Mon 12/09/16: ‘We don’t like Mondays’ the song goes, but generally I have never minded them, Tuesday always being the ugh day for me. This Monday was one that I will remember certainly for the next 6 weeks while my wrist remains in plaster. Moving on from seeing friends in Barcelona we were on the hunt for a more suitable camp site near to Barcelona for the end of the month while David takes to the golf course for a weekend with friends. We headed on not far up the coast to a place called Mataro, practically a suburb of the great city. Check in at the site was quick, efficient with spaces to park up while you did the paperwork. Normal you might think but not actually, generally given though they are sites accepting caravans and motorhomes there is often nowhere for you to park whilst you are at reception putting pressure upon you even before you get to the pitch. Disaster struck when we were making our manoeuvres onto our pitch with me running to help David get into place and then taking an amazing leap and fall over an unmarked awning peg. The pain was horrendous as was the shock. The thankful thing was having ice plus peas (not many) in the freezer plus tubey grip, both applied quickly to limit the damage. I opted to self-doctor and with elastic bandage on a bit later we headed into the nearby small town doing our bits and bobs there that we had to. Given the events plus the fact it was still hot we opted for a shop brought cooked chicken and a simple salad for dinner and continued to apply ice, creams etc. to my wrist in a hope that within the next few days it would be cured.
Tues 13/09/16: A fitful night was spent by me with the pain in my wrist giving me agony and no comfort to be had at all with it. A trip to a doctor or the hospital was now a certainty if only to confirm what I should or shouldn’t do. We do have medical insurance for the trip but as ever with so many of these policies you have to ring them first (UK pay number) and with this policy go through the national health service first, only then upon their say so turning to private care. Having dealt with the ‘wonderful’ Queen Elizabeth hospital in S.E London I was not unduly worried about how long it would take or the standard of treatment, really expecting to be told it was just a bad sprain and carry on resting it.
Therefore it did come as a shock to leave the hospital 4 hours later with my wrist fractured and in a lovely white plaster cast- thankfully my first and hopefully only break/fracture in my 55 years. With the next 6 weeks now taking on a different pattern for us- no driving or cycling being the main ones, under my supervision David prepared our dinner of chicken risotto. Whilst it was very tasty, plus a good use of the left over chicken he did ignore my advice of pouring in the stock and white wine gradually to give it a creamier texture (see I do take notice of those cookery programmes) thus making it taste more like chicken and rice not risotto, but to be honest neither of us was that bothered. Thank you all for your good wishes and health tips over this period- wine does help as you all advised!
Wed 14/09/16: Having been ‘hosed’ down and my hair done by David (it’s going to be a long 6 weeks!) we opted for a lovely walk along the sea front heading further north away from Barcelona. It has to be said there does not seem to be a shortage of money or wealth in this area and it’s reflected in the prices for food, drink. For the first time our 2nd coffee hitting the €2 mark and for David beers now being closer to €4 for a jarra. We did find a lovely restaurant in the marina that stood out from the rest there by the fact that it offered a menu del dia, plus at the reasonable price of €13.90. I had a lovely gazpacho soup which seems to be in season now in the north and this makes sense because all around us at the campsite and on the drive up where fields upon fields of tomatoes-some under glass the others just in the open. The soup was served very trendily in a glass and came with a serving of what looked like rice krispies. For main I had hake which took me slightly by surprise as it was a cutlet (not sure if right terminology) but had been cooked in garlic with crispy bits served on top, not a disappointment at all. Lemon sorbet for both of us cleared our pallets. For the first time however we were charged for having a whole bottle and not a glass each so that did make us smile. The weather like the night before took a turn with heavy rain, thunder and lightning running around the area.
Thurs 15/09/16: Leaving the lovely camp site even given my disaster it is the place where I will spend 4 days R&R whilst David chases some golf balls. Off now to meet family, friends in a legendary place- Tossa de Mar. In life some places and people are legendary-Al Skinner was a legend in my 20’s, so many stories and fables told about him. Eventually meeting him, spending more time with over the years he did indeed live up to his status. Tossa is the same, of my youth so many stories told of holidays, events happening there. So it was on our visit list, but it was aided by those making it that legend also returning after some 40 years. Of course the place has changed but as LP puts it “Tossa was one of the first places on the Costa Brava to attract foreign visitors” and it did so attracting the Caselton family and friends for many years in the early 70’s. It does remain an attractive place with a lot of development halted by the fact it is hemmed in by big hills or small mountains. It has a charm, life and like Al Skinner lived up to its reputation, unfortunately it wasn’t motor home friendly, so after a very nice lunch, dinner and catch up with ‘the Last of the Summer Wine’ boys we headed off further up the coast leaving them with their reminisces and memories returning Monday to say good bye before they head home. Many eateries in Tossa and we had a lovely evening meal of a very acceptable paella with another retro starter for me of prawn cocktail- always a favourite. Plus another plus for the place, no awful t-shirts with Tossa or any other unsavoury variation to be had
Fri 16/09/16: Again not far up the coast but to another recommendation by my ex –boss
to a lovely, wonderful cute seaside resort- Calella de Palafrugell. The drive out of Tossa was a must do drive, twists, turns drops and views that were nearly and quite possibly to die for. With David now being the sole driver I have to keep my counsel but he did brilliantly on this and also parking up at Moby Dicks –the camp site at Calella. I would say Calella in terms of property, restaurants is like the Mayfair of Spain- I don’t think there was one front or 2-3 row back properties that hadn’t been developed and asking a premium price according to the local estate agents. The fish restaurants were in abundance and full on this Friday lunchtime. Budget prevailing we opted for some grilled sardines, very local historically to the area plus a wonderful goat’s cheese salad for lunch. With the weather changing we opted to move slightly further up the coast, otherwise we would have stayed and as the Beano would say-have had a lovely splash up supper on the Saturday
Sat 17/09/16: Grey, wet we moved again further along the coast heading closer to France which becomes more and more apparent as you get closer. We decided upon L’estartit resort which is the resort for diving, snorkelling Illes Medes- a paradise for both water sports. I did try to entice David into having a dive-he being an advanced open water Padi (no pun) diver, but having not dived for many years he declined- probably given the recent disasters big and small a good idea.
Then an oddity occurred after our early afternoon walk into the harbour. Dinner was planned for later and was to be in house- but given the many restaurants there were here we just did a quick trip
advisor search and very oddly the number one restaurant was The Masala, an Indian! Well what could we do-an Indian restaurant holding no 1 spot (Yes there was more than one, 200 odd in fact). We were its first customers of the evening and part of me given it was a bit out of the main action wonder how many more customers it might have got. The décor needed some work – a splash of white paint all over would have done wonders, plus the mauve shower curtains hiding I’m not sure what were a bit off putting, but the food was more than acceptable. The chicken dhansak hitting all the right taste buds washed down for David with his beloved Indian Cobra beer. Saturday night out curry –lovely
Sun 18/09/16: Sun out again and diving, snorkelling not an option for either of us we chose the more sedate option of seeing the marine life by taking the lunchtime glass bottom boat. Well not actually glassed bottomed but a catamaran with a viewing glass hull. The seas were busy with boats, divers of all shapes and sizes and it’s a protected marine area so lovely and strange to view the underworld life. In an attempt to get our land legs back we had a lovely mojito before heading back and again were a bit naughty on the food front. Rotisserie chicken seems to be very popular here and having passed one on the way into town it seemed to beckon us on the way back. A whole hot chicken cooked over wood with chips- €12, very very tasty indeed.
Back to Tossa tomorrow to see….. No poor taste jokes… Keith, Scoop and john before we have our cultural taste of Mr Dali.