Sunday, 16 February 2014

Quarteira, Rain, Spain, Marbella

Sunday 9th February 2014

 A day of rain and high winds. I do not even venture out!

 Kathleen being a good Catholic, walks to church in the rain.

 Monday 10th February 2014

The rain has stopped, the sun is out. We decide to ride out on the scooter, perhaps as far as Fusceta, and visit Gordon and Kath (if they have not given up on the weather and left). We make it as far a Faro (about 15 miles), when Kathleen decides she has had enough. I must admit, it is very windy, I do not think I have been on a motorcycle in such high winds. We turn around and return to Quateira.

Something tells me the scooter is not going to be a success.

Once back, we get into conversation with an elderly (79) English woman, who, it emerges, hails from South Shields, although she has not lived there for some 40 years.

She recommends a restaurant (Tirimasu) for lunch. We walk the two miles to the restaurant, only to find, it is closed on Mondays! Fortunately, there is another restaurant open a short distance along the road, so, all is not lost.

Tuesday 11th February – Thursday 13th February 2014

You may have detected a common thread here, it is RAIN!.

I will dispense with the details, we have been here ten days on Thursday, it has rained for eight of them. Enough is enough, we are off to Spain, Marbella on the Mediterranean Coast, to see if the weather is better.

Friday 14th February 2014

Marbella, La Buganvilla (N36 30’ 11” W4 48’ 12”), an ACSI site. This was not the most recommended of sites from the comments on the internet. But it seems to be perfectly OK to us!

The site is surprisingly busy, given that it is "out of season". 

We get a reasonable spot, but, then find the English couple parked near by (with a better spot) are due to leave in a couple of days, so, we arrange to move into their spot, as soon as they vacate it!

We even have a view of the sea!

Amazing, we wake to blue skies.

Time to explore, the site is fine, but, is separated from the sea by the coast road (A7-N340), but, there is a pedestrian footbridge, so, no need to risk life and limb. 

Not cycling country, but, I get out on the scooter, and check out the other potential site at Cabopina, only to decide we should stay where we are. 

Kathleen will not venture on the back of the scooter on the A7-N340, (well not yet anyway). 

Saturday 15th February 2014

A trip into Marbella, on the bus, to check out the eating possibilities, and of course the church!

Other vital requirements (ie finding an Orange Shop, to renew my Spanish SIM card, internet time), are a dismal failure, we find two Orange shops, both of which appear to be closed down!

The good news is, unlike Portugal TMN, Orange-Spain have not closed down my SIM card for lack of use, and, have even retained the little credit I had left from last year.

Sunday 16th February 2014

We are up early, our English neighbours are due to leave at 8:00, but, it is actually nearer 9:00 when they go, and we quickly move onto their vacated pitch.

Excitement of the move over, we head off to Marbella on the bus.

Kathleen goes to mass, whilst I look after more earthly things, like exploring the "old town" and finding a restaurant for lunch!

I must say, I am pleasantly surprised at Marbella, it is the ultimate "Costa del Sol designer tourist haven". 

Sure enough, there is a massive sprawl of modern high rise accomadation and "designer" shops, but, the "old town" is surprisingly quaint and well preserved.

In the middle of it all, there is even the remains of a Moorish fort, reputedly built in the 10th century. 

We enjoy an excellent lunch overlooking the sea, and even get to meet the waiter's newborn boy child, when his wife (?) turns up, to show off the new arrival.

On our return to the site, we find we have a new neighbour.

Quite an amazing character (if the story is true!). 

In 30 minutes and a bottle of Mexican Corona, (shared between myself and Kathleen), we get a story worthy of Harrison Ford.

This guy (Pierre) is (I may have forgotten some details):
  • a French Canadian, living in Frankfurt, Germany
  • was given a hand out of £250,000 from his father at age 30.
  • after  heart attack, retired at 40, with an even bigger fortune.
  • invested the fortune in gold, which has now increased 1000%
  • having retired, he invented various equipment to help the third world
  • everything he touches appears to turn into even more money
  • plays five musical instruments (when pressed by Kathleen, none were actually named)
  • married for the first time at 61
  • has three "boats" dotted around the world, all of which, he has built himself
  • when he is not sailing, he roams Europe (with his dog) in a campervan
  • has been attacked by wild dogs in Romania, once saving his wife and once his dog
  • ambushed and shot three times by bandits in Guatemala
  • his wife, jets around the world, earning a fortune, as a banker, and helping the needy
I think that is it, makes you feel quite inadequate!.

You may have guessed from the volume of information imparted, it was not so much a conversation as a monologue.

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