Sunday, 17 June 2018

A trip inland

We now have time on our hands and so much to organise and plan

Our housesitting stint and stay at Casa Rudo is a way off yet so we decide to take to the hills and discover some of the region in and around the Cazorla National Park


A few more days are spent down at Puntas walking the beautiful coastline


We are invited to the local cafe by Juan our site host to witness some of his guitar magic one evening with the bonus of him playing with a local guy who was really talented


The trip inland was very rewarding with some beautiful scenery to be had


We choose a spot with a newly created aire at Riopar and find ourselves in the middle of a Spanish motorhome rally for the weekend




Leaving so many vans behind we trek off in to the local hills




Now thats a cone!



A drive to a large car park near Santo Tome proved very interesting in many ways...


Close by there's a superb 8km walk up a huge stunning valley or gorge to be precise complete with crystal clear flowing river

At this point and of course before we see the best parts the phone battery gives up on us and forgetting the battery pack proved a costly mistake...

Getting out the car park two days later was a Mare!
A steepish access road with running water on it would be doable with Max out the trailer and empty tanks I thought
Not to be...
The Spanish visitors had no real idea what was going on as we squeezed out the narrow entrance to the site and charged the hill all guns blazing!
Just yards from the top and with water under the wheels a car blocks my escape and we suffer the dreaded wheelspin!
Oh for a Dieselpusher!

A well executed reverse back down and some cursing eventually led to me seconding a guy and his big SUV on his way in to tow the trailer up the incline for me
Not the incline but the arrival of hundreds of visitors stumped me here so another car park lesson learned...


Next up was Cazorla


What a beautiful town this turned out to be






Bit of a cycle fan then...




A few days in and we are joined by chums Vivienne & John together with 'Brexit' (Bracken) their pooch 



Obligatory Menu del Dia on the town square


A note to Deb...
This is your match!
The Chatathon went on for days 😂😂


No peace tonight then!


Guadix near our favourite spot on the dam at Cortes y Graena proved to be a nice day out




Down on the coast at Cabo de Gata and the heat is building


San Jose done on Max



After a full weekend spent at Murcia moving northwards we decide to spend several days back at Jalon where we can get some quality walks in


Hot walking bunnies...


We rescued this fella from an invitable roadside squishing...


Calpe proved a distraction from all things RV research related


The weather is bang on now and we slow the pace down to adjust to the increasing daytime heat

Next stop now is La Hoya and an RV with friends Rudy & Dorine and our first 'House sit' at their lovely home



















Sunday, 6 May 2018

Our 'Big Idea'

What a month this has been!

The whole time has been spent developing and then finally implementing a 'bright idea' we had one day (a month ago or thereabouts) at Ricote when a Brit cruised on to the parking area in a short wheelbase Winnebago Sightseer RV

As you are aware we spent most days walking the hills and what better way to pass the time than to analyise the simple notion of 'What if we bought one of those beasts?'
Most sensible folks would have walked away from the idea as indeed we did around 6 years ago when we gave it a passing thought
(We remember trawling the web and discovering some really ugly examples of what not to do to a home on wheels and having had no experience at the time of long term touring duly dismissed the idea as sheer folly)

Its a bit different now I can tell you....


This is my Girl after we'd decided to go for it!

Our first foray in to the researching idea led us to a few must haves on a prospective RV namely:
  • Huge fresh water tank to enable filling up just once a week
  • Large Grey & Black waste tanks so doing away with thrice weekly cassette emptying
  • A built in Washer/Dryer
  • Big kitchen with plenty of storage
  • Big lounge with ability to rotate a cat above one's head whilst entertaining 6 adults...
  • Big square comfortable bed (individual sided firmness control a bonus)
  • Big external locker storage
  • Ability to carry Max on the rear
  • Too many internal cupboards to count...
  • Vast solar arrangement up top coupled to a 3kw inverter
  • Built in generator
  • Basement air conditioning system
A tall order to achieve for obvious reasons....
They exist but chiefly in the States and would require a long winded import process involving some serious wonga laid out. Then the conversion to UK use and registration process should we be lucky enough to find one that met our needs and Nina's preferred layout

Clean low mileage RVs in the UK are like honest politicians...totally rare

Few sites listing what we'd like and and a few more that looked decidedly dodgy!

I opened up the website of Empire RV based in Somerset and pointed to an RV that looked OK to me but thought Nina wouldn't like tbh.
Bingo...Wifey thought it was just the ticket, a UK registered Itasca Meridian 39K (meant nothing to me at the time)
It appears Winnebago make these as a legitimate double of their Winnebago Journey and have done for many years as they do with all their 'Winnebago' models, same model same factory
(This is to avoid the US commercial competion laws in force)

My initial line was 'forget it!', there's no way that will be available when we are ready to buy nor should we buy the first RV we see
(There thats told her I thought)

A week's hunting later amongst the thousands of RVs on US sites brought us back to this one we'd first settled on...bizarre

So with trepidation I rang Empire RV up and James, the owner advised us it might be better to book a flight to Bristol and come see for ourselves what the RV had to offer
It was at this stage he pointed out that the mileage on this 11 year old coach was under 4000 miles
WHAT???

Within two days we were straight off the plane from Alicante having left our trailer with Mick & Deb and the van at the airport and viewing 'Tasca" with smiles all around....




Slightly bigger than our current van!




Lounge & Bedroom Slides


Clunky coach cab


A night in a pub close by requires some of the Dark Stuff to calm my nerves


Next day we drive (in our hire car) to the nearby Holy Cow tearooms for a full english (well it had to be done!)


Back in Tasca or 'Arvie' as Nina calls him the figures are on the large side


She can't wait trust me!


Pics that MH girls drool over...




I shoot off a load of poor iphone pics taken in the hanger and we do a deal with James that takes us a whole month to implement
Its safe to say that we've had very little sleep for a while and our lives now are busy preparing the van  for sale upon our return and trying to make a sound logistical plan for taking over the RV in late June

There is a lot of additional work to be done to it but this can be done whilst we are waiting to return to the UK
We have commitments here, housesitting at Dorine & Rudys and a week with Emilja & Richard who join us round the pool mid June

Very exiting times for us for sure and we look forward to our life in the RV immensely

A big thanks to our Chums, the other four Fishes who put up with our random RV babbling whilst together at Puntas de Calnegre and without whose sound advice we would probably have gone down some very bleak corridors.....