Just an update to say my husband and I arrived home last week from our beloved Portuguese campsite on the Algarve. We had a wonderful welcome there from so many Multi-national fellow campers. It was really heartwarming. Word flew around that we were back and we had so many visitors we couldn't believe it. The (nice) downside of it was that we couldn't get sorted out on our pitch because no sooner did one set of friends go, another set would turn up. I found it pretty exhausting but we had masses of offers of help.
It took us a few days to get sorted out and relax properly, mentally as well as physically. I think we were a bit overwhelmed at what we had done in 'Running Away' but didn't admit it to each other, at first. I remember thinking on the journey, as we drove down, what a long, long way it was if we had to drive back in a hurry. Quite silly, really , as we would have flown home, should the need have arisen. Anyway, once we were all set up, and netting laid all over the ground around us to keep the dust down, we gradually really settled and had a very happy time. We made more friends as we had gone there at the time we would normally have been thinking about packing up to come home, so met others who camp there later than we usually do.
Our children and the older grandchildren had presented us with some euros at the party they gave us before we left England, bless them, and we used these to have lunch out quite often which was really appreciated.(€8 -10, £5.60 - £7 for three courses and wine and coffee!! A very good exchange rate helped a lot) I loved the no-cooking-days!! We had an unusual heatwave and I was thrilled to swim in the sea again, something I'd wanted to do for some years. When we saw that the weather was forecast to be even hotter the week we had to pack up we were able to amend our ferry booking and stay another week, thankfully.
Unfortunately, as we were driving North through Spain, the car broke down, in an area where they were having the highest temperatures since records had been kept. What a nightmare day that turned in to!! Thankfully, we had insurance with the Caravan Club, who helped to get us sorted out. Car on the pickup truck, when they eventually managed to locate us, and caravan towed behind, we were taken to a campsite before the car was taken away to be repaired. After the car was repaired we had to again amend our booking on the ferry from Bilbao (North Spain) meaning we had another week to wait. We had been hot in Portugal - now we had incredible heat to cope with - up to 38c!! Even though the pitches had shade netting over them to help keep the caravans cooler, it didn't help much. We couldn't bear to go in to bed until at least midnight as the caravan was so, so hot. Still, we did take the bus into the lovely little city of Caceres a couple of times and in the narrow old streets we were able to find some shade and admire the beautiful old buildings. We also had a day when we were able to drive through lovely countryside to Trujillo, another beautiful old town. After that we (again) headed to the North Coast and waited a couple of days on a site in a really picturesque area at the foot of the Picos de Europa Mountains. The scenery, with the mountains coming down to meet the sea was incredible - and I again did something I've wanted to do for years. We drove up into the amazing Picos de Europa for a day. So, although the car breakdown was a nightmare at the time, we went on to have a super adventure!!
Now we're home and are getting back to reality and normality - and are soooo pleased to be back with all our family. I'm just so lucky to have been able to do all these things and am really grateful to have been able to make such wonderful memories with my much loved husband
I must stop. I can't believe the time. I fell asleep for most of the evening so then wasn't ready to settle down at bedtime. My long-suffering husband is happily snoring next to me but I'm probably disturbing him.
Hoping you are all managing to have some good times even if you also have some bad,
With love, Solange