Where's Frankie?

Truma Trauma

Saturday 24th December

At the end of last weeks blog (I’ve been busy OK?) we were about to go over to the weekly quiz night and guess who won? Yes, Our very own Lucy “Dory” Walland who has trouble remembering her own name but knows every little trivial bit of knowledge that you could ever hope to forget. The prize for winning the quiz – do next weeks quiz.

We’ve had a little bit of weather at the beginning of this week, I don’t think it stopped raining from Friday evening until Monday evening, very strong winds and dire traffic news. Many streets further south have ben turned into rivers with cars and vans being swept away downstream. Some people staying here were due to travel down to La Manga but had to postpone for a couple of days.

And then it got cold so the heating has been on full whack. The clicking relays stopped but by Sunday evening we had discovered that there was no heat coming out of the vents. However, the hot water was working great. Monday morning we braved the elements and walked into town to buy a small electric fan heater. It was only €16 but we got absolutely drenched walking home. Luckily the heater works perfectly and Tuesday morning the sun came out! Engineer coming to visit us on Monday, if he has the parts he can fix it, if not he has to wait for the Truma supplier to open which will be the 7th January.


Tuesday morning was a walk along the beach, the sea was raging but as you can see the weather is improving. Lucy stayed in the van, she managed to get blisters from her new clompers.


Wednesday was a bike ride to the next town about 8 miles away. Here we have stopped by the front to watch the waves crashing in, the sea has managed to get over the sea wall which is why the road is so wet.


Some of us got a bit too close and had to cycle home in wet trainers. 

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By Thursday and with the weather forecast looking very good, 18ºC every day, no clouds and no winds it was time to get the sun canopy out and make ourselves feel like we are at home.

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Thursday was a bit busy for us. Shopping in the morning, sun canopy erection, tapas afternoon (our calamari went down very well and no one admitted to being ill).

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And then a visit to the local school for chocolate and cake. The rally has very close contact with the school and weekly visits are made to help with English classes. They also raise money for school equipment and have raised over €5000 over the last four years. The above photo and the next two have been taken using the high speed shutter function on my camera to slow the action down. Three photos is about a third of a second.

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We got to see the childrens hanging decorations.

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And the teachers Nativity scene.

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Friday, it must be boules. It’s non stop action here in the sun.

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We had to let the girls win. Steve, the Rally Marshall warned us what would happen if Dawn lost.

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Having the sun canopy out means that the barbecue can come out, here we are busily smoking everyone out. I would normally do a 3 beer BBQ but since gin is too cheap here I have had to make it a three gin and cloudy lemonade BBQ, still drinking it in pints though.

Talking of cheap gin Lucy (who hates gin except when it’s got sloes in it) said that she fancied a Pimms. Since we’ve never seen Pimms abroad I googled it and found out that it is a very British drink but there are alternatives.      I even found a recipe for it. Three parts gin (€6 per litre), three parts red vermouth (€2 per litre) and 1 part Cointreau (€20 per litre), apparently it tastes as good, if not better than the real thing. Surprisingly we haven’t found an orange liqueur that we can use instead of cointreau, bearing in mind the number of orange trees here.

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Nearly done. We’ve noticed that most cuts of meat are very thin but these two were shouting and waving at us in the supermarket and we had to get them, together with burgers and pork loin that we’ve cut into thick chops.

BBQ was out again today charing the burgers and I think I’m in charge of burning the meat tomorrow.

We both hope that you all have a fantastic Xmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. Hope you all keep nice and warm and get every present that you asked for.

FELIZ NAVIDAD as us locals say.

8 thoughts on “Truma Trauma

  1. Alan - Going Nomad

    Hope you had a great Xmas, and that you get the heating sorted, though I don’t think you will need it. We had a similar problem and discovered that the vent tube had dislodged from the fan unit. We had no electric at the time so were depending on the gas heating. The best thing we bought before leaving the UK were 2 small oil filled radiators which are superb in heating up the motorhome.

    We have had plenty of woes since leaving apart from the heating. While still in the UK, a hose blew of the water heater while the pump was on flooding the van floor on the first night. Then the cistern pump failed needing a new replacement. We almost missed the ferry due to a traffic jam and I had this old girl travelling at 70mph. Unfortunately one of the side locker doors wasn’t locked properly and I lost a cordless drill and a new heavy duty 12v compressor on the way!

    In France, we lost the waste water tap over a ramp, picked up some battle scars in tight village turns, then the starter battery went flat needing 2 visits from ADAC in 2 days. Alternator was goosed and cost us €730 for a replacement! So a great first 3 weeks! Despite all this we have managed to make it to Peniscola and booked into a site for a few days over Xmas – so now hope to get the blog up to date with less than perfect WIFI. We may be down your way soon, so watch out for a rattly old van with bits missing :-D.

    1. Mark Post author

      What a great tale, you should write a blog! You’ll soon find that you are talking to fellow travellers and you can see in their faces that they don’t really believe anything you’re telling them, sometimes I have to stop myself.
      I see that you’re not far behind us, things have certainly warmed up since last week.
      Hope your luck improves and we meet up somewhere.
      I’ve subscribed to your newsletter, get writing

  2. Giorgio

    Been catching up on your entertaining blog after a period of absence.
    Wishing you both a great end of year and I look forward to reading your continued adventures in 2017.

  3. Chris en Peter

    Can tell you had a lovely Christmas! I am trying to catch up on your blog and at the moment am reading April 2015. What an interesting and well written blog. I love it! Am ver curious about your adventures so will go back to April 2015 now! Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve!
    Hope your heating problem will be solved soon!

    1. Mark Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, that’s my CSE English grade 4 shining through. Christmas was great, at the moment it looks like new year is cancelled.

    2. Mark Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, that’s my CSE English grade 4 shining through. Christmas was great, at the moment it looks like new year is cancelled. Heating problem has been diagnosed, looks like a very cheap repair.
      Are you fellow travellers or planning for the future?

      1. Chris and Peter

        ‘Are you fellow travellers or planning for the future?’ It took a while to catch up reading your blog. I have just arrived back at this blog post and read your reply. Thanks for showing some interest and taking the time… We have had our camper for 6 seasons now, actually bought it earlier than we had planned… And we only do long weekends and once or twice a month’s holiday. But… Yes we are planning… that is I (Chris) am dreaming of following the travellers’footsteps! This year will be a year of preparing and hopefully next year, somewhere in April, we’ll be off for much longer..
        Have a wonderful 2017!!!

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