Friday, December 9, 2016

This and That....

Weather wise it's been a grim week, its been very very wet and quite cold, the rain was quite incredible, you can see the distinct line in the sea, the closest colour being due to  all the crap being washed down the storm drains.

Two of my old school mates were in Mojacar last weekend, I have known Steve and Des since school days in the late 60s we were best mates until I left for Oz on 1980.
We had a great catchup and numerous beers, Steve has a holiday place down here so I'm sure we will get together on a few more occasions.

There have been a lot of Christmas fairs taking place recently, I took the boys to one being hosted by the local Spanish community, they were just starting cooking up the giant paella.

Something I thought I would never do on my own.........put up the Christmas tree. Elaine loved Christmas and she loved the tree that we bought with us from Australia, I wanted to dump it when we left Oz in 2012 but Elaine got so upset so we kept it.

It didnt take too long to put up, its the first time I have done it, in previous years it miraculously appeared when I was out of the house.

Apart from anything else it gives something for the dogs to wee on.

I also decorated the dogs.

I have had a motorcycle in the garage  for the last year, I have been trying for the last two months to put it in my name, in the UK its easy, tear a bit of paper off fill out the form and send it off .....Not in Spain, you cant do it yourself you have to use a solicitor, you cannot believe the amount of paperwork involved for such a simple transaction. I have been trying so hard to keep calm whilst this has dragged on for weeks but today  finally I lost it, I will do a blog post about it when I finally start riding the bloody thing. I cant believe people whinge about the DVLA in the UK,  they are a five star outfit compared with the dills out here.  Of course the general comment is ....Its Spain get used to it!! I cant stand bad service let alone no service.



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Onto Nerja

After taking the boys for a quick walk and a bit of brekky it was time to head out of Dodge Seville.

Nice wide roads make it pretty easy driving, I am so grateful for the sat nav, it would be so hard without it especially on my own.

Three hours later I was in Nerja, I have parked up in a huge carpark right in the centre of the town, there are no signs to say no overnight parking plus its virtually deserted so I'm pretty sure I will be ok for the night.

Nerja is on the Costa Del Sol and sits between Malaga and Motril, its a lovely little town that is favoured by a lot of immigrants, but as well as the usual pommies, there are also a lot of Scandinavians and Germans about. 

Its well and truly off season at the moment, which is just perfect for walking around, no problems with Sammie today as most of the streets are too narrow for cars, it is very quiet. 

It really is a lovely place and well worth a visit, there are a lot more shops than Mojacar if thats your thing. 

We had a good walk around, there are some lovely little beaches, the big beaches are just outside of the town. 

This chap was meditating in the middle of the Balcon de Europa 

I went down to this beach to check out the shacks. 

With all his fame I would have thought he would have had a better boat! 

Loved this shack at the end of the beach. 

Nice church. 

After walking for a while I managed to find a bar that was showing the Man Utd game later. 

It would have been rude not to have a pint and a tapa.

I will head back to Mojacar tomorrow as a couple of old school friends are flying down from Luton for the weekend, it will be good to catch up with the lads.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Stunning Seville

The morning started off rather bleak with a lot of fog about and a  pretty low temperature, I did the most sensible thing, got up made a coffee, turned on the heater and went back to bed!

It worked, a couple of hours later the sun was shining, all traces of fog had cleared and the sunglasses were on!

After a lovely home cooked full English we hit the pavement.

First stop just across the river was The Plaza De Espana, what a building, absolutely majestic. It isnt that old, it was built in 1928 for the Ibero American Exposition.

As you can imagine I took a few pics!








Now little Sammie....he has recovered well from his bad back and is now as energetic as ever, but....he becoming more and more disturbed by noise. I dont know what's caused his noise aversion, i'm putting it down to him getting old, he is at least 11 years old now. As you can imagine being in the middle of the city isn't the best place for him, he was ok in the grounds of the Plaza, but when we left we passed by a construction site, that was it he was petrified, there is no point making him stay out so we walked back to the motohome and left him there. Once back in the van he is fine, he is upside down and asleep in minutes. Unfortunately I will have to plan ahead with the little fella, thats why I dont take him down the pub when there is a football match on as he gets frightened by the cheering.

He hasnt done bad though, I was thinking how many countries the little boys had visited, its quite impressive.....Australia, England, Scotland, Wales, France, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and Andorra!!

After settling Sammie down me and Bombo went back across the river and had a good look around. 

Nice hotel.

Super wide streets.

The cathedral.

Lots of bars, we stopped at a couple, and this is where I encountered the next problem.  

When Elaine was here should one want to go to the toilet it was easy, one held the dogs whilst the other one went in, in the UK its easy, I take them in with me, Mojacar is easy they either come in with me or I will know someone to hold them whilst I go avail myself. Here in Seville its a bit different, they tend not to let you take the dogs inside the cafes, I'm not going to tie him up outside or leave him with a stranger, he is far too precious.

After what seemed like an eternity I found some public bogs...they were all locked, next I went to an underground car park, once again all the bogs were locked, by now I was desperate and was at least 45 mins from the van. Somehow I found a secluded bush in the middle of the city, phew what a relief, it was a bush with a view, whilst watering the bush I could admire a nearby flamenco dancer.

Once I had gone I had good cause to pop into another couple of bars, or should I say have a drink outside, this time I made sure I wasn't far from home. 

As you might have gathered i'm really impressed with this city, its right up there as an all time favourite.

Loads of horses and buggies about.

And finally the last building before recrossing the river back to base is the Palacio De San Telmo which is where the Andalucian government sit.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Off To Seville







Life has been good in Mojacar, it's a very chilled place both relaxing and temperature wise at the moment.

It was the annual PAWS Christmas market, PAWS is the local animal charity, run predominantly by English and other European immigrants to Spain. Animal welfare isn't a priority to the average Spaniard !

We went to the market this time last year and the year before, and it was really hot, this year it was a touch on the chilly side, we seem to be going through quite a long cold spell, not UK cold but cold nonetheless.   

Its a nice little market selling all sorts of old tat arts and crafts.


I hate just letting the motorhome sit idle so I thought I would go on a little road trip. I got her ready on Sunday, then drove down to the  Mojacar seafront, where I parked up opposite my local. That way I can make a reasonable early start, plus watch Man Utd play, have a few beers and get a pizza delivered to the pub, it went well apart from the Man Utd result!

I decided at the last minute that I would head off to Seville, I have been before, about two and half years ago with the lovely Elaine in our last motorhome.
Its about a 5-6 hour drive in the motorhome. It is a bit trickier on your own especially when you get into the city traffic. I miss my co-pilot giving me the all clear on her side, the dogs are crap and just sleep.  I just have to check a few times before making a manoeuvre!

I parked up in a great spot just across the river from the old part of the city, we have water and 240v so it's all good. 

It was getting quite late so I took the doggies for a walk over the river and had a quick look around. 

It is such a lovely city, and thankfully not too hectic. 




Tomorrow I will go for a good explore, the weather forecast is for a pleasant and sunny 20 degree day.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Planning A UK Trip

Usually the Mediterranean Sea  is dead flat, however the last few days its been quite rough, nothing like Im used to back in Oz but for this area it's been a talking point.

There was a lot of salt spray in the air, which once again has been very unusual.


There were even surfers out there, unfortunately he got wiped out when I took this pick.

I had a call during the week from Frans, a fellow motorhomer  who we met back in September 2015 whilst travelling through France. Frans and his wife (Trudie I think) are Dutch but lived in Oxford for a number of years and now live in the French Alps. You can read about our first  meeting  here.

I met them for a coffee then joined them later in the day for a few drinks, they can't hang around too long otherwise they may not be able to get the motorhome back up to their house in the mountains.

A pic of original meeting.


I also had an email from Ani and Ernie who bought our old Autotrail motorhome a couple of years ago, they are also in the area for a few months so I will catch up with them as well. 

Obviously Elaine is in my thoughts everyday and its still a roller coaster ride, however I have been feeling a bit better and wanted to plan a trip back to the UK this July and August.  I really dont fancy being here in the middle of summer, as its unbearably hot and crowded.

Normally its easy as I would just jump in the motorhome and head off, but thats not going to happen as there is a very good chance I will no longer have the motorhome.

Lots of reasons for selling the lovely lady..... Its very difficult to keep the motorhome in Spain and be legal, (legally I can keep it in Spain for six months) it's a bit too big for just me and the boys, I have signed up here for another year, so the motorhome would mainly be parked up. I could put her on Spanish plates but the cost is sky high. 

I have received and accepted an offer on her from a blog reader who want to pick up a motorhome in Spain, obviously its early days and as I well know things can go wrong, but if everything goes to plan she will have new owners next March.

 I really want to go back to the UK this summer so for once in my life I have started planning.

Im already too late to get the ferry from Spain to the UK as all the dog friendly cabins have sold out, so it looks like a drive to Calais in the little C3, which I have just started to put onto Spanish plates at a cost of about 1000 Euros. I did look at buying a car here in Spain but the prices for second hand cars are just ridiculous, there really isnt much of a second hand car market in Spain, there are a few reasons for this....one being that there are not a lot of fleet cars in Spain and two Spanish tend to keep their cars for years and run them into the ground. 

Back to the story......My first stop in the UK will be Elaine's sister who lives in Maidstone, then I will drive to Mousehole in Cornwall where I have booked accommodation for two weeks. Nothing else is planned in detail at the mo, Im hoping to stay onboard a narrowboat boat for a couple of weeks, so already thats one month gone.

I hope to stay with my mother for a couple of weeks, but she has been in and out of hospital since January so I will just have to see how that one pans out.  

For the first time in a long time Im getting excited!!
      



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My First Tattoo at Aged 60!

So at the age of 60 I get my first tattoo.....It all started a few weeks ago when I was having a chat with the landlord down the local pub in Mojacar. I was telling him that I wanted something special to remember Elaine by, I was thinking of having a tatoo but didn't want just her name and RIP etc We talked about what she loved and of course Mojacar came up so he suggested an Indalo man, which is a local Mojacar/Almeria symbol you can read about it here 

Elaine loved the Indalo man and we have them all over the house, she also had been making Indalo men for friends and relatives, she literally finished the last one a few days before she died, I had to help her stick on some of the fiddly bits as her eyesight was fading.

She made them out of bits and pieces we had picked up on out travels, her brother Trevor cut the templates out of plywood and Elaine did the rest.

This is one of her creations, they have shells etc on both sides.

An original Indalo man, thousands of years old!

So with the Indalo man idea we went to see the local tattoo guy Oskar who runs Kilombo Tattoo,click here

He quickly drew up a design but added a heart to emphasise our love for each other and of course her name. 

I loved the design straight away, so last night I went up there and had it done.

I absolutely love it, my only regret is not having it done whilst she was alive.

I won't be having anymore done as then it wont be so special to me.

What do you reckon?



Monday, November 14, 2016

All Sorts...

 My sister Jackie and niece Hayley have now returned to England and work, it was a great week and I really enjoyed their company. I was also very appreciative of them cleaning up my pad, it just needs a woman's touch every now and again!!

Hayley want to get me a new wardrobe next time she comes, what's wrong with my charity shop clothes and crocs?

See ya later girls xx

Its so nice to have visitors and show them a really lovely part of the world.

Australia was a great place to show people around but the downside being it was such a bloody long way from the UK.

Which leads perfectly to my next photo, I'm still sorting through my old photos and scanning the special ones.

The pic below is me and my old mate Paul Young, I worked with Paul at Vauxhall back in the 70s, as soon as he finished his apprenticeship he left and headed to London, and the rest is history.
We always kept in touch, and when he came to Sydney on tour back in the 80s I spent some time with him and showed him the sights of Sydney in my little Suzuki Sierra...... Great times..... 

Back to the present day and the weather in Mojacar is sublime, its a lovely time of year, nice and warm in the daytime but cooling down at night.

Its in full winter mode now, which I love, its great catching up with old friends who we met here last winter, its amazing how many people come down here for the winter months. 

No problems taking the dogs on the beach at this time of year either. 

Other news......I got a young chap to come and set up my TV so I can receive UK TV.

What a system, not only can I get all the UK stations but every sports channel you can think of plus every film and tv series going back to the 60s. It also does American, Canadian and virtually every country through Europe's TV stations. its bloody amazing. If I move I just take the magic little box with me.

The cost 120 euros fully installed, no more payment whatsoever .

Check it out here, he will ship it to anywhere in the world.

Just got back from having my tattoo done, I will post a pic tomorrow when I can uncover it.

On the way back I took a couple of pics of the super moon, its very super down here.