Tuesday 23rd December
You must be wondering what has happened to us. Poor old Frankie has got square wheels now but the bikes have had a good run about. We had to decide what to do about Xmas; Lucy wanted to be on a site with wifi so we can Skype Darcy on Xmas day and that is where we are. The alternative was to move on, wild camp for a couple of days and then try and find a site with all the necessaries.
We’re both still a bit green at motor homing in Spain so the safest bet was just to stay still. To be honest we haven’t had any problems in Spain finding somewhere to stay even though there are far fewer aires. There are thousands of campsites and thousands of wild camping “opportunities”, and eventually we may start chilling out about tonights rest stop.
The market was a typical street market with lots of fruit and veg, clothes and plastic essential bits. Nothing took our fancy since we had stocked up the day before so we walked back to the site and topped up our tans in the afternoon.
Saturday we planned a bike ride into Murcia. It was 10km each way along a smooth cycle path alongside the Rio Segura, Murcias main river. Either side of the river are thousands of acres of Lemon Groves, all fed from the Rio Segura by water channels, we are in the heart of lemon growing country and there seems to be a concentration of Lemon factories in the next town, Santomera.
We had a very pleasant ride into Murcia stopping for lunch outside the main town hall. There really isn’t a lot to say about Murcia, it was founded in 831 by Abd-Al-Rahman II and was central to the agricultural business of the area. There is a large Cathedral, as you would expect and it is home to a University and that is about all we can say, but I really do like the city. It is pleasantly calm, not overly busy with wide streets and narrow pedestrianised shopping areas. All the shops are different, there are a couple of big names such as Burger King, Sephora, Barclays Bank and Clarks but nothing like one of our British copycat towns.
The Rio Segundo isn’t really much of a river at all but through the City it has been widened to a nice width and now the river bed is being sculpted to form reed beds, water cascades and shallows which should look really nice once it has been completed.
Little Egret on a wire. There were lots of Little Egrets, Mallards, Swans, etc on the water, even in the City Centre. All the roads were lined with Orange, Lemon and Lime trees and there were riverside play areas for the young and grassed and sculpted areas for the less young.
Obviously Sunday is our day of rest and we are careful to observe the tradition. It also helped that the sun was very hot today and the Lafumas had a good work out.
Bike ride Monday saw us revisiting Murcia, the more cycling we do means the further we can go in future and now a 20km bike ride holds no fear for us!. A couple at our campsite told us about a Mercadona in Murcia so I strapped on my saddle bags, put a rucsac on with a cool bag inside and Lucy clipped on her front basket and off we went. We chained our bikes outside Eskoril, one of the largest supermarkets I have ever seen and went wandering off looking for a bar and tapas to while away the day. We ended up back in Murcia town centre and found lots of sparkly shops to look in, luckily we don’t have any space left in Frankie to hide sparkly things so my wallet escaped again.
We found an outside bar next to the cathedral and in my best Spanish ordered a couple pints of beer and a selection of tapas, all very good and very reasonable prices, beer was €2 per pinta (500ml). I could have stayed there all day but we still had shopping to do and a cycle path to navigate so I was restricted to two pintas.
Nice to see that the sanctions being imposed on Russia at the moment are having an effect and all the cost savings are being passed onto the consumers. This is the price of diesel at Eroski which at todays exchange rate (£1 = €1.27) works out to 80.8p per litre. I imagine you’re all benefitting from similar price reductions 🙂
This is a Lidls special offer, €6.13 per litre for gin which is equivalent to £4.83 per litre. I’ve been experimenting with a Spanish idea of adding herbs and spices to your Gin and Tonic. You can buy packets of juniper, red pepper, cardamon and Schezwan Pepper which you add into your drink. Along with fresh lemons off our personal lemon tree (incredibly juicy) you mix to taste. I haven’t found my perfect recipe yet, after two pints you start to lose the plot but I will keep trying in the interests of science and for the sake of East Essex DA. By July I will have perfected the recipe (I tried it with coffee beans yesterday but wasn’t keen).
Xmas decorations are up, honestly, I think she has gone overboard this year, making me traipse around all the shops looking for a fold flat Xmas tree that we’re only ever going to use once a year. I bet she can’t even find where I’ve hidden it next year!!