Saturday, 31 May 2014

Time out for Mum

There's a lot gone on this week and I will post photos and blog when the time is right

We are now in the UK after spending 3 nights with some great friends Tim & Sue in Limousin. This is where the van is currently in their care and we are lodged with in my Mum's home town of Mansfield in the UK after flying back from Limoges on Tuesday

We went straight from the airport to see my Mum in her new room at Mansfield Manor Care Home where she has been contented and well loved by the staff for the past few months

It was a great shock to be told she was in Emergency Assessment at the local hospital so we shot off up there. 

She is now back at the Care Home on 'End of Life' Palliative Care as the consultants at the hospital say there is nothing more they can now do for her. She has several major internal issues bless her which will not get better. She is really comfortable at the home and well cared for by all. This is making it easier for her family to bear as she is not suffering

For obvious reasons the blog will be suspended whilst we spend every day with Mum and try to get some quality time with her

I would like to say at this early stage that we are extremely grateful for the support we have had so far from our friends, new and old, and our children

Sunday, 25 May 2014

St Antonin Noble Val

We make steady progress in to France and go north skirting Toulouse and up in to the Tarn et Garonne department. Very winding conditions mean I take it steady and the highlight of the day was watching the bike cover being ripped to bits by the wind whilst shopping in the Intermarché

Thankfully next day the sun and heat return and we arrive in St Antonin Noble Val

This is a beautiful small town sat on the L'aveyron river where time just slips by

Like a Peugeot only better made….

Film buffs may recall this as the backdrop to Charlotte Gray
Many citizens of the town were able to take part as extras with some getting quite emotional seeing the German tanks crossing this bridge for a second time

The view from the lunching terrace over the river

That restaurant..

That terrace...

Nina getting arty

this one too..

Our newest friend Lizabeth

Light through the stained glass of the church

France in a nutshell

Spot the tourist...

Spanish north east coast

After Morella we move on down to the coastal area south of Tarragona
Two lazy days are spent at Spaetzle Fritz Stellplatz where we enjoy a great meal and get the washing done, by 'Wash Boy' of course

We trundle the coast to find a few aires quite full of vans and decide its not for us so move up to Amposta in a rather pleasant wetland region. The Frenchies here are keen to display their Pétanque skills. A few days later in Andorra I stunned a few more of them by joining in on their game. I fancied a 'Bob Willis' run up but thought better of it by delivering a perfect backspin placement shot, then promptly walked off declaring 'C'est Facile'
They laughed politely but I knew they had Agincourt on their minds!

At the same location these guys are busy snapping the abundant wildlife

The route is now set for France and we slowly move inland and rest up at another winery called Artcava
The owner of the attached museum kindly showed us around on a sunday afternoon and of course we obliged by relieving him of some Cava

These are the little beauties that will make his wallet fatter later in the year

What an idyllic scene
Later that afternoon there is possibly the worst smell ever drifting around the back of the winery and Nina is convinced its the guys in the van behind us smoking Pot. She bases this theory on having smelled it extensively in Amsterdam and I am stunned that they do it whilst having a family BBQ

I decide to take a walk and discover the source….

Beauty and the beast…
The local vinegar producing plant decides to up production and discharge its noxious fumes our way
Case solved...

The last of Spain sees us overnighting in La Seu D'Urgell which boasts a previous Olympic white water rafting course

Majestic plane trees

The mountains of the Pyrenees loom ever taller and we begin to loose that Spanish feel

So another new country for us to chalk up

Not big and with only really one main highway

This made me smile immensely 
We later found one at €1.10 a litre, but forget the savings made as you will burn them up when you make the huge accents up the mountains….

With almost nowhere to pull up other than restaurants and garages this was one of only a few shots

The shock here was rain and dramatically low temperature of 5 degs

Almost as soon as you enter you leave unless you love the duty free shops that line the highway

Thursday, 15 May 2014


We arrive at Morella and just chill for the rest of the evening with a superb view of the hilltop town

This entrance to the town was actually quite hard to find as the English muppets took the low road through the sheep pastures...

More steps….

Could that actually be cloud?

El Cid meets Clint Eastwood….eh Blondie!!

This was a nice area, set aside for Spanish Poetry lovers….

Tapas time!!!!!

Olives with anchovies….heaven..

Nina wants to eat here next time although her vertigo may kick in...

We loved this town, great shops and bars to while away the hours...

Time for bed said Zebedee..

The only van in the village…..again