We have a guilty secret. Sometimes we give names to the people we come across when we’re travelling. Usually it’s people we see at a distance or … oh dear … people who irritate us. I know. It might not be a very PC thing to do but boy is it entertaining.
Here are a couple of examples. On a cruise a couple of years ago we came across The Serious Dancers. This couple could be seen at breakfast with their cruise diary marking things off on the programme. Not that unusual it’s true and the first morning we thought nothing of it. Then we kept seeing them. They were at every event that involved line dancing. These, my friends, were very serious line dancers. They did it morning, noon and night. It got so we were looking out for them. There was almost a scoring system. “Aha! I see the serious dancers!” And they were so serious it was almost painful. Never a smile passed their lips as they twisted, turned and hopped their way across the Mediterranean.
On the same ship we met The TOWIEs. Their strident voices were booming across the restaurant on our first night. “Well it’s just not British is it?” So we cringed and tried to look anything but British. They engaged us in conversation a few times but it always went the same way. Basically ‘why can’t these foreigners be more like us?’ The fact that we were on an American ship in the Med seemed to have slipped their notice. But all was not lost – they did give us some wonderful games of hide and seek – like every time we saw them coming.
So, on this trip we’ve been late arrivals to the naming game. Mostly because we’ve either been travelling, or the sun has been shining and we’ve been having too much fun. Yesterday was a bad weather day and we resorted to knitting and listening to audio books – yes it was that bad a day.
First thing, though, at about 7.30 a.m. the bad weather hadn’t made its mind up whether it was coming to visit or not so we jumped on our bikes to go to the local El Fondo Nature Reserve. This is reclaimed wetlands where we’d heard you could see Egrets and maybe even Flamingos. Shirley, being the tour photographer, was very keen to get some pictures so we wobbled over the motorway bridge, swerved down the road with potholes big enough to swallow you and zipped along beside the canal where something large could often be heard plopping into the water. I did wonder if there were crocodiles in the Nature Reserve but I was reassured otherwise. Probably just water rats. Eek.
We did get some pictures and a few altercations with flying insects but we were disappointed that there were no flamingos. On the way out we met Mr Suck through Teeth. It was fine at first, he knew stuff about the Flamingos and how to get to see them but then he saw we were on bikes.
“Where’re you staying”
We told him.
He sucked through his teeth like a plumber giving bad news. “You wouldn’t catch me there.”
“Why not?” we asked foolishly.
“Rubbish location. Just you wait until the wind comes in from those hills.”
We looked at the hills and thought about the high land hills that protected the site and opened our mouths but it was too late.
“You in a caravan?”
“Ah well you see that’s your problem …..”
And he was off, giving us the benefit of his wisdom about what was wrong with us and our trip compared to his. He had his big 4×4 to get around and see the countryside whereas we, poor fools, only had our bikes. I mean really. How stupid are we? Right at the end he gave away a telling bit of information.
“The only thing that’s wrong with the site I’m on is the camp politics.”
As we cycled away on our poor foolish bikes to our silly choice of a motorhome on a site that could easily be devastated by winds from the hills I took a moment to reflect on who might be causing the camp politics and gave a little sigh of relief that we were nowhere near him.
We had a brief couple of hours of reasonable weather after we got back from meeting Mr Suck through Teeth. We had a nice chat with our lovely Dutch neighbours and then another lovely chat with our British neighbours on the other side and we were soothed. We learned more about this strange little village where a considerable number of people choose to live full time.
It definitely has a lot going for it. Everyone says it’s a very healthy place to live with the massive choice of activities available as well as Spanish language lessons to help people integrate. Its Eco credentials are superb with a great balance between wonderful facilities and a low impact on the environment. It is friendly and very clean. But somehow we can’t quite understand why you would want to give up a home in the UK for life in what is still basically a caravan park. True it’s much bigger than the average park so there is plenty of opportunity for diversion but it is still what it is. If you live here full time you pay about 3300€ a year. At today’s exchange rate that is £2350, which works out at a relatively small amount more than we pay in Council tax. For that you get virtually everything, including membership of a very swanky gym and spa. But it’s the travelling life for us! That is until we get back to Scotland and settle back into the other good life we have. I’ve said it before but here it is again… how blessed are we?
Oh by the way – the sun is shining again today.