Not us for sure, but here in the lovely area of Zahora, the sun has definitely gone out since Wednesday- with heavy, heavy rain and very strong winds, during the day and night. But as is often the saying – we do need it. Personally, I don’t, as it makes our few occupations of walking and cycling so much harder, if not impossible, as most of this area is sand and dirt based, which adds considerably to the unpleasantness of both. It has also at times during this, actually been cold and we have had to put the heater on in Buster. Yes, for those of you worried about us, motorhomes do have central heating, that is remarkably good and efficient, heating both us and the van up quite quickly to a lovely cosiness.
The week, given the semi lockdown and not moving has in reality been quite quiet, and so I could resort to the realms of fantasy, that is Whitney World, but I’ll spare you that until really desperate!
Monday and Tuesday, actually were dry days and we managed to get a couple of bits done, mainly shopping, I really haven’t got enough shoes. On both occasions we did actually head out of our zone. On the Monday, we cycled the back route to Vejer to get some much-needed grease for the bikes, and of course we supported the local hostelry by partaking in a sherry and a couple of tapa. This particular bar, does a very nice Moroccan chicken skewer. It also is a great people watching place as there is a local junior school just down the road and by early afternoon the road is full of doting parents collecting their children, and just like in the UK, parking where and how they feel. However, in Spain, this is aided by the local police who arrive at end of school day to make sure the parents park and drive as badly as they can- it all makes for interesting viewing!
Tuesday, was food shop day and so we were heading to Barbate market via the local petrol garage for a coffee. We should have then headed back the route we came to cycle more miles along a dirt road to a busier market in Barbate. Upon reflection at the coffee shop and being 3k’s already along the road to the quieter Conil, we decided to break rules again and head there, along a smooth, non dirt/sand cycle path. The market in Conil has just two veg/fruit stalls and the same for meat, the one in Barbate has more, of course more choice, therefore more people, but we are simple souls and really don’t need that much choice, so Conil does for us, and we still enjoy our limited interaction with the stall holders, who view us with amusement.
Again after shopping we had a couple of tapa in the local bars before heading back, with unfortunately the skies darkening rapidly as went and just about allowing us to get back to the van before the skies opened.
Were we wrong to break the Covid rules. In absolute terms Yes, but in practicality No. Both places are actually nearer to us than Barbate- our allowed zone. We cycle to each, along paths to Conil that are safer for us in these weather conditions and we interact in the same way with the people wherever we are- which is outside, hands washed, no cash, no touching. So sorry, we have to do what we think is right, safe and correct within the rules, behaving as correctly as we can which is of paramount importance to us.
Monday and Tuesday were also fairly momentous days for us in their own way. Monday, we moved Buster, yeah……….. a whole 100 yards. With the nearest toilet/wash block to us being shut, we decided we should move the van nearer to the other toilet/wash block. Saves David so much trouble of a night time navigating the dark to wash up! Plus, which we now know was our error, there was more morning sun on the new space. Since moving, we have of course not seen the said sun, but we still live in hope. Pino, the cat of course came with us-why wouldn’t he (we now know it’s a boy from googling it’s posterior and from Conil Street Cats Rescue confirming it) He has decided our home is his home and is absolutely desperate, especially in the bad weather to get into the van. We can now stroke him, on his terms as ever, and he has made under the van his home as much as we try to discourage him.
The second momentous happening was Justin, our one of three here at camp, moving on to his sisters villa in Minorca. We have of course only known Justin a few weeks, but within the world that is Covid his leaving was actually quite sad for David and I, and more so for the other couple here, who know him so much better over the years they have all visited. So, on the Tuesday, we said our goodbyes and wished each other well, hoping to meet up again in better times in this area we all now love so much.
On both the three days thereafter, we attempted to make a walk to Canos, about 5k’s along the road either by road or beach, hoping to take in various refreshment places we like along the route, but each time we set out, weather permitting according to the app, we never made it and had to turn back and have coffee or afternoon drinks in our own campsite bar. Our now finely tuned fit bodies (!!) are used to doing the 10, 000 steps a day, so this was a disappointment for us. Apart from one day, Thursday, when as we attempted to make it to Canos, and as we walked a UK motorhome passed us. We waved, we do quite often even when not in the motorhome, we sadly get quite excited at seeing other UK visitors and have turned almost royal like in our waving. We thought we saw brake lights from them as they passed, and I commented to David about another couple David had been chatting to over the past few days, parked just down the road in the area of Tarifa. Did we know their van, I asked? No said David, but they know us from the blog, so it couldn’t have been. We trudged on a bit further, huddling within our wet coats, when the lovely old Hymer van pulled up beside us with two grinning fellow motorhomers –“David, Karen?, Kathy Steve?” names being shouted. Indeed, bizarrely they were that very couple, moved on from Tarifa. So, we spent a lovely few hours in our campsite bar, catching up, discussing plans, why’s and where fore’s etc. A lovely cheering much needed lift in spirits for us Greygappers, at the moment living in the grey.
Friday, brought another attempt to get to Canos, and we sort of made it, but on route it gave rise to the huge difference between Spanish and Irish men- height. With the rain teaming down, and therefore heads down, David hit his head on a road sign with such force that it did indeed dent the sign and David’s head. To make the bleeding and staggering worse, the coffee shop had just such it’s doors. Ouch, Ouch, but on the bright side our favourite barrel bar was now open and so we ‘headed’ there for a fortifying drink and tapa and also to listen to emotive flamenco music.
Saturday brought for the two of us much more Covid drama and home trip planning, too morose to mention, but the skies did turn a lighter shade of grey, and to clear our heads we did a massive beach walk from Canos all the way to El Palmar, giving us some 22k’s of walking. It was just what we needed to shake of the blues and give some prospective. The campsite bar at the end though was more than welcome, but I’m not sure my unclothed feet were!
Today, Sunday was supposed to be clear and after a visit to our nearby favourite outdoor bar, Fresco for coffee and a slice of carrot cake the day never cleared, and so dinner was sourced indoors along with a welcome family zoom call.
So, will someone please turn the sun back on, as otherwise we will have to resort to playing cards again and with just two of us, it will resort in D.I.V.O.R.C.E
Footnote again for Lesley Parr’s newly published book A Change in the Aire, an excellent Christmas present.
Also, David and I send our love and thoughts to the family of Esther Dingley, (fellow motorhomer) currently missing in France xx