Wednesday 14 March 2018

Relaxing into it in Peniscola

Wednesday 14 March 2018 - Day 10

At least I think it’s Wednesday!  I’m losing track; as the days go by the van seems more like home than home, and we’re getting into the routine of living in a space (bedroom, galley, bathroom, living room) smaller than the average ‘Wimpey house’ box room.  

We’re still at La Volta campsite in Peniscola.  Booking another night was no problem here; the owners are really accommodating and totally on the ball.  The facilities are immaculate and the site runs like a well-oiled machine.  I was awake early this morning so got up and made myself a pot of coffee. The sun was just rising over the mountains behind us, the sky was blue, but with a chill in the air.  Once the sun rose it soon warmed up and we sat outside for breakfast.  I like it when we spend more than one night at a stop; it means I can forget about driving for a day and, more importantly, get out for a bike ride.  Cathy also likes it because I’m out of her hair for a couple of hours, so she can get on with giving the van a good clean and sorting out and doing some washing - sounds like the perfect relationship to me!  I managed to unhitch my bike from the rack (it’s set high and I’m not!), pump up tyres, fill pockets and rucksack with stuff and pedal out of the site.  Today was a gentle ride up and down the bike lane on the beach promenade, around the fish harbour, several small roads and down to the other end of the bay (another harbour).  I passed the local fishermen’s cafe, so doubled back and enjoyed a ‘cafe con leche’ whilst watching the world go by.  On the return leg I stopped at a local fruit and veg shop.  It was my sort of place - all local, in season produce, including their own olive oil and wine (I didn’t by the latter btw!).  Rucksack full of fruit and veg and with a warm baguette tied on the outside (minus one end - I had to eat it because it was digging into the back of my cycle helmet!), I cycled back to the van for lunch.

By now the outside of the van looked like Wishy Washy’s Dhoby Shack, with clean clothes hanging everywhere.  I’d rigged up a washing line betwixt tree trunk and fence and Cathy had rigged another coming off the van.  After a warm and sunny morning, it clouded over and felt a little cooler, but we still went for a walk along the promenade and beach, bravely wearing shorts and t-shirts, whilst all the locals, in hats, scarves and puffa jackets, looked at us as if we were loco!  It was a tad chilly, but we put a brave face on it, walking back barefoot in the surf (we’re made of stern stuff I’ll have you know!).

I had some pork belly to use up, so cooked this ‘a la plancha’, having boiled some rice and prepared some veg, so this was all turned into a spicy pork fried rice.  I planned my usual trick of adding a couple of beaten eggs (something my Dad, who spent years in the Far East, taught me about making proper fried rice).  It took some effort to break the egg shell, only to discover that we’d bought six hard-boiled eggs!  I had no idea - they were eggs in an egg box, on a (non-cooled) shelf in the supermarket.  I need to make a note of the name and ensure we buy raw eggs next time!  Still, two were chopped up and added to the rice.

It’s feeling cooler tonight and the forecast is for mid-teens centigrade for the next few days (the southern end of ‘Beast from the East Part II’).  We’re moving on tomorrow, aiming to continue down the coast.  However, if our planned stop is full, or the weather’s pants, I have a Plan B to head slightly inland for a night, as there’s an aire in a village that I understand has a very nice tapas bar.  We’ve not eaten out yet, so we may treat ourselves if it’s within our ‘fun money’ budget.

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