29th November 2016. Calpe and Benidorm, Spain.

We left the site and found a supermarket to stock up our fridge.  The car park looked like a suitable place to park our van but when we got in there we noticed that all the parking bays had roofs and they were much too low for the van to squeeze under, oh!  Luckily as we drove to the back of the car park we noticed there were 4 bays in the middle which were roof free so Darren manoeuvred past the trolley park and parked over all of them (well you have to leave yourself a bit of room to manoeuvre).  When we’d finished our shopping and returned to the van we noticed a Transit van had parked beside us alongside the parking bays, as we drove off we looked back and laughed, there were now 4 empty bays beside him and the van was parked at a jaunty angle barely touching 2 of them.  Hee!  Hee!

We really shouldn’t have laughed and moments later karma kicked in, our silly SAT NAV sent us up a road that involved a VERY tight squeeze past machinery where they were digging up the road (that wasn’t the silly part) and when we reached the top there was a sign saying ‘No Access To Motorhomes’ THAT was the silly part! D’oh!

Luckily there was a roundabout at that point so drove back the way we’d come, this time having to squeeze past a car that had double parked!  (Darren pointed out they had thoughtfully put their wing mirror in).

It was ironic we didn’t actually need to come this way, when we’d arrived in Javea we’d come in from the opposite direction and that’s the way we headed ignoring our airhead of a SAT NAV and had a very uneventful journey on to Calpe to take the van to the motorhome dealers.

Euronautica had kindly fitted us in to their busy schedule so they could look at the gas regulator (Darren had concluded that was the issue with the gas).  We had intended staying at their aire and we arrived at 2p.m. but the owner suggested we might like to park up somewhere a bit more interesting while we waited and then came back at 3p.m.  We pootled off, eventually found a load of motorhomes parked in a street and stopped there to make lunch however when I tried to light the stove to make some tea we discovered the gas had packed up completely.  We had just enough time to have a quick bite to eat and it was time to go back to the dealers.

When we arrived back at the dealers we were greeted by a friendly man and given directions on where the van needed to go then he met us round there and took us into the show room which had loads of beautiful boat on display and a seating area with magazines.  We thought his English was very good and he told us he was Dutch and that his family owned the dealers, his parents had set it up in the 1980’s.  He made us a coffee and we sat at the table reading while the fault on our gas was being checked out.

Unfortunately it was the regulator and he said he’d have to order another. As a temporary fix he put another on one of our bottles and said he would contact us in a few days when the replacement had come in so we (read Mandy) decided to drive down to Benidorm in the unlikely hopes of briefly seeing Kathryn and Alex before they left in a couple of days time and hoping that Jane and Steve would contact us so we could catch up with them before they went back home.

We were not looking forward to going to Benidorm, we had preconceived ideas of what it would be like from seeing the comedy series but a number of people on this trip had told us there were some lovely areas in the city so we thought we’d better check it out and hopefully meet up with friends in the process.

We arrived at the campsite at dusk (our first impressions weren’t good so Darren was NOT a happy bunny but it was too late to go anywhere else).  We booked one night, found the least offensive spot to park (we’d found a much nicer one only it had a palm tree slap bang in the middle of it!) and after a lot of manoeuvring Darren got our van in there.  Unfortunately there was a metal frame over the top of the pitch (for a sun shade in the summer presumably) which meant we couldn’t use the satellite dish, things were getting better and better by the moment.  The campsite did include wifi but it didn’t make it easy to get on to it and it was even slower than our internet connection at home when we eventually connected.

We weren’t able to meet up with Kathryn and Alex this time but as luck would have it our day suddenly became a lot better when Jane sent me an email asking whether we would be in Benidorm before they left.   The answer to that was yes indeedy!  We arranged to meet up at midday the next day and left us feeling much happier and looking forward to tomorrow instead of dreading it!

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