Tuesday, 15 May 2012

We are not on holiday and that makes a big difference

Most people think we are on holiday right now. That these three month excursions are just elongatd vacations. We wish they were frankly. It all startdd with R wanting to escape the infections of English winters. In fact that never happend because it would have meant being away across Christmas. But plan A was to hire houses in warm southern Spain and effectively use our holiday savings to pay for the costs of travel while using the variation in living costs to finance the small residual cost of an empty house in the UK. But being stuck in one place was not quite as much fun so the caravan re-appeared in our lives.
Last year should have seen us in Spain for part of the trip but the car gave us pause and we stayed in France, having a fantastic time in new places and terrific weather. This year was to be a similar sort of jaunt in Spain but now it has been the weather that has played up.
But we are not on hioliday. We cannot afford to eat out very often, reserving that for the odd special visit. We have to keep the place clean and tidy, wash and iron clothes in very adverse circumstances and husband our cash since while this is not quite as expensive on a weekly basis as hiring a house, costs over here and esopecially of fuel and food have wiped out the differential that supported the house in the UK. Whether we can do this again next year is problematic. Sadly a return this far south is hugely unlikely - France may benefit providing its cost base does not intrude.
Of course wine is cheaper here although not better. The local Riojas are good but not outstanding unless you pay; the white are only good if you pay a lot. Food is no different in costs and rather variable these days in quality. What Spain is good at is cheaper and better of course - oranges (citrus in general), pork, tomatoes, cured hams, some veg, short-life bread,...
I am listening to the third downpour of the evening. We dined well on the first really decent cooked crab we have found (Galicia only sells them fresh; ditto lobbie and this is a caravan!) and also some excellent prawns which would have given France's best a run. Galicia offered nothing so good I fear. odd that - famous for it? Huh!
Have I mentioned that this is another crap camp site? Oh well try this - there is claimed to be washing and tumble dry machines. Tokens and key from the shop on site. It is closed uintil June. But it opened for the May Day celebration so J bought some tokens. Went to use them today and the shop was shut so NO KEY! Fortunately the miserable Madridian patron turned up so she persuaded him to open up. Washing machine worked but tumbler drier hardly did anything. And it is very wet. We now have two plus weeks of half wet washing and the rains are forecast to last until Satiurday. We planned to leave Sunday....
We made it to Escorial (see other blog) and hope tomorrow Friday to get to Segovia. We are too pissed off to bother with Toleda or Avile - both 150k each way - so will head north west towards France on Sunday. Forecsat for France? Not much better. We may even come home early at this rate. rain in your own home is less dreadful than rain in a foreign land that does not know how to handle it and does not want to bother anymore.
We shopped today. 200 euroes worth. i wondered what the Spanish thought - 24% unemployment and a crap economy and these silver hairded and barbarically tongued pensioners are buying up the place...

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