Friday, November 28, 2014

Day 4 Of The Trek Back To The UK

It was only a short 380k hop today!  The plan was to go on the toll toad which we did for a bit but soon got bored with sitting on the motorway.  Although it takes a fair bit longer we turned off the motorway and headed along the A roads instead.

We met and gave way to this monster coming the other way, it looked like a giant spider!

It was a lot more interesting travelling through the countryside and quaint towns ...


This is my view through the rear vision mirror ...

Nice eh!

It was mostly flat countryside today ...

Interspersed with a few villages and towns ...

Oh look, it's the Eiffel tower!!!  This is as close as we got to it,  however ...

Then we hit the Paris traffic which was fun.  The last time I drove here was in 1979 with the Triumph TR register.  What fun that was keeping 10 Triumph TR6s together driving through Paris, our destination on that trip was The Le Man 24 hour race.

Driving these days is made so much easier with a sat nav.  We never use a map, just set Mr Tom Tom to the destination and concentrate on the driving and enjoying the trip ...

We are a fair way outside of central Paris so we are staying in our (secure) hotel tonight, which is a good thing as we seem to be moored up in the middle of a ghetto!

Tomorrow we head for Calais and the ferry.  We were planning to stop off at Elaine's sister's house in Maidstone for the night, but as they have come down with a bad wog we will swerve round it and head to my mum's house in Milton Keynes instead!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Day 3 Of The Trek Back To The UK

Today was the big day driving wise, 640ks!  With that in mind we were on the road by 09.00!

When we went down to Spain, we went through the Pyrenees via a tunnel but for the return trip we went over the top.

The scenery was sublime ...

It made us realise that there is so much more to see in Europe and beyond ...


We had to make a few pit stops to take it all in.  There are heaps of places to camp, so hopefully another time we can come back and do some serious sightseeing ...

There still wasn't enough snow for the ski season to kick off though ...

It was a balmy 2 degrees outside ...

Once over the top it was a long run downhill into France ...



We were held up for a little while whilst some workers cleared a fallen tree ...

We drove through some lovely deep gorges but were glad we weren't in the motorhome as some of the overhangs were quite big!

Once we were on the flat and back into civilisation, we started to look for a vet as the boys have to have tapeworm treatment and a general check 1-5 days before entering the UK.

We pulled over and spoke to a lady who was walking her dog in a little village.   We asked her if she knew a vet in the area ... her English was perfect, because she was English and lived in the village!  We wondered what the chances were of asking an English woman for directions in a little French village!

Anyway, she was really nice and directed us to a local vet.  We found it easily and managed to get an appointment straight away with a lovely lady vet.  We were soon sorted and on our way ...
Village Vet
Sammie freaks out in the vets, but once back in the car he was back to his normal relaxed mode ...

The rest of the trip was a doddle as for the first time we went on the toll roads, the miles just fly by!

We arrived at our destination (Poiters) at 17.30.

Tonight we are staying at a Best Western ...

Tomorrow's destination is Gay Paree!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Day 2 Of The Trek back to the UK

Whilst Elaine packed up this morning, I took the dogs for a walk down to the beachfront ...

We stayed on the outskirts of Valencia last night ... the area is suffering badly with unfinished buildings and lots of wastegrounds.  I always find it amazing that they still build new when there are so many unfinished about ...

As I was walking back towards the apartments (pictured) I was thinking ... this cost us approx £30 for the night, for all of us, whereas the Australian Quarantine for the dogs was going to cost £150 per night for two dogs!  It's a kennel, nothing more, nothing less ... what a rip off!

We returned our keys and left the coast, leaving a temperature of 20 degs as we headed toward France.  
On the way we had a race with a train ... we beat it!

You have just got to love these deserted Spanish roads.  How I would love to have a powerful car - the cops (a) don't seem interested and (b) they generally drive around in clapped out old Seats and Peugeots - even the C3 would give them a run for their money ...

Now this is a great idea - minimum speeds are displayed for the lanes ... middle lane 80 ks, outside lane 100 ks...

Sammie decided to have a little sleep on my shoulder ...

It looked like there was a definite change in the weather ahead ...

We saw this again ... still don't quite know what it is!  A couple of jumbo jets in an airstrip in the middle of nowhere ...

We were right, the weather did change - pissing down with rain and a temp of 9 degs ...


Finally we reached our destination in Sabinanigo in the Spanish Pyrenees.  Just a short drive today of about 440 ks.  It is a bit cooler here than Mojacar!

It is a cute little chalet, situated on a huge caravan park and we are the only people here!

This is our view from the front deck.  It is probably spectacular when the sun shines!

We had our dinner tonight in the restaurant on site.  Once again, we are the only customers!

Tomorrow we will do a long drive - about 7 hours to Poitiers, France.  
Somewhere along the way we have to find a vet so that our doggies can have their obligatory tapeworm vaccinations in order to return to the UK!

The Long Trek Back To The UK

As we wanted to make an early start on Tuesday we had decided to have an early night, so by 01.00 we were in bed!  Well its earlier than normal!

We did make it up at a reasonable hour to a cracking sunrise, however ...
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Goodbye lovely home ...
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Once again, Elaine did an amazing job packing everything in the tardis ...
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There was just enough room to squeeze the boys in.  I am so glad we chose small doggies, we would have been buggered with a big breed!  An added bonus is that picking up the dog crap is nearly an enjoyable task - just cant imagine having a Great Dane, Christ you would need a JCB!
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After about 10 mins, the boys were asleep ...
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Just over 400 kms later we were cruising into Valencia ...
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It was a bit of a shock after the laid back lifestyle of Mojacar, still pretty quiet for a city though.
Sammie took over from Tom Tom ...
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We didn't have any time for sightseeing, plus I was feeling a bit tired and emotional, so we just took a few pics as we drove through ...
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We arrived at our apartment and after a bit of a palaver getting the keys we were in.  We were given a remote control to get into the underground car park, then a swipe card for the car park barrier, a key to operate the lift and finally a key to get into the apartment!  (We did have a moment stepping out of the lift on the 6th floor when we were suddenly plunged into complete blackness - luckily El had a torch in her bag and we then found the light switches!!

The view from the 6th floor was quite impressive and the price of 40 Euros a night was fantasic.  We smuggled the dogs in as they generally make a charge for the doggies, which can be up to 10 Euros each!
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For 40 Euros you get dodgy Spanish wiring ...
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The view from the kitchen / laundry wasn't quite as good, but very functional.  The residents hang their washing out on the inside of the building, so it doesn't look an eye ore from the front...
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Bloody hell its a long way down ...
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Not a bad pad though, this one.  It sleeps four and had a big pool, restaurant/bar, gym and tennis courts - all very securely inside the premises ...
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Lounge / dining

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Main bedroom - much smaller bed than we have been used to in Mojacar (that was a Super King!!)


Elaine was happy as there was a bath!  Whilst I had a siesta, she had a very long bathe ..
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Bathroom

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Spare room

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Kitchen leading to laundry

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Laundry area


We went for a walk tonight, it was a nice 20 degrees but the locals had their boots and coats on!

I would have to say that today's drive was rather boring.  Inland from the coast Spain has rather dull and ugly countryside, some may call it rugged!

It greened up a little as we neared Valencia and tomorrow should be much more impressive as we head north over the Pyrenees.