Monday, 3 December 2018

Marjal Costa Blanca Post 1

Wednesday 28th November to Monday 3rd December 🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞 - which has almost been wall to wall all week with temperatures of around 20ish - 25 degreesπŸ˜€
No Motorhome Miles
Parking Co-ordinates 38.18085, -0.8119

Well, here we are in what is to be our home for the next 6 weeks - and after only being here for a few days we both agree that this lovely place will suit us very well!  The site is absolutely massive with something like 1,500 pitches,  but the rally pitches (Camping and Caravan Club) are situated altogether right at the back of the site with lovely views over distant mountain ranges.  Our pitch provides both EHU and water and it's only a short distance from the facility block, and as an added bonus, we've got lovely neighbours.  We've also got lots of space, and because we're south facing we're enjoying the sunshine from 9ish till 5ish so we've become quite accustomed to taking our morning coffee and afternoon tea on what we fondly call our veranda!

And the only draw back (if you could call it that) is that the shop, reception, bar, restaurant and the spa facilities are all half a mile walk away at the front of the siteπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.

Now you might think that because we're on a rally it will be all 😡 Hi-de-Hi 😡 and we would be required  to join in everything that's going - but it's certainly nothing like that!  There are loads of activities such as bike rides, hill walks, dancing classes, aqua-gym, club meals and social evenings (and that's just to name but a few) but participation is completley optional so we'll just pick and choose what we want to do, or alternatively, we'll just find our own entertainment as we go along!  However, I will just mention one of the big bonuses of the Rally - and that's the fact that they have their very own club house that is devoid of a bar!  So why's that a bonus?  Well it means you just take along whatever you want to drink so all/most of our little indulgences are coming at supermarket prices instead of hyped bar ones 😜🍷🍷🍺🍺😜.

The Evening Sky from our Pitch
At this point I would also like to tell you  how I'm going to manage our blog while we're here!  Because we're not perpetually travelling I don't think we'll have an awful lot that is very interesting to write about so my plan is just to jot down  a bit of a tale about what we've been up too during the week and probably publish it each Monday!

So let me get started!  On Wednesday we mounted our trusty steeds and let them take us on a 12 mile circular ride through part of the Hondo Nature Reserve which lies only a short distance from the site between Elche and Crevillent.

In 1988 it was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it's made up of marshes, lakes and has lovely places to walk, cycle and watch the local wild life - which unfortunately includes a few bittey bugs!  Luckily we managed to miss most of those, but while we sat in the middle of the lake partaking of our coffee we were quite entertained by lots of coots who were  screeching and splashing while they were in the process of creating their next generation!

On Thursday we just had a quite day on site catching up with chores, small repairs and more exploration, and during that time we were never short of company!  In fact when John popped across to the loo and didn't return for over an hour I thought maybe he'd deserted me altogether - but no - he was just chatting and comparing notes with a chap who happened to have similar bikes to us.
Friday saw us out on our bikes again and climbing high into the mountains that sit behind us.

Our target was the summit of Albatera and as we tackled the hill we found regular signs like the one on the left that informed us how much further we'd got to go to get to the top, and also how much upward distance we'd cover in each kilometre😰 - I'm really not sure if that helped or not!

And after a bit of huffing and puffing we did eventually attain our goal, and once there we sat on the top of the hill admiring the far reaching views (as far as the distant sea shore) while we  munched our sarnies.  Then all we had left to do was complete the 26 mile circuit to bring us back to the campsite, but that bit was much easier because a lot of it was just a  quick 'whoosh' back down the same way we came.

On Saturday we joined in with the 16 mile cycle ride that took us to a very pleasing coffee shop, and to get there we passed along tracks between olive and pomegranate groves as well as very fragrant herb fields!

Then later that evening we attended our first Rally Social where we listened to 'Frances' singing lots of 60's and 70's music, and where we indulged in a supper of sizzled sausages - and off course I asked for a big black one!

We made a few new friends, we boogied the night away and we got through the best part of a bottle of gin between us, and I think it's safe to say we had a great time!

So after all that we needed a quite day on Sunday - but we didn't forgo our exercise!  After a lazy get up we joined another group of Ralliers and participated in a 5 mile stroll around more of the tracks and trails in this area, and that also came with another obligatory stop  for coffee.

That brings us to today - Monday, and my day started with another exercise session at Aqua-gym up at the sites lovely warm indoor pool!  Then it was a quick dash back for  'coffee morning' where all of this weeks 'going's on' were identified, along with forthcoming events for the lead up to Christmas!  We ended up spending 130 euros but that was for 3 meals (including Christmas lunch),  and apparently they all come with a full bottle of wine each😜!  Additionally, our package included 3 other social events - therefore, it was all a bit of a bargain really!!   After that we part-took of another  lazy lunch in the sunshine, and later we made a necessary shopping trip into the nearby town of Catral, where besides several supermarkets, we found a shop that sells all things English so bacon butties have returned to our menu πŸ˜€!

And that brings us up to date, so till next time
Take Care πŸ˜™πŸ˜™

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