Sunday, 31 December 2017

Moncofa - Spain - Day 25 - 31

Monmar Rally in Moncofa

Christmas Day to New Year's Eve

A few years ago our Christmas Day would have  started with a lovely cooked breakfast, then we'd over indulge with a huge traditional Christmas Lunch and then fall asleep while we were pretending to watch the Queen on telly.  But here in Spain our day followed a slightly different pattern!

We still indulged in bacon and eggs, but then on mass the rally participants  trooped off down to the sea shore in the company of Santa to dip our toes in the Med - and off course, silly hats were obligatory!
There's always
one who has to go a
splash further!
Then afterwards in festive spirit it was back to the warden's tent for mulled wine and mince pies, and not long after that we found ourselves settled in for the lengthy tipsy affair of Christmas lunch which wasn't quite as traditional as we've been used to - lots of turkey legs but no breasts!

Next on the agenda after that had been consumed, (along with copious amounts of wine and other little beverages) came the Chinese auction - and what a good game that was!  Everyone had brought  a pressie which had been  exchanged for a raffle ticket.  The person with the first number drawn went and chose a gift from the table and opened it, and then the person with the next number drawn  had the option to steal the first gift or choose their own - and so it went on - but in the end there was an awful lot of 'nicking' of previously revealed presents going on - however, unfortunately there were also a number of 'booby prizes' amongst them, so if you were unlucky enough to get one of those you were stuck with it!  We got Spanish biscuits ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ and a bottle of hazelnut liquor which is just about acceptable if well diluted with coffee!

So after all that excitement Boxing Day proved to be a lazy one where we put our feet up and relaxed in the warm sunshine, but in the afternoon we did rouse ourselves enough to go out for a ride along the seafront.   We only managed about 10 miles but they were very enjoyable ones, especially when we paused for coffee and mince pies while we watched the waves rolling up the beach.

Wednesday required a little more effort!  This was the day where the rally took us off for a bike ride to Segunt and where they planned to partake of lunch at a Chinese restaurant.  The ride there was a little over 12 miles with a very pleasant coffee stop on the way, but when we arrived disappointment loomed large - the time was only 12.30 and the restaurant didn't open till 1.30!  Therefore, we had to find something to do with ourselves or go somewhere else eat - but as there was a very nice pavement cafe just across the road from the beach and almost next door to our chosen feeding station it was really a no brainer - we all just brought a   ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿบ and sat and sipped it in the sunshine and the hour passed very quickly!

And that proved to be the right decision because afterwards we all enjoyed one of the very best 3 course Chinese meals we've ever had and all for the princely sum of 10 euros - and that even included another ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿ˜€!

Afterwards we wobbled home but that wasn't the end of the day's activities - for our evenings entertainment a walk had been planned into the town of Moncofa to see the historic parade commemorating long ago kings, along with marching bands, traditional Spanish dancing and fireworks.

Thursday was another Tapas day, and as my raspberry cheese cakes had gone down so well the previous week I made them again - but twice as many!  Along with that we produced a very tasty blue cheese chilly with taco shells and I think John was keeping his fingers crossed that there would be some left overs for his tea - but alas NO - every scrap was hoovered up! Then later we indulged in another game of boules with our new pals Bob and Amanda - it was best of 3 and a close thing but we only came second!

Friday was really just a bit of a chore day where we gave T4rdis2 a quick clean and cycled into town to do some of shopping, but in the afternoon we managed to fit in another short ride out over the marshes and paddy fields.  Obviously, at this time of year the rice had all been gathered in but the fields were far from barren - they were a hive of activity with literally hundreds of wading birds hunting for their tea!

On Saturday we plucked up our courage and set off for a longer bike ride up into the mountains that provide a back drop to our present temporary home - and that proved to be quite a tough challenge even with a bit of aid from our batteries - maybe that's because we've been slacking off in the exercise department over the last 10 weeks or so!  In the end we did about 36 miles, much of which ascended without respite for the first half of our ride, but our reward was very pretty views as we sped along through orange and almond groves and as we nipped through the towns of Xilxes, La Vall D'Uixo and Alfondeguilla before stopping off at a picnic site where we were joined by one of our fellow campers Bob.

There we paused, shared our picnic and nattered for a while, and also debated which way we should go home!  Should we go back the same way we'd come or should we continue over a slightly longer route and form a circular ride.  In the end we opted for the former because that would leave the latter challenge for another day - and as usual the lovely views where different as we very quickly descended back to base!  And after that all we did was put our feet up with a cool beer to aid our recovery!

And that brings us around to New Year's Eve with not one but 2 celebrations taking place for us!  One is at Midnight Spanish time and one at Midnight British time, and before that we hope we're going to be treated to a Spanish feast for our evening meal!   Traditionally, since 1895, midnight in Spain is marked by the eating of 12 grapes - one on each bell strike of midnight to welcome in the New Year - I hope nobody chokes! .  Then I'm sure the British New Year will be greeted in our usual fashion by singing  Auld Langs Syne - and I've just looked up the lyrics to ensure I know all the words!  However, that wont  be till 1am here so I think we're in for a late one,  and apparently there are at least 49 of us on the guest list so it looks like being a very lively event - we'll let you know how we get on in our next post!

But for now we'd like to close this blog by wishing all our family, friends and readers a VERY HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR xxx With lots of love to all ๐Ÿ˜™๐Ÿ˜™

๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ ๐Ÿฅ‚๐Ÿพ
Cheers Everyone

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