Friday, 6 September 2019

SP20 - España por favor - Accommodation

As I am going to use the timeshare week that needs to be used by December 2020, I have been searching on the website for ages.  

Our home laptop seems to run a WIN10 upgrade every time we turn it on and so it is a long process! The east coast is usually awash with places but as it is Easter there are fewer to choose from. Even La Manga looks like there are no vacancies.

Friday 6th September

I managed to get online at lunchtime at work and check a few places out.  In the end booked the week at Ona Ogisaka Garden in Dénia. It has some decent reviews both on the RCI edited version or Tripadvisor and on the main site too.

It's about 60 miles to the site from the Ibis Budget, where we stay the night before.  We have almost all day to get there though.

Check out from the Ibis will be about noon. 


I will start to look to see what fiestas will be on. As it is Easter there is usually something happening. 

In Murcia they carry a Madonna on a kind of sledge from the Abbey at Fuensanta into the city to the Cathedral. She has a tour around the city. 

I have seen this twice. More about it here

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

SP20 - España por favor - Flights

We have a timeshare week to use by the end of 2020!

When we went to Florida at Easter we used up the 2018/2019 "banked weeks" with RCI. Every year we have another week to use. Until I retire there is no chance of us being able to go to there to the resort where  I "own" a week in Tenerife.

I know it's not as exotic as Florida or the Caribbean but for an Easter break it will do us fine.

I am still looking on the RCI website for a resort to book but as flights were relatively cheap I have booked British Airways return to Alicante. I used TravelUp as we have used them before and they have always been efficient and cheaper than most oters, si I guess they trim their commission.

I had looked at Malaga but for a two and a half hour flight it was around half the price of a nine hour flight to Miami! A fare of £350 each to Malaga is simply a joke.

I chose to go on the Friday and so we'll need a hotel.  As we don't arrive until about 8pm local time and then get the car, I booked a Smart Four or similar, it will be around 9pm before we get away.  The hotel is between the airport and the city.

I have been to Alicante a few times and have had the "experience" of the bus station in the city and the bus across to Murcia on a few occasions.

Like all cities, the train and bus stations do attract a certain clientele!

Friday, 9 August 2019

GB19 - Last Day

We were up early again as Reggie was on his early pee and poop regime again.

In the end we left at around 9.30am. TomTom reckoned it would be just short of 5 hours to get home. 

If only. 

First stop at the start of the A303. Three hours for 86 miles.

Heavy traffic. Very heavy everywhere. Holidaymakers in both directions. Wankers having accidents causing more holdups.

We got in the house just before 7pm.

Sadly I had to reset the TomTom earlier in the week and so I have lost the complete trip stats.  

So that's it... Another superb holiday top and tailed with terrible driving conditions.

For the holiday I created a Fuelly profile for the Corsa. Only three fill-ups on the entire trip after starting with a full tank at the start of the holiday.  I had expected it to be higher, but an overall 45mpg isn't bad considering the traffic jams we were stuck in for about four hours in each direction, where we crawled along in first or second gear!

And lastly - even though I took the Canon 1100D I didn't take too many pics!  Flickr Album

Thursday, 8 August 2019

GB19 - Day 8

Today we decided to stay local as we set off for home tomorrow. It will be a long day in the car for us and Reggie especially.

So our first stop was as ASDA in Bideford to get some cash and fill the car ready for tomorrow. 

A disappointing 43.7mpg. I guess all the low gear ups and downs of the Devon countryside.

The next was at Tapeley Park just the other side of Bideford.

Another estate with a garden open to the public. Again it was on the Gardener's World 2-1 offer and seniors we got in for a fiver. The house looks at but run down but the gardens are very nice. An Italian garden and the kitchen garden are the highlights.

We met Hector who "runs the place" and is actually one of the owners of the site. He was accompanied by his English Bull Terrier called Wayne. Reggie barked at first but they got on after mutual sniffing.

On the way out I saw the field alongside the carpark had a herd of Highland Cattle. Reggie barked as a calf came close. 

To sound a bit "girly", these are the best looking cattle.

From there, we headed for Northam Burrows Country Park. A little shock at £4 to park although it covers the whole day. There are three entrances and I chose the wrong one really as we couldn't get to the visitor centre.

The place was alive with horses and sheep. Reggie generally ignores them. And until a small group of sheep ran past us. He wanted to chase but we kept him on his lead as always.

We walked across the dunes and rock. The beach is sand and as we walked across towards the sea, we sank about four inches into the sands until we got to firmer ground. 

Reggie was let off the lead and went into the sea and ran about free. He loves the sea. Oddly he never tries to get into the canal at home.

We looped back to the car and as it was way after lunch we went on a pasty hunt. 

Some success in Westward Ho! 

Two large ones from Betsy Buns Bakery. 

Whilst in there they gave us some scones as they were closing and wanted to get rid of unsold stock - four lovely ones.

We headed for the cottage and once back Reggie had his dinner and we had the pasties. 

Later we had the last cream tea of the holiday with two of the scones.

Some packing completed and we have to decide what time to leave in the morning. TomTom is set for home and claims we are looking at five hours fifty-four minutes on the road from Langtree to home. Let's see how that turns out.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

GB19 - Day 7

Today our day was already planned. A lunch date with Robin and Mark at their house near Exeter.

They have two golden retrievers and Reggie was okay until they mobbed him and he growled at them a few times.

Lunch was great. Company great.

Tomorrow last day in Devon.

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

GB19 - Day 6 Part 2

As a reward for a walk along the nearby Tarka Trail...

Someone has to do it.

Later we'll have dinner in and think about tomorrow.

We have a lunch appointment near Exeter with a friend and former boyfriend of Claire's. 

GB19 - Day 6 Part One.

Didn't we have a lovely time on Dartmoor? 

No we didn't.

I set up a route to take in some bronze age and medieval settlements on the rugged moors. 

We set off and ahead the weather looked increasingly black overhead and then it simply pee'd down. Roads began to run with water. None of this deterred the locals who continued to drive way too fast for winding country roads. 

We aborted and set a course for Okehampton, somewhere to the west of our position. In the end we passed through and decided to head back to the cottage.

By chance we saw a sign right to a small town called Hatherleigh. A chance for a cup of something and Reggie to "stretch his legs" etc.

There is a Co-Op shop and a nice thatched cottage lined high street. Plus, find of the day, One Market Street Cafe, where we had lunch.

Hatherleigh, Devon

Pasties and chips for us and a bowl of water and a gravy bone for Reggie. I also had a bonio in his accessory bag.

Claire popped into the Co-Op for essentials of clotted cream and scones... We have plenty of strawberry jam.

Statue by the bus stop

We always "seal" the scone with butter, then apply jam and then the clotted cream. But apparently that is wrong in Devon where the cream goes on before the jam. Weird. Maybe give it a try this afternoon. 

Once back on the road we had a shortish trip back to Langtree and the cottage. We tend to eat out at lunchtime and eat in each evening and have yet to try any of the local pubs. Today will be the same.

Once back. Kettle on. And sit reading in the shingled enclosed garden.

Although Reg looks to be sleeping we need to wear him out a bit. Next. The Tarka Trail.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, 5 August 2019

GB19 - Day 5

As is his current trend Reggie had us awake at 5am for his first pee trip. Then at 6am and finally at 7.15am for breakfast.

We had sorted the bins as well as the instructions said to have them out for Monday. Different recycling regime to gone but at 4.45pm they are still by the kerb untouched.

But back to the morning. Today we decided in a trip more locally (!) to a garden at Castle Hill Gardens. It is in Claire's Gardeners World 2for1 offer booklet. 

We spent a few hours there traipsing around the estate and park looking at the follies and plants/trees.

Again a lot of uphill and downhill walking! Three days running.

Castle Hill Estate

Then back via Lidl in Torrington to get lunch etc. And of course cider.

We took it in turns to ship and mind the dog in the car.

This evening eat in again and plan where to go tomorrow. About time we headed for Dartmoor. 

Sunday, 4 August 2019

GB19 - Day 4 Part 2

We decided on a National Trust site at Arlington Court near Barnstaple.

TomTom said it was about 40 minutes away and for once it was almost accurate.

The site is also the home of the National Trust Carriage Museum. 

After a coffee we set off on the 2 mile circular walk around the estate. Although the weather was iffy when we set off, but it looked up. 

The walk is pretty up and down. The first part goes through an avenue of monkey puzzle trees. Amazing. Some are nassive.

Monkey Puzzle Trees

This was just the beginning!

The lake itself wasn't all that exciting.  Along the route were photo suggestions. A photo in a frame and above it an empty frame to show where to shoot.

The bridge over the stream from the lake was full of dragonflies. Very colourful.

At the top of a steep slope we had a sit down. The house to our rear and the pond ahead.

Claire wanted to go to the gardens and headed to the dog poo bin and the carriage museum. The collection is quite extensive.

Carriage Museum

Restored carriage

We rejoined Claire and needed a cup of tea so headed back to the tea shop behind the main house.

Some four hours after arriving and just before the house closed we left and headed back to the Cottage.

As we joined the A39 we found ourselves in the centre of a stinkwheel convoy. Three Vespa scooters that were headed for Lands End.

I pulled over to let the two from behind overtake and we lost sight of them.

Back home we had another cream tea.  This time with ASDA scones. Very nice.

In the end it's all about the clotted cream with the scone is simply a delivery method.

GB19 - Day 4 Part 1

Miserable start to the day. Well, not at 5.30am when Reggie decided he needed to go out into the garden. At least he had a pee!

At 6.30am it was Claire's turn to get up. Parenting a 🐕 seems like having a baby! He did nothing but run off the night asleep.

By the time we got up at 8.30am - it is Sunday - it was raining. Grey and very chilly. I thought about getting the woodburner alight but have no idea where to start although it looks to have wood in it. It's a long time since I was a boy scout lighting fires. I did have a badge for it... I also had hand axe and knife...

I'd love to share images of the badges but it seems the Scouts have purged the internet. Using a knife and and axe probably not PC nowadays.

So once it warms up. Warns up. Where to?
posted from Bloggeroid