Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Vera (Nathanial)


It’s time to leave the villa and hit the road again, and I must say, I am ready to move on. Not only am I glad to leave behind the experience of being robbed, I’m just ready to be on the move. Having the van broken into has pissed me off more than when our house got burgled (I promise you, we don’t walk around with ‘victim’ on our heads).  Fancy taking the telly, the bastards!!
What’s gutted me more than anything though, is the fact they took my eldest sons camera which not only has all his pictures of his college work on, but all the pictures of his so-called holiday. We were also unfortunate enough to get robbed last year in Spain with Ethan and Lauren too! Like I said, I swear we don’t walk around as victims.
Normally I would just be able to buy Ethan a new camera, but as we’re now on a tight budget and I’m not working, I just don’t have the money. I don’t like this feeling at all.

So, with a sense of starting a new chapter, we head off to a place called ‘Vera’ where we have arranged to meet another couple who are full time travellers, Roy & Amanda.
The Aire owners put us down in the bottom field on our own when he saw the boys........good call
The drive through the mountains is absolutely breath taking, and as we get higher and higher, the landscape turns greener and greener with mountain ranges as far as the eye can see all down the coast, and the odd snowcapped mountain in the distance. This is totally stunning and my eyes can’t get enough of it. Green is such a pleasing colour. We drive over the most spectacular viaducts, see the bluest of oceans and drive through the deepest of tunnels.  The drive itself seems like an adventure, and to add to it, the sun is shining brightly.

The scenery was just too big to capture
We get to Vera and find our campsite ‘Oasis Al Mar’, book in, and are greeted by Roy who walks up to the van, all smiles, and introduces himself and welcomes us here. Just what we need, good man.  As it’s getting late, we set up camp and arrange to go out for lunch with Roy and Amanda tomorrow.
The following day is gorgeous, the sun has come out to play and we get a better look at the campsite. It is very clean and well maintained with a very friendly feel to it.
As arranged, we meet Roy and Amanda and cycle down to the beach. They have two dogs which are pulled along in a ‘tow buggy’ which is of great delight to Tom who also gets to play with them on the beach whilst we get to know Roy and Amanda a bit better.
After a month in the villa with just us four, and the bitter taste of being robbed, it’s a real pleasure to get to know two like-minded pleasant folk, who I feel also have a similar sense of humour to us.
After chatting on the beach for a while we head to a ‘beach bar’ for some food.
As we walk closer to the bar, we keep seeing what looks like naked people walking around in the distance, but obviously this just could not be……right? Wrong. It turns out this is a nudist beach! Oh my word, this isn’t going to go down well with Alfie, who can’t even stand the sight of mine or his Mum’s wobbly bits as we get changed in the van!
A very confident sunbather, who's carrying his clothes?
After explaining to Alfie that the world isn’t about to implode and that this is actually quite common abroad, he reluctantly, with a feeling of utter disgust, agrees to sit down and allow us to eat. Good lad.
It wouldn’t be so bad, but everyone is of the later generation and rather wrinkly, and insists on bending down showing off a full moon. Not a Swedish blonde in sight! How rude.
Despite the surroundings we have a lovely day with Roy and Amanda and they insist on treating us to lunch, so burgers and chips all round it is then. Like I said, very pleasant folk. Thank you both.

Burger, chips & beer, on Roy & Amanda. Things are stating to look up.
On the way back to the campsite it transpires Thomas has a number of punctures, I know it was a number because I fixed two over lunch! It turns out that between the Rooster and Tom, they had seven punctures that day. I use a full puncture repair kit that evening; sod knows what they both cycled through. Tom’s tyre went flat immediately so Roy, bless him, let us put his bike on the dogs buggy and carried it all the way home for us. Tom being Tom, still beat us home, running all the way.

Roy towing two dogs and Toms bike back to the campsite, bless im.
The following day, for the first time on this trip we notice another child on the campsite, who seems to be traveling with his Mum, so Alfie does the decent thing and goes to ask if he wants to play. That was it; all three of them are playing away as if they had been friends for years, despite the boy, David, being German and speaking little English. 
Lego crosses all language barriers

Making new friends
That afternoon we have lunch with Roy, Amanda, David and his Mum, Pietra and finish off with a game of non- competitive boules.  However, I will just add that I won J .

I'm sure mines closer than yours
After a couple of days in such lovely company, the negative feeling at the pit of my stomach is slowly dissipating; our spell at ‘Oasis Del Mar’ was just what we needed.  
I could see Roy was thinking of a strategy on how to beet me at boules
For anyone who enjoys reading about people’s travels, Roy is keeping a very detailed blog, and certainly contributing to it a lot more regularly than we are to ours. You can find him and Amanda at Twernt on Tour, I can thoroughly recommend it.

And thanks Roy for the use of your pictures, cheers mate.

Me and the boys are really missing our telly so the following day we decide to head to Gibraltar to find one. We’ve had no joy finding camper shops or any place which sells them so far, so fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Spain, that was your last chance. You blew it. (Beth)

For those of you not following us on Facebook (amajor break if you're interested) we were unfortunate enough yesterday to have the van broken into whilst it was parked up in Alicante. As well as a smashed passenger quarter light window, a few things were damaged inside as the thieves helped themselves to both of our laptops, our older son's very expensive camera (containing his whole holiday's worth of photos plus some essential for his college art course), our television, reversing camera monitor, dash camera and a whole bag of plugs, leads, chargers and adapters. Just for good measure, the robbing gits also broke into our hire car which was parked adjacent - another smashed window - and pinched our daughter's kindle from the boot.

We have spent today attempting to clean up glass (without the hoover because they nicked the adapter we need to use it) and trying to get a police report filed so that we can provide evidence to all the necessary insurance companies, not that we are covered for everything as insurance companies put a limit on claims. We didn't take out extra cover because we were sick of paying half our income to insure every single eventuality and sometimes you play the odds and lose. I'm very glad I took out separate hire car insurance though as I'm sure the hire company will try and charge me 83 million euros for the broken window. I will find out tomorrow.

All day we have been making further discoveries that more items are missing; we can now add to the list two out of four of our waterproof jackets (Nathanial's being a pretty pricey one) and, the final straw in my eyes THE BLOODY GAS ADAPTERS, AARRRGGGGGGHHHH !!!!!!!!!!! (Sorry Mike and Ann)

We will need some time to gather our thoughts, do some sums and make some decisions about what we need/can afford to replace and what additional security we can use.

I am typing this from my daughter's laptop, which she sensibly left in the villa, before she, Ethan and Steev fly home tomorrow and we will be reduced to a tablet for internet use (which isn't really up to the job of blogging). So it may be a while before we can post again. I will see if I can get blogger on my smart phone for quick updates as and when we can find wifi.

We are due to leave the villa at the weekend and now need to decide where to go next to restore our faith in humanity and regain our travelling confidence.