What We've Been Up To - PART 2 MARCH

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Sunday 12 May 2019

What We've Been Up To - PART 2 MARCH

Leaving off from my last catch up post about February, I'll jump straight into it ..... March started with us leaving our little spot at Olvia (Nova), and Dan dropping me off at the train station in Gandia.  I took a train to Valencia to meet up with a lovely Swiss lady who we'd gotten to know at El Saler at the end of December.  She was travelling in a van with her dog and we'd bumped into each other on a dog walk and instantly felt a connection.  She had many fascinating stories to share and I enjoyed several evenings drinking tea with her in her van.  This was just before I unexpectedly went to Holland and during the challenging times as Oma was passing, she was there on the end of the phone to offer support.  She'd continued her travels and was in Cabo de Gata Natural Park at the time and somehow that felt very comforting.  Roll forward to March and she was now headed back up for Switzerland with a quick stop at Valencia.  We arranged to meet up and have a day together in the parks of Valencia.  And it was a great time sharing all what had been happening and what we'd both been learning from our physical and life adventures since we'd last seen each other.

As we said goodbye, I couldn't resist a quick shop in Ecoorganics on the way to the train station and ended up with a weeks worth of veggies!  Luckily there was a very patient server on the till.  Actually so patient and kind, as I stopped to thank him I realised it was the same guy who'd helped Dan and me, 4 years previous when we used to cycle in from El Saler with big rucksacks on our bags to do our bio shopping!  It was lovely as we both remembered each other! Dan picked me up in Gandia and it was already dark.  He'd once again been a hero and emptied our toilet, refilled our water, looked after the team and done some shopping of his own.  In the dark we navigated some diversions and drove down some pretty narrow streets (Dan again being an amazing driver) to arrive at a camperspot as indicated on campercontact.com We weren't too sure but decided not to panic.  Things always looked different in the morning light and thought we'd just rest the night.

Morning came and well we ended up enjoying a lovely week in Gandia.  The camper parking spot was right on the beach which was great for the dogs.  It seemed quite clean so we could stress less about the dogs and their scavenging behaviours i.e. low chance of fishing hooks / sewage etc. We'd taken a few days off exercise after our massive cycle rides in Jalon and so enjoyed getting back into it with gentle beach runs with the team.  Each day we had different training partners and we even took little George for his first run with us.  Unlike the others, he stayed close on our heels and would look up at us, running very much like we used to on treadmills back when we used gyms!  He slept well afterwards.

Again we met some really nice people on this camperspot, mostly as they were fussing the dogs and swapped many stories.  It always so nice  I was out doing yoga most days and Dan was deep into his poetry.  We even enjoyed two cycles - one along the coast towards Cullera and another heading inland where we unexpectedly climbed the Puerto de la Safor.  Of course we had lots of our afternoon family cuddles.


Once again the fridge was bare and so it was time to move on.  We like the fridge to be totally empty before shopping again, reducing waste and so in some ways it's becoming for us a sign for when it's time to move on. We arranged another walk with my Uncle and his partner at Olvia (Nova) on our way back to Jalon via the absolutely huge Ecorganics at Ondara.  The dogs had another super playtime with their extended family pack member Zoe.  We had an upcoming house-sitting arrangement for friends, plus Dan's dad was flying into near Murcia and so with the week before these engagements and the weather looking good we headed back to Jalon.  We just couldn't resist the cycle routes there.  We tried a couple of longer routes as well as the ones which had now become favourites.  Again we enjoyed some 'safe' caterpillar free walking along the rambla and we were welcomed back by some of the same campers still parked at the aire.


At the end of the week, the fridge was again empty and so it was off towards Los Alcázares.  Dan took some of the team for a morning run whilst I took the opportunity to do a point to point cycle ride and meet Dan outside another huge Ecorganics (on the outskirts of Benidorm).  The team enjoyed a sniff round the next door pet shop!  We arrived in Los Alcazares and enjoyed catching up with Dan's Dad and his wife Teresa, who'd just flown in that morning.  We had a lovely relaxed late evening walk along the promenade.  Dan knew Los Alcazares very well by now, having spent a large proportion of his time whilst I was in Holland, waiting here for me to return.

The next morning, I took an explore on the bike along the coastline whilst Dan spent some time with his Dad.  After everyone had an afternoon nap, we had a lovely afternoon stroll around the town and also another evening walk along the promenade.  The next morning Dan had a morning walk with his Dad and George and Bella, then took Leela and me running before doing some yoga together on the sunny promenade.  We said farewell to Mick and Teresa and were off towards Velez Rubio.


Velez Rubio and Velez Blanco are in a lovely area near Albox and not one we've explored very much.  Our good friends had just bought a house in this area and were needing to take a short trip back to the UK.  We'd volunteered to look after their dog, Jessie, who's known Leela since the day she came to live with us and is a firm friend of the pups.  We met our friends in Velez Rubio so they could help us find their house.  After a near-miss turning round episode which is actually very hard to describe how it happened - Dan somehow dropped of a kerb and then got stuck - yet we amazed ourselves as to how calm we stayed and with some creative use of the chocks and several manoeuvres later we escape any damage! - we arrived at their house.  Occupying a super plot with a terrific view, we were so happy for them that they were finally making their dream Spanish life a reality.


As soon as the gang heard our friends voices, a riot kicked off and soon they were bounding all over the garden, playing with Jessie and happy to be reunited once again.  It was lovely to see.   We were made super welcome by our friends. Then after a couple of days of catching up with our friends, having some nice walks with all the dogs exploring the surrounding areas and being shown the ropes, we were left for the week to look after little Jessie.  She hadn't been left over night before, so it was at first stressful to see her reaction to being left behind.  I stayed in the house with Pati (her favourite of the gang) and Dan and the others stayed in the camper so as not to overwhelm her.  After a slightly restless start to the night, she eventually settled, snuggling into me and then swiftly accepted the situation.  She was a 6th member of the pack for the following days - having many adventures with the dogs and us.  The weather was a little chilly so I was happy to be in a warm house and in the afternoons we'd all cuddle up.


I took a couple of cycle rides to explore the area, when the weather allowed, otherwise to the dogs amusement turbo'd to music.  Dan explored the area on foot and we catch up with a few things during the days there.  Dan did a super job of cleaning the motorhome, getting on top of our laundry and re-arranging our storage space.  And we also found it relaxing to help out our friend by doing some late afternoon gardening / weeding with the help of the team.  Our friends returned, middle of the night, and they were greeted by an ecstatic Jessie who left my bedside to return to her rightful place snuggled in with her Mum and Dad safely home.  We stayed another day or two, our friends kindly looked after the team and lent us their car so Dan and I had a mini-adventure trying to find our way up the hills we'd been looking at.  And then it felt time to again move on and give our friends their home back.....


And this is where we decided to go to Cabo de Gata, returning to San Jose for "just a week" to visit our friends.  We stopped off at Gurracha as we were really tired.  Driving away from our friends we realised we'd taken on a lot during our time there and also the preceding weeks since our unexpectedly emotional rollercoaster start to 2019.  Slightly difficult to write about our time there - as we've shared it's not smooth sailing when living in a 6 x 2m plastic box with 7 beings.  What I can say is that the weather mirrored how we were feeling, with several big storms, there were a couple of trips to the bakery on my part (it happens from time-to-time) and yet on a positive note, Dan rescued a dog and the police helped to reunite it with its owners, proving that micro-chipping really does work!

From here I cycled towards Carboneras whilst Dan drove the camper and picked a lovely spot by the beaches in the Northern part of the Cabo de Gata park. We committed and started a 28 day Jason Vale juice reboot (the first in over a year and well overdue) and also took a couple of days apart to aid in our reflection, both taking some time to journal, rest and vision what the following 12 months had in store for us.  I stayed with the team, taking some nice beach walks and walks along the coastal path towards Carboneras itself.  Sadly there was a big storm one night and the beach which had been brilliant the day before, was then littered with sewage and waste - to my horror but to the dogs delight.  It took a few moments before I realised and to get them on the lead in which time they had their fill - which would be seen several times again during the next 24 hours.


And then it was the end of March.... Reunited again, Dan and I, decided to move on..... I got on the bike and Dan once again drove the camper as we set off towards San Jose.....  "just for the week"!




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