Happy New Year From The Beach

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Wednesday 3 January 2018

Happy New Year From The Beach

Happy New Year! I hope that everyone had a lovely holiday season and is looking forward to wonderful things in the months ahead. For us, the start of 2018 sees us back in our beloved San Jose taking a pause and using a few quiet weeks to take stock of all the many changes our life has seen since the same time last year. Hard to believe that just 12 short months ago we didn’t have one dog, never mind 5! Still, before getting into that, I’ll just say a few words about what we got up to in the run up to Christmas.

Mid-November saw us leaving the Alps and our cycling exploits behind until next summer and making the long drive north to Holland to visit Oma. Despite the rain, the cold and the chill, we went on to have a wonderful fortnight all together, walking dogs on the beach and meeting new friends.




In late November we left Holland and began heading south, quickly. We had no fixed destination in mind, just a strong sense that it was time to get warm. We did make a, possibly ill-advised, detour to Mont Ventoux where Esther found out why late November is a terrible time to cycle up to 2000 metres altitude. Not only was the top closed due to heavy snow but it took her several hours to stop shivering by the time she got back down.

After Ventoux we quickly headed towards the border for a wonderful, excitable, furry reuinion with the pups brother Teddy, who lives in southern France. It was a fantastic afternoon to see them all playing together.



Then we crossed into Spain, pausing just briefly to stock up on a few organic food ingredients which we knew were in short supply south of the border. Two days later we arrived in San Jose, having spent just a single night in the amusingly named Peniscola. Well, I find it funny anyway.

We honestly didn’t intend to reach here so quickly. We thought we might slowly potter south and spend a few weeks moving from beach parking to beach parking, but when a few email enquiries with HMS Alquila revealed a lovely looking apartment on the sunny side of the bay was available, and happy to accept our five dogs, we took it. It wasn’t that we weren’t enjoying motorhome life, far from it, but after 4 very busy and active months of van life followed by 2 cramped, damp weeks in Holland, we did feel ready for a bit of winter space.

Since then much has happened. I visited the UK for a week in mid-December, where I drove a narrow boat! Then we enjoyed a peaceful Christmas and New Year with Esther’s parents, and we’ve spent a lot of time walking in the sunshine with dogs. Oh, and I had a frightening but brief hospital stay linked to my chronic bowel difficulties but came through the other side in the end.

Which brings us to now, looking ahead to 2018. We’re booked to stay in San Jose until the end of the month, but both of us can already feel our itchy feet starting to tickle already. Every time I take the van into Almeria to do our shopping I find myself feeling happy just to be back in the motorhome and, although the prospect of moving EVERYTHING back into it again is daunting, I am very excited to think where we might head to next.

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