Living With Our Rapido 963f Le Randonneur Motor Home.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Stage 2, Plan A.

Here we are on the 24th November, and still enjoying very warm sunshine throughout each day, although the evenings have now chilled off a little, and we used the van's central heating for the first time yesterday during the evening.

Our plan continues to work, and at the end of next week we will fly home directly to Manchester from here to spend Christmas with the kids and grandkids. This is the first time recently that Monarch Airlines have continued their direct flights to Manchester over the Winter period, and we have taken full advantage of this to book our flight in advance at just £29.99pp! Compare that to the £430 cost each way of shipping the motorhome and both of us here on the Santander ferry, and then you have to fuel it for the 600 mile trip from there to here as well.

We have tried to live as much as a normal life here as we would have done at home, with just a few lunches out - but the menu del dia in local restaurants averages just €9pp, so no drastic costs there. The big difference of course is here the weather is consistently pleasant, while back home the daily wind, rain, and even snow continue in their normal way at this time of year. At home I would have to motivate myself to get out of the house for even a short walk. Here we just wander out to the beach in shorts and T shirt. All the below images were taken during the last few days......

Almeria City Centre
San Jose Marina

This site has "bungalows" to rent at an average rate of €425 per calendar month on a long term basis. There are also many cheap alternatives in apartment accommodation to rent long term in some beautiful places such as Mojacar, San Jose or Cabo de Gata itself. I know of a beach front apartment at Cabo that is available right now at just €325 per month. Add to that the £30pp flights and car hire from €10 a day or even less with negotiation for long term hire, and a Winter in the sun is a cheap and viable option to living through it in the UK. Daytime temperatures continue at around 23 degrees at midday.

Almeria City beach and promenade

During the last week we have visited the city centre for lunch, (€6.40pp, 3 courses including a beer at a city centre Chinese restaurant), and also visited Bar Alba also for lunch at €9pp, also 3 courses including a beer, near to San Jose. After that we visited the marina at San Jose to reminisce about the time we used to own just such a boat before we landed ourselves with what turned out to be a very costly narrowboat experience. Enough said about that though.

Cabo de Gata Saturday market
The deserted beach at Cabo de Gata
Have a look at what this area has to offer here:

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Real Cabo de Gata.

Today we again woke up to more stunning weather. It just goes on and on! We decided to take the scooter out through the Sierras, and along the coast road to Faro de Cabo de Gata - lighthouse to you and me. There is much evidence of beach wild camping on the road approaching the mountains.

Faro de Cabo de Gata
Taken into the sun on an iPhone 4S
Almeria Province is what some might describe as "blighted" by plastic greenhouses where the world's tomatoes are produced. If you take the trouble to get out into the Parque Natural proper though you are rewarded by the most stunning scenery, along with the very best beaches in Spain. A guide to the natural park can be found HERE.

Today's trip took us through the village of Cabo de Gata itself, before climbing up into the Sierras, where the road becomes narrower and steeper. The road to the lighthouse itself is good, with a high quality asphalt surface. You can choose to go further down the coast road from there, but this becomes dirt track, steep and narrow very quickly, and I personally would not recommend taking a vehicle other than an off road bike along there. The coast road would get you to San Jose, passing the deserted and spectacular beaches of Genoveses and Monsul first. As I have described before, Monsul is the movie location for the scene in the Indiana Jones film where Sean Connery opens an umbrella to scare a flock of gulls off the beach and into the path of a WW2 German fighter plane, which subsequently crashes into the mountain. (The birds were actually trained pigeons, which were later "converted" into gulls during editing).

Monsul and Genoveses beaches are best accessed from San Jose itself, using the main roads to get there first. The track to them is then still corrugated dirt from the roundabout on the outskirts of the village but is flat, unlike the way from Cabo.

The coastal track to San Jose winds its way up and over the headland in the distance.

We have now done more miles on the scooter in Spain than we have in the UK since we bought it to use with the motorhome this time last year. It is certainly a much more pleasant ride here than in the UK due to both the weather and the road conditions. Today's maximum temperature as I write, is around 24 degrees.