Settling In

Gill settling in to the voyage
“Why are you taking pictures in the middle of a storm?”

Before looking at how we’re settling in, I wanted to say that our last post was full of flippant references to the delays and storms we had on our Plymouth-Santander crossing. Let me assure you it was anything but funny! Thank goodness for Stugeron seasickness tablets is all I can say. I’ve never been the world’s best sailor anyway but this time the waves were off the scale. All that bucking up and down plus the bonus twelve hours we spent on board was enough for us to say we ain’t never doing that crossing again, no siree! Give me a long boring – and dry – drive through France instead next time. Oh, hang on… we still have to sail home mid-December waaah!

So what’s different about travels without Vince so far? Shopping & cooking for starters. And I don’t mean starters in the hors d’oeuvres sense. Believe it or not Vince’s catering facilities are actually better than the apartment we’re staying in. We have two hot plates in the apartment (Vince has four), no oven and a weird upside-down grill on which you can only do toast – the heating element is underneath.

Grill that’s not a grill
Upside-down grill…

Vince has a bigger fridge too so we’re finding that we have to shop a little more often, and buy only things that can be cooked in two pans. It’s surprising how creative you can be; I managed to make a passable mixed seafood pasta dish the other night. But the tiny kitchen area looked like a bomb site afterwards it has to be said.

Shopping more often is no hardship really. There’s a Lidl fifteen minutes walk away and a little local supermarket even closer for our daily bread. Just like in France, the Spanish baguettes are meant to be eaten that day, overnight they turn into concrete. Which actually isn’t bad if you have an upside down grill as they make excellent toast. Further afield is a Mercadona, a huge supermarket with lots of variety. We know it well. I think I mentioned last time that we slept in their car park for two nights in 2019.

We’ve been here a week now and are gradually settling in to a road trip where you’re not really on the road! We’re starting to find our way around Dénia, it’s much bigger than we realised on our first visit where we tended to stay around the marina and port. We’ve done a little exploring in the old town and indulged in some fabulous sea-food.

Sardines
Food of the gods!

Last Friday we visited the enormous weekly street market with an odd shopping list:

  1. Wooden spatulas, for stirring pasta dishes
  2. Proper mugs, tea for the drinking from
  3. Ice cube tray
  4. Leather belt, trousers for the holding up. Of.

All were successfully purchased so our kitchen is now fully equipped and my modesty intact. I must have lost some weight since I bought those shorts.

We’ve been following the advice in an article by some fellow travellers (you can visit them here: Motoroaming). Having stayed here themselves some time ago they have all sorts of recommendations on where to eat, walk or cycle. Our legs are still recovering from a climb they suggested, up to the Torre del Gerro.

Torre


The Torre (tower) is one of a series of lookout towers built in the 16th Century by order of King Philip II. This part of the Mediterranean coastline was plagued by frequent attacks from Corsairs and Berber Pirates so an early warning system would give time to prepare defences. I can’t speak for the pirates, but after climbing up to the base of the tower I definitely wouldn’t have been in any fit state for fighting! Once we’d got our breath back the views from the top were stunning, and the cool breeze a welcome relief.

View from the Torre


Another excursion we found for ourselves this time, was to the Cova de les Calaveras – The Cave of Skulls. Not as sinister as it sounds, this complex of limestone chambers was where twelve Neolithic skeletons were found in the late 17th century.

Cave image

The twisting route through six chambers is well lit, showing off all the stalactites and stalagmites. There’s a layer of fossilised shellfish and small fish running all the way through. As you touch the fossils it’s almost impossible to comprehend the length of time they’ve been down there in the dark. Likewise looking up to the high domed ceilings of the caves, it’s hard to imagine how long it took the subterranean river to carve them. All this majesty and wonder was only spoiled by some stupid idiot posing with the dinosaur models.

Ken & the dinosaur


Until next time! 😀

Fossilised shells
Layer of fossilised shells

About Ken Tomlinson 218 Articles
Semi-retired biker, blogger and world’s best grandad. Doesn’t take life too seriously. Discovered motorhoming in 2015, sold up and downsized to fund more travels. Now with added Yorkshire.

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