Well. We are back in southern France after a very long and arduous three-day drive over a week ago to Malaga Spain. We arrived in torrential rain that kept up all that first night there. Luckily we were blessed with sunshine and a bit of warmth the following two days, which was great, because our walk to the Budwig clinic was about a mile and a quarter.
All went well that first day we were there. We had left the Hymer about 9:30AM and didn’t arrive back until a little past 4:00PM. We were both concerned about the girls going that long without a break to relieve themselves. As it turned out, they were just fine.
The next day it was the same routine and pretty much the same time away. As we approached the Hymer I could see, much to my horror, that the bike cover was ripped and one of the bikes (mine) was stolen. Our first brush with theft and neither one of us was pleased to say the least. Paul was explosive with his expletives and I just let him rant on and get it out of his system. With his background he has witnessed many untoward situations and I understand this, so I knew better than to butt in and try to react in a manner that would do nothing to improve the situation.
In truth and retrospect, I failed to listen to that inner voice of mine that told me it was necessary to lock the bikes securely and be proactive. I will NEVER do that again!! That was the most important lesson I learned from this. Be proactive and you will cover the bases as best you can.
I firmly believe there are important opportunities to learn in every situation–even the deplorable ones such as this. For me, along with the above statement re: being proactive and following my inner voice, I felt very grateful that our home wasn’t broken into and ransacked, nor were the girls harmed. I just hope the person who absconded with my bike needed it more than I do……
And now on to the surprises! Save the best for last I always say:-))
Friday morning we returned to the scene of the crime where Paul stayed with the girls on the Hymer, and I set off to complete the drying part of our laundry detail. The campground we had stayed at the previous two nights had both washers and a dryer, only the dryer only “dried” on cool. I remembered there was a nice launderette on the way to the Budwig center, so decided to kill two birds with one stone.
I packed up the damp clothes in one of our roll aboard suitcases and set off for the launderette, while Paul kept guard and did his work. After placing the clothes in the dryer and following the (thankfully) English instructions, I got it started and continued my way to the clinic where I needed to pick up a few last minute items.
I returned with the items and dry laundry, and was pleased to find a smiling Paul. We hyakued (got out) of there as quickly as possible. And, low and behold, within just a few minutes of departing the city a whole new vista opened up before our eyes! We were driving up a canyon of sorts with running streams, and beautiful hillside villages tucked into the ubiquitous olive tree covered landscape. It was heaven indeed, and so close to the city it was hard to believe.
The next two days as we made our way inland towards Granada and north, and the countryside gifted us with an abundance of surprises. The extent of the olive groves is massive–a major industry for Spain, with over 300 million acres, which makes it the number one country in olive oil production.
That first night after leaving Malaga, we took off on one of those country roads one sometimes dreads, in search of a spot to spend the night close to a body of water we had spotted on the map, and not too far off the main road. We managed to find what we thought a suitable spot just outside an obviously well-to-do village, but unfortunately not near the water.
I set about the task of putting together our evening meal and just as we were about to sit down and dine, our next surprise showed up—a policeman!
He knocked on the door and Paul went to answer keeping the door shut in case it was someone undesirable. As it turned out, he couldn’t have been nicer and even told Paul a better spot where we could park for the night which we did.
We had been led to believe that dealing with the Spanish police was something to be avoided if at all possible, so it was a pleasant surprise that turned out well.
We continued on our way the next day—one of our longest days on the road–to a nice Aires nestled in a grove of oranges near Peniscola. There were mostly German and Swiss people here and they also served dinner in their restaurant. If one eats there, then the eight Euro charge for the overnight is free.
As it had been a long day for both of us, we decided to partake of the meal and it turned out to be fine. How nice to end the evening by not having to do the washing up!
On Saturday we set off with a determined vengeance to make it back to Esperaza in the Mid Pyrenees–the Aires by the river was calling our name! When we reached the French border, we were a bit disappointed, as the weather was grey and dreary. But, as we approached Quillan, just a few miles south of Esperaza, the skies miraculously cleared and our arrival by the river was blessed with sunshine.
Sunday morning we had a quick breakfast and Paul set off for the market. I had gone through a tough night of detox and wasn’t feeling the best. He returned in about an hour with all the items needed, except our vegetarian pizza and the cooked chicken.
At about noon I felt better and we took off again for the market to get the pizza and chicken. We were pleased to meet up with the Polish lady that we had met the last time we were here. She gave us her card, and we said we would call her and get together for tea in the near future.
We returned to the Hymer and dug into the pizza with gusto. This is not the sort of meal we often eat, but this pizza is so good and make of all organic produce, so any guilt we might be feeling is alleviated.
Just after lunch we came upon our latest pleasant surprise—–we needed to top off the water, and as we were doing so, a nicely dressed gentleman approached us with a big smile and we started to talk. As we were standing right next to the Elson point (where one dumps the waste from the toilet), we decided that wasn’t the most pleasant spot to continue our conversation, so we headed back to our spot by the river and Gary Granville rejoined us there for more conversation.
He turned out to be very interesting and intrigued with our lifestyle. And he was full of good information about local places to see, and help with getting mail delivery set up and such. We look forward to further get together with him and the other couple we met last time.
Our days continue to surprise and delight us on many levels—life is never dull!