine (12th) and more to come. Warmest October on record for Southern Spain. This is why we come away.:Cool:

    Compiled and presented the quiz on Tuesday night and it went OK. 11 teams and I think people enjoyed it. Next time will be in the NY.

    Jackie set off to the UK today (13th) and Paul joins her on Monday. He has his mother’s funeral to attend and then back on Friday.

    Played Lawn Bowls again today (15th) in glorious sunshine. Then out for Tapa Exotica Part II with Paul. Overdid the gin at the Gin Bar at Fuengirola and Paul’s neighbours were not best pleased at 1245am!! We must grow up!

    The weather has finally turned. From high 20’s to low 20’s and a cooler breeze. It was great while it lasted but everything’s relative…it's still warm and dry and I'm in my shorts!

    After dropping off Paul, we visited Miramar at Fuengirola and then Mr Wok – which was disappointing.

    Another week at Cabo, Quiz and Pizza, down to Andy’s at Cabo to watch the live music, Darts, Bowling and Petanca. There was a bit of drama at the quiz as the winning team were spotted using i-phones!!! Naughty, naughty!:Wink:

    I’ve started the sequel to my book SNOW!, which I'm calling THAW! To be followed by FLOOD!, PLAGUE! and finally REBIRTH! Should keep me busy till 2017!:Wink:

    Picked up Paul and Jackie from the airport (22nd) and will bus it into Cala tonight for a nosh.

    Weather for your visit on Wednesday looking very good and your mother has a schedule of events for your delectation.

    Caught the bus in to Cala Mijas last night (22nd) looking for a decent place to eat. There was hardly anywhere ope, A couple of Chinese, an empty El Gusto and an Irish bar full of ex-pats. So we walked towards the harbour and found the excellent El Picateo restaurant/bodega. Fab meal in lovely surroundings. Caught the bus home at 1040 for a game of late night crib.

    One unsettling thing though. For the first time in 4 years we encountered a group of about 20 youths generally just hanging about being noisy and fairly intimidating. And yes, you’ve guessed – they were bloody ENGLISH! It's not good – even the dregs are getting out here now.

    Looking forward to Chloe’s visit on Wednesday (27th) and Shirl is fussing around, cleaning, washing and tidying in preparation for the ‘royal visit’.

    Well into the sequel to SNOW! And am going to call it THAW! SNOW! Is still selling really well and earning us a nice little extra pension.

    Played bowls on Tuesday – thrashed everybody – and then on to Pauls Quiz at Mario’s. It was challenging and really enjoyable – quite a rowdy evening really. Canards won and are setting the quiz next week. I'm on again at Christmas.

    Took the bus and train to the airport and surprised Chloe at the arrivals hall. Caught the train into Fuengirola and had Tapas at El Toston. Excellent.:thumb:

    Weather is windy/cloudy today but tomorrow will be nice. The new record of 68 consecutive sunny and warm days was broken, so we’ll have to start again.

    Went for a local drive to pick a few pressies and sightsee! Then to see ‘stELVIS’ at Mario’s. What a great night. Stelvis was excellent and provided great entertainment.

    On Friday the sun came out and we took a drive up to the Bowls Club in Miraflores to have lunch and introduce Chloe to a few people. Then into Fuengi with P and J for some G & Ts at the Dry Martini Gin Bar. A very helpful waiter explained the differing gins and tonics and gave us 3 free to try. They also didn’t charge for tonic for any of our 10 drinks. Great night! Bus home with Speedy the Driver and got back in 15 minutes (normally 35).

    Saturday and Chloe and Shirl visited the market in Cala Mijas. The lunched in the hot sun and returned in time to catch the bus to Marabella for Tapas and Christmas Lights. They were impressive – and from me that's some praise!

    I ran Chloe to the airport on Sunday morning and she was home by 2pm and quaffing mulled wine by 3pm!

    Great weekend. Clo, see you after Christmas.

    M and D