17th December 2016. La Marina, Spain.

We had a message yesterday saying that the gas regulator had arrived at the motorhome dealer’s in Calpe so we arranged to go there today to get it fitted.

It was pelting down with rain today, we parked as close to the show room as possible and were asked if we’d like to come in for coffee as there was going to be a slight delay.  It turned out that the slight delay was that it was everyone’s coffee break.  When that was over the gas reg was fitted and we left at lunchtime.  We were originally going to stay at the dealer’s aire but as it was early we decided to hurtle down to La Marina to see if our friends Darren and Lynne were still there.


The 3 hour drive was very exciting, for the first time in almost 2 months of travelling through Spain we finally saw what the dried up Ramblers (culvert) are for, they were no longer dry instead they had brown water hurtling along them.  When my Dad and Sylvi lived in Spain my Dad sent me a letter and mentioned in it the dried river bed near them that had turned into a torrent of water over night due to a flash flood.  He told me they could hear rocks crashing around on the river bed as they tumbled over themselves with the water battering them about as it poured down the mountain and now I’d finally seen it for myself.  It was a long old trek and the weather improved as we drove further South.  We arrived at the aire but noticed a lot of motorhomes were wild camping in the streets so we followed suit.

We emailed Darren and Lynne to see if they were free to meet up sometime and then went food shopping.  When we got back there was a message from Darren saying his daughter Hannah was having a practise run for her vegetarian Christmas dinner and they wondered whether we would like to join them and if so to come up a.s.a.p because it would be getting dark soon.  Lynne had offered to come and collect us but it was only a 25 minute walk and although it was very windy it was dry so we decided to walk there.  We accepted their lovely offer and Darren returned to the shop to buy wine and desert (I shouldn’t have trusted him on his own because he came back with ice cream!) while I got ready.

It was impossible to get lost going to their house, when we left the van we just had to follow a straight road and take the 5th turning off, easy peasy.  Our journey was rather blowy and a little creepy on the first part of the road which had nothing but waste land on either side of it, we eventually came to the Urbanisation and walked past the end of the roads ‘oohing and aahing’ at the beautiful properties we passed.  We did see an area where another motorhome was parked but it was on a hill which would have had us rolling out of bed all night.  A bit further along we were a little concerned to see police tape across the end of two roads as we walked by, (when we mentioned this later Lynne told us there had been a waterfall hurtling down the roads earlier and the drains had been lifted by the pressure of the water, but it had dried by the time we got there).

The house that Lynne and Darren were staying in was beautiful AND warm!  It was so lovely to see them again they are such welcoming people and great fun to be with.   They introduced us to Hannah who was just a lovely and easy to talk to as her parents.

We had a great time with them, Hannah’s meal, Chestnut pie with leek sauce and roasted vegetables, was absolutely gorgeous and I’m going to be green with envy on Christmas day when I’m eating a shop bought pastry thingy.

Lynne and Darren taught us how to play Nomination Whist which was either brave or foolhardy of them!  My Darren used to play cards a lot with his family when he was younger particularly at Christmas when it was a family tradition for everyone to play Newmarket or Trumps and I’d sneak off and do something else.  I was a bit disconcerted to realise that none of the card words Lynne was saying meant anything to me and although they very patiently explained the rules for my benefit I suddenly felt like Homer’s dog and all my ears were picking up was blah, blah, blah, cards, blah, blah, Trump, blah, blah, Hearts and Clubs (sorry for being so dense). For some unknown reason I always get confused over which is a Club and which is a Spade in the heat of the game which doesn’t help, it sends me into a mini panic.

The only card game I can play is Snap and our children used to beat me at that regularly so I had a good idea how this was going to end.

The game was fun though, I have NO idea what was going on, everytime I thought I understood the rules it turned out I didn’t!

Halfway through we had a coffee and cheese break and what turned out to be horrible ice creams, my apologies to Darren, Lynne and Hannah for leaving Darren to choose the pud!  His reasoning was good, he said the other puds in Iceland would have taken forever to defrost (I hope you threw them away) and then carried on with the game.

I was STILL very confused about what was going on and towards the end of the game I finally confessed that I didn’t understand what a Trump was (embarrassing after all that time) so they patiently explained it to me yet again.  10 minutes later we finished the game and I discovered that somehow I’d managed to win!  Needless to say a lot of ‘mickey taking’ ensued, all at my expense obviously.

We had such a lovely evening and left sometime after 12 a.m. which confused the life out of me when I looked at the photos I took on the way home because they were dated the following day!

Luckily for us it was a clear dry night and it only started ‘spitting’ with rain as we walked up to the van.  Perfect timing because for the rest of the night it poured down.

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