Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year One And All

So that was 2013, it started with a bit of a bang ... around 3am on the 19th of January when our original motorhome was written off, and ends on a fairly quiet note in Alcossebre Eastern Spain, in Moho Moho, Part Ambulance and Part old Moho. Since we have been in Spain we have seen at least a dozen of our old Talbot/Citroen/Fiat/Peugeot based mohos (one of them a J-reg) so if it hadn't been for some pissed up, work-shy piece of shit car thief, no doubt the old wagon would have made it this far and further. The pictures below are a random sample of highs and lows; summer in Southend and Leigh on Sea, Canterbury, Whitstable, Thetford, the old Moho's last journey to donate it's parts to the Talbots and its variants elsewhere, the ambulance and it's transition to Moho Moho (so good they named it twice). A suspected broken Scaphoid bone, Planking where one shouldn't, and the start of shifting our other life to a shipping container somewhere in deepest darkest Essex.

Tomorrow we start 2014 in the land of the foreign, having spent an evening in the company of Dutch, German and English travellers much like ourselves, looking for a bit of adventure and sun, before its too late to do so anymore.

Happy New Year one and all, may your 2014 be prosperous, exciting and adventurous.

Saturday, 28 December 2013


Just a quicky. WIFI services on camp-sites are a rip-off. They charge a lot of money for frankly shit service. You pay for a day ... your IP lease from the DHCP server lasts as little as an hour, this means that as you watch your pictures and text upload, the whole thing just stops. So if blogs look a bit flaky it's not really the authors fault, and as for using the alleged free WIFI in bars and restaurants ... you've been E-mugged into eating lunch.

There is a word but I'm not allowed to use it on the blog. I'm nearly at the stage of buying a MIFI unit.

Rant over.

Rice Paddy

Rice Paddy
We arrived in Poblo Nou Del Delta around Midday 27th December, all trace of the storm of Boxing Day night had finally gone ... interestingly the guy who owns/manages the bar at the Delta spoke about how powerful the winds had been up the coast. So it turns out it was a particularly strong one this year. However it is a seasonal thing, like we have autumn gales, Tarragona has this Katabatic winds thing. Also worth mentioning, because I left it out of the post regarding the journey across the high plains, that the high plains are poked with literally thousands of wind turbines, and they do in actual fact ruin the view here and there.
The Delta has been archeologically analysed to produce a map of its creation. It’s around 2000 years old and not much more and created by out-flowing silt from the River/Rio L'Ebro which runs down from the plateau a few miles inland (we crossed the river on the way in to the delta, the problem is that you can’t stop on the bridge or either side to take pictures). However in the overall scheme of things this matters little. The L Ebro is connected to several other rivers naturally and by canals running across the plains, almost as far as Bilbao. The whole delta area is now a managed reserve, though its primary function is producing rice, which at the time of writing has been harvested for this year, and the funny tractors with giant bicycle wheels are out ploughing the mud, and the water from the paddies is being drain through a massive system of canals , sluices and aqueducts.

These are European rice paddies, and from the pictures in the bar/restaurant where you pay for services used, rice has been cultivated here for hundreds of years, and in previous years the wildfowl were hunted ... I suddenly find myself wanting Crispy Duck with Plum Sauce.

Enlarge this and you will see how the Marsh and Rice Paddy Developed

We saw a wild Flamingo, Marsh Harriers, Herons, Bitterns, ducks and all manner of other birds. We also bore witness to yet another spectacular sunset.

The driving was easy, the place we stopped at was relatively remote. I managed to get two punctures in my bikes rear tyre and my sidekick is suffering from injuries incurred in a near deadly fall into a bottomless pit yesterday evening scrambling on a beach. We have shopped, we are still tired, and we think that we are going to be tired in perpetuity, or at least until we finish, and we think we will finish late autumn next year, because we do feel a bit old and because it’s so easy to spend money, but fuck it, you only live once and we’ll probably never be able to afford to do this again.

As an addendum, we bought a load of food in to cook in the evening, however the rough night of a day or two ago caught up with us and we revised our menu plans and went to the restaurant that allows overnight parking in this off the beaten track place, to save us the aggravation of cooking, washing up, putting away etc. On the restaurant’s menu was a Duck and Rice soup main course, like really loose Paella, a local dish and extremely filling. We made the beds up before we left so we could just flake out when we got back. We dined in proximity to a French neighbours from our car-park home for the night. And we decided  to go to another fully serviced campsite down the coast for a few days to clear the New Year period, by which time we will have covered a third of the Spanish Mediterranean coast.

We think we need to head inland again after that, there are few ruins to see and many are just not accessible, there are a few monasteries, but they don’t float my boat, so maybe the answer is to see what lies off the beaten track, where grape or citrus rotting on the ground may not be the sole crop, even if it does turn out to be jaw dropping landscape.
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