Journey from home to La Manga, 6th – 9th October.
We set off from home on Tuesday 6th October after finishing loading up the motor home. We filled up with diesel and gas at Morrisons in Crewe and then we were on our way. We stopped at a service area at Tothill near Newbury about 5pm and had tea and watched a bit of TV. We left about 9pm and headed for the port at Portsmouth. We arrived about 10.15 pm and parked in the check-in lane for the Bilbao ferry.
We had a quiet night’s sleep and were the first in the queue for checking in which opened about 8.30 am.
We had a sandwich lunch, booked the cinema and a table in the restaurant for a dinner for later and I took travel sickness tablets. I was very drowsy due to the tablets so I went to bed in the afternoon and Mel watched a film on his laptop.
We went to the cinema to see ‘The Man from Uncle’ which was OK but nothing special. We had a nice meal in the restaurant and watched a bit of TV but Mel was feeling a bit sick so we went to the cabin and went to bed. It was a fairly smooth crossing and we were able to sleep comfortably.
We had breakfast in the restaurant the next morning and then sat in the lounge until we docked in Bilbao.
We were on the road the next morning by 9.00 am and we didn’t stop as we needed to get to San Javier airport to pick up the hire car by 3.00 pm. The journey was trouble free again due to good weather and empty roads. We picked up the Fiat 500 at about 2.15 pm and I drove the car to La Manga behind Mel in the motor home going at a very slow pace!
We arrived at La Manga campsite to be greeted by lots of people we knew from previous visits which was really welcoming. Mel managed to set up the TV aerial and the wifi but that’s all we did as we were tired. We had dinner and watched the GBBO final.
La Manga, 10th -31st October
It took about 3 days to set up the pitch and a couple more days for Mel to build his trolley, rig sails and get his kit ready for windsurfing. We started to run straight away but didn’t find it easy; we were probably tired from the journey but also the weather was warm and humid. We started to go to Pilates with Paula on Monday mornings and I entered us into two races – the Cross de la Artilleria 14k in Cartegena on 22nd November and the Torre Pacheco half marathon on the 13th December.
There wasn’t much wind for windsurfing in October; Mel went out a couple of times and also went to Cabo with Chris and Keith.
The weather was mixed with some lovely hot, sunny days but we also had some cloudy days. There was a huge thunderstorm during the night of the 18th October with very heavy rain. The next morning our pitch was very wet but OK otherwise but the beach had been washed away and the campsite roads and some pitches were full of mud. It was a mess and many people had a major cleaning up job to do.
Mel had to spend some time trying to get the gears on my bike working properly but when he had done this they were a lot better than they had ever been. We went on three rides in October, the first to Los Urrutias and then back via Los Nietos (about 20km), the second to La Union and back (about 30km) and the third to La Union, El Algar, Los Urrutias and back (about 40km). We had a coffee stop each time and enjoyed the scenery and challenge of the rides. I had a sore bum each time as my saddle was hard and we don’t do any cycling at home, hopefully this will improve with time!
I did my first run with Isobel and Zena on 28th October which I enjoyed; we did over 7 miles. Isobel was a bit nervous about doing it but she was fine. I am hoping we will do more together.
We visited the Parque Minero in La Union on Thursday 29th October. This is a mining museum where you are able to go inside a disused mine and hear all about the history of mining in the area. It was once a major industry and employer here and although mining ceased some time ago there is evidence of all the mining activity to be seen all around La Union. It was a very interesting and enjoyable tour which was given in English by a knowledgeable guide, well worth the visit.
Chris and Gaynor have bought a permanent pitch on the campsite recently and we had an enjoyable evening with them and other friends at their new place.
Caroline has been to Paris at half term, making good use of time off from school. Ella had her sixth birthday on the 27th October and we spoke to her and Laura on Face time. She had a lovely day out at Chester Zoo on her birthday. Tom passed his coaching exam in Hong Kong so is very happy about that; hopefully this will lead to a new career for him.
Jill had her 70th birthday on the 10th October and she had a lovely weekend away with the family in Wales.
Sue & Geoff Strawbridge (who we know from skiing in Les Arcs) came to visit us on Thursday 22nd October. They have bought a place in Algorfa (near Alicante) but have still got a motor home. It was lovely to see them and catch up on their adventures during the last twelve months. Hopefully we will see them again maybe in Bourg St Maurice in February. We are also hoping to catch up with Caz and Ed at some point as they are currently heading for Spain.
We went to Paddy Singh’s restaurant in Los Urrutias on the 23rd October and had a very nice Indian meal. A set meal of three courses and drinks costs 25 € for two of us – very good value.