Spain and ………………………………………….Rain!

No Rain in Spain really???

After a few more sad and tearful farewells (mainly on Karen’s part) plus our last UK Indian we headed off to Portsmouth and the 24 hour crossing to Santander stopping en route to weigh Niki and also to say goodbye to Dot or Dorothy as she so liked to be called (Karen’s Mum, in a very bleak cemetery, but with Big Grandad and Big Nanny as we called them, Dots Mum and Dad and also 1 sister Olive). As Karen’s family hale from Portsmouth Karen’s cousin Gary and fiancé Zoe were also going to wave us goodbye but we were also fortunate enough to have 1 more cousin Shaun and girlfriend also waving us off from the shores of England.

IMG_3700
Karen’s lovely brother David and his best half Christine with their genius daughter Claire

We were about to say Goodbye to Mum and in our usual flower shop when much to our surprise (Karen’s) big brother David walked in with wife Chris and much to be IMG_3698   th anked for daughter Claire (find out the reason why Claire is the Holy Grail after the year!!) Karen nearly dropped down there and then on the spot such were the stress levels at that moment- having said goodbye over our chicken dhansak & poppadoms the night before these were the last people we expected to see, but what a joy as a farewell and so we headed off to the Ship and Castle the closest pub to the dock terminal and also a pub with so many memories for the Grant family, many a picture of cousins, uncles and aunts etc with the S&C in the back ground.

IMG_3701
Gary AKA (Gaz of Pompey) Zoe, Shaun and lovely girlfriend and Karen

For whatever reason the ferry was over an hour late leaving the dock but still Gary and Shaun waited and with the aid of technology i.e apple torch we managed to all wave goodbye as the ferry headed off into the black and bleak yonder to bounce and weave her way across the dreaded Bay of Biscay. Despite the ferry heading off at 8pm the main restaurant still closed at 9pm and so as it being D’s 55th birthday we headed off to posh restaurant to see what was in store for us. The ferry was French owned and therefore that country biased and so we made our choice, but sticking with where we were heading we chose a Spanish red. All were very good and lovely, but please refer to Karen’s food blog for further intensive details.
IMG_3739As we headed out past the UK and onto open ocean so the waves, winds etc began to pick up and so we headed to our cabin not cruise standard but perfectly functionally and try to sleep. Whatever the best warnings and predictions were we managed to head into a force 8 gale and over D’s snoring Karen could be heard to say many a time ‘ I don’t like this, if it was a plane I’ll be screaming by now’ which for those of you unfortunate enough to having flown with K will know this to be true. Morning came and with still much weaving breakfast was had and the day ahead became slow to gain speed such are the fortunes of a ferry crossing and high winds. We eventually thankfully made it into Santander 1.5 hours later than we should have due to the force 8 winds and after very valuable advice from another motorhomer now a ‘tugger’ we changed course for our first stop and heading for the Elephant park just east of Santander rather than heading thorough the Pisco d’europa mountains and with a shorter drive in the RAIN we also managed at 10pm to get some food as well. Then we headed up for our first night in NiKi and after a final whiskey we made everything up and hit the very comfortable fixed bed- a good choice for us long termers. The rain continued throughout the night but such was the exhaustion, tiredness, alcohol and drugs we both managed a decent nights sleep and awoke the next morning to find ourselves surrounded by many of our fellow ferry motorhomers.

No Rain In Spain??
No Rain In Spain??
No Rain in Spain really???
No Rain in Spain really???

With more good advice from these more experienced travelers we headed off to Salamanca on the way to our first proper stop of Cadiz and Spanish school. Karen took to the wheel for this part and after again going off piste to find diesel IMG_3749and food (for David, Karen having had her usual boiled egg). Mistakes began to unfold as the roundabouts started to head in to smaller villages and narrow roads including a gasp moment when we were heading for a tunnel that NiKi was too big for and so we headed as you do down a residents only small track and into the back roads off a small mountain, Heads, hearts and tempers were kept and we negotiated our way out and on to the petrol station that yielded both diesel and bocadillos – both cheap and excellent.

IMG_3747 With still the rain and the wind giving it’s all through the mountains we still managed to make good time and to arrive at our next aire. But given this was a Domingo and outside the main town was it a good time- was it for us ex townies to be another of those ‘Sorry, it’s past 2 and we don’t serve food now’ moments. With D heading through
the door who was likely to say No, even though the main restaurant was closing we managed to get ourselves understood and got some tapas and a few glasses of beer and vino. The locals eventually stopped staring at us especially as on the stare or dirty looks front Karen is a master and we headed back to a more slightly industrial aire (on a housing estate)than our first and bedded in for the night and this is where with a glass of vino tinto you leave us until

Continue with the Gappers………………..

8 Comments

  1. Welcome to the continent! It’s good you made it safely! Hope to rea lots of your adventures!

  2. Sounds like fun keep the rain in Spain the golf course has been closed for 3 days. Looking forward to reading a lot more. All the Very Best Toddy

  3. Very jealous have only just returned from six weeks in Spain and stayed at the elephant site for our first night.Look forward to reading your blog.

  4. Sounds like the Whitney/Nolan duo have made their mark on Spain already, Molly is missing her Auntie Karen and Uncle David waiting expectantly for the Chorizo delivery.
    Looking forward to reading more “adventures with the Greygappers”

  5. Wow! Thats quite a tome Davy Boy! Surprised you had time to eat after that….It’s was great, though obviously slightly sad thinking of missed IOW etc.., to be there when you left and lovely to catch up with everyone at the good old SHIP AND CASTLE. Sounds like you are slowly getting into the spirit of things and that Niki is holding her own and at least meeting expectations. Look forward to hearing of your future adventures….Take care guys….thinking of you.

  6. Hi David and Karen

    We have both started following your blog with great interest as both Mandy and myself are looking to do a motorhomes tour of Europe in 2017.
    Can I firstly apologise for asking what may seem to be common sense question but to us they seem practical.

    How did you manage to get the hired og the Eddiss van for the year?
    Why did you have to get the motorhomes weighed before going on the ferry?

    We are just catching up with the blogs so I’m sure there will be other stupid questions to ask.

    Keep enjoying the journey.

    Regards

    Mandy and Ian

    • Hi there Ian and Mandy, with regards to the van that was luck good timing. We are both just 55 and are the new youth! Taking a gap year.

      With regards to weighing the van, the maximum weight the van can be fully loaded is 3.5 tonnes. So as the fine here in Spain can be €1000 so we wanted to know what that we were correct before we arrived. We had for the record 40kg spare. That is 40 litres of wine or water?

      Best of luck with your plans, don’t hesitate to ask any questions.

      Regards David and Karen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*