We had to go to Cartegena to collect our race numbers (Dorsals) and so on a lovely day what better excuse to visit this beautiful city for a wander round and to sample some food and drink.
There are plenty of interesting things to see, but to make a good photograph sometimes takes a bit of effort and/or luck. El Zulo here is a case in point. El Zulo, a sculpture in bronze, by Victor Ochoa. It’s situated on the esplanade. The statue is almost 16ft tall and weighs 2 tonnes.As such an imposing sight, it is usually surrounded by sightseers and today was no exception. It was also surrounded by candles and posters (making some protest, I didn’t read them). However with a bit of patience and some magic fairy dust from Lightroom, the finished picture is clear.El Zulo is We focused on the harbour area, where you can sometimes see the cruise ships in the dock but today there were only the usual sailing and fishing boats. The weather was very pleasant with warm sunshine and it was a pleasure to walking around the harbour and taking photographs.
As such an imposing sight, it is usually surrounded by sightseers and today was no exception. It was also surrounded by candles and posters (making some protest, I didn’t read them). However with a bit of patience and some magic fairy dust from Lightroom, the finished picture is clear. We focused on the harbour area, where you can sometimes see the cruise ships in the dock but today there were only the usual sailing and fishing boats. The weather was very pleasant with warm sunshine and it was a pleasure to walking around the harbour and taking photographs.
It can be quite boring to follow someone taking photographs, so Lesley sat and enjoyed the sun while I went off to be “creative”. However, after a bit of creativity, you soon feel the call for nourishment.
And so we had to stop for coffee. Perhaps one of our favourite past times. The harbour is a good place for coffee. Much of the city has tall buildins shading the streets and the outdoor verandahs making it cold to sit outside.
Refreshed we took a walk through the nearby streets, taking pictures and on the lookout for food. We weren’t disappointed, I had pizza with chips covered cheese and bacon, yummy (but too much), Lesley had an altogether healthier option, pizza with salad.
Well, I have to confess that Lesley found and booked this hotel, but what a great choice (the RH Bayren, in Gandia). The idea was to have a relaxing break and enjoy some time running and using the gym and spa facilities.
The journey was straight forward, about 150 miles of mostly easy driving on dual carriageways. We were very pleased to see our room, large (2 tvs), fronted by a large glass wall and a bath in the middle of the room. The bed was so big that it covered two time zones. The panoramic view of the beach was stunning. Continue reading “Lesley’s birthday”
First day back in Spain started with a small run followed by setting up the pitch. It normally takes 2/3 days to finish it off and kindly the wind didn’t blow enough to go windsurfing. Jobs completed so far, outside floor down, tent up, plumbing for fresh water and waste, washing machine plumbed in and tested, WiFi set up, TV set up, numerous cups of tea drunk, hidden chocolate digestive found and opened. More of the same tomorrow.
Lesley and I have enjoyed our races in Spain. We have run five races in all with distances as unusual as 5.2k and 14k to the more usual 10k and two half marathons. We did quite well in our age groups with 2 first places and 5 second places. Prizes are given for the first three in each category but they do sometimes cap the upper age group. Two of the races capped the vets’ categories at 50! Races cost between 10 and 18 euros with great goody bags, often with two technical T-shirts. All the races were well organised and had chip timing, they don’t bother with finishing funnels. Post race time is important. We always had music, usually live, and free food and drink (including beer), for the runners and their family and friends. We would highly recommend races here if you get the chance.
Probably the last of our Spanish races for this trip resulted in a win for Lesley in the FV50 age category. This was the first time this race had been run and we felt uncertain about how well organised it would be or how big, especially as they capped the vet categories at V50. We needn’t have worried however. There were over 300 runners entered, as usual the race was chipped. The goody back contained a long sleeve tech running vest and plenty of goodies. Lots of supporters and loud music added to the festive atmosphere.
The race followed a two lap flat course, which kept us near the centre of the town and the spectators. At its ends the runners doubled back on themselves allowing you to see the runners in front and of course Lesley and I were able to see how each other were doing. I could see that Lesley was having a good race and that there was a good chance of her winning a prize. I enjoyed the race (even though I had a sore chest) and finished in 43 minutes, nowhere near the contenders in the over 50 group. Lesley stayed strong and ran a fast time of 52 minutes and was first FV50 runner. The only problem was that the cup a really just a little bit too big for our motorhome trophy shelf, but I’m sure we’ll fit on somehow. All in all a good day at the races. To celebrate, we went to Paddy Singh’s restaurant for Sunday lunch. Lovely.
Well, we’ve had our first Bridge lesson today. Recent years have seen my card playing limited to snap with Ella, my Grandaughter, and, from memory, Ella won. I expected it to be a bit more involved than the card games of my childhood and I was right. For a start, you have to hold 13 cards, that’s a lot when you’re not used to it, then there’s the business of the suits having different ranks, cards having different values, bidding, etc. All made more challenging because the cards, like our teacher, are Dutch. Martin conducted the whole lesson in English, very impressive. With all the challenges of learning the basics, (we have 8 weeks before we leave for France), I can see that this is a game we will enjoy. Now I need to do my homework ready for lesson 2.
Time for a coffee. As usual we had our Spanish lesson this morning and of course while we were there the wind was blowing and the windsurfers were having a great time. By the time I got to the beach at 12:00 the wind had dropped off. I did an hour but nothing very exciting.
We decided to go to Los Belones for a coffee. Pictures show a view of Fuente and a mural of Los Belones (painted on the gable end of a building from the same street).
Another Oompah evening. The dutch certainly like their barrel organ style music. It was a good evening and Trevor and Sue joined us which was nice. Research shows that one of their (the Dutch) favorite songs, “The Red Rose Cafe”, (Het kleine café aan de haven) is actually a Dutch song written in 1975 by Pierre Kartner, also known as Vader (Father) Abraham. He’s also known for the Smurf song. I have to admit I much prefer the version by the Fureys.
It had been suggested we should go along the weekly quiz organised by the Camping and Caravanning club. Julie whose idea it was obviously didn’t realise how inexperienced and weak we are at this sort of thing. In preparation I watched Pointless much more carefully in the hope that some of the answers might be useful in the quiz. Alas, it didn’t work. In spite of help from Derek and Anne we came last, but I think we all enjoyed the evening and at the moment it looks likely that we will have another go next week. Brian (Julie’s husband) says that the questions all get repeated over a period of time and the longer you go the better you get. The winning team got about 56/7 compared to our lowly 39. In our defence I would add that we only had 4 in our team compared to 6 in the others.