*Written on August 1st, 2016, after a very long writing hiatus.*
On the Road Again…
Yesterday we started on our new adventure – leaving Ibiza, Spain after a 10 month stay, to drive through Spain – taking our time, of course – up the west coast of France, through England and up to Scotland for a 3 week stay before the long flight to western Canada for a 2 ½ month rest and family visit before flying over to Thailand for 4 months. And all this with 2 incredibly energetic youngsters – Goose, who will celebrate his 5th birthday in Scotland, and Monkey (aka Pickle – she needed a name change!) who just celebrated her 1st birthday in Spain. Yes, we don’t do anything by halves!
To save some money we took the long boat journey from Ibiza to Valencia – 6 ½ hours! – which had its ups and downs. Up being the money we saved and down being the 6 and ½ hour boat journey with said incredibly energetic youngsters. Thankfully, the boat was basically empty – so had the whole dining area free to run around in after lunch time service was completed.
Now, I have spent an enormous amount of time researching our travels. Trying to find us the best route, deals and accommodation possible in our budget has been fun, but not always easy. Having to keep everyone’s needs in mind and balance them with my own desires hasn’t been easy, but I think I’ve done a pretty fantastic job so far.
I knew, after the boat journey that we would not be in the mood to travel too far, but at the same time wanted to put as much distance between the mayhem of summer on the coast of Spain, therefore I opted for a cheap – but clean – travel motel – Hotel AG Express Elche. It met our needs perfectly for 1 night – less than 2 hours from the port, 24 hour restaurant, air con and – perhaps most importantly – the best water pressure EVER! I seriously did not want to get out of the shower this morning. It was so strong it basically pressure washed the travel grime off!
After a nice, but basic, breakfast we headed off down the road – about 2 hours – to a very rural apartment close to Velez Rubio – called Cortijo La Estrella. This is rural Spain, in all its glory. Just arriving here I’ve been reminded of the things I love about Spain. The rolling country side, mountain ranges, olive groves, quaint villages – Velez Rubio, Velez Blanco and Maria – with their tiny coffee shops and markets – the relaxed and welcoming locals – have all come together and instilled a feeling of peace inside me. It’s been a long time since we’ve had the space to breathe and the quiet to really relax.
This being our first day here – I don’t know the area at all – but we’ve planned some nice hikes/walks and generally plan to spend our mornings enjoying the natural surroundings before heading back to the apartment for siesta, a swim and an early (for Spain) dinner. The added bonus of window shutters should enable us all to have a good sleep – one can hope anyways.
Time for a bottle of vino – or two – before heading to bed….ah, bliss.