Best day so far.......!!!
Great to meet a new friend in Richard, top man and good to hear his experiences of a year abroad... but equally good to fully meet the neighbours (Janette/Gunther, Glen/Dick & Reina/Erwin). This has been the first day that we have seen and felt such a part of the community at La Marina... This will be a wrench to leave!!!
With the girls preparing for Halloween, they have been very lucky to get so many sweets from kind neighbours.... and they got to have yet another dunking in the water park!!!
But there was also time for us to try our hands at tapas and managed some spanish salads, mini burgers, mini chorizos and small chicken kebabs..... All prepared in readiness for the rugby!!! Great win for New Zealand, was it ever in doubt!!!! Good to chat to George too, another top man who we miss greatly!
But then off to Richard's pitch, the man has a golf putting set up and great Rose..... hmmmm!! A real struggle to pass 3 very happy hours as we put his golf swing to rights, and the world over some rose, and then headed back for bedtime reading with the girls!!!!
A really special day that we will remember for a long time to come.... so nice to be a part of such a special, welcoming and positive community.... we really have craved this for over 3yrs now..
Hardly a struggle to live like this.... But what an enjoyable day :)
Clearly found a throng little community here at La Marina and it has been great to chat to so many people (not just today but over past few days). There is clearly a strong bond between those that full time or those that dip their finger in the pond so to speak... Either way we have fully enjoyed speaking to our lovely neighbours here and are finding it a hard wrench to leave. Especially as our neighbours have such a beautiful dog that Libby now clearly adores...
As ever we hit the water parks, but this time managed to all get involved rather than the obligatory 'guard dog' for our possessions.... Great fun to all fly down the blue slopes or create a snake on the yellow run....
This was followed by the BBQ tapas that has become a firm favourite - marinaded chicken kebabs and mini burgers.... Salad and then followed by jelly ;)
All in all, a lovely unexpected surprise as we thought we were moving on today....
Hmmmmm should we stay beyond the weekend and start 'day trips' out to see the sights.... Or should we push onto Granada.... Decisions, decisions, decisions...
Good to also catch up with some former workmates this week.... Nice to catch up with those we will stay in touch with...
So following a busy day yesterday, we started with a large vat of coffee and a big tub of croissants.....
Both girls updated their brand new diaries (courtesy of Valencia..)
Lottie wrote a lovely passage about her experience in the market - "Today we went on the Metro into Valencia. We went into the old city in Valenica, we went to a fresh and busy market. At the market we saw fresh fruit stalls, bakeries and butchers. Mummy and I saw pigs heads and trotters. From the amazing buildings to the graffitied city I won't expect much if I go again"
Libby penned the following before starting on her duo lingo Spanish programme - "we strode into the fresh market of fruit fruit & veg bakeries with pizza, fish stalls and juices. We made our way to the marina to see some stunning boats. In the home-made restaurant we had Tapas,chips and paella yum yum.... A swimming pool.... Coooool! Ahhhhhh cold........ Lots of lengths.... Fun!!!!"
Now off to the water park again, more fun and frolics for the girls (& us!)
Lovely end to the day as we headed to the beach for a bedtime story as the sun went down over the mountains, listening to the waves lapping against the shores... Perfect end to another busy day
What a busy day!! Up with the larks to get breakfast and a new bikini for Libby. Then off for a beautiful bike ride to the beach.....
We were delighted with the beach which had wonderful golden sand and superb sand dunes to play in.... both girls enjoyed themselves in the sea before committing to burying both parents in the sand... a worrying thought!!!
On the way back, we hopped into the aqua park and all of us enjoyed the massive water slides!! Great fun!! Then back to the motorhome for a quick pasta and olives for lunch during the siesta, before returning later on so both girls could use the GoPro for water footage (cool camera and well worth the money spent!!!)
Back to the motorhome for showers, quick supper, bed time reading and then hopefully some kip!!! We are hoping for the full 10hrs until 8am tomorrow....... (we can only live in hope....???)
More of the same tomorrow I'm led to believe..... Wish us luck!
After being purged by the multiple jets, ice baths, steam rooms, citrus pools........ I felt a little like a football fan after a Lazio vs Roma Derby... And all those infamous Italian police water cannons in the 1990s...
That said, it proved to be a fantastic spa (http://www.marinasenses.com/en) and both girls loved the experience of being 'old enough for a spa day' whilst the presence of an actual 'ice bucket challenge room' proved a magnetic lure for both girls.
The swimming pool was also a welcome relief and both girls enjoyed a swimming lesson followed by numerous races to decide who would get to choose the content of our lunch today...
After this busy day, the energy tanks were strangely depleted, perhaps it will kick in tomorrow..... And a very lazy afternoon followed.... The good news is that this leaves time for bedtime stories and reading hour for both girls.... They can't wait to return to their books and Famous Five stories....
With the weather set to return to sunny 23 degrees plus tomorrow, we will sample the delights of the water park. I have to confess that we are both as excited as the girls, it is a new, fabulous set up and both girls should have plenty of fun tomorrow
So we said goodbye to Valencia.... with the weather changeable, it seemed the perfect day to travel the 250km south to La Marina, Alicante....
En route, we clocked up the 2000th mile, with well over 31hrs of driving hours now completed...
With mixed feelings on Valencia, we have travelled towards Alicante and a chance for the girls to enjoy a wonderful water park and spa... courtesy of some monies from grandparents...
It looks wonderful and our plot is again near to the sea.... perhaps not quite as close as last time.... we will have to struggle the 500m to the beach... such a hardship.
Today's journey was one of the most interesting so far, as we moved away from the concrete jungles beside the coastline and headed inland.... through field after field of orange trees, up some high passes and over or through mountains. Across some tundra that was clearly close to being termed a desert and then onto the salt plains that surround our current location...
It will certainly do for a day or two and then we will move south again towards Cartagena.... and it's Roman ruins...
But first, we will be made to go up, around and over the various water slides here.... again, such a hardship!!! But first, as we ended up here early, we might even get to watch the rugby since we missed yesterday's match!
With the bird songs still ringing in our ears, we set off bright and early to explore Valencia…
To say we were surprised was an understatement after our 5th street laden with graffiti… it was a sad start to a tour around the old city…. after the fairly uninspiring set of ancient gates, we headed inwards towards the central market…
Thankfully Valencia sprung into life here, with a vibrant market full of fresh produce and delicious pastries to make our mouths water…. After a wonderful picnic lunch as we careered through each line of stalls, we eventually waited our appetite and headed outside towards the roman colosseum that still has bull fighting taking place.
After short visit to the marina to see where the 32nd Americas Cup race was started and finished, we were lucky enough to see some quite stunning boats still on view….
As we skirted the edge of the harbour, we moved onto the famous beach and promenade that makes Valencia rival Barcelona…. it is hard act to follow and although it tries hard, Valencia still has to cede ground here to it’s Catalonian rival….
Following some shopping and a lengthy metro journey back (with extra costly tickets due to a malfunctioning card….) we arrived back at base and ready for tapas/sangria and sweeties….. With Strictly Come Dancing readied for action…. the van was a quiet place tonight… Roll on Alicante tomorrow as the rain is expected, so we will travel…. thankfully the week ahead’s weather looks fantastic!!! Time to get the bikes on the road again me thinks….
After a fairly busy morning as we sorted out the van ready for departure, we reflected on a wonderful 8 day break at Torre del Sol. The weather was brilliant, the beach even better and the chance to spend some quality time together... priceless!!
But all good things have to end, so we headed off south towards Valencia.... and the Valencia Camper Van park just outside of the main city.
We have wanted to see what Valencia has to offer after such a great time in Barcelona earlier in the year. Valencia is supposed to be Barcelona's quieter cousin but with more Spanish roots!! With a stunning beach, old city gates, bustling city food market and wonderful Aquarium... where will start tomorrow....
Well it may be later start than planned after that meal tonight... It had a wonderful Spanish kitchen feel as we sat in the campsite bar... with lovely Tapas on show a other tables, we felt rude not to order too!!! Well it started!!!! Tapas, Sangria, Paella.... and some pancakes to follow... the poor van's suspension tonight!!!!
Let's hope for more tomorrow night before the girls enjoy the free wifi and the chance to watch two consecutive Saturday's of Strictly Come Dancing.... lucky girls!!!!
We enjoyed a fun, relaxing morning building a sandcastle and wave jumping in the sun. This afternoon it was then a now or never moment, before we head off down the coast tomorrow, so we braved the sea for our first swim in the Med. With wetsuits on we headed out into the gorgeous, clear blue sea. After a few false starts as a few big waves came in, we made into into the sea, racing, floating and generally bobbing around. Lottie went a little further, body-boarding (minus the board) on some of the larger waves.
A pleasant evening meal outside by the sea proved to be the perfect end of a very enjoyable week at La Torre Del Sol.
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