A Travellerspoint blog

May 2010

The Camargue National Park to St-Martin-de-Crau, France

Waiting for Mail

Friday 23rd April

After some showers in the motorhome, as we had finally figured out the gas boiler properly, we headed off to the nearest big town in search of an Orange shop. When we found one though, no one spoke English and our French wasn’t good enough too explain the problem. We were then informed one member of staff did speak English, but she was on lunch so we would need to pop back in an hour or so. After a wait we headed back and spoke with the woman. She informed us though, that it would need a replacement sim card and she could only give out replacements for French phone numbers. As mine was an English number she wouldn’t be able to help us. She wasn’t even able to phone Orange UK, for us to speak with someone. All we managed to do was use her internet to find the number ourselves for us to ring them from a payphone.

So even though the company is Orange, it doesn’t seem to connect in any other way, but name, to any other countries companies called Orange! So one company is in fact many separate companies, with no ability it seems to communicate with each other. Seems strange, as I thought Orange was a business dealing with communication! It seems just a case of a brand name, wow it’s wonderful how this globalisation thing works, very helpful.

So still with a broken sim card and no public phone box in sight, we decided to head further east towards the Camargue area. On arriving in the Camargue National park, we headed to the coastal town of Stes-Maries-de-la-Mar. While driving through the marshlands we spotted the white horses, bulls and pink flamingos the area is famous for. The horses I had in my mind were wild, these though were on ranches and waiting to be saddled up for trekking rides. Arriving in the town we found it didn’t like motorhomes either, as signs were everywhere saying you couldn’t park at night. Still we managed to buy a phone card and I could still call in to my mobile’s answer phone system to check my messages. At least if someone wanted me for work, they could leave a message for me to check, I had no messages mind.

I have noticed in Europe, Morocco and England before we left, that public phone boxes no longer accept that standard financial tool of cash! Gone are the days that if you were stuck and needed to make a phone call, all you needed was some change. Now it seems you first need to actually find an establishment that sells phone cards(not always as easy as it sounds), to then part with a minimum of between £5 and £10 to then be able to make one call. Is it me, or is it a pretty silly way of doing things? It doesn’t really make it a useful tool, in times when you need to make a quick call. Still I suppose most people have mobiles now, but surely the old change way of public phone boxes was a lot easier and useful? I suppose though it’s better for the phone company and not the public. They get to not have to pay anyone to collect the money from the phone boxes and instead of someone paying only 20 pence for a call, they make at least £5 from the sale of a phone card, progress hey!

Anyway, we decided to head away from the coast and back again to the canal, this time in a town called St Gilles.

Saturday 24th April

Headed into the town to find a phone box and contact Orange to sort out my sim card problem, hopefully. I believe I went through to India, to then get put on hold till someone answered. So many companies these days out source their call centres to foreign countries. This way they are able to pay lower wages I suppose and make more profit. Only problem I find as a customer, is I’m not getting the best customer service. The person in the call centre is doing their job fine, I suppose, it’s just that you can tell they have scripts they are reading from. The company would have come up with some standard questions that would be asked and they have the replies. Most of the time though I find the questions I need to ask involve an exchange of idea’s with someone. Where you are trying to find out the best solution to the problem you have, I find that most of the scripted questions and answers don’t really meet this need. I find I’m paying for a call and being told simple things that don’t really relate to the problem. Also my explanation doesn’t seem to match the confines of their script. Most of the time a problem will in effect be resolved, but not really by the way you wanted it, just which ever fits close enough. I find it leaves you feeling rather frustrated at the lack of a fundamental conversation taking place, or is it me? Just don’t’ feel like companies anymore really care about their customers, although this is what we are led to believe by their constant advertising departments. Anyway, the resolution to my problem was just that a replacement sim card would be sent out to a UK address. This in the meantime used up about €5 of credit.

Anyway, enough of me moaning. We drove off to a quiet part by the canal in the countryside and went off for a lovely bike ride. Before spending the rest of the day reading and writing overlooking the canal in the sun, watching the wildlife, boats and fishermen.

Hymer_at_t.._Gilles.jpg

Sunday 25th April

After a Sunday morning snooze, we got up to a hot sunny day. Relaxed in the sun reading and playing guitar while canal boats and cyclists passed by. Later in the afternoon we set off in search of water and somewhere to stop on the way to St-Martin-de-Crau. We were heading for this town to pick up some post we had got sent there, as well as looking for work we had heard may be available on the farms. We had no luck with the water, but we would have enough for the night. After driving down lanes, roads, over rivers and canals we found a small car park near a lake just outside St-Martin -de-Crau. Tomorrow I would go job hunting again around the farms and if no luck, back to the coast for campsites as we head slowly to Italy and Eastern Europe.

[b]Monday 26th April[/b]

Up early and straight to the post office to collect our parcels, we had got sent using the Poste Restante. This gets letters and parcels sent to a post office in most European countries. All we need to do is pick out a location we will be heading to and then if we need anything sent, get our kind family back in England to post it to the address. Part of what we were receiving today though would be the bill from ADAC for the windscreen we had sent to us in Morocco, so that wasn’t really anything to be looking forward to. Lorna on the other hand was receiving some books she had ordered online. I received my parcel and Lorna only received one of her two parcels.

We then went off and found the farms we had been told about might have work. All I found though was that they were already full for staff. This was the same story for the other farms I tried.

After we headed back to the town to check the tracking of Lorna’s un received parcel on the internet. The post office website was telling us the other parcel was still in Britain being processed for delivery. This despite the fact it had been sent the same
time as the other one, over a week ago! We would have to now wait around the area for Lorna’s parcel and there weren’t really any more places for me to ask for work. We decided to head 20 miles away down to the coast, hopefully there would be more campsites I could ask at. Also Lorna’s hay fever was getting bad and normally the coastal air is better for it.

We arrived in the town of Port-saint-Louis-du Rhone, to find it was more of a working port town than a tourist destination. This meant there were no campsites for me to ask for work at. Still we headed off a couple of miles further to a large stretch of beach with cars and other motorhomes parked right on a sandy car park, virtually on the beach. It wasn’t the prettiest of beaches, as all we could really see was huge tankers and cargo ships docked just out at sea awaiting loading or unloading. We were going to stay on the beach for the night but decided against it as it was swarming with insects trying to get in the motorhome. Instead we headed back towards the town and found some parking with other motorhomes along the old docks by the river.

[b]Tuesday 27th April[/b]

Lorna spent the morning getting on top of the washing by hand. After hanging it up around the outside of the motorhome, we took a walk into town with the laptop in search of internet to track the parcel. After a walk around we found the library, we had found that we could use their internet or pick up their wifi for free. Rather than paying an internet café or buying drinks in a bar with wifi. The French though had other ideas, as we were told we weren’t allowed to use the computers, as we didn’t have a library card. Not a problem we had found in any other country, but then again the French seem to love their paperwork. Crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s, is I suppose the best way I can put it. After another walk around we found a bar with wifi and ordered two beers. The parcel was apparently still in the UK, according to the post office’s website! We were now really in limbo, as we needed to stay close to St-Martin-de-Crau to pick it up when it came, but there was not really much about in the way of campsites or work, and we didn’t want to spend money going further a field to then have to drive back. All we really wanted was to get out of expensive France and get over to Eastern Europe. I though still needed to find work, as my pennies were getting very very low. This meant really going further along the coast asking at campsites. For the present moment we were a little stuck and unsure what to do, with ourselves.

Later on Lorna made a call back home to wish her mum a Happy Birthday and ask Steven to contact Royal Mail to find out what was happening with the parcel.

Wednesday 28th April

Decided to head away from the port town, back near St martin-de-Crau and the city of Arles. A city made famous for it’s Roman ruins and the fact Vincent Van Gogh lived there and painted many famous pictures of the town, including the café at night painting. Before getting into the city we took a wrong turn and ended up at a lovely old bridge over the river made famous by Van Gogh. It was a lovely setting and we decided we would probably head back here to stop the night. We carried on into the city and found some parking by the coaches. The sun was out as we wondered around the old part of town. Through the lovely streets and past the roman amphitheatre, which still looks like they use it for bull fights. We headed around famous Van Gogh areas and the scene of his café painting, although now it was a very touristy square full of lots of cafes. The old town was pretty small so it didn’t take too long to see, before we headed back to the river we filled up with water. Then settled ourselves by the river for the night.

[b]Thursday 29th April[/b]

Headed around the out of town shopping complex’s trying to get internet from the fast food chains, but with no luck. We also had no luck in managing to get fuel from the cheaper supermarket garage’s as they all had height barriers. These were too small for us, something we have found occasionally on our travels! Our kayaks on top making us 3.4m. We decided to head back to St-martin –de Crau with the hope the parcel was now there, but no such luck. We bought another phone card and Lorna contacted Steven and we found the reason we hadn’t had the parcel was that the post office hadn’t sent this one air mail, even though that’s what we had paid for. They had told him though that it would most likely be here tomorrow. So we would stay around here for another night. I also made a call to ADAC, as all the invoices and forms they had sent me were in German and I hadn’t got a clue what I needed to fill in. After being passed over to several different departments and given different numbers to call, I finally spoke with someone who could help me a little. By then though most of the 5 Euro credit had been used up. We then headed off back to the original parking by the lake.

Friday 30th April

Headed back to the post office, to find the parcel still hadn’t arrived. By this point we decided we had had enough of waiting around, so Lorna contacted home to get them to get the parcel returned to sender. By this point we had a sneaking suspicion that they had probably lost it, as the website still said it was in the UK being processed for delivery abroad! We drove off in the direction of Marseille, with the intention of spending the weekend by the coast on the other side of the city. On Monday I would start again job-hunting at the campsites. The journey ended up a long one, as we went down a long country road that suddenly had a bridge that was too low for us, so we turned back around and drove all the way back. When we arrived at the coast it was the same old story for the south of France, they didn’t like Motorhomes and we couldn’t find anywhere to park near the sea. After much driving around we ended up finding a small aire by a roundabout and settled down for the night.

Posted by marklorna 16:16 Archived in France Comments (0)

Carcassonne & Canals to the coast at Valras Plage, Farnce

The French canals and Job Hunting

[b]Friday 16th April
[/b]

Woke up to a knock at the door, after getting out of bed I opened the door to find a woman from the Marie’s office asking for payment for parking at the aire! As we were now awake we decided to head off towards the old walled city of Carcassonne. It ended up being another day of travelling around, finding out aires no longer existed and the one we found was right by a noisy main road. After filling up there with water we decided we didn’t want to spend the night, so drove off to find somewhere nicer to park up for the night. We ended up finding a lovely spot down a very quiet small road on the Canal du Midi.

Canal_de_M..assonne.jpg

Saturday 17th April

Got up to a lovely sunny day by the canal, we decided to head to Carcassonne down the canal path on our bikes. Before this though I went up on the roof to try and replace the roof vent cover. This ended up being a lot longer job than I had expected, the screws were very rusty and didn’t want to budge. After spraying some WD40 the screws still didn’t want to budge, all I was managing to do was rip up the heads. Lorna knowing the job was taking a while decided to give inside the motorhome a deep clean. The problems I was experiencing ended up a blessing in disguise though, as we met a lovely British couple in the Dutch barge moored up by us. Graham leant me a hand and his tools, after a while we managed to remove the screws and I fitted the new cover. During a tour of their lovely self built barge, we learnt they had been commercial divers and were both musicians. Before their barge, they had sailed around the Med and also over to South America. Now they lived on their barge around the canals of France. The journeys they had been on seemed a lovely prospect, it must be lovely to sail and well life on the canal, always seems so tranquil. They were a very friendly, lovely couple and very interesting to chat to.

The_Canal_..assonne.jpg

Lorna_by_t..de_Midi.jpg

We eventually got on the bikes and headed off down the canal to Carcassonne, 8 miles away. The medieval old walled city was a picturesque place and very lovely to walk around within the walls.

Carcassonne.jpg

As one might expect the place is very touristy but apart from all the shops full of tack, it’s like it would have always been. We ended up wondering into the cathedral while a four man choir was singing some traditional classical vocal pieces. The acoustics of the cathedral and the harmonies were something special. The type of music I wouldn’t maybe pay much attention to on record, but here in these surroundings it was hairs on the back of your neck stuff. By the time we left and cycled back the sun was setting.

About_to_e..assonne.jpg

Biking_on_..de_Midi.jpg

[b]Sunday 18th April[/b]

After the red wine last night, we had a slow start to the day! Before we left we chatted to Graham and his wife, about our travelling and looking for work. He said it might also be worth trying boat hire companies, as the boats always needed cleaning after they are returned. It was an option I hadn’t thought about, so he let us know where all the hire places were along the canal. They also told us of places where we could get water along the canal. We hadn’t really thought about it before, but the canal seemed a great option for parking up. It is always nice being by water and generally there are small quiet roads we could park up on, alongside the canal. The area we were in was beautiful, full of vineyards and the canals seemed a great option to stay by. We said our goodbyes to them and headed off.

After a stop in the new town of Carcassonne at the laundrette, we headed off down the roads along the canal stopping at Terbes. Here I went to the boat hire office to enquire about available work. As the season hadn’t really kicked off I was told non was available, but I might have better look further down at the bigger boat hire places. We carried on along the canal to the village of Puichein and found a spot by the canal for the night. I decided to put together a basic French CV and also learnt how to ask for work in French.

Monday 19th April

Hymer_at_Homps.jpg

Continued further along the canal to the village of Homps and found a spot by the canal mariner with several other motorhomes. The day was sunny and hot so we got the chairs and table out, to have lunch by the canal. Homps had two larger boat hire offices, so after lunch I went over and with my practised French phrases asked about work. I was understood and I also understood their answers in French, which were basically no. I would need to keep looking, still the sun was out and the spot we had was nice, so we decided to stay where we were today and continue the job hunting tomorrow. It would take a while, I’m sure, asking in places before I got lucky with any work. No doubt more work opportunities would be across in the Province region by the coast.

We are all under the money god I suppose, like Orwell says in one of his books, some more than others. I suppose a trade always helps, being qualified in something means you always have something to fall back on.

To start to travel has opened the fact that there are many places to travel to. Also I would like to maybe find a niche and an opportunity to enjoy a lifestyle somewhere nice. Maybe even a campsite somewhere warm and by the sea, who knows maybe I’ll find somewhere travelling. As long as you can get by and enjoy time, rather than working all the hours and enjoying the time later in life. Still it all requires money to make money, or at least buy somewhere! I suppose though if there’s a will there’s a way and just a short while with your head down working and not spending can a crew enough.
In the motorhome its surprising how little you need, there are no bills just food and fuel.
There is a path I will find at the end of the road, I’m sure.

If you plan too much, you’ll miss the present
But if you plan to little, you’ll mess the future
It’s about a balance I suppose, life is always about a balance.
At the present I’m enjoying life on the road, travelling and experiencing places and having the time. I am finding where my future lies, maybe?
Many idea’s, either creative or business, I suppose again there’s a balance….

Tuesday 20th April

Headed further along the Canal du Midi to Capestang, along the way stopping at boat hire companies asking for work. In Capestang I went off to the tourist office to ask about locations of organic vineyards for work. I thought at the organic vineyards I might have more luck, as they normally use more manpower. They pointed me in the direction of a local organisation called CIJ who help people find work.

The man at the CIJ office was extremely helpful, correcting and improving my basic French CV, then printing me 40 copies. He told me unless I had a degree in wine production, there was no point trying the vineyards at this time of year. Campsite work or farm work would be a better option, as my French isn’t great. He showed me how to use the basic French job website and we found a job at a campsite, only problem being we didn’t have the details just the area it was in. Never the less, he printed me off a list of all the campsites in the area and I thanked him for his time and left.

It was now late in the day, but we decided on heading down towards Narbonne and the coastal tourist area where all the campsites were. That way in the morning I could get up early and head round them all, CV in hand looking for work. The place wasn’t motorhome friendly, with signs everywhere saying no motorhome parking and the only options were paying. After a drive around we managed to find a spot by a harbour on a road where we could park for 24 hours.

Wednesday 21st April

Woke up early, although we hadn’t got much sleep, as it had been very noisy all night. Headed off with my CV arriving at the first campsite for 9am, by midday we had managed to do the lot. With mostly all of them taking my CV and a couple sounded like they were looking for someone to work. All I had to do for the moment was wait for a call, hopefully. The last campsite was at a small place by a saltwater lake, called La Nautique, so we found a spot by the lake with some other motorhomes. As it was a good day and we were tired from last night’s lack of sleep, we spent the rest of the day relaxing by the lake in the sun.

Hymer_at_t.._France.jpg

By nightfall some motorhomes had left, but us and a few others stayed for the night by the lake. Just as we were drifting off to sleep mind, a few cars pulled up and then blasted out their music for the next few hours! I suppose that is the problem with free parking sometimes, you never know what is going to happen. Still it’s better than paying for the privilege of parking.

Thursday 22nd April

Got up early again to head further along the coast to Valras plage, where I had been told there were a lot of campsites. We spent the morning and early afternoon heading around the many campsites the area has. Most of them were not as friendly as yesterday’s, with only three or four places taking my CV. Still I was trying to find work as we moved on, the problem was really the season hadn’t kicked off as yet. I suppose though it only takes one place to say yes. By the afternoon we’d had enough of campsites and this stretch of coast, so headed back inland to the canals. We stopped for a night down a track along the canal, by a village called Villeneuve les Beziers. The canal seems so peaceful, I now have it in my head I want to live on a boat on the canal!

By the end of the day I still had received no calls regarding work, but it was still early days. My phone however, while in my pocket, had decided on ringing some English numbers and had used up my remaining £4 credit! It seems to have a trick of unlocking itself and dialling numbers while in my pocket, but not normally wasting so much credit. I decided to try to use a pin number to lock my phone, so it wouldn’t happen again. This turned out to be a very very bad idea, while trying to type in a new pin code, my sim card got rejected. No matter how many times I turned it on and off, I had the same message, my sim card was not registering. My card was now no use, and neither of us had any other number we could use. Our other two phones had gone over to pay as you go and we needed to register our credit cards to be able to top them up. Simple enough, but it would take seven days for the cards to register! All the CV’s I had been giving out had this contact number on, so if anyone did want me for work they would now not be able to reach me. I felt like it had been a waste of time. Still tomorrow I would try and find an Orange shop and hopefully they would be able to fix the problem. Now though I needed a few glasses of wine.

Posted by marklorna 16:09 Archived in France Comments (0)

Tuesday 13th April to Thursday 15th April

From Alicante to France

Tuesday 13th April

Headed off to the nearest town, Mazarron, to find a library and use the internet. We required more funds putting across to the Nationwide account, we were using while abroad. This account allowed us to withdraw abroad without being charged fees, apart from the exchange rate. This also brought back to light, the fact that soon I would need a cash injection into my savings. The money I had managed to save before we went away was running low. We needed to get out of Spain and for me to look for work in the south of France. We had an address regarding a farm for fruit picking, also I would try looking for work at campsites, bars or other farms.

Before we started our journey out of Spain though we needed to find a motorhome shop and try and get our gas bottle refilled around Alicante. Also my Aunt Sue and her husband Dave live in the area, so we were planning on popping by to say hi. I had sent an email about a week ago informing them we would be in the area. Only problem was now as I logged into my email, the message had been returned unable to be delivered. The address I had was incorrect, so we would have to try and get their telephone number and make an unannounced visit. We couldn’t really just turn up, also the address we had for them our Tom Tom didn’t recognise, so we didn’t exactly know where it was.

We headed for Alicante to find motorhome shops and gas, while waiting for my Mum to contact me back with Sue and Dave’s number. On the way we stopped at a few scrap yards, to see if by any stroke of luck they had a Hymer or motorhome there. If we could get our indicator unit or any other parts from them, this would work out a lot cheaper than buying new. We didn’t have any luck though at the scrap yards or with anywhere to fill our gas bottles. Also all the motorhome shops didn’t have the indicator unit, they would have to order it and it would take a good few weeks. We would keep travelling with the broken one for the present time, we did however manage to get a new roof vent cover.

It was now getting late in the day, but we now had Sue’s telephone number so gave her a ring. We arranged to pop in tomorrow morning for a cup of tea, as they were off out shortly to meet friends. We headed off, after more supermarket shopping (this seems to be a constant process) to find a place for the night. We found an area that was being developed for a new housing estate, which at present had around 15 motorhomes parked up.

][b]Wednesday 14th April[/b

Sue_and_Da..n_Spain.jpg

We managed to find Sue’s house, with the help of the GPS co-ordinates. When we arrived we were told that we were the first ones who had found it, even parcel delivery services have trouble. It was a pleasant property surrounded by fencing in a country/suburb area. We had a tour around and Dave proudly informed us of the money and the work he had spent in improving their home, to get it how they liked. We had a good chat over a cuppa and got some lovely calls from my Grandma, Grandpa and Mum, it was good to speak them all. Before we left Sue gave us some of her lemons from one of her trees, they were very nice juicy tasty lemons. Showing home grown food is so much tastier than supermarket stuff. We said our goodbyes and let them get off, as they had some appointments to get to and we wanted to head north to get as far as we could.

It was a long drive of about 250 miles, we managed to get 80km below Barcelona to stop for the night. We found a spot by a harbour with a few other motorhomes, in a town called Sant Carles de la Rapita. We were glad to be leaving Spain, it was expensive and apart from the Granada region didn’t seem as pleasing on the eye as other countries.

Hymer_park..__Spain.jpg

[b]Thursday 15th April

Headed off with the aim to be in France by the end of the day. After a long drive, we came upon the last Spanish town on the French border and hit a traffic jam. We sat slowly crawling along, with the border posts in sight, assuming the jam was to do with border control checking vehicles. As we crawled up to the border posts, they were empty and the town in front of us seemed to be some sort of tax free area. The traffic jam was due to the huge amount of people shopping, trying to find parking spaces! After finally getting out the strange town and the traffic, we entered France and onto some Pyrenees mountain roads. After the problems with finding parking spots in Spain, we were looking forward to the French aires (motorhome stops) and the fact that parking was easy and mostly free. As we drove around though we found that the rest of France must of spoiled us. All the aires we had listed in our book, seemed to be no longer in use! After some driving around we found one in a small village below Perpignan and settled down for the night.

Posted by marklorna 16:06 Comments (0)

Saturday 10th April to Monday 12th April

Lorna’s Birthday Beach

Saturday 10th April

Ventured off along the coastal roads with the wind almost pushing us over sometimes, the kayaks on the roof never tend to help in wind! While driving along there was a ripping sound from the roof, we pulled over to investigate and found that one of the smaller roof ventilation covers had been practically ripped off. It had got damaged when the old roof box was smashed back in Portugal. Now it was very badly ripped and if we continued would come off. This was the cover stopping any rain coming in, I managed to fix it back down with some washing line for the moment and we continued our journey. We headed through the National park looking for a place to park up on a beach. All the spots we found though had big no camping/motorhome signs, so we continued on. We reached the holiday resort of Mojacar, which was not really our cup of tea. Still it was somewhere where we could do some food shopping and get some internet. We found a bar with wifi and ordered two glasses of wine, then spent the next few hours wishing we hadn’t. The signal kept coming and going, meaning we never really got anything done on the internet. By now it was really too late to move on and find somewhere to stay, so we slept by the road overlooking the sea. It turned out a noisy night as the street had many bars on it.

Sunday 11th April

Decided internet needs could wait and went off in search of a place to stay for Lorna’s birthday, tomorrow. There was a picture of some parking right on a beach, further up the coast in our motorhome book, so off we went. We ended up driving through windy hills, they turned out a lot nicer than the national park and much less inhabited. After going through a town we turned off the road on to a dirt track and drove down to a lovely cove. The weather looked a little ominous, but we parked up almost right on the beach and hoped tomorrow would be better.

Calnegre_Bay.jpg

Monday 12th April

Hymer___th..irthday.jpg

Woke up to a lovely sunny warm day and for part of the morning the beach to ourselves. Took a little walk along to the next few coves before heading back for some Frisbee on the beach. We then relaxed on the sand in the sun looking out to sea. Later on with the sun still out we had ourselves a beach BBQ to celebrate Lorna’s birthday. The chic pea veggie burgers, I had made the day before for Lorna, didn’t really have the best consistency for a BBQ. They ended up cooking ok, but I don’t think tasting that great! Veggie burgers abroad are very few and hard to come by. As I’m a meat eater, I do fine in all these countries. Being a veggie though is very hard abroad, as the menu choices are very limited. Still Lorna enjoyed her BBQ and her birthday, the weather was great and the location was perfect.

Lorna_on_h..gre_Bay.jpgLorna_gett..irthday.jpg

Posted by marklorna 16:02 Comments (0)

Thursday 8th April to Friday 9th April

On the Hippy trail

Thursday 8th April

With the skiing now done we left the ski resort and headed towards the village of Orgiva, in search of hippies. We had heard, that near the village there was a big hippy commune in the hills. I wanted to check this out, as apparently people were living in tepee’s, vans and make shift homes. As soon as we arrived in the town there was an abundance of hippies, so we knew we were in the right place. Before going we needed some basic supplies, but arrived in the village in time to wait three hours for the shops to open! After the wait about and a chat to find out how to get to the camp in the hills, we decided to find our own place to park for tonight. So headed off, on the way though we spotted a smaller commune in a valley down by a river. So instead we turned around to venture back and try and find it. We headed down a track we thought would take us there, but after the track we were on split for the second time, we decided to give up. Instead we went back to where a couple of vans were parked up in the town. There we met a German couple in a small bus they had converted.

Friday 9th April

Got up and decided to head into the hills to find the hippy commune of Benifecia. It wasn’t far out of the town, as there were some vans parked up around a small track and further up the hill you could make out the tepees amongst the trees. Lorna wasn’t in a hippy mood, so I took a stroll down the track to go and have a look around. There were various live-in vans parked down the track. A few vans down and I got chatting to some Dutch guys who had been there a few months. I then carried on down coming to a small clearing, where there were more vans and old motorhomes parked up. These were vehicles that looked like they no longer actually drove anywhere, they were just lived in. I then got chatting to a guy who lived further in, who was making the round selling some homemade bread. He explained that the further up you went it became more of a commune, with the people living at the top being the raw food group. The setting in the valley was beautiful and the vibe was very friendly. Although I would of liked to see more, I decided at that moment I would rather head off into the hills with Hymer and find a location of our own. So off I walked back to the motorhome.

We headed off up the mountain roads and realised the extent of the bad weather they had, when we were sunning it up in Morocco. The roads were badly damaged from landslides, in most places only part of the road was actually available to drive on. Still we continued forward for an hour. We then arrived at a part that was still being cleared and was blocked off. We were told if we wanted to continue we would have to take a small track off up the hill, for 7km before we could then rejoin the road later. After watching a few cars head up the steep dirt track, we decided against it and turned back around. There was no other way to go, so we had to drive an hour back and then head down to take the coastal road instead.

The coastal road was just mile after mile of industrial poly tunnels, in every direction away from the sea. It was a rather depressing sight after the lovely mountain region. Today we would not be finding any pretty little mountain spot for us to stay at. After a long drive we arrived in the town of Calahonda and found a spot on the beach with a couple of other motorhomes. The beachfront was lovely, apart from the very strong winds and the slightly violent looking sea. It looked more like we were on the Atlantic coast rather than the med.

Posted by marklorna 15:59 Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 8) Page [1] 2 » Next