Friday, 26 February 2016

The Bingley Bullet.


There we were having quite dinner in Al Punto when in walked somebody we recognised from back home. 11 times TT winner Ian "Hutchy " Hutchinson came over and insisted I took a picture of him with Sue.



He is in Spain doing  pre season testing with his Tyco BMW team at Almeria.



Hutchy in 2010 set the record for the most wins at a single TT recording 5 solo victories, he had a terrifying accident three months later in a BSS race at Silverstone where he came close to losing a leg.


I saw him the following year being lifted on to a bike by pit crew, wearing adapted leathers to fit over the metal frame around his leg to do a parade lap of the TT course, the courageous Yorkshireman from Bingley was cheered all the way around by fans lining the track.

30 operations later Hutchy was back at the TT proper winning two more trophies in 2015.


In action at theTT.

Monday, 22 February 2016

Double celebration.

A surprise party was arranged for Paul & Elaine  in the Emerald Isle, the 'Mojacar' ladies did a great spread for all to enjoy.


Elaine was in on the surprise and got Paul to the do in good order not knowing that the night was to celebrate her birthday as well.

I'm sure the four is the wrong way round.

Next time we will remember a proper cake slice.


Assembled guests
We all had a great night, music was supplied by our hosts brother and Man U won for once to please Paul.

Bonus is the weather is back in the 20's for this week.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Sunday market

Villaricos Sunday market for fresh produce, although the sea was still boiling the sun came out when we had coffee over looking the small harbour.
Later we watched Chelsea take apart Man City youngsters in the FA Cup.

Saturday, 20 February 2016

Freezing !!!!

After my last blog extolling the weather as being fantastic, the very next day has seen a down turn to a windy 14C !!!


Wind & surf.


Sammy & Bombo being used as hot water bottles

Tomorrow it will be fair again, fingers crossed.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Mojacar impressions

When friends suggested Mojacar as a good destination for a winter break we didn't expect it to be this good. Day time temperatures for one were unexpected, regularly in the low 20C and once as high as 26C showing on the local pharmacy clock/temp sign. The day time temp hasn't dipped below 16C. We have been here 5 weeks and it has only rained on one day.



Accommodation is a smart two bedroomed rented apartment with a good sized veranda overlooking the beach. Being the off season prices are low, I reckon on paying less for two months here than we would for a week in Florida (without a view of the sea).

You have to be careful when booking as it seems you can pay the same price for  unappealing accommodation without a view as you can for a well presented apartment with a view. We were very lucky to have our forward reckie pals, who now live here full time, pick out our accommodation for us.

Eating out is cheap with plenty of restaurants, bars and cafes, or if you eat in, Aldi and Iceland are here (by car or bus) or local supermarkets are dotted along the front. Fresh veg can be bought in the daily markets that move around the area. Again the prices are much cheaper than back home.

There's a good long promenade for walking and a cycle path separated from pedestrians by hedges and palms, the promenade is in the process of being extended at it's eastern end. It's easy to spot who's here for a winter break like us, they are in shorts, sandals and t-shirts while the local Spanish/Ex pat population are in coats, hats and scarves.




There are no annoying shite hawks, pulling rubbish from bins or trying to steal your tapas while you sit having lunch in the sun. There are gulls here but they are out in the ocean doing the things they were designed for, not sure how the Spanish have trained them to keep off the prom...maybe the threat of ending up in the paella.

You wont get the full Spanish experience/culture here, it's more Britspain, but there are enough establishments and local staff to keep our basic language skills entertained and a rented car will get you too some lovely Spanish villages. You could live here full time without the need to learn a word of Spanish.........I expect some do.

Not so good points, ..............apart from someone getting 'accidentally' shot in a bar the other night, stray dogs don't pick up after themselves but it is a lot easier to spot than on the towpath.
Draught Guinness at £3 a pint and establishments giving free tapas with each drink means my waist is getting thicker.

Typical free tapas with  2Euro beers (beef with roasted veg and chili con carne)
We are here to get away from the  British winter, not the still bright crisp days...we miss them, it's the dismal grey wet cold windy days we are escaping.

Would we come back next winter ..... you bet!




Friday, 12 February 2016

Early morning hike........

to the Tower of Pirulico


Tower

07:45

Inside the tower,the alcove has steps to the top.

Early morning orange glow to the rocks.


Thursday, 11 February 2016

Nijar

After a lovely sunrise it became overcast, an ideal day to go for a road trip to Nijar.




07:50

The village of Nijar is a 40 minute drive from our base and by the time we arrived it was a sunny 23C .

Church of Santa Maria.

 A typical white washed Spanish village.









A coffee & tapas lunch stop.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Cartagena

To break up the monotony of relaxing in the sunshine, walks along the prom, coffee & tapas crawls and the odd evening spent in a bar, it's nice to have a road trip to experience something different.

Forgot to tick the box - no toll roads - on the satnag, this meant that we cruised down a motorway bereft of any other vehicle and paid 13.99 Euro for the privilege.

No stoppies allowed
Cartagena was our destination, a port city, naval base and birthplace of Hannibal. The city in recent years has become a popular tourist destination, regeneration of the inner port area has taken place, a new cruise liner docking facility, marina and museum.
Naval ship winding.

A sunny picture for Roly.


A Roman flour mill.


Huge bronze sculpture for the victims of terrorism.

The Grand hotel's art-nouveau architecture. 

In places the city's is being stripped back to reveal it's Roman past.
Archaeological site not yet open to the public is under the sheeting 


We toured the city's main streets had lunch in a cafe overlooking the marina and visited a couple of museums, The 'Museo refugio de la guerra civil'  excavated caves used as air raid shelters to protect civilians from intense German & Italian bombings during the Spanish civil war in 1937.


The Museo Nacional de Arqueologia Subacuatica - concerned with the documenting and protection of underwater heritage around the world. Part of the cargo of the frigate " Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes" sunk in 1804 is housed here.

We only scratched the surface and may return at a later date.