Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS


AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR
Back with another story on the 27th.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Now Spain Clamps Down On Private Holiday Lets.

During the Autumn we researched all possibilities of spending extended time in warmer climes to escape our seemingly continuous atrocious weather. We researched property ownership, as well as rental, motor home or caravan camping, and even just hotel stays, all in Southern Spain, as it offers the right climate and the convenience of cheap travel to and from the UK.


A beautiful private apartment rental right on the beach at Cabo de Gata
What we discovered was an ever increasing minefield of bureaucracy, often with rules and regulations implemented by central government, only to be largely ignored at local level, often with disastrous results for the unwary. Our conclusion was that all this was probably due to a failed economy trying to glean additional revenue wherever possible, with methods that are often poorly thought through and in the end detrimental to all.
I explored many of the various aspects in previous recent posts here, but briefly mentioned a new issue HERE back in November that could affect us, even though our final decision was simply to rent a private apartment as tourists next Autumn.
This is an article from the Daily Mail today, Saturday, 14th. December 2013, that highlights the coming problem for Britons who own holiday villas and apartments and want to continue to rent them out for part of the year to cover their costs.

Britons with holiday homes in France and Spain to be banned from renting them.

A move to the warmer climes of perhaps Bournemouth is starting to look much more appealing! 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Anyone For A Hire Boat Holiday?

To take us on to a lighter note than the subject of my previous post is this little video log of Meg Williams' 4 day break on the Trent and Mersey Canal in May 2013, taken from Youtube.

From the video, the boat is Wrenbury Navigator, which used to be part of the Welsh Gateway hire fleet at Nantwich Marina, before all their boats were sold off, most being bought by Middlewich Narrowboats, to become their premium 'Navigator Fleet' for the 2013 season.

Here is a link to The Middlewich Narrowboats Website.

There are other good hire fleets in the area, Cheshire Cat Narrowboat Holidays, based at Overwater Marina, and Marine Cruises, based at Swanley Bridge Marina, with many more based on the Llangollen Canal.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Successions in Spain - Inheritance Law.

This is my final post on the results of my own research into possibly spending extended periods of time in Spain to escape the dire Winter weather of the UK. I have already shared the possibilities of succumbing to unfavourable taxation, with laws changing on an almost daily basis to assist the Spanish authorities in their quest to find additional revenue to claw their way out of the financial mire. I have also re-reported more substantial news reports of UK retirees who have come dramatically unstuck, often through no fault of their own, when buying and owning Spanish property.
Now I will turn to the life event that no-one likes to talk about. What would happen in the event of the death of one of the parties who had chosen to live in Spain after retirement.


The subject is extremely complex to say the least, but should be explored in depth with the assistance of a trusted financial advisor who is well versed in Spanish law, before deciding on a permanent or semi-permanent move to Spain, or any other country for that matter.

Rather than discuss the complexities here, I will provide a link to an official website funded by the European Commission Programme. This page will direct you to the basics of what you need to be aware of prior to seeking advice. It will allow you to ask competent questions. Much of the problem relates to differences between Spanish and UK inheritance laws relating to property. There are ways of providing a satisfactory solution, but it will have to be tailored to ones own circumstances. Whatever happens, the subject should not just be ignored, with the draw of the sun and sangria blinkering your judgement.

Successions In Europe - Succession Law In 27 Different European Countries.

As for us, I think we have now decided to stay with narrowboat ownership and continue to explore the UK during Summer, with foreign travel taken in short bursts during the Winter, with a month's stay in a rented Spanish apartment already planned for October 2014.

As with all my posts, this is just my own opinion, and posted for information only, after I had made my own decisions based on my own research.

My apologies for the image I used to enhance this post. It is from my collection of family history images. Anyone who researches their own family history will know that within a very short time you build up albums of gravestone images!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

A Boating Argument.

I'm sure many of us have been here - something doesn't go to plan, a crew member makes a mistake, and an argument ensues.
Unfortunately for Colin on historic boat Sharpness, his ear bashing was caught on camera and posted on Youtube.
Next time you find yourself in an argumentative mood - remember to smile, you might be on candid camera!

A beautiful boat though........

Friday, 29 November 2013

A Boating Mishap - Could It Happen To You?

The owner of this large motor yacht watched in despair as it was being lifted from the water for routine maintenance.
Next time it is blacking time, be there to check those harnesses. (I always use a slipway).
I bet the crane driver is one who always loses his digestive into his brew when he dunks it.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Another Spanish Property Scandal Report.

Today, once again the Daily Mail has run a full centre section spread on what they call their 'Spanish Property Scandal Special'.


Again the article makes interesting reading for those of us who have recently been considering a move to the sun. It tells of property from lists of finished as well as unfinished developments, that are supposedly safe from the prospect of demolition, sold cheaply to unsuspecting, often British retirees, and often backed by official government literature, for the subsequent buyers to find that same government are later insisting that their house has been built unlawfully, and will have to be demolished. One couple have watched their house demolished as unlawful, and are now living in their garage because that was deemed to be lawful. People on one side of a street have been unaffected, while the unlucky ones who bought on the other side have had their property demolished. You couldn't make it up! The article also describes how Spanish Government officials attended UK Spanish property exhibitions along with so called specialist estate agents in order to promote these properties to the Brits, who having bought, now find they are left with nothing.

This might seem to be a recurring theme here now, but anyone who is still considering buying Spanish property would do well to read this article in full, as well as the ones that are linked to it within the text.

Daily Mail 'This Is Money' Spanish Property Special.

British Pensioners Lured Into Buying Condemned Spanish Homes

Then, as usual, my advice is always to 'make your own mind up', using all the resources you can - then there is nobody else to blame!


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Poor Value For Money - Or Just Real World Supply And Demand?

Image courtesy of debspoons, freedigitalphotos.net
Why is it that when you add a £1500, 12 year old caravan body to a similarly old £900 Fiat van chassis, it undergoes metamorphosis to become a £17,000 motor home? See:


This particular model wasn't produced by the company for long, as it is built on a car derived van chassis, so has a relatively small payload of around 400kgs. Autotrail moved on to using the Fiat Ducato panel van derived chassis for this reason in later Tracker models.
However, for our needs, this coach built model would suit us well. An element of luxury over what you would expect from a 'camper van' derivative, while offering easy latent storage on the drive, and the ability to be used as more of a normal car away from site. This particular one is also LHD, which I believe would benefit us, as our intentions are to use it mainly abroad, keeping the narrowboat for the English Summer. It also appears to be in exceptional condition.

The problem is - they are just too damned expensive, and don't strike me as being good value! Not just this model, all of which are of a similar age, and are all similarly priced. I have found around a dozen of them available at present - all at this price level. There are also some 25 year old rusty old 'sheds' around, that are masquerading as luxury motor homes  and none seem to be under £7k, even now, as we approach the season to be jolly, rather than to go camping. The equivalent vans these are based on went to the scrapyard years ago, but the cheaper motor homes seem to be snapped up quickly.

It is difficult to obtain European breakdown cover on vehicles older than 15yrs, so that was the limit of our choice, hoping to buy and run alongside the boat. But, at these prices, I believe it requires a re-think as to whether a much newer motor home of a comfy living size should replace the boat, or to forget the idea altogether and stick to renting property over shorter time periods.

I have been monitoring and researching this for weeks now and it appears the caravan and motor home sector of the leisure market isn't suffering in the same way as the boating one, with an apparently much more buoyant market, (no pun intended). Or am I mistaken?

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Should we look to spend our Winters in warmer climes?


We are sick of the weather in the UK! Is it because we now have more time to notice how bad it really is since we retired? Or has it really got worse than we remember it? Whatever the reason, we seem to be restricted in what we do in Summer on our narrowboat, only to find ourselves housebound in Winter due to even more foul weather. Our friends - ex work colleagues, sank part of their retirement funds into a touring caravan, where we chose our narrowboat, and they have been spending their Winters in Spain for the last 5 years. 
I visited them there in October 2011, while Margaret was in India with our daughter, and we visited them again this October, this time together. They enjoy a great outdoor social life in the sun, while we are at home listening to the wind and rain beating against the windows. It started me thinking 'why can't we do the same'?


Well, here are the results, with some of the links to the information I came across, while researching the possibility. My research is around our own circumstances, being retired, so called pensioners, (although I am yet not old enough to claim my pension), I am at least self sufficient. We wouldn't want to cut our links with the UK completely, just spend time in a warmer climate over Winter. As I dug deeper I found there were many pitfalls to consider, many of which were changing almost on a daily basis due to the the failing economy in Spain.

First, information for EU citizens who wish to spend time in other EU countries can be found here:

Your Europe
The 'Your Europe' portal gives individuals and businesses practical information on their rights and opportunities in the EU. It focuses on real-life, cross-border situations, e.g. European citizens wishing to work or study in another country in the EU, or European businesses wanting to move to or open a new branch in another country in the EU.

As an EU National, I have the right to stay in another EU country for up to 3 months with just an identity card or passport, although some countries may require me to record my presence at a police station or town hall. Simple as that.
As a 'pensioner', I can live in any EU country as I wish, providing I have comprehensive health insurance cover there, and sufficient income from any source, to allow me to live there without the need of income support. After 3 months, I may be required to register to obtain a document stating my right to stay. Again, this is done at a police station or possibly a town hall. To do this I will need a valid passport, comprehensive health insurance, and proof that I have the means to support myself financially. Contrary to what someone else has recently published, my stay is NOT limited to 6 months, nor will I be 'breaking the law' if I exceed this time.

However, I also came across this article in the Daily Mail on Wednesday 20th November. This is the link to their financial advice website, where a question was posed relating to an amendment of an existing law. This amendment was passed in Spain on 15th November 2012, without anyone taking much notice until the deadline for 2012 declarations was reached at 30th April 2013. As ex-pats became increasingly aware of it, it caused panic to some, who started to think of selling up there to return to the (financial) safety of the UK.

Daily Mail Money - Tony Hazell, finance correspondent.


This law relates to the taxation of worldwide  assets over 50,000 Euros, including property, of any individual, (including Spanish Nationals and non EU Nationals), who is present in Spain over 183 days in any financial year. The recent anti-fraud amendment requires obligatory declaration of assets, with a large fine for non compliance, whereas in the past, to an extent, the law had been largely ignored. Anyone spending time in Spain over and above this time is now deemed to be a resident, and thus subject to this tax. Again, information on this subject has recently been published stating that you can only have residential status if you own a property. Now not strictly true, as above. The journalist concerned passed the inquiry to be answered by a taxation specialist working for Deloitte Spain, who made a very general answer, correctly stating that individuals should always seek their own independent financial advice relating to their own circumstances. Of course there are ways to minimize your exposure to this tax, for example by reorganizing bank accounts to under 50,000 Euros, but property remains an issue. There is also a taxation agreement between the UK and Spain which should mean that people do not pay tax on the same income in both countries, but there are also inheritance implications that should be considered, especially relating to property.

Then there is the corruption issue. While we were in Spain, a local Mayor in the Vera district had just been jailed along with a property developer for allowing a new estate of villas to be built against central planning regulations. Purchasers received all the correct paperwork after conveyancing, to subsequently move in to their beautiful new property, only to discover later, after Central Government intervention, that their villas were unlawful, and had to be demolished. They lost everything, and jail for the offenders was not much in consolation for their loss. This sort of thing has been well publicised throughout Spain in recent years.

For us, all this means that we have abandoned our plans to own property in Spain, or even spend over 6 months there in a motorhome or caravan, as our friends do. What we have decided is that we will rent an apartment for a month next year as tourists. We have chosen one from this website, at a very reasonable £200 per week all in, bedding, towels, electricity and heating/cooling included. Even an English cleaning lady, (at extra cost).

http://www.homeaway.co.uk/

There are however problems brewing on the property rental front as well. The Spanish authorities have just agreed to bow to the local tourism industry, (read hotels), and clamp down on private individuals wanting to rent out their property as holiday lets. See: Article from the Daily Telegraph.

Find further good information about living in Spain here: https://www.gov.uk/living-in-spain

To me, all these are symptoms of a failing economy that is in deep trouble. Lets hope we don't have to witness anything like the events we saw in Cyprus earlier in the year. Add to this the possibility that the UK might sever links to EU membership in the future, and who knows what will happen then. A complete minefield.

Friday, 15 November 2013

It Looks Like Winter's Here


At the boat again for the first time in three weeks because of one thing or another, such as car servicing and visiting friends. The really cold weather forecasted for next week hasn't yet arrived, but the interior is certainly much cooler than we remember it as we left in October.
The routine as we arrived was to turn the central heating on with the push button to air it, and heat the domestic water, while preparing the brand new Morso Squirrel stove, we had installed in the Spring, for it's first lighting. We had to replace the stove after last Winter's snow melt had managed to find its way down the flue, lying in and on the stove causing terminal damage due to corrosion during the layup. We also have a new flue and stainless steel chimney to replace the black enamelled tin one which had also seen better days.
For its first use we have decided to use seasoned hardwood logs, obtained on offer from Bridgemere Garden Centre while they were on offer, making them cheaper than coal. However, at the moment, they seem to be burning away much faster.


As per the stove instructions we kept the heat low to gently burn it in, but the new paint still caused the interior smoke alarms to activate occasionally during the afternoon. It appears to have settled down now though, and we are tucked up cosy for the cold evening ahead.

We have now replaced both the Squirrel stove and the central heating boiler during the time of our ownership. All aspects of practicality and cost were researched before the decisions were made, and I wrote about it here:
A brand new Morso Squirrel stove.

The initial problems with the Alde boiler leak.

Deciding on a diesel boat heater.

Living with the Webasto central heating.

If you would like to learn more about the costs of narrowboat ownership, and in particular someone else's decision making process when considering a new heating system, then look here:

Living On A Narrowboat, Loving Life Afloat, by Paul Smith.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Looking Back At Our Two Weeks In Spain.

CaboGataGarden Hotel
We are now back home, and back to the cold dank weather of a UK Autumn. Our two week break in 'out of season' Southern Spain was a great idea, and we have had a fabulous time. The weather has been hot and sunny every single day, and the whole thing worked out rather well - the journey there and back ran like clockwork, hop on a plane at Manchester, two and a half hours later pick up the hire car in Spain, drive 15 minutes to the hotel, check in and relax. The same on the way back, and all with reasonable times, no hanging around.

We booked this independently via lastminute.com, and then put 2 weeks Hertz car hire on top. Booking the flights this way was cheaper than the already cheap scheduled flights booked directly with Monarch. The only disadvantage being that there was no on-line check in facility, as there would be if booked direct. We travelled light, with just our 10kg scheduled flight allowance of hand luggage - a first for us, but with careful planning, it worked out well, and no hanging around at the baggage conveyor.

The whole lot came in at £1180 for the both of us for 2 weeks, flights, hotel and car. We were up-graded to a better car with air conditioning on arrival, and then  the same at the hotel from the ocean view room we had paid for to a full blown penthouse suite. Lucky! We are not big spenders on holiday, and that side of things only came to 140 euros for the 2 weeks, but that didn't include a surprise night out I arranged in a restaurant for 8 of us at only 100 euros. It is so cheap to live in Spain - buy the meal and they throw in the wine for free! On this occasion that equated to 3 bottles of vino tinto and 2 large bottles of mineral water. It works the same at the bars - buy a beer and they throw in a free tapas. The only other expense was £60 worth of diesel for the near 1000km we travelled in the car. This is the review of the Cabogatagarden Hotel on Trip Advisor I wrote as we left......

'As I write this I am sat in one of the comfy leather sofas in the reception area of the hotel on the last night of our two week stay. We have had an excellent, out of season holiday here.
If you are looking for British bars and a vibrant night life you won't find them here as it is set in a quiet residential area, with only a few bars and restaurants a short walk away. That is the main reason we chose it. We had a car for the duration of our stay, and that would benefit getting out and about to the many places of interest in the surrounding areas, such as the Cabo De Gata - Nijar Natural Park. The hotel is immaculately presented, and is situated close to the beach, with just a landscaped area and promenade separating its rear boundary from that. The sand on the beach here is the dark gritty type often found along this coastline, with pebbles at the shoreline. This gets finer as you walk towards Retamar, and a very fine beach can be found a short drive away at Cabo De Gata itself. We chose this hotel because of its quiet, sophisticated location, within a Spanish community, and it has fulfilled our expectations. There were a couple of detail issues associated with our room, such as a loose shower head, and lavatory seat, but when I had to report a more technical equipment failure, this was dealt with very quickly and efficiently, and in a friendly way, with an end result that exceeded our expectations.The restaurant service is buffet, with a huge cold buffet choice, plus at least three hot dishes as well as freshly cooked meats by a chef, and a daily roast. As this was out of season we thought this was excellent, as sometimes midweek the hotel became quiet. However, at weekends the place became vibrant with Spanish guests. The hot buffet was at best tepid, apparently to local taste, so who am I to argue with that. There was however a microwave oven available for self use to give your plate of food a final boost. That proved quite acceptable to me, my wife preferring the cold salads anyway. My biggest issue was that the information on the Garden Hotels website stated free car parking. In reality, this equated to about a dozen spaces at the front, with another six disability bays. These were often full, and all other on site parking was chargeable at 6 euros a day, or 35 euros a week. To me, totally unreasonable at a hotel located well out of the city centre, where space is not at a premium. However, there was plenty of safe street parking as well as a free municipal beach car park next door. We always managed to park, but I could see there may be issues in high season. The pool areas are very well managed by a duty lifeguard who worked until 7pm when the pools were closed. There was daily children's entertainment provided with a nightly bill of entertainment for the adults.Would we visit again? The answer is yes, we had a great stay overall.'

I hope some of that may be of use to others who may be considering an escape from our weather.

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Trip That Never Was!

Today's planned day out was a visit to Alcazaba Castle, which is located in central Almeria. We knew it would involve driving through the centre of the city to get there whichever way we chose to access it.
Before setting off I planned our route on good old Google maps, to bring us in from the motorway in the north, thus missing out much of the city centre. We exited the motorway at our designated junction and headed in the direction of the castle according to the map we had studied. However, all that happened was we found ourselves driving around a web of narrow one way streets with no signage to indicate we were near our target. After following a 'site of historic interest' sign, (in Spanish of course), I decided to park up and have a walk in an attempt to achieve our goal. As I reversed into a parking space, Margaret said to me, "just look around you". Having taken my concentration off arriving safely at whatever our destination would be, I looked around and saw barred windows, both at ground and upper floor level, graffiti, and vehicles placed on bricks with missing wheels. We looked at each other and simultaneously said "perhaps not"!
We pulled out of the parking space and drove on, very shortly finding ourselves back where we started, back at the motorway. A mutual decision was made to abort our trip and head back, rather than go through all that again.





Once safely back on the motorway we decided to stop off and have a walk around Costacabana, an upmarket residential area on the coast not far from El Toyo, and our route back. Villas here are on the market between 700,000 and 1 million euros. The above images are of that stop on the coast.

That was our first abandoned trip of our two weeks here, so not bad I suppose. Alcazaba Castle will have to wait for another visit, but I am informed it is worth the effort, being the 2nd largest Muslim fortified building in the country, second only to the Alhambra Palace at Granada, (which also happens to be near enough for a day out from here).

Today is our 33rd wedding anniversary, and has been one of the few times I have remembered it!
To mark the occasion I arranged a surprise night out at one of the best restaurants in this area, together with six friends. A fabulous evening was had by all of us, and Margaret's face when she walked in and saw everybody waiting for us to arrive:-)
Unfortunately, the only image I have of the occasion is the sun setting over the bay as we walked there.



Tomorrow, being Saturday once again, will be lunchtime drinks and Tapas at the country bar we visited last weekend with around a dozen friends.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Roquetas De Mar

Today's outing involved joining the A7 motorway again, but this time heading towards Malaga. After an hour driving we arrived at Roquetas De Mar, the next largest town in the area after the City of Almeria. The drive was very easy, well signed with quiet roads, even the motorway. We must be doing something very wrong in the UK with all our congestion. One thing I have noticed is the city roads all have lay-by parking, so not to interrupt traffic flow, but then, on the pavement side of the stationary vehicles, there is usually a cycle lane to keep them totally away from traffic. The speed limit in residential areas is also usually 30 kph, slower than ours, but still mainly ignored by the locals.

Images today show the plaza de marine, (promenade), as we walked towards the marina for private boats, where we found a couple of Poole, Dorset, registered cruisers, namely Sealine F43's. I wonder if they arrived by sea or low loader? I think I would prefer low loader, than the sea passage here in a (relatively) small but capable cruiser.








"I wonder if this hose will reach our narrowboat"? Token operated, some things in the marine world are the same the world over, and are the basis of similar discussion.


On another matter, as we leave this hotel on Sunday, it will close to the public, and film director Sir Ridley Scott will move in and take it over with the cast and crew of his latest blockbuster movie 'Exodus' which stars Christian Bale and Sigourney Weaver. They will be filming in the area for three months from October 21st. This is how the local paper reported it....

The countdown has started for the arrival of Exodus in Almeria.

Director Sir Ridley Scott will begin filming the blockbuster in Almeria on October 21st. The date has been chosen to follow on from several days of filming in London.

Shooting will start in Tabernas and will continue for about three months in different locations in the province, although most of the filming will focus on sets that are completed in the Sierra Alhamilla.

The extras chosen are happy at having the opportunity to participate in a film that will make history as well as give a financial boost to the province. The movie is also notable for the actors chosen by Sir Ridley. These include superstars Christian Bale and Sigourney Weaver. Also in the cast is young Spanish actress Maria Valverde who is to play the role of  the wife of Moses played by Bale.

Hotel rooms in Almeria City are already filling up fast with the recent arrival of the twice Oscar nominated artistic director Arthur Max. The New Yorker is a key member of the team and has worked on many films previously with Sir Ridley including Black Hawk Down and Gladiator.

I wonder if Sigourney will be using our suite? Mmmmmmm.


Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Film Locations Around Almeria

Today we set off early again for a trip to Rodalquilar to follow the 'Movie Triangle', a 10km route through the mountains on corrugated dirt tracks. This area has been used for the location filming of over 400 major movies. See:http://www.unique-almeria.com/mini-hollywood.html



Unlike anything you would find in the UK, all this is set in the mountainous desert region within The Cabo de Gata - Nijar National Park. Hold your nerve as bitumen road surface gives way to corrugated gravel, the width narrows, and the inclines steepen. All of a sudden, after driving through narrow mountain passes, some with sheer drops, the vista in front of you turns into a lush green plain laid out before you, with mountains all around in 360 degrees, in complete contrast to the barren landscapes you have been picking your way through.


This is what is known as the salad bowl, and is an irrigated fertile oasis within the mountain range, where all kinds of vegetables are cultivated. Drive by this, heading towards a pass out of the 'bowl', and you shortly arrive at the now derelict Mission building which featured in the Clint Eastwood 'Dollars' series of spaghetti westerns.


From here you could follow the track towards the disused gold mine and the surrounding area that was used in the movie Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, we found the track to be badly eroded here, with very tight turns and sheer drops, so would require a 4X4. Rather than risk our little Citroen, we backtracked to the bitumen road, and followed the coast road to the entrance of the mine from the other side. It was well worth the effort. There are records available to view in the small visitor centre that date back to 1902. On the approach is a whole village, all now derelict, that once housed the mining workforce. When mining ceased in the 1960's, the village went with it.



A model of the mine as it was when working.





The movie epic Lawrence of Arabia was filmed down the dirt track towards the coast, famously shipping in two whole railway trains complete with rolling stock and track, to shoot the 'blowing up of the train' scenes. Almeria City was also used in this movie for the Cairo scenes.

An excellent day out.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

When In Spain.........

Esta tarde vamos a tener amigos visitan el hotel para planear una cena para 8 el viernes, el dia de nuestro aniversario de boda.


Asi, esta mañana hemos visitado Almeria por segunda vez, de estar de vuelta para el almuerzo, a tiempo para nuestros amigos.




Debido a esto, las fotografias de hoy son un poco aburrido, por lo que pido disculpas.
Sin embargo, la ultima imagen es la de una hermosa puesta del sol que se pueden encoutrar en esta region.


Servicio normal se reanudara mañana.
Gracias por su paciencia.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Do You Know The Way To San Jose

No - not the Californian subject of the song, but the one here in Andalucia.
Today we had an early start, as the day was looking as though it would be hot. We planned to head to the coastal village of San Jose, calling at the National Park visitor centre on the way.



If you are ever in this area with a car, as the visitor centre is out in the desert, it is worth the detour off the main road to have a look.
This arid part of the region has been the location setting of some famous Hollywood films. Lawrence of Arabia was shot on location here, as were parts of the Indiana Jones movies, as depicted in one of the information displays.
After our look around, it was off to San Jose, for a walk around there, again parking roadside on the outskirts of town for ease of parking.




Again, another pleasant town to stroll around, with a popular beach set within a bay, and a marina for private leisure boats.





It was then back for cheese and biscuits on our new very spacious balcony, before relaxing around the hotel for the rest of the afternoon.