23rd November 2016. Ontinyent, Spain.

I was very excited when I woke up today, we were finally going to see my friend Beki and her family.  A few weeks ago she had seen a comment I’d posted on Facebook saying we were nearly in Spain and she had told me she had just moved to Ontinyent the week before and invited us to come and stay when we were in the area.  That was weeks ago, we’d originally estimated that we’d be with them 2 weeks ago but things kept cropping up that slowed our progress down.

Unfortunately Darren had some work to finish so we decided it was best to do that before we left the aire.   Beki had told me I could use her washing machine but I wanted to enjoy my time with her not have it constantly interrupted by the task of doing the washing so I decided to get it done while we were still at the aire.  I had piles of washing, it had become so desperate that I’d hand washed some underwear two days previously to keep us going.

The aire we were staying at was called Camping Font de Sis and it was BRILLIANT.  It had two washing machines (albeit in two different locations) and a tumble dryer, it cost NOTHING to use them AND I got some exercise what more could you ask for.  In the 6 months we’ve been travelling I’ve never come across a site that offered free use of the washing machines and tumble dryer, they usually fleece you, it was a wonderful surprise.  I must have walked a couple of miles doing the washing this morning, back and forth across the site to see whether the wash had finished (I was expecting it to be a half hour quickie wash as it was free but each wash took almost 2 hours)  I’m a bit dense and I had been back to check my load of washing twice before it occurred to me that I could put another load in the washing machine at the other end of the site if it was free (there were very few motorhomes on the aire so it was a likelihood) so I became a ‘hoggit’ and used both the machines to get all our washing done in half the time, it was great to have it all washed and dried ready to visit Beki.

Unsurprisingly we left later than I’d anticipated but luckily it was only a 20 minute drive to Beki and Ronnie’s.  Unfortunately we hadn’t factored in a malfunctioning remote controller.  We packed up the van and Darren drove the van to the aire gate but when he pressed the remote control to open the gate nothing happened.  He spent the next 10 minutes flapping the controller around and walking up and down trying to see whether he could get the gate open without phoning the owner but in the end he came to the conclusion that the battery in the remote control had run out so we had to wait for the owner to drive to the aire to open the gate.

We popped into the supermarket in Beki’s town to buy some things and arranged to meet her and Ronnie in the car park when we’d finished but the shop took far longer than we’d expected because the things we wanted, wine, biscuits and sweets mainly were randomly placed around the shop and when we found them it took a while to decide what to choose.  In the time it had taken us to do such a small shop Beki and Ronnie had driven down to the supermarket and were parked next to the van.

It was so exciting to see Beki and Darren & Ronnie were subjected to a lot of girly squeals as we greeted each other, sorry chaps!  When we’d finally calmed down we got in our vehicles and followed them out of the town (I told Beki later that I’d imagined Ontinyent to be a tiny little village and we were concerned that we’d have problems driving the van through the streets however it’s actually a huge town and they don’t live in it anyway) along lots of little country lanes and up a steep hill where their lovely home is situated looking out over the valley which is edged by mountains.

Our timing was perfect, the rain stopped as we got out of the van so we were able to stand on the patio and take in the view.  We were greeted by their cute little dog Lily, she’s a real character and I was in danger of smuggling her out to the van so we could keep her!  I’m surprised Beki didn’t frisk me when we left just in case!

Beki made us a lovely lunch then while Ronnie was collecting Matt she showed us to their guest annexe which was like having our very own apartment, it was huge, we had the choice of TWO beds AND they had a wonderful big shower cubicle.  After we’d chosen a bedroom and brought half the contents of our van into the annexe we popped back up to see Beki and Ronnie and meet Matt who had just arrived home from school.

Beki and Ronnie made a lovely meal of stuffed peppers and aubergine crumble (I must get the recipes for both of those, they were yummy) and we sat up late chatting.

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