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Friday, 20 January 2017

A few final thoughts

Snowfall at our final campsite
The trip is over, I am at Heathrow filling in more than a few hours before we fly home via Dubai. This morning we drove to Southampton docks, handed Chausson over to the shippers and caught a taxi to the coach station then on to London.

We left Spain on a Brittany Ferry arrived in Portsmouth and spent the rest of our time visiting with my Mum, Dad and other relatives in and around Herefordshire.  It was cold but not as cold as Spain had been when we were at altitude.

Now is a good time to reflect on the past 8 months and how we spent our time and the countries we visited.

Run down:

United Kingdom - Spent about 3 weeks kitting out Chausson and testing everything.
Loved the Elan valley in Wales.

France - 5 weeks in Normandy, Loire, Burgandy, Alsace areas in June/July
Another 5 weeks in the Alps, Dordogne, Pyrennees in Sept/Oct

Loved the food, wine, mountain areas, cycle paths, great aires and municipal campsites
Good roads, easy travelling except some of the smaller squeezy streets

Italy - only a week
Great food and wine
Not very good roads, dusty and a bit littered in places, also security worries so we were careful when selecting places to park.
Loved the Dolomites, Lucca, Montepulciano, Ravenna, Brunico and Venice

Austria - two weeks, but what weeks! Mid August peak holiday time in Europe but not crowded.
Pristine everything
Loved the mountains, rivers, cycleways, GrossGlockner High Alpine road

Southern Germany - 3 weeks in July/August
An unexpected delight, great cycleways, 
Loved Fussen, Deutsch Alpenstrauss (German Alpine Road), Bavaria.
Was hot when we visited
Food a bit too schnitzel and chippy, not to mention sausages

Portugal - Only a week - in November
Probably not the best time for Portugal. I have visited Portugal twice now and still think I should like it more than I do.
Enjoyed the Douro River area, cheap eats, friendly people 
Roads so bad we were forced to pay tolls!

Spain  - 11 weeks, November, December, early January - the longest time spent in one country
It was our first proper visit to Spain and it exceeded expectations.
Great heritage sites, fantastic roads, good wine, Best spots - Segovia, Granada, Avila, San Sebastian

How was our life on the road made easier?

The big fridge, running on gas, battery, mains

The refillable gas system, Gaslow, so we didn't have to worry about incompatible cylinders in different countries.

Howard and Hilda, the bikes from Halfords, - until stolen - made getting around easy-peasy

Large drop-down bed. A full size super-comfortable bed that dropped from the ceiling at the press of a button - no sore backs.

Webasto diesel heater that ticked away quietly in the colder times.

Big separate shower

Gas pull-out bbq, no cooking smells inside the little house.

Stuart's custom made shelf that held my morning cup of bed-tea and the dirty dishes at washing up time

Satnav, good maps

Mifi - our roving internet connection

What would have been better - some more space in the kitchen  . . . . 


Can you see Stuart's shelf and the secret photographer?

We will be home soon and looking forward to seeing Chausson again and planning some more trips.

See you later alligators


Campsite in French Alps, near Italian border





Monday, 9 January 2017

Hasta la Vista Espagne


In Abla, in the Alpujarra area
Where were we ????
Ah, yes, Cabo de Gata. The wild west cape of Southern Spain provided us with some lovely warm sunshine and views of the blue Mediterranean until it was time to make the trek back up to colder climes before flying home.
On our last day on the coast we had plans to visit the flamingos wading in wetlands near the saline lagoons, then to check out an old gold mining town (more shades of the wild west).
All packed up, the truck was idling, then another motorhome owner gesticulated.

A very flat rear tyre, no one gets punctures these days and Fiat only pro
vided a kit to get you to the nearest repair centre. Out came the kit and instructions, and with a Frenchman breathing over our shoulders the silicone sealant refused to be injected into the tyre. The compressor worked but it wasn’t making headway against the damage caused by a large nail. A helpful Welshman came to the rescue with a can of squirty tyre gunk that he and Stuart managed to force into the tyre. We abandoned our plans and set off carefully to find a repair-man. Luck was on our side and the first place we stopped at made repairs for a very paultry amount. So relieved we were that Stuart gave him some extra for his trouble.


Abla
We decided to make a start on our trek and visit Abla in the Alpujarra mountains. The houses were cosied up to one another on this hilltop town, huddled together against the bitter wind that swept down from the snow covered mountains behind it. In the other direction, multitudes of wind turbines were taking advantage of the conditions to produce energy. It was an immaculate little village on the Camino de Santiago trail. We stayed the night in one of the special motorhome aires that the town council had installed and before dinner we walked around some chalet developments that had been abandoned before completion, the rooms inside were tiled and really very close to being able to be inhabited. A sad sight.

In the morning Stuart set the cruise control and we took a dual carriageway for 600 km, there was very little traffic on the excellent Spanish roads that cut through vast areas of olive trees. Sometimes the highway went straight through the middle of a hamlet, under footbridges that connected the two sides of the town, no need to slow down.


Lighting little hot air balloons
One of the remaining ‘to dos’ on my spreadsheet was Avila. We had actually driven past it previously and re-traced our steps to find the town’s aire. It was dark when we walked the short distance into town. The whole central area is encircled by very well preserved walls illuminated in a golden glow in the cold evening air. The town exuded prosperity with ancient buildings converted into luxury hotels. The town was decked with Christmas lights; carols and iceskaters under the clear starry sky completed a perfect picture of Northern Hemisphere Christmas. It was the night before Epiphany, the Three Kings Day, where children receive presents.
We did a little shopping, buying new shoes for Stuart and a pastry for me and returned to find our truck along with 6 others in the midst of preparations for an ‘event’. We asked if it was ok to stay and shared a mushroom risotto and bottle of chardonnay. With Stuart on dishes I popped my head out the door and was greeted by the sky dotted with masses of little hot air balloons taking flight into the crisp night air. We grabbed our cameras and down jackets and joined the crowds. I bought a little balloon (fire and light – it can’t get any better!) and a helpful volunteer showed me how to light and launch it properly. Stuart’s camera got a flat battery at the crucial time so only one photo of my launch.

Major Tom and Coldplays Paradise were the music of the night as the stars were joined by these airborne fires. The crenelated city walls and turrets were the perfect illuminated backdrop.


Launching little hot air balloons

Much excitement before lift off


Medieval walls of Avila - they stretch off into the distance
The next morning was a hard frost, about -4, as we set off to explore the town proper and walk around the walls and up and down the many towers and city gates. Avila is a world heritage site, the highest provincial capital in Spain, built on a flat summit of a rocky hill that rises steeply in the middle of a brown, arid, treeless wilderness strewn with huge grey boulders and surrounded by lofty mountains.


Stuart on the ramparts
On this trip to the northern coast we had another couple of stopovers, one night in Palencia where we woke to a frost of minus seven. We put towels in the front to absorb the condensation – they froze to the windscreen, but we had been cozy with the Webasto diesel heater ticking over slowly during the night. It runs on some magical mystery heat-exchange system and fine tuning the thermostat took a little mastering. More shoe shopping and on the road again back to Cabaceno where we had taken a trip over the wildlife park in cable cars. 
The aire is next to the elephants and I watched them in the late afternoon sun. Just like cows at milking time, 5.30pm in this case, all 15 of them quietly stopped what they were doing and sedately trundled to the elephant house, waiting to be let into the warm. The youngsters were pushing each other while their mothers were probably thinking of the awaiting dinner.

We are on the ferry on a 28 hr trip to Portsmouth, it is nice but not luxury, still much better than the Cook Strait ferries, many trucks were loaded before our turn came. I reveled in the space in our cabin – I could twirl around if I chose. After living in such small quarters it is a wondrous feeling. Along the corridor I can see Chausson's bum through the window in the door leading to the cardeck. Just a stone's throw away.


We have ‘stuff’ to do in England, stuff that makes the last few days unable to be planned, but there is a plane to catch and home to a brand new 2017. We have lots to look forward to, Alex has just bought a house near Katherine in Beach Haven and Katherine and Jason announced their engagement at Christmas. The newly engaged are expecting a baby boy in late May so we will be grandparents. We have a household to unpack and restore and then renovations to undertake as it has been 20 years since we built and things are needing a freshen up to reflect our new status as ‘not in paid employment’ people.

Until next time  . . .

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Sunny southern Spanish soujourn


Christmas campsite
Boxing Day and we headed a whole 10 km up the road from our Christmas campsite to Almerima. I had researched a marina that looked a good place to stay in what I thought was Almeria. Almerima/Almeria – what’s in a name – about 50km. Luckily we decided to have a quick look-see otherwise we wouldn’t have found the abovementioned marina, we would have ended up stranded among high rise apartment blocks in Almeria.

La Isleta, Cabo de Gata
Almerima suited us well, views in front of the moored boats and views behind of the beach with mountains rising in the background, the snow still present on the highest peaks. Our new neighbours were either English or in the case of Tanja, had spent time in New Zealand. We were even paid a visit by Tony and Ruth who used their electric bikes to whizz the 10km from our previous camp.


It was tempting to stay where we felt comfortable but tempus fugit and our days in Spain are numbered so we packed away the items that might fly around, clicked the door locks shut, wound down the hatches and away. Away past a huge area dedicated to the services associated with large scale horticulture, we had been oblivious in our little marina-world of the massive truck depots, processing plants, more plastic houses and factories that make the plastic. We left that behind fairly quickly as we ate up the excellent Spanish roads leading along the Mediterranean coast.


Coast road


The coast road is stunning and an engineering masterpiece in places, we drove past some huge hotel developments that stood half completed and abandoned, a result of the financial downturn in Spain. There was very little traffic and the sea twinkled turquoise and gently lapped the shoreline. We have not seen proper waves since we arrived, not exactly a surfers paradise.



The coast offers some excellent wild camping in picturesque spots as did the Cabo de Gata national park. The scenery in Cabo de Gata is straight out of an old fashioned western movie, and the area was used to film spaghetti westerns, but now it is a popular place for filming shows such as Game of Thrones. It is a stark landscape with crumbling pueblos/casas, tough grey-green sage brush and cloudless blue sky. Flocks of goats wearing bells were grazing on whatever nourishment they could find while their shepherds sat lonely and disconsolate. And you thought you had a boring job!
Hamlet close to wild campsite - Calabardina

December 29, 2016 – our 40th wedding anniversary, was celebrated with a selection of tapas and beer overlooking the aforementioned turquoise ocean. We parked right outside the bar and the owner told us during peak summer season when temps rose to 40 - 45 C the traffic would be bumper to bumper and no parking to be found. We hadn’t found a place for the night so too much drrrrrink was out of the question so we stopped to pick up some giant prawns and that night cooked them on the barbecue, washing them down with champagne. We (nearly) had the clifftop spot to ourselves. How those 40 years have flown.



Spot near Calabardina
December 31, 2016. New Years Eve – again we faced the sea, this time in a spot recommended by Tanja. We were the only vehicle with GB plates among the French and Germans. How I wish I could speak other languages! The site is large and there must be 30 vehicles dotted around the sage brush. The beach is called Playa del Arroz (rice beach?). Wild camping surrounded by some wild campers, it offers security in numbers which is a nice feeling. There seemed to be an unspoken division of vehicles with intrepid trucks and surf dude vans on the high ground and the sedate vehicles taking the low ground. We walked into the hamlet along the coastline and had a coffee at the only beachside bar.

Spot near Calabardina

We liked the Cabo de Gata so much that we have returned to its rugged coastline and red hills dotted with small cushions of grey-green vegetation. The sea has an indigo colour and small fishing villages have not been entirely overtaken by apartment developments.
We are in countdown mode before we make the big trek across Spain’s vast interior, very cold at this time of year and baking in summer. We are booked onto a ferry that leaves from Santander on the northwest coast, it is a 28 hr trip and we have a cabin (it remains to be seen what that is like!)


Catching some morning rays
In the meantime



HASTA LA VISTA










 
What the .....

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Feliz Navidad and all that


"The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain", not in our experience . . .

The weather seemed to rain on us around the coast line – throwing the odd sunny day then reverting to its wet side. We sat out a few days in a campsite about a 1km from the coast, ducking out for a walk when the drizzle abated then after the sun looked as if it was going to stay we packed up and headed for a spot we had noticed during a walk along the beachfront of Torrox Costa.


Wild camp, Torrox Costa
Services – 3/10, views 10/10, convenience 9/10. The weather was warm and sunny, the waves providing a white noise background, snow capped mountains making a backdrop behind us (with apartment blocks in between) and a pretty lighthouse to the right of us. The other trucks were all German but you can’t have everything.




Dancers at breadcrumb festival
When we were at our previous site in the campground we walked cross country through large avocado orchards to go to a festival. The festival was for the locals and called Fiesta Migas – breadcrumb festival.( Note for Tim – Stuart thought it was BYOB)

Migas is a traditional peasant food of breadcrumbs stirred in warm olive oil with a bit of something on the side. When I checked in Wiki it looked a lot more appetising and nothing like the migas I have been served here, the festival food certainly didn’t tempt me to give it another go. We watched Flameco dancing, men playing Spanish guitars, people dancing in the square.


Original houses in Balerma
 Our Christmas base is in Balerma in a coastal campground. It is a well appointed new site so hasn’t attracted large groups and is totally sunny as the shade is provided by removable shade cloths. It is close to a village that was targeted by developers; the economy and market took a downturn and the village has lots of half completed apartment blocks which gives it a strange unloved feeling. Such a contrast to Auckland where there is a shortage of housing, in these parts there is a surplus of apartments. A few of the original houses are left which would look at home in a cowboy movie – actually the remnants of a spaghetti western movie-set is nearby, recycled into a tourist attraction, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly was shot here


Original houses in Balerma
The other big point of difference in this area is the enormous number of ‘plastic houses’ used to grow produce for the supermarkets in Europe. These huge dull-green coloured constructions sit wherever a flat piece of land has been created. At one stage we were travelling with snow capped mountains on one side and the Mediterranean on the other but a sea of plastic houses filled the large gap between highway and water. They seemed to be seamless except for the odd access road. I peeked into a couple of these places near the campground and saw cucumber/aubergine/capsicum plants growing vertically. I could have plucked a huge red capsicum if we weren’t filled to the gunwales with capsicum already.

So cute, a little ice cream served with the coffee

A more adventurous motor home than ours

Part of lighthouse near wild camp at Torrox Costa

Torrox Costa

So here’s wishing you all a jolly good holiday – by the time you read this you will all be back at work wasting company time reading blogs, not that I would know any of that of course.



Feliz ano nuevo











Saturday, 17 December 2016

The noise, the gorge, the palace


For 9000 miles we traveled with “the noise”. It emanated from the large skylight above the cab area. The first time it happened I nearly jumped out of my skin, it was a huge hornet-scream above our heads and gave no warning prior to its start. It roared and whined at about 100 km/hr. “Make it stop it Jane, twiddle the latches, wind the handle out”. I became the conductor in an orchestra, jumping up and down, releasing the pressure on the latches, tightening or loosening the handle to stop the racket as our speed naturally altered on the road.

Stuart bought sticky foam in different widths and strengths to wedge between skylight and roof, ripping it off when frustration set in. We felt we were managing things however, with me “playing the levers” but the noise never ceased to frighten me with its sudden onset. It also played a little game of ‘brrrrriippp’ as we jolted over joins in the tarmac.

Then one day last week Stuart stood on the drivers seat and pulled out a thin strip of cellophane that was between the skylight and roof. “Whats that” I said, “nothing much” sez he and stuffed it in the rubbish. That was it – the reed in the flute of the truck, causing all that irritation. We have enjoyed silence (apart from the rattling of the cups etc) ever since.
A place in the sun - National Park wild camping spot
The Caminito del Rey was a ‘to do’ before we left New Zealand. Her in the satnav had spurned the normal scenic route and found us an alternative one that delivered us to the exit. After asking a couple of people about access to the walk, we found out it was Monday - “Monday is closed, you need to turn up early tomorrow at the start of the walk”.

We found an excellent spot overlooking the man-made lake in the national park and sat in the sun reading books. Our new deck chairs were courtesy of our previous Kiwi camp-mates, Keith and Brone in Marbella. Stuart fixed up their chairs to see us through until we leave.
Lack of information and language made organising the walk rather confusing, but we got there in the end. To buy tickets we walked 2.7km to the office to buy them, not a hardship as it was a nice walk in the pines and we were allowed to join a group already waiting.


Note the original path below the new one

The walkway was initially built in 1905 and used by King Alfonso XIII in 1921 as a means to inspect the progress of works on the hydro scheme – the name means path of the king. It had a reputation as being the worlds most dangerous walk due to the number of deaths and was closed in 2000, re- opening last year.The Caminito del Rey is now probably the worlds safest walk, also incredibly popular, tickets are usually only available on-line. We were kitted out with hard hats and had a safety talk before leaving. The new path was about 1 metre above the old path which looked horrendous. It hugged the cliff face and the drop down to the water was vertiginous. Garganta del Chorro is a massive natural fissure, 4km long, up to 400m deep and as little as 10m wide. It is above this fissure that the walkway is mounted. The narrowest part of the gorge used to be known as the ‘spurt’ as the volume of water came through the narrow passage with tremendous force spurting into the air and terrifying villagers. It is probably tamed now as the nearby hydro dam regulates flow.

A long way down
 After the pleasant but not frightening trip, a bus transported us back to the start.
The fissure - Garganta del Chorro
 







Photo credit: Stuart











Photo credit: Stuart


Photo credit: Stuart
Photo credit: Stuart

Photo credit: Stuart
Granada is about 100km inland from the southern coast of Spain, situated under the impressive snow capped Sierra Nevadas. It was the last stronghold of the Muslims against the Catholic church and the legacy is the Alhambra palace which was our main reason for visiting. It is a city with a gritty side as well as having elegant white high-walled houses, souvenir and high-end shops and an inner maze of small shops not unlike that in the grand bazaar in Istanbul – and indeed selling similar items. It was also extremely cold as it is quite high in altitude and receives cold air from the mountains. It is reputed to have the best churros and chocolate in Spain. The churros of course cooked fresh, and the chocolate I had to share with Stuart who says he prefers coffee but helps himself to my order.



Granada
Alhambra is part fort, part palace, and a world heritage site – all set in beautifully manicured and geometrically sculpted gardens. It was built by a Moorish Emir and converted into a palace by the Sultan of Granada but taken over by Christian King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in the 1500s. It is truly Islamic in architecture and one of Spain’s major tourist attractions. The detail inside the palace was amazing, in everything you looked at, but somehow harmonious and restrained, unlike some major cathedrals and palaces I have visited. 



Part of Alhambra
Suffice to say I went away well satisfied with the experience, there was water flowing everywhere with understated fountains that would provide a cool atmosphere in summer, however I was quite cold and regretted my wardrobe choice. Four layers were not enough, should have taken the down jacket. More churros and chocolate ordered, sitting next to one of those outdoor heaters warmed me up sufficiently for the trip back to the campsite on the bus. Chausson chucked out some good heat quickly that had us peel off a few layers and we rattled up a dinner of sausages and mash.

Looking at Granada from the Alhambra



Adios amigos, we are back off to the coast to seek some sunshine, we will be among British, German and Dutch motorhomers who flock to the Spanish Coast to escape the European winter. Hopefully we will find somewhere suitable to enjoy Christmas, which isn’t quite the same this year.


Photo credit: Stuart

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Help help me Ronda, The Rock


Impressionism - rainy day in Ronda
Heavy rain, drizzly rain accompanied us when we arrived at Ronda, a ‘white town’. Fortune smiled on us though as we noticed the parking lot at the railway station had the barrier raised, and 5 motorhomes were ‘in’. We slotted in to a spot chosen to minimise the risk of entrapment by Spanish parkers and dodged puddles as we walked into the centre of town. The rain doubled its efforts and an umbrella purchased; we dripped quietly in a cafe that advertised fresh churros and thick chocolate. The buzzy cheerful waitress ignored the puddle growing around us and set down our order. It was SO GOOD - all the other churros I have had are just stale imitations.

Tajo gorge in Ronda
We waited out the rain back in the truck and set off again into Ronda when the sun peeped through, we were not leaving with business half-done. Ronda was a big surprise for me, we had been told to visit but I didn't know why. The 'why' is the spectacular placement of this white town on the sheer cliffs of the Tajo gorge. The town has been made famous by people such as Hemingway and Orson Welles. The dizzying gorge is spanned by a towering bridge, the gorge so deep you can't see the river without climbing down steps to view it from a distance. This bridge (Puente Nuevo), separates the old and new towns. We walked through an Arab fortress, descending flight after flight of steps running with floodwater down to the river and also visited the adjacent hanging gardens. Both rather disappointing compared with the spectacular setting of the town.
The visit concluded, we decided we didn't need to spend the night in the railway carpark and although the light was diminishing we set off to an aire in another white town. The journey was on a steep ridge, fog coming up from the valley obscured the scenery, and in some places, the road.

The sun came out - looking out from the cliff in Ronda
It was quite dark when we turned onto a minor road and headed downwards into the valley. I had fingers crossed that the aire didn't involve plowing through some squishy village and it worked because the aire was neatly set on the upward side of the village. Five spaces each with their own services. Over-engineering had come into play here, we have experienced one black/grey/fresh water connection to service 100 vehicles. This one had 5 of each!

Hoods up on our jackets, we had a look-see around the village, a coffee in the bar and then off to Gibraltar with a via point of Lidls to replenish supplies. It bucketed down as Stuart returned the trolley, joining it to its fellow trolleys to get our Euro coin back.

We turned onto the highway and followed the coast in the rain, when around a corner suddenly a huge chunk of rock standing sentinel looking out to sea dominated the vista. We settled into a spot on the marina, tomorrow would be a better day to explore 'The Rock'.

100 metres above the Tajo  gorge in Ronda,
an Egyptian Cleopatra poses for the ultimate photo
We walked from the marina, through customs and immigration and across the airport runway to get to British controlled Gibraltar. Yes, both the road and footpath bisect the runway at Gibraltar. Once in the town proper it was like stepping into an English high street. Debenhams, Marks and Spencer, Next, Mango - all were there together with advertisements for fish and chips with mushy peas. The surprising thing for me was eavesdropping on locals' conversations. They would start in Spanish, drop a whole sentence in English in, then revert to Spanish. The accents were British and the currency sterling, things were a bit pricey and ever so slightly scruffy.

A cable car whisked us up to the top of ‘The Rock’, a strategic military position overlooking the entrance to the Mediterranean from the Atlantic. It is a prized piece of real estate that has been fought over many times. We walked through tunnels that have been developed over centuries, the last extension was made during WWII. The day we visited there was water running everywhere, fallout from all the rain that had bombarded the area recently.

Sitting on top of the world
 I was a bit apprehensive about meeting the Barbary macaques that live at Gib, my encounters in India and Nepal with monkeys have not been good. There they were, greeting visitors as they emerged from the cable car or taxi-vans. One grabbed at a woman’s handbag – she had something interesting inside, I kept my bag zipped and eyes open. They were pretty cool really and after a while I could walk quite close to them and not feel threatened. The babies were especially cute and subjected to a lot of grooming by the adults. The macaques (tailless monkey) are provided with good quality food and there are notices about not feeding them – something disregarded by the taxi drivers. Legend says that when the macaques disappear from Gib so will the British, they looked as if their feet were well under the table so to speak.

We had a quick look-see in St Michaels Cave, a huge natural grotto within The Rock full of stalagmites and stalactites, lit with lurid pulsating lights and music and once again running with water. 
Top of the Rock

Our feet were tired by the time we arrived at the heaving Morrison’s supermarket, part of an English chain. Such a treat to peruse the shelves filled with things I haven’t been able to buy in Europe. As we were still some distance from ‘home’ and only could choose what we could carry, we were somewhat limited. I choose some precooked lamb shanks in red wine and Stuart chose a box of hot roast potatoes. It was a feast that night.


Street in Gibraltar
This post is being written from a campsite between Marbella and Malaga on the Mediterranean coast. 

Marbella is one of the more swanky places on the Costa del Sol (sunshine coast). A highly developed (think concrete tower blocks) area which has offered cheap holiday destinations to Europeans since the 70s. There is a large Brit population here and lots of notices are in English.

It is a short walk to the beach which has stretches of sand dunes and boardwalks, a little like NZ.  The camp is a lot different to the other places we have been staying, the majority of the guests have GB on their number plates and it looks as if they stay for a long time and are regular visitors. They are into the Christmas thing and pitches are decorated with lights, baubles, 3D reindeer, purple Christmas trees .....We are the odd men out – the tourers who only stay for a short time.

Beach near our campsite

Serendipity struck again in the campground and we parked next to two Kiwis towing a Fifth Wheeler that they are exporting back to NZ in a weeks time. We have had a great time sharing dinners and drinks with Keith and Bron-e and they have been generous with sharing their equipment – a ladder for cleaning our roof and awning, a printer/scanner for some admin, and a lift in their Navara to the supermarket. We had a kiwi working bee cleaning organic matter from our vehicles so they can make the big trip home.

All good things come to an end and we will embark on the next chapter of our adventures to – El Chorro and Granada in the mountains.