Sunday, 9 December 2018

Mula

We venture inland towards the Ricote Valley and do a drive-by on Archena
Idea here was to service the RV and perhaps stay a few nights but alas the aire was filling with private cars rapidly when we arrived, its occupants bound for the football pitch next door so we quickly moved on to Mula


Parking up was relatively easy and with only a few vans there we thought we'd be in for a quiet weekend. Shortly afterwards the first of approximately 150 motorhomes began to arrive in what we now gathered was a Spanish rally



Charming as ever this hillside town




After an unexpectedly very peaceful night's kip amongst the van dwellers we don boots and head up the hill behind the town


Upwards to the ruins of the castle


Could the cable really hold this beast of a rock in a mini quake?



The ridge walk gave us 360 deg panoramic views



Us, in the 'less crowded' section



Our reward for the day....


More erosion sculpturing






Saturday, 1 December 2018

South to the Sun

We leave Germany and cross the Rhine near Mullhouse and make our way to the South of France via a few overnight stops in functional (think easy parking) aires

Completely against the grain for us and at extra cost we decide to clock up the mileage on the french Peage motorways reason being.....
Some days the sat nav (calibrated for our size, weight...etc) gave us journey times on the Peage of half those we would have done through the numerous small villages
As we were just trying to get south ASAP we opted for the 57mph cruise control setting and some relaxed driving instead of battling those endless chicanes the French install on the outskirts of villages designed to destroy lorry tyres
Time and fuel saved offset against Euros spent on tolls. Its a no brainer now for us and part of the costings I suppose for the move up to the RV
We got pinged at Classe 3 by the ANPR which I suppose is a bonus really as we'd been stung at Classe 4 crossing the Millau viaduct last year with the trailer I recall
Swings and Roundabouts....


Gruissan hoves in to view on a welcomed sunny day and we stay for 3 nights


A Concorde Centurion takes up residence next to us and folks have not just us to gawp at...


Probably the bar that Chris and Keith downed a few beers at?


Us at the top of the ruined fortress




An afternoon spent in Narbonne and the purchase of another coffee machine (Tassimo this time) to occupy 'Coffee Corner' in the Bus
The flimsy theory here is Nina likes her cappucino and she's spotted a variety of drinks not available with my nespresso gismo so the cash is laid down




We eventually make it to Spain!
A new Aire for us and a great find, on a working farm with free services inc lekky


These ladies make some excellent ice cream I can assure you


Out wandering one day


Some bad weather hits us and I decide to tackle the mystery of the faulty slide out lock
Several hours are spent dismantling two locks, testing electrics (with the help of Mick via smartphone link) and plenty of cussing as it was a bugger to reassemble one good lock and refit
It works! (to my amazement tbh)


A few days travelling and we squeeze in to an aire at Moncofa before the arrival of 48hrs constant rain...


We manage to step out one evening and find a nice bar to test
The Voll Damm goes down really well


A photo or two from Rudy shows the team are well on the way to creating our base ready for the new Year ( I hope we fit)


Happy days!
The further south we venture the warmer it gets and we make it to San Fulgencio for an overnight stop


A long walk to the nearby Urbanisation and a craft visit to 'The Steak House' for that essential mouth watering T Bone


Next up was Murcia and we manage to get on the aire at the top with some adept manoeuvring and we of course visit the City taking in the usual haunts

Three nights here and then off to a new site again, this time at Mula













Friday, 9 November 2018

A Change of Direction

The two days up at Saltzhemmendorf were a welcome distraction and the restaurant on site once again failed to disappoint


Schnitzels done to perfection


We treated ourselves at our next location namely Blomberg


We thought this was a dress rehearsal somehow


Novel but practical trailer...


Hooplah!



Apart from the two rogues in the foreground can you name all the actors?


This is a photo of a few consolation beers we downed at Fritzlar having picked up the package and discovered the new replacement Victron inverter remote control panel just didn't want to work with our Victron Inverter
All that waiting for no result!
 Next day and after several emails back home to the RV garage with suggested remedies returned we drove around 120km south eastwards knowing there was now no point staying put so we continued our travels with the hope a solution would be found for the problem

I gave the Victron support line a bell in Holland as I'd been told they were really good with customer queries
The very helpful Denise suggested we visit one of their dedicated electronic workshops in Germany at either Dortmund (Soest) or Leipzig
Well here was the thing...
The nearest to us was Dortmund but back in the direction from where we'd just come from
The upshot was we turned the Bus around and went to Soest for what turned out to be a huge result for us
Marcus (the boss) and Thomas did a fine job of fitting a new (but far more expensive) uprated colour display panel to the RV that compliments and works perfectly with our big inverter
Victron telephoned them ahead of our arrival to instruct them to fit and test the whole set up, take out and keep my 'New Panel' and bill me for the difference
Can't say fairer than that really....

It turns out the panel that was sent out to me in Germany is actually an old model (but new) technology wise and has been superseeded a while ago with the result that sometimes the units work fine together, sometimes they dont...





We squeeze in on a stellplatz on the outskirts of town and avail ourselves of all things naughty after wandering the short distance in to the centre


Double top!
The very nice local Brauhaus has two restaurants across from one another and next day we consume yet another superb schnitzel each to accompany their fine beer
The quality here at Brauhaus Zwiebel is first class and we make the most of our time left here in Germany to top up on the things we'll soon start to miss



We'll both look like him soon at this rate!



In town they're getting ready for a week of festivities following Halloween
This means, in addition to the vast fairground being constructed, they are busy building this temporary meeting place which is actually a full size wooden house
A 'solid' beer and bratwurst hall that will surely be left up for the Christmas markets coming soon

A change in direction...

Having got a result with the panel finally and having had to retrace our steps across mid Germany we reconsider our flight plan
Its a bit late now to be chancing a trouble free crossing of Austria and down in to Tuscany given the weather has definitely changed for the worse
Not enough time either to do the regions justice by whizzing through them in a short space of time so we decide to cut and run to Spain albeit at a leisurely pace
When the sun is up and we are out walking all is well but we are getting fed up of the very chilly mornings and enduring the novelty of burning LPG in the RV's 'Furnace'


Our first jaunt south then finds us in Schwetzingen parked all of 100m from both Aldi & Lidl but more importantly this fine emporium
€16.90 each for the buffet and we are not expecting high quality as the ones in Spain (our main experiences) leave a lot to be desired and tbh the best we've had Chinese-wise has got to be the Lucky Star in Alfreton back home
How wrong we were...superb quality, smiles and a good feeling when we left followed by a good night's sleep


Fabrication of a huge bridge on site aside the autobahn


The beginning of the Schwarzwald and some excellent driving routes through this beautiful landscape


We hole up for two nights on the edge of Lossburg deep in the heart of the Black Forest



A 16km walk one day starts near this quaint summer house on the edge of a vast area dominated by very tall trees







Now thats a chopper!






Why?


At the top of the town lies a huge modern fabrication plant making high end 3D printing machines and the like for sale worldwide
How much profit do these guys make given the quality of the building they work from?
The frontage housed I guess a dozen hi tech machines which we thought initially was the production area but then realised it was in fact a showroom!