Wednesday, 23 December 2015

We've had a Very Unfortunate Incident

We've had a Very Unfortunate Incident

Sunday 20th December 2015

Today started very well - our new friends, Pete and Jackie knocked on the door and invited us to accompany them, along with some others, to the Sunday market which is held about 3 miles away in Puerto de Mazarron.  Now, markets aren't usually our/(John's) cup of tea, but as it meant we could meet more new people we quickly agreed to go, and we all set off cycling together to our destination.  When we arrived we locked our bikes to a big sturdy fence and then set off to wonder around the huge market that displayed all manner of goods - some legal and some maybe not - there was a police presence and on a couple of occasions sellers could be seen scooping their goods into bundles and then re-displaying them when the coast was clear.

All sorts of cheese

And some massive hams

There was a massive array of goods on sale, both edible and otherwise, but as our fridge was already loaded to the gills we hardly indulged in any of the above, however when I saw brussel sprouts for sale I couldn't resist (my favourite veg)!  And the only other thing I brought was a big mat to put outside the van to stop the dust from trailing in.

We wandered through the market for about an hour and then decided to go for coffee at one of the stalls, but at this stage I was a bit worried about the bikes - you hear about dreadful things happening at these markets. Anyway, to reassure me our new friend Pete nipped off to check, and soon returned to say all was well. Therefore, we sat and enjoyed our coffee along with some long surgery doughnut type sweet treats which we dipped into warm melted chocolate, laughing at each other as we tried to avoid dribbling it down our clothes!

But it was very soon after this that the smiles were wiped from our faces and tears formed in our eyes.  As we walked back towards the spot where we'd left our bikes we quickly realised that ours had been stolen - all the others, some of which were locked with much flimsier devices than ours, didn't seem to have been disturbed - and the only evidence of the theft that was left behind was a chunk of our grade 2 cable lock lying on the floor.

It had been very neatly cut in two places, and we felt sure the job had been done by someone who makes a profession of it.

Obviously, we were very upset, but so were all the people we were with - and for a short while we just stood looking around - but they were well and truly gone!  And with hindsight, all I could think was that I was glad we hadn't disturbed anybody in the act - at least this way nobody got hurt!

Our precious Scott Bikes - No more!
We debated what we should do - should we go and report it to the police or just take the hit - but as we were to later learn, this type of crime is extremely common in these parts, and as we haven't got any insurance to claim on there seemed little point. (You can't have home insurance if you haven't got a house). So in the end all we did was toddle  off to have lunch with all our very supportive new friends, but it really did turn out to be  a bit of a subdued affair, and you can guess the main topic of conversation around the table, and did I mention the 3 mile walk we had to get home!

21st and 22nd December 2015

Well, we decided to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and not let the bloody thieves get the better of us!  We've spent the last couple of days shopping around trying to find replacements - but the big question for us was, should we just have bog standard 'blend in' bikes - or should we have something better and more in keeping with what we actually would like!  

With this in mind we visited the local bike shops and saw 2 very nice mountain bikes (one blue and one pink!), and we also visited Decathlon to see what they had to offer.  In the end the nice bikes worked out to be a better buy than the Decathlon ones because, with a bit of haggling, we got a lot of extras thrown in, so quite quickly a deal was done.  And to sweeten the pill a bit more, the good euro exchange rate has worked well in our favour, compared to replacing them in England!  The only thing we'll have to get used to, is that being Spanish, they're left hand drive models!  That is the front and rear brakes are on the opposite side, but with my right and left dyslexia that will make very little difference to me!

Also, as you would imagine, we've invested in extra security for them - and  I think it will be a very long time before we visit any more markets.  Hopefully we'll be able to collect our 'Christmas Presents' tomorrow or at the latest Christmas Eve, and then I don't think much dust will settle before we're off out to put them through their paces.

Our new Security - A bloody big D lock 

Finally, Merry Christmas and A Very Happy and Prosperous New Year to everybody who's reading my ramblings  xxx