Last day

We left the aire not far from the Normandy D Day beaches in glorious sunshine and headed off for the port of Cherbourg  to catch our ferry, which of course we really want to do….NOT. As we had time to spare we decided to go to the La cite de la mer Cherbourg. A exhibition of the Le Redoutable, the Titantic and a Aquarium.

Le Redoutable is the largest submarine open to the public in the world. Launched in Cherbourg on the 29th march1967. Its 128 metres long and 10.6 metres wide. Bloody big.There would have been a total of 270 crew split into two teams and you would have done 70 day patrols. The sub was maned 24 hours a day. We went inside with our little handheld voice box telling us what was what etc. So interesting, but would not be for me. Not being able to go outside for 70 days.

The Aquarium was very impressive. 11 metres deep and the glass was just over a foot thick. You can look in at differant levels, there also other tanks with some fantastic fish in. 

The Titanic returned to Cherbourg on 10th April 1912. The exhibition was a bit boring really but some nice old photos. Why we would want to go to a Titanic exhibition when we’re just about to board a ferry I don’t know. There are a lot of other underwater craft there also to look around. We were there for about three hours. 

So that’s our trip this winter. We are off to get some French fuel now and then wait to board the ferry, docking in Poole at about 10.30 pm, sleep on the dockside, well not on it but in the camper. Then back to Devon tomorrow. Hope you have enjoyed the blog. I really enjoy doing it. And if we met up and you want to see more photos I have a few to look at over a beer or two. We will be going away again next winter so the blog will be started again in November. Cheers. 

D Day

We left De Montreal campsite and headed for Parcverger campsite which is where we stopped on the way down south. Prefer it going that way to be honest. We are now getting really close to coming home. Three nights at Parkverger and the weather was just like a spring day. When we left there we headed north to another aire in the town of Pamproux, when I say town I should have put the ghost in front. The aire was on the edge of the town and it was a beautiful spring day again so we wandered into the ghost town. Lots of loverly old buildings again and a fantastic old covered market building. I think we saw two peaple all the time we were walking around. 

The story’s that building must be able to tell. We only stayed on the aire one night. You can’t have to much excitement in a ghost town.

We decided to make some ground and get further north so set off early and headed out on the motorway (peage)that’s a motorway you pay for. For us if we want to get somewhere it’s worth it, the road was empty, not as empty as Pamproux but very quiet and they are in good condition. To do the same sort of distance on other roads would have been a lot longer. As it was we were on the road for five hours, including a fuel stop for the camper and both of us.The aire was right beside the river L’Orne in a town called Pont d’ouilly. we had a front row spot and no one else there. Again another spring like day, and as we are just chilling out and looking out at the river I spot something on the bank the other side. Like a rat on steroids. Turns out it was a coypu, never seen one before and here in front of us are four playing in the river and then getting out and feeding on the field. Apparently they are a real pest and farmers shoot them because they do so much damage to the riverbanks etc. 

After checking out the weather we decided to move on the next day, forecast for rain and we wanted to get to North Normandy to go to the American war graves. So we set off again through some real bad weather, wind and heavy rain, lots of spray on the roads etc. Got to the aire and set up. The last few miles were very rural roads. The camper is now the dirtiest I have ever seen it, but no point washing it as there is more rain forecast, and we have to leave on the same roads. I must admit it is bugging me though. 

Today we went to the Normandy American war cemetery and museum. The reason we drove all them miles just so we would have the time to visit them. A bit of history for you. The battle of Normandy, also known as D Day started on June 6th 1944.The D stands for day. The cemetery is on the site of the temporary American St Laurent cemetery established by the US first  army on June 8th 1944. The first American cemetery on European soil in World War Two.It covers 172.5 acres and has 9386 graves of military dead. Most of which lost their lives in the D Day landings. On the walls of the missing, a huge semicircular wall are 1557 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. 

The cemetery is so clean and regimental. All the crosses are millimetre perfectly in line what ever way you look at them. The grounds are perfect and you can see the  Omaha beach below which is where they would have landed in there boats etc. This was one of five beaches they landed on. All along this stretch of coast are differant museums and monuments.You can’t imagine what it would have been like to be there. So many young life’s lost. The museum is very good and a short film really brings a lump to your throat with relatives of the dead telling about the letters they received etc. 

So in two sleeps time we get on the ferry from Cherbourg to Poole and head off back to Devon. Thursday our last day we intend to get up near the ferry about an hour from here and visit a aquarium, a submarine and a Titanic museum just to pass the day. I would like to wash the camper also. 

Yin and yang

We left Benicarlo, deciding to take the motorway and start to head north as our time is running out. The time seems to have gone fast this trip, so we will have to do another trip next year and compare. The weather was forecast to be sunny at Benicarlo for a few days and we did think about staying, but then how long do you stay. The longer you stay the less time you have to get back to the ferry. Which means you to rush, I don’t like rushing. I much prefer shorter drives so I can see more things. So after saying goodbye to some nice peaple we met on the site we were off. 

We were heading for another site called Albera at Capmany, it’s in a cork oak tree forest. The whole area was engulfed in a big forest fire five years ago which was made worse by the strong winds. We were soon on the motorway. The motorways in Spain and France are good and the toll ones have good surfaces and hardly any traffic except around the big cities. Spanish ones are cheaper than get a ticket at the toll booth, the barrier goes up and you’re on your way, wherever you get off you put your ticket in the machine and it tells you how much you owe. You can use your credit card or cash, or regular users have a tag. You have different classes for different vehicles depending on size, height etc. We were in a line of three cars when the car infront of us decided to tailgate the one in front of him. Big mistake. Within a second the alarms had sounded and the machine had closed down. No idea why he would have done that because the cameras are everywhere and you can’t get off the motorway without going through a toll booth so he would have a nice big fine to pay. The machine reset and we payed our money and went on our way. A bit of excitement. We stopped for fuel and lunch along the way. 

This was a big drive day for me but all going well. Then off the motorway onto the smaller roads. Good ol sat nav tells us to turn into the village, we had allready gone past a sign with the campsite restaurant name on it, but thought no way can we get down there. This next turning was worse. The road started to get narrower the houses on either side closer and closer together. On with the brakes and into reverse. Lucky nothing was behind as I reversed about 500 yards back. I say I reversed because Nikki had stopped breathing and was looking worried. Back on the other road and follow the signs for the restaurant. Here we go again the roads getting narrower but I know I can get through, but I don’t know what’s round the corner. Let’s go for it I say. Nikki stops breathing again. It was tight and took us into a little village square with two ways out, a one way and another which I knew I would not get down, so the one way street it was. Oh yea this was also the wrong street to the campsite. By now my Yin and Yang are getting out of balance. To anyone reading this that does not know we are in a 30 ft five ton motorhome. The street we went down. 

We find the right road next and the campsite. Forgot to say all the trees we saw were all black from the fire and this was five years on. Checked in at reception by the owner who, a Dutch guy who obviously had forgot to put a happy head on in the morning. The site was expensive but we just wanted to get parked up, eat and bed and chill the next day. The pitches were a mixture of sand, mud and grass and it had started to rain. The toilet block was like a fridge, no loo roll, no soap, only good thing the showers had good water pressure.The next day it’s still raining on and off but we need to stretch our legs, so we head off down to the village on foot this time. We had allready seen it from the motorhome. Loverly little village, looked more French than Spanish but we are only about 15 minutes from the border so maybe they moved the border or could only get French builders that day. 

Next stop was to be an aire in a town called Grisolle in France. The aire was in a car park of a community centre, next to a canal. We parked up and had a walk found the small town. Again some loverly old buildings and a wonderful old market building. We do like French houses. I must add it was a beautiful sunny day. 

Next stop another campsite called La Montreal. We were recommended this site by a couple in Benicarlo. It also has a Dutch owner. We checked it out on the internet and on street veiw etc and I emailed the owner to see if they had room for us. All good. Some more narrow streets through the village after coming off the main roads but no problem, I think even Nikki managed to keep breathing this time, well most of the time. We were greeted by the owner (Hans) wife with a lovely smile and good English, she told us where to park and even gave us a choice of places. We chose to go up the top of the site so we are all alone but have fantastic views and get the sun from when it comes up until it goes down. A good ten hours of sunshine and it’s warm. Hans himself came up to see us when he got back from where ever he had been. He is a star and straight away we were having a laugh and joke. The site overlooks a lake and hills. The toilets are spotless, there is loo roll and soap and you are made to feel welcome. Completely differant to the last campsite.( Yin and Yang.) 

We had a walk around the lake and up into the village yesterday to get some bread and a little French cake. Everybody was smiling and happy, the sun was shining, birds were singing. I was trying my French out by saying bonjour to everyone. Nikki was trying to disown me.

Yes I drove through there. I love the old house and shops with the shutters and big open windows when the shutters are open. We will proberly stay here until Tuesday then move on to Parc verger which is a campsite we stayed on when we coming down through France. Weather permitting I want to go to the Normandy beaches before we get on the ferry and visit the American cemetery and museum. It’s somewhere I have wanted to visit for a long time. 

Watching the world

Not a lot has happened since we went to Peniscola apart from the weather. We have had hot days, cold days, mild days, windy days, foggy days, oh yes and even rainy days. When I say cold days I don’t mean as bad as being in the uk in January. Th e couple of foggy days were only mornings really and that soon cleared to reveal blue sunny sky’s. Now the wind is a different story. The first weekend we got wind I thought the whole campsite was going to be covered in awnings in the morning, but I think there were only two that got trashed. Then the weather settled down again. We did our usual trek to the shop every other day or so to get supplies ( beer, wine, food) It’s a twenty minute walk along the sea front to the supermarket. I don’t know how Nikki is going to cope when we get home having to drive to Tesco park right outside, drive home. I think my back will prefer it and my arms think they have been stretched carrying the bags back.

We keep an eye on the weather so we get warning. We knew again we were in for some wind. The clues were there, peaple talking about it, some peaple even left because of it, others were taking down their awnings to save them. We also made plans. We got enough food and drink in so if it got so bad we could not get out at least we could eat and drink. The winds came and were gusting to 60 mph for two days and nights, so we never went far. Good planning you see, others had to go out shopping. It’s all back to normal now with blue sky’s and sunshine. 

Yesterday we strolled into town, I needed a hair cut. The lady on reception told us about a barber in town and marked it on the map for us. Does he speak English I asked No but he is good. Ok so he does not speak English, I do not speak Spanish, this could be interesting, you may not recognise me when I come back. we found the barbers, a empty chair waiting. After a bit of English/ Spanish and some hand movements and finger waving and pointing to his stubble etc. I sat down and let the scissors  and clippers start. The end result, one of the best haircuts I have ever had. 

The morning sunrise

We understand in the uk there is a shortage of lettuce etc because of the bad weather over here this winter. So here is a reminder of what it look like for you. Spanish gold.

While we have breakfast and when we sit outside in the sun just watching the world go by it’s always interesting. The regulars that are on the site from before we arrived. We have names for them all. We also do this back home. At the end of the row is triangle man, a Dutch guy and his wife who have funny fold up bikes that are…. you guessed it square, no they are triangle shape. Then we have the weebles, remember them weebles wobble but they don’t fall down. A French couple but the biggest rounded shape you have ever seen. Next a elderly lady with a deaf husband. He’s got it sussed, only hears what he wants to hear. Next a couple from Portsmouth. He used to be in the navy, a top chef and always has a story to tell and can chat for England like me, his wife often has to drag him away or signal him from the camper. Really nice couple. Next Blondie a petite blond lady with her husband. You only see them going from the caravan to the toilet block, she is allways immaculately dressed and in something different every day. When they were packing up to go they even loaded a washing machine into the car they had been using in their awning . we have another Dutch couple beside us, the chair lady. All she does is sit in her chair outside, if it’s cold she still sits out there but with about three coats on. The dogs on his blanket while the man is running around doing this and that and can’t shut a door quietly. Lastly there the RV ‘ ers, I don’t know what peaple think when they see a RV and the driver or what they expect to think. When we had ours and used to roll up we allways got some looks as if to say how did they get that. This guy has the same. He is about six feet tall and covered in tattoos all around his neck etc, but the nicest guy guy you could meet. we were having a laugh yesterday about the RV image some peaple expect. But like we said we buy them for ourselves not anyone else. Most peaple are just a little green. 

We leave here next week on Tuesday and start heading north towards the ferry port. A slow two weeks up through France, not got much of a plan on route yet but it will be a couple of days here and there. Just hope the weathers better and not too much snow over the Pyrenees mountains. We are going back a different way this year. North from here towards the French border then left towards Toulouse, Limoges etc. Will keep you informed. The six nations rugby has started now so I am happy about that. I will miss it one weekend while we are in France, but you never know. I have it covered here. We have TV on the pitch and Guinness in the fridge, the bar on site has three TVs and Guinness, so all angles covered. England just have to do their bit now. 


I have heard of Coca-Cola, Diet cola, even cherry cola, but never Peniscola before I came to Spain.Now before you lot out there start thinking, I wonder how it got its name I will tell you. It’s a local evolution of the word peninsula. Often called Gibraltar of Valencia, or locally known as the city by the sea. 

The castle and old town built on a rocky headland about 67 metres high although I never measured this to confirm, but I will take there word for it. It’s only joined by a narrow strip of land which makes it easier to defend. It’s a fortified seaport with a lighthouse, built between 1294 and 1307. It’s them long tea breaks again. It was restored and new walls added in 1960, which is when they filmed the movie El CID  starring Sophia Loren and Charlton Heston. I can’t remember the film myself being such a young spring chicken but sure some of you out there can remember it. All the horses and men on the beach with the castle in the background etc. 

I am going to have to watch it now. I think the area has changed a bit since then, I can’t see Sophia and Charlton nipping off for tapas and a siesta between shots. 

To get too Peniscola we decided to walk. You can walk all along the seafront from the campsite we are on. So up bright and early, well ready to go by 9 30, we are in Spain after all. The idea was to walk there and on the way check out another campsite, walk around, have lunch somewhere and walk back if we felt up to it. We knew the bus run from Peniscola to Benicarlo and stopped near the supermarket in Benicarlo, still a twenty minute walk from there to the campsite. Off we went, it was a bit chilly first thing but we soon warmed up and the sun was out, the sea twinkling, no wind only from Nikki as she gasped for breath so I relized I was walking a bit too fast, so we slowed the pace down a bit. The walkway is lined with palm trees and a low wall and every now and then a board walk on to the beach with information boards. We stopped for a photo shoot every now and then. Reached the campsite we wanted to look at after about an hour and a half. It’s one we though we might return to next year as a stopover. But it was not to be, all the pitches that we would fit on were narrow and would be difficult to get on and the site was not that nice. So we continued on our way to the castle. 

All around the castle are beautiful little streets and alleyways with bars and restaurants, all which were closed being out of season, and little souvenir shops with the usual sort of stuff them sort of shops sell… souvenirs.They were open. I had gone onto google street veiw before we came here and found a restaurant that I thought, that’s where I want lunch, overlooking the sea etc. But it was one of them that was closed. We walked up steps, down steps, through little streets. It was very beautiful. We never actually went in the castle as Nikki’s little legs were by now very tired and I did not want to leave her sat outside while I went in for an hour or more. So that’s something I will do on my own another day. 

When we left the old town we wandered around part of the new town by the marina and had lunch. Then the big question to Nikki, bus or walk. Before I could finish the sentence the word bus and the look said. We are catching the bus. So we walked to the bus stop, not the nearest one but a couple along because we had time. Off the bus in Benicarlo outside the supermarket, a quick bit of shopping and another twenty minute walk from there to the campsite. Shower, chairs out, cold beer and wine and let the sun go down. We worked it out we walked between ten and eleven miles. 

The storm has passed

You may or not know that we were in for some bad weather. Come to Spain they said the sun shines, the Mediterranean sea is calm. Yea right ! If you had been here the last week for your holiday you would have cried and been straight onto your holiday rep for a full refund. Where we are Benicarlo, we did very well on the scheme of things. We knew it was coming so went off shopping and got some supplies in for when we  new we would be in the camper for a day or two, eating and playing more scrabble, but even that was a challenge as the Internet was so hit and miss. Nikki resorted to reading her books, I just stared out the window shouting RUBBISH at the weather. Cabin fever had set in. I felt like the cheese had slid off my cracker. 

In a lull in the weather we ventured out for a short walk. WOW The road we normally walk down which runs along side the beach to go to the town had debri all over it, stone benches ripped from there fixings, and these benches proberly weigh a ton each, stones, sand all washed up from the pounding waves coming right up the beach and over the road. 

We get to the other end of the road and there are two ways we can go. There is a dry river bed, or should I say was a dry river bed, and the road crosses this. The road was completely flooded, the river bed was no longer dry and there was so much water it was running down the river bed across the road onto the beach and had carved a huge big opening through the sand and running on out to sea. And at the same time the sea which normally laps the shore line with hardly any tidal movement at all was pounding the beach and coming right up and over the sand/ pebble ridge. 

As I say we were very lucky in this area. There is some snow on the mountains about 25 miles away. But other areas south from here which is where come from have had it real bad. Benidorm the place we braved and went to and strolled along the front in bright sunshine and blue sky’s had terrible hail storms and torrentional rain. Altea jus above them the river has burst it’s banks and polluted the water courses and peaple have been told not to drink any water other than bottled. Denia has had the worst snow for years, and heavy rain has washed buildings away. It will certainly be a winter to remember for a lot of peaple. Even the locals were out in the snow and driving to see it up in the mountains because it does not happen that often. At the beach here where we are peaple we’re out taking photos etc, you would never think it’s the med. 

Today is supposed to be back to normal, blue sky’s and sunshine is forcast for the next week so happy days. Tomorrow we are walking to Peniscola along the seafront if it’s passable. A four mile walk just to get there. 

St Anthony

The ST Anthony festival is celebrated in Spain on the 16/17 January. It’s an ancient festival of pagan origin. It’s about burning the devil and blessing pets, with horse processions. All over are bonfires with devils ready to be burnt. In Benicarlo the main fire is built in the square by the church. That’s the church in the last blog post. There’s not a lot of room to have a huge bonfire and a lot of people, but people of Spain don’t seem to worry about things like that. 

On Monday we decided to go for a walk along the sea front and then up to the church to see if anything was being prepared. It was windy but the sun was out so very pleasant strolling along in the sun with the sea glistening and the palm trees swaying in the wind. Do you get the picture. 

We got to the main square in the town with perfect timing. The bonfire had been built ready for the evening and they were starting to get the devil strung up above the bonfire. This was done by two guys up in the church tower and another two on the roof terrace of one of the houses. A lot of shouting and pulling of ropes and the devil was above the bonfire. They were also letting of rocket fireworks. I don’t think it was a Heath and safety issue to see which way the wind was going, just an excuse to let them off, as the Spanish do seem to like to let fireworks off. Oh look the suns out let’s let a firework off, my mums going shopping, great let’s let a firework off. Even one of the young girls got in on the act. The rocket is placed on a piece of wood which has a handle on it and is held at arms length and off it goes. None of that put the rocket in a bottle light it and run like hell. 

We left there and wandered up through the town laughing at the way they do things. Can you imagine what would happen in the UK if you said you were going to build a bonfire in the town square and get everyone to come along. We never went down the town for the main event, and the town is still there so everything must have gone to plan. They are also celebrating the Artichoke, this is another festival which goes on through January and you can see all over the town Artichokes being roasted etc. And I expect there will be a firework or two go off. 

Now let’s talk about the weather. I know you guys in the UK have had some bad weather, rain, snow and wind. Well don’t think we have sun all the way. We have had a cold wind now for a few days and rain is forecast tomorrow, and that’s the first rain for about six weeks. South from here yesterday they had snow at Denia and inland from there about 15 miles, which was according to reports the first snow for 35 years. All the locals are saying it’s the coldest, wettest winter for years. There hope that makes you feel better now. 

We have wind

Now I know what your all thinking, they have been eating beans on toast again, wrong, too many curries, wrong, The wind I am referring to is coming from a north westerly direction in the sky. One good thing it is warmish wind. I hear the weather back in the UK is not to good. I am not smiling….honest. 

Our last few days at Villajoyosa were really nice spent with our friends from Somerset. We walked down to the sea front and had lunch. The morning we left we went round to say goodbye to peaple we had met while being on the site and others were coming up to us to say goodbye. Not sure if they were pleased to see us go or making sure we were going. We went and found Isea the cleaning lady and took her a bottle of bubbly and Nikki had wrote in a card some words thanking her for being so nice. All written in Spanish. She looked like she was going to cry. We will miss her. She was still waving as we pulled put the site and headed for the AP7 motorway towards Benicarlo.

Nice easy journey to Benicarlo along the motorway, some of it toll, some not, sun shining, beautiful scenery etc. The site we were aiming for is Alegria del mar just on the outside of Benicarlo. We booked it before leaving the uk and will be here for a month. Sat nav did us proud and we found the site with ease, a couple of small bendy roads on approach to site but all good. The site is owned by a Spanish/ English family and has been 1986. The owners daughter greeted us and was telling us how when they first came out and opened the site it was only open for 3 months in the summer because not many peaple travelled in the winter. We booked in and were shown to our pitch, a nice large pitch. And best of all we were given a ticket to get two free drinks at the bar. There a lot of English on the site and a lot I think come here for a long time because it’s easy and run by English peaple. We prefer the sites that have a good mixture of nationalitys. All pitched up sat in the sun having lunch, and in pulls a caravan and two motorhomes. The driver of the car and caravan jumps out and instantly starts shouting to his mates, I can’t get in that space I am going here(next to us) when I say shouting he was actually talking but was one of those guys that talks very very loud and wants everyone to hear him. The pitch he said he could not get on a five year old could have got on, so really he should not be driving. The neibours from hell. But there is a god. We heard them shout they were only here for one night, I am sure every around us cheered at that thought. It was true, yesterday they left heading for Benidorm, no surprise there. 

The site is one mile from the town of Benicarlo. Peniscola is four miles south, that’s where they filmed El Sid we will be going there, you can walk along the sea front all the way there. Think Nikki wants to bus it back. Four miles to the north is Vinaros. We walked into Benicarlo yesterday to have a stroll around. The town has some interesting buildings dotted in amongst the newer ones which we wanted to see. We never saw them all but will see the others another day. The main I wanted to get photos off is the church of St Bartholomen or St Bartolommeo in Spanish. Construction started on may 25th 1724 and ended on 19th October 1943. Nineteen years to build it. I know the Spanish have long lunch breaks and siestas but come on guys, pull your finger out, peaple are cueing to go to church. It is a beautiful building though. 

We knew we were in for some windy weather and it has arrived and is staying for a couple of days but it’s still sunny and not really cold. And yes we went down the bar for our free drinks yesterday afternoon, plus a couple more to balance the diet up. 

One week to go

Only one week left…….at this campsite, you didn’t think it was time for us to start heading home now did you. Oh no we are having way to much fun in the sun. Since New Years Eve our ears have recovered and stopped ringing, our diet has returned to less luxury food, but we are still trying to manage the wine and beer. When we go shopping we sometimes see things that we don’t know what they are and we look at each other and say what the hell, let’s give it a go. Often it’s fine. The same applies for Nikki’s wine, she bought one the other day €0.99 not even a Euro thinking if it’s horrible it will do for cooking. It was loverly and now every time we go past the shop we have to get some more. That’s 85 pence for a bottle of nice wine. 

Our friends from Somerset arrived a couple of days ago and were staying at a site a couple of miles away but after seeing our site they moved round to here. That is after a big argument with the site reception where they were, but that’s another story. It’s great to have them here. 

Yesterday me and Nikki went for a stroll round the old town of Villajoyosa, full of little ol cottages all brightly painted, washing hanging out, some look like there perched on the cliff top. Absolutely fantastic and so photogenic. Below are some of my faverite pics I took. If you are an artist this would be such a nice place to come to. Enjoy. 

Happy new year

Happy new year to you all.

We were invited to Isie’s house for new year. Isie is the cleaner on the campsite and we have made a great friendship with her. She would be picking us up at 8pm and we would join her and her family at their house. She has a husband and two daughters, one 17 years old and the other 9 years old. For two days Isie didn’t come to work which was unusual and then on Friday she arrived at work, she had a bad ear infection and was on antibiotics for it. We tried to tell her not to worry about new year if she is feeling rough, but she was having none of it. The plan changed and now we were going to her friends house to celebrate new year. 

We were a little apprehensive about the evening, as everyone would be talking Spanish and didn’t want to be sat in the corner like Billy no mates. She arrived at 8pm and off we went to her friends house which is on the outskirts of Benidorm. We were greeted like royalty by Manual whose house it was,  come in, come in, he spoke very good English, a relief I can tell you. This is my house, make yourself at home take what you like but not my wife or my donkey he said while laughing loudly. We were introduced to his wife their two boys. 

The Spanish like family life and all eat together in big groups and are very loud, lots of music etc. So the house was no different music blaring, a TV the size of our camper on the wall and the boys playing some war game in it. We were offered drinks and Manual was really chatty telling us about his life, job etc and translating things to the others. We were really made to feel at home. 

The table was laid out with food, king prawns, muscles, cheese, crisps etc and we sat down to eat, all very nice, and noisy.That was the starter Manual said, now we dance and then we have big meal. And boy did they dance. Manual and his wife and Isie and her eldest daughter and husband,  can move. Isie is from Colombia so I think that it is natural for them to move like they do. We had a little dance but soon tired. 

The next course of food came out, a huge roast of pork and rice, and different sauces. All washed down with beer and wine. We declined the shots of rum. More dancing followed, not by us. Just to watch them was  making me tired. And then the TV was on all ready for midnight, an hour before you guys in the UK. In Spain it is tradition to eat twelve grapes at midnight and make a wish. One grape for each bell chime. I asked Manual if a glass of wine was the same as twelve grapes. My friend he said, you can have both. The pictures below show both families 

We were returned back to the campsite at about 1.30 am very tired but what a fantastic experience and a new year we will not forget. As we left Manual shouted see you again next year, and you just knew he meant it with all his heart. We left having drunk his beer and wine, ate his food, danced in his house, laughed and joked and took with us some great memories, but we left his wife and donkey. Funny thing was we never did See the  donkey, must have been in the shed in the garden. Today is rest day.