Well, the plan was to be on the road by now but after a quick trip back to the UK to catch up with family, a deviation down to Bath for Keith to go to the dentist – squeezing in a tactical catch up with a few friends – we arrived home last Tuesday to the gas alarm going off, gas off – thankfully! – and a defrosted Fridge/Freezer!
All we can say is that it was an eventful day, the flight back from Gatwick was delayed due to the plane apparently being in Pathos the night before …. I haven’t ever been but apparently a good time can be had by all as even the plane had a mother of a hangover! Joking aside we were really lucky though, as whilst sitting in the airport lounge at Gatwick with a glass of wine and beer in hand a drone flew up to within about 50m of us….. so the delays could have been quite a bit worse!
As the flight was so late the trams had stopped running so we opted for a taxi, eventually getting back to the motorhome just after midnight opening the door cautiously, not turning on any lights just in case there were gas fumes but thankfully all was good. We had been warned that there may have been a problem by one of our neighbours who did a daily walk round for us and on Tuesday afternoon could hear an alarm inside the motorhome but couldn’t hear the gas on the fridge which he had heard on previous days.
In the week leading up to us flying to the UK we had smelt a slight smell of gas and thought that it was possibly the end of one of the bottles before it changed over but the smell had lasted longer than expected so we had called and booked an engineer to come and have a look on the Wednesday morning following our return…. hindsight being a wonderful thing, we probably should have dealt with it before we left. Thankfully however, the motorhome has an alarm and a cut off, which means that should the gas toxins within the motorhome get above a certain point the system cuts off and stops the gas supply…. we don’t want to think about what could have happened if that wasn’t in place – losing the food in the freezer and a few yoghurts is a small price to pay!
We were back in Hattie though and were pleasantly surprised by Jose Maria, a retired Dometic engineer who turned up at 10 am on Wednesday morning, pulled everything a part, swept the chimney, fixed the problem and serviced the Fridge/Oven unit. It appears that at some point someone has tried to clean the gas injector with a pin – something that you should never do – and has made the hole larger, burning the gas at the incorrect temperature….so a new part is required – hence we are currently treading water, waiting for the part to arrive from Madrid which will hopefully be over the next couple of days.
With Hattie temporarily sorted and needing to hang around a little longer we were happy to receive a message from a friend who lives in the states and will be in Alicante next Sunday …. so it was obviously fate that we hang on for an extra few days. We were also hit by a heatwave last week which was a bit of a shock coming back from the UK as temperature rose to high 20’s during the day and barely went below 20 overnight … thankfully it only lasted until Sunday and is now happily sitting at around 23 degrees during the day but going down to 15 overnight – a little more pleasant for us cold blooded Brits…. slightly different to the horrific weather that we had over Easter that left the beaches in a really bad state, taking a couple of weeks to clear up…
Although it is difficult to believe, we have now had Hattie for a year. Who would have thought that the mad dash home and up to Melbourne in Derbyshire was at the end of April last year… where does time go? We can happily say, without any hesitation that it was the right decision to make the change and despite a few hiccups along the way, she suits us perfectly for our lifestyle…. lets hope that the next 5 years are slightly cheaper but as enjoyable as this last one! Despite having to change our plan slightly, we are still looking forward to taking her to lots of new places in France, Germany and the UK this summer.
With a bit of extra time on our hands and not having ever stayed here this late we were pleasantly surprised to find that the Tapas competition has started in San Juan Pueblo, so we ventured out for a few cheeky tapas – which come accompanied with a glass of wine or beer for 2 euro 50 cents – last Friday night. The first two (oddly, one was vegetarian which is still a bit of a daring choice for Spain) were pretty good – although we both agreed probably not to the El Campello standard of last year – however unfortunately, the other three varied between ‘Average’ and ‘Pretty Poor’ …. just going to have to try some more this weekend before we head off!
We also caught up with Pilar and her sister for lunch on Saturday in Santa Faz at one of their favourite restaurants ‘Pro Bar’ which serves quality seasonal produce full of flavour in small dishes …. delicious. It also enabled us to finally see the infamous Santa Faz Monastery which is where once a year, thousands of Pilgrims walk to from from Alicante. Oddly, the pilgrimage two weeks ago and we were caught up in all the Pilgrim traffic on the Tram whilst on the way to the airport, they were apparently all on their way to get the free wine and cinnamon buns that are put on by the local town council!! Apparently roughly 260,000 Pilgrims do the 8km walk, eating roughly 1000kg of cinnamon bun and drinking 800 litres of Mistella (Sweet white wine) …. not bad for 8am, although I am sure that a fair few bring their own supplies as well having seen the state of the teenagers by lunchtime on the beach in previous years!
It cannot be denied though … the Monastery isn’t too bad!