As my adoring public (Hi Polly) has requested to hear more from me about our adventures I thought that it was time to put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, as it were.
Nathanial has been giving you his account of the trip so far so I won't go over the facts of where we have been, but rather give some of my insights into this travelling way of life.
Our month in the villa had been greatly anticipated by me when it was booked whilst we were in France, constantly moving between aires, but my time at Orange Grove which I found so relaxing was hard to leave behind. I missed the daily connections with the small community.
Although the weather throughout our stay in Quesada was good, the position of the villa meant that we missed much of it and became somewhat isolated.
|We don't have many pictures of the villa month because of the robbery, luckily this one was on my phone. It's a recreation of a photo from 2003|
We had a great week when the older kids came out, until 'the incident', but I was not sorry to say goodbye to the four walls and the indoor lifestyle and I think we were all glad to be back on the road and ready to move on.
|At last, someone to play with!|
The days we spent at Vera with Amanda and Roy, with David for the boys were the perfect tonic and I began to feel settled in the van again. Unfortunately those days couldn't last and the boys were definitely missing their gadgets; we felt a pressing need to get to Gibraltar, which we did rather more quickly than we would have had we not been robbed. I found those few days rather more stressful again. Despite my resolution to try not to worry so much I do feel anxious when trying to find overnight stopovers because we have come to learn that the aires book is not always an accurate indicator of what to expect, in terms of facilities available, cost, or even indeed whether a site will still be open. I never sleep well in the more open pitches, listening for every sound through the night.
The amazing views over deep mountain gorges are also plentiful in the southern roads of Spain and whilst I find them beautiful to admire, I don't much enjoy being so high up over the barriers, whilst Nathanial is doing rather more scene-gazing himself than is appropriate whislt driving on what I perceive to be death-inducing roads. I am seriously considering narcotics of some kind to try and keep me calm on future journeys!
|Watch the bloody road, Major!|
|It's a long way down.|
Once in Gibraltar, the weather took a turn for the worse and it really affected my mood, coupled as it was with some kind of flu bug. After a whole day shopping and another climbing the rock, I was exhausted and unable to hide my mood. When Nathanial asked me what I wanted to do (meaning that day) I was faced with a choice of going out into a wet, windy day or remaining inside our few square metres, when all I really wanted was to snuggle under a blanket on our sofa, in front of the fire in our old living room. That is what prompted the 'I want to go home' comment.
|I never knew I would miss this so much|
I have been feeling very homesick and it tends to be worse when the weather is bad, funnily enough. When it's sunny, I can tell myself how wonderful it is to be here, sitting outside eating dinner when at home it would be dark, wet and miserable. When it's cold or raining in Spain, we are stuck inside the van and I can vividly picture the home comforts we have given up.
Since spending time with Alicion, Steve and Jacque and coming to Cabopino, we have become connected to people once again and I am enjoying being properly 'encamped' on our sunny pitch.
|I can feel relaxed eating outside at 6 p.m.|
We have been sampling all the various activities offered onsite and have done some exploring of the local area. We have taken advantage of the cheap car hire offered at the airport and my Mum has made use of the cheap flights available from Bournemouth to come out and visit us for a few days.
As well as subjecting her to visits to both Lidl and Iceland supermarkets, we had a lovely sunny day in Marbella before the weather turned again.
For now we have ruled out Portugal because of the great deal we have at Cabopino and we have also made the decision to settle down in England after our planned return in late July and not do any long-term travelling for a while. This has helped Alfie and I to relax a little more as we are both definitely missing home, great though this adventure is. I am hoping that we can now relax a little more and enjoy our time away without fretting about the future. Much as I can see the appeal of making this lifestyle a permanent choice, I am too much of a homebird for it to be an option for me, but I am anticipating some amazing holidays and short breaks now that we have the van and Nathanial is not tied to his job.
|Oooh look, more stuff to jump off!|