Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Roses to Moncofa in Spain - Day 15 - 19.

Friday 15th December 2017

In my last post I told you that we hadn't quite decided on our next destination, but once our maps were out it didn't take us long to settle on the coastal town of Cambrils which Mrs Snoopy reckoned was either 160 or 220 miles away!  That would be the shorter distance if we used the toll roads and avoided the city of Barcelona, or the longer distance if we stuck to our usual habit of not paying!  So on this occasion it was really a no brainer - we've been snarled up in the mad city traffic before and it was very stressful unpleasant experience, and in the end, because it only cost us just over 22 euros, we think we probably just about broke even as we would have used extra fuel to cover the extended miles.

Then once we were off the motorway we only had a couple more miles to go to reach our campsite which is an ACSI one called La Llosa, and which is located only a few minuets walk from the ocean.  Mind you, we had to be very careful while trying to get parked because every pitch is surrounded by old spiky trees whose upper branches protruded into the pitch space and provide the challenge of not piercing your van's sides or rear!  Anyway, with care we managed without mishap, and then once we'd scoffed a late lunch we nipped off into the town to see where we'd landed - and we were really quite suprised!

Is that Cambrils or Cam-i-brils?😁
MerMaid and MerGuy  with a
couple of MerKids in-front!
The magnificent sea front promenade which incorporates a wide pedestrian walkway as well as a dedicated cycle track stretches uninterrupted for 7 and a half miles all the way into the resort of Salou.  However, today we settled for just exploring a couple of miles of it but this allowed us to take in the beautifully manicured gardens, the marina, numerous eateries and quite a few works of art.

However, although there wasn't a cloud in the sky it was cold and windy, and much as we were enjoying the sunshine we were glad to get home for a warm!

Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December 2017

And yesterday's weather really set the scene for these next couple of days!  The skies have remained cloudless and very blue but there was still a very definite need to layer up for any outdoor actives which were to be cycling on Saturday and walking on Sunday.

Now our bikes haven't seen the light of day for over 8 weeks so we were really only wanting a gentle reintroduction, and the ride along the sea front to Salou provided just that.  Along the way there was plenty to see and all the while the sea was keeping us company along with hundreds of parakeets that regularly screamed from the lofty heights of the palm trees that lined our route.

After about an hour of meandering we reached Salou - and that was really another surprise!  We'd thought it would be a bit like Blackpool sea front, but with it's many fountains, wide walkways and park areas it turned out to much prettier than we'd anticipated.  And as usual on such excursions we paused to sip coffee and picnic several times, and while we were doing that we even got serenaded by a chap who was impersonating James Galway - but our man only had a little penny whistle😂.

Altogether our ride was just over 15 miles - not as far as we usually go but quite far enough after such a long lay off!  Then when we got home we treated ourselves to a chicken korma curry with home made naan breads (which I was quite proud of) and all washed down by a very nice drop of Spanish vino!

And I suppose Sunday was a bit of a repeat - except this time we were on foot and we didn't go quite so far.  We walked about 8 miles in all, and all of that with similar views to yesterday!  However, it would have been impossible for this to be boring - with warming sunshine, Mediterranean ocean views, and good company - what more could we wish for!

Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th December 2017

On Monday we left Cambrils and headed for what is to be our home over the Christmas and New Year period!  This year we've opted to spend 21 nights on a Camping and Caravan Club Rally  site called Monmar which is very near to the town of Moncofa.  Our drive was about 100 miles, but with the aid of good Spanish roads (not toll ones this time) our journey was achieved quite quickly, however before we could head for the site we needed to stock up on Christmas goodies and also refuel both our diesel and LPG (gas) tanks so that hopefully T4rdis2 can have a rest over the holiday period.

The above tasks resulted in us not arriving until about 3ish, but once there we were made very welcome by both the site owners and the Rally Stewards, and as an extra bonus, the site seems to be one of the better ones!  It's beautifully laid out, it's immaculately clean and it's within a stone's throw of the sea, and additionally all our neighbours are English and very friendly.

Now, we've never been to a Rally like this before so we weren't quite sure what to expect, but here it seems very laid back and you can pick and choose what activities you want to join in with, and both the weeks and days events are posted on a board outside the wardens tent.   Anyway, Tuesday's outing was a bike ride with a picnic lunch to a local nature reserve - Marjal i Estany d'Almenara - which only 4 others, us and the wardens participated in so it was an excellent opportunity to start getting to know folk without feeling overwhelmed with new names and faces.

And the outing itself was lovely - just a gentle 16 miles with a coffee stop, a walk around the reed beds for a bit of bird spotting and then lunch in the warm sunshine - PERFECT😀!  Then later, if we choose to, it's cards and nattering in the site bar - I really do think we're going to like it here!

And the icing on the cake - Our Christmas Dinner and New Year's festivities are all booked so no cooking or washing up for us!

Bye for now 😗

Click here to see our Spanish Camping spots