Week 4 - A trip down memory lane

30th - Today was just one of those hot days! The weather app said it was only 24 degrees but it felt more like 34! It had wiped us all out, so a morning/afternoon of not doing much and having a clean of the van. This is when Bobbi is in her happy place. Either under the van watching the world go by or sunbathing on the sandy gravel floor, even though there’s a nice comfy blanket next to her. Don’t worry Arla hasn’t escaped, (note her collar on the ground) she is more sensible and lies inside where it’s cooler!

We booked a taxi to take us into town as we couldn’t cope with the stress of the tram after yesterday, plus it’s just a lot more comfortable for the dogs, or so we thought!

It turns out, the taxis in Valencia are even less dog friendly than the tram. The guy who arrived wasn’t very happy and both of them had to sit in our shopping bags in the back with me, all with no air conditioning!

We had booked both the dogs into a Spanish dog groomers in Valencia, as they were getting a little smelly, so with a couple of hours dog free, we jumped on a private Tuk Tuk tour to see the city. Our tour guide “Nacho” was amazing, he took us to all the best sites and even found somewhere we would try Horchata and Fartons, a local delicacy. We would both highly recommend this tour if you are ever in Valencia, it also made us realise how much of the city we would miss seeing and is a place on our list to come back and visit again (minus the dogs!).

Our amazing guide Nacho, even took us back to collect the dogs who I think had thought we’d left them. They were both so excited to see us. We then had to decide whether to risk the tram back during the busy evening or attempt to get a taxi back. We ended up deciding on the tram and walked to the local train station, outside Jade suggested we just ask a taxi driver if the dogs were allowed in and he replied ”Of course!” It was such a relief to pick the driver who had no problem with them, so it turns out it’s not all taxis!

A late dinner for everyone and straight to bed, the heat had worn us out!

31st - Happy Halloween! Or as the Spanish call it El Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead or All Souls Day). Halloween in Spain is a three-day celebration that kicks off on October 31st and it is all about honoring the dead and celebrating the continuity of life. We decided that we didn’t want to feel left out so bought some pumpkin lights for the van, what do you all think?

Today was mostly a day of driving. Leaving behind the wonderful Valencia and it’s 29 degree heat and heading back into the mountains to the slightly colder town of Cuenca. We arrived and started looked for our planned park up for the night, however it turned out to be up a one way, very steep hill which we didn’t fancy doing in Pepper. We are brave at driving but we have our limits in a 3.5 tonne van. We turned around in an attempt to drive to another park up on Park4night but google maps and our Sat nav were both having days off and led us down a one way, very narrow dead end. Somehow managing to turn around (20 point turn) we realised it was either take a left up a steep narrow road or go the wrong way down a one way road for 20 meters. I chose the wrong way option and we had almost made it until the last metre or so, when one taxi driver did not approve and a bit of shouting in Spanish ensued, we made it out and headed to our new park up.

For dinner, we attempted to make a lasagna in our Omnia, which is a small round pan that sits on top of the gas hob and works like an oven. It was only the second time that we had ever used it but it turned out to be one of the best lasagnas we’d ever made!

1st - Cuenca is a city set in the mountains of east-central Spain. It is a historic walled town with unbelievably cobbled steep hills and is most famous for its hanging houses and restaurants built into the cliff edges. Jade has been looking forward to visiting this town during our whole trip but today was just one of those days. It turns out the Tri-Ride is pretty terrible at going up steep hills forwards, but it does work however if you put it into reverse! Which means that the motor pushes me up the hill rather than pulls me up. It was quite fun speeding up a steep hill in reverse with everybody staring at you going the wrong way!

I made it to the top easily but it wasn’t easy for Jade, who was dragged up by two crazy dogs who had way too much energy and we’re just running all over the place.

We attempted to continue on for few more hills but the dogs were just in one of those moods and wouldn‘t let Jade walk in a straight line. Normally if we are pottering around a city, I can have Bobbi on my lap but as I was having to go in reverse up the hills, it meant Jade was left with them both. Alongside that, Jade was having a bad day with her joints, so we visited the San Pablo bridge and saw the famous hanging houses which were partially covered in scaffolding and decided to call it a day. We have plenty of places to see in our travels and sometimes they are just not worth the stress and hassle. We also have to listen to the dogs and if they are not happy, or are too excited or stressed then we will always do right by them. We packed up the van and headed back to the sunny coast, a three hour drive back through the mountains stopping off for the night in a small town called Chinchilla.

2nd - This morning we awoke to the tune of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, England were in the rugby World Cup final and we had just enough signal and data to watch it on the IPad. Whilst I was watching England lose, Jade was busy doing van bits. Tidying up, washing, but most importantly hooking our sink up to the waste pipe so we can finally use it. It’s so nice to finally be able to wash up as soon as we’ve used things it rather than having to wait until we get to our next park up. We then packed up, filled up the fresh water tank and continued our drive to the coastal town of Dènia.

It was cold and raining in the mountains so was nice to head to the coast where the temperatures were mid twenties and sunny. A stop off to get some food on the way and we arrived at our intended park up for the night to find a complete burnt down camper van, if that’s not a sign to get the hell out of there I don’t know what is! We then looked at two more park ups before arriving at a parking lot in which still felt a little strange but had plenty of other camper vans parked up so we felt ok.

3rd - It was so hot in the van last night, we had been looking forward the warmth again but we hadn’t expected this heat, which meant that we didnt get much sleep. Also getting woken up by the local drunks returning to their vehicles in the middle of the night didn’t help, but it was amusing listening to their drunken conversations! We then had a lovely walk along the seafront to find a restaurant for breakfast. Fuelled up with a full English breakfast and stack of American pancakes we carried on walking through the small streets to try and burn some of it off but most importantly to knacker the dogs out! Back to the van and a beautiful drive through the Montgò National Park which rises 753 meters above sea level. That might not seem much but in a 3.5 tonne vehicle with blind corners, narrow roads, huge drops either side, it’s a little scary. Enjoyable for myself driving, not so much for Jade clinging on to the passenger door and praying for dear life. We parked on the beachfront of Xàbia for the evening with rock pools below us and views of the mountains in the distance, perfection.

4th - Watching the sunrise is not a bad way to wake up in the morning. I think this may be the first time in four weeks that we’ve got up before 10am. I know, we aren’t morning people!

As we were up nice and early we thought we’d move onto the town of El Campello and go for lunch at a restaurant that Jade and her family used to visit a lot when they lived over here, but what a surprise, the only day they are closed is the day we planned to go. So we drove a bit further into town and walked along the beach front and found a nice restaurant where had tapas for lunch.

It was 26 degrees and not a cloud in the sky and for the first time, it felt like we were on holiday, which I know sounds a bit crazy as we’ve been away for 4 weeks now. We also got our first selfie with us all in. It only took about a hundred attempts with Bobbi getting distracted by everything in sight and the attention span of a goldfish.

A lovely coastal drive to Santa Pola, to what has to be our favourite park up yet. I don’t think we could of been parked closer to the ocean.

5th - After a bit of a windy night we awoke to the noise of the waves gently hitting the rocks next to us, we could have stayed here for days. Jade took the dogs for a walk and a little dip in the ocean. Arla loves to swim but is used to nice calm lakes so she wasn’t too keen on the waves but she definitely enjoyed herself, Bobbi staying firmly on the beach at all times. The only problem of being parked where we were, were the hundreds of flies!

So we packed up and headed to Guardamar Del Segura. Jade knew the area well as it’s where her family used to have an apartment. A really nice quiet area with a beautiful beachfront and restaurants all along the front. We then stopped for a bit of lunch and then drove to a campsite in Mazarrón. We have had a busy week travelling to a new place each day and we decided it was time to take a few days out, so we decided to stay at a camp site with showers to treat ourselves!

P.S. Here is a little extra pic we thought you’d all enjoy. Both the dogs were absolutely shattered from the days events and they have their own sleeping area under the bed, which they try to break out of every night. We do have them on the bed some nights but although they’re only tiny, they like to take up the whole bed! Bobbi has an interesting way of sleeping when she’s tired, she is such a weirdo sometimes.

Anyway, that’s all for now folks. D. x


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