Back home again

Hello Friends,

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 :-)

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36 Replies

  • Hi there .. It was lovely to hear of your adventures. Yes, I do think you're fortunate but it has taken some courage too. What an exciting time you've both had. Xxx

  • Great to read your post - what an exciting trip.... I too camped near Caceres - in 1966! And in the Picos more recently. You do convey the pleasures of camping really well, including managing the unexpected.

    Hoping your return is a bit of rest...

  • How lovely to read your update - very inspiring! Portugal is such a beautiful place.

    Sending you very best wishes

    Sharon xx

  • Sounds like a wonderful crazy hectic time!!! It's good to be 'normal' sometimes. ;-) Really enjoyed your description of your adventure, I felt like it was my adventure! Love M.B. X

  • Brilliant to hear of holiday and so good for the spirit ...I'm going to adopt "bash on " as I think it's fab x

  • I agree - it's a super term. Really positive. I shall adopt it, too. :-)

    Love, Solange

  • Hi Solange,vwelcome back. Your trip in Portgual and your adventure in Spain sounds wonderful. Your friends had obviously missed you in Portgual but wasnt it nlovely that you wrte given sucjh a warm welcome back. Hope you are keeping well. Ann xo

  • Thank you, Ann, and I've just seen the photo of your gorgeous little Granddaughter. Congratulations! Hope her big brother likes her. So glad you fitted your super holiday in first - you're so busy.

    Love, Solange x

  • Thanks Solange. Yes, she is adorable and big brother, Arthur, is adjusting well to his little sister. x

  • Lovely post! Thank you. Xx

  • :-) Solange xx

  • Welcome back Solange. Really enjoyed your post.

    Mary xx

  • Thank you, Mary. Nice to be able to read everyone's news on HU, as well, now. Hope all well with you, love Solange. :-)

  • Lovely adventure Solange! Glad you coped with the "events" sent to test you! At least you got a relaxing break in between and experienced new places. Nice wee boost and lovely to get home again.

    Love Wendy xxx

  • Yes, It was a super boost- and I actually think my brain must have benefited as well. My memory seems a little bit less 'Chemo-fied' , or should I say 'Chemo-fried'? Tee hee!

    Love, Solange. :-)

  • Great to hear you both had a lovely time, forget about the car cars can be fixed. In spite of all you obviously enjoyed the trip. Hopefully you will get there again in the near future. At the same time you are probably happy to be at home amongst family and friends at the moment

  • Glad you had a good time. Here's to more happy days. Vx

  • Thank you, Victoria.

    Love, S xx. :-)

  • What an up-lifting post, yes you bash on girl!Best wishes Pam x

  • Thanks, Pam. Hope you manage to Bash On, too.

    Love, S. Xx

  • What a lovely holiday, spontaneous and unexpected, glad you had such a great time x

  • Yes, it was a super experience , mainly, especially once the Breakdown truck man managed to locate us!

    Best wishes , S xx

  • Alliance,

    I have not logged on for quite some time only to find your Most happy post. You bring much joy and I am delighted you enjoyed your holiday. It has been more than a year since we chatted but your posts always brightened my days while I was in treatment.

    I just received the all clear (NED) report from my oncologist. I am still working part time for retirement days are not far ahead. Thank you for your joyous post.

    Please be well.


  • Thank you, Jane for your kind comments. 'm so pleased to read that you have been given such great news. Long may it last.

    Love, Solange

  • I enjoyed reading your holiday post, sounds as if you managed to get quite a lot in. I've never been to Portugal but would like to.

    LA xx

  • Lily-Anne , I'm so sorry. I've just read your post re having to have a scan. I'm so sorry!! I do hope the scan shows nothing too sinister. What a roller- coaster this b disease is. Keep your chin up,

    Thinking of you, love from Solange

  • It would be great for you if you could ever visit there,

    Hope things going ok for you, Lily-Anne.

    Love, Solange

  • Wow....what an adventure. Memories built on holidays that is what is important.

    Love janette xx

  • Hope you're able to make some, too, Janette.

    Love, Solange

  • Loved reading this post, how wonderful you were able to have this adventure. Travelling and happy times with family and friends - 2 of life's greatest pleasures.

    We used to do even more of a cheat's camping in mobile homes mostly in France but I quite hanker after a caravan or motorhome and the freedom of the open road ..... !

    Good luck with your appointment.

    Madeline x

  • Thank you, Madeline. I should think it was super to be in a mobile home - I can imagine it must be so luxurious.

    Love Solange x

  • Wow , what an inspiring account , so uplifting to read and reminded me of all our years camping , more often than not , having the car breakdown at some point ....

    So wonderful to hear your positive voice X

    Thank you for sharing such a great time .

  • Sounds marvellous. Glad you had such a great holiday.

    Eileen xx

  • Thank you, Eileen. Hope things are going well for you.

    Love, Solange. :-)

  • Thanks, Solange. Yes things going well so far.


    Eileen xx

  • Hi Angela, yes, car breakdowns when fully laden with camping gear- typical!! LoL

    I think our beloved old car may have to retire pretty soon ............ Then big decisions needed about next step. How much longer will we be able to go roaming with the caravan? Doesn't this pesky cancer hang over you and make various decisions hard? Still, I've been very lucky and got away with it for eight years - must think positively!!

    Hope things going well for you, love Solange. :-)

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