Thursday, 11 February 2010

Day 4 Staying with friends

Day 4 Staying with Friends

I arrived at Caroline’s in glorious sunshine. I’d dropped Ian off for his long-awaited cycle about 45k away so that he could cycle the rest of the way. He was really feeling the need for some exercise, and having ascertained that I couldn’t possibly get lost on the straight road to Gaudonville, I continued on alone. It’s a lovely, quiet undulating road to Caroline’s, through pastureland, with glimpses of very old villages and towns, set up of hillsides. Very little traffic, and an absolute joy to drive through in the warm, afternoon sunshine. For the first time since we set off, the heating was turned down and we could relax! That’s the difference, the sunshine further south has some real heat behind it, when it decides to put in an appearance! Incidentally, a note for the future- we need our hybrid bikes for a cycle along the Canal du Midi, because although it’s an excellent track, it’s too rough for road bikes.

Glyn and Caroline are great to stay with! Fantastic company, conversation, hospitality and comfort, and yes, I know they’re picking up this blog, but they know the comments are heart-felt! I only wished I’d been able to bring some small gidt down with us. I know Caroline likes plants and gardening, and I had thought of bringing some Spring potted plants, but it’s out of the question in such a small space, when you’re having to continually having to move stuff around. In the Summer it’s not so much of an issue, because you can spread outside. But, in winter, your eating space is your living space, sleeping space and driving space!

Caroline and I share the same guilty secret! We’re both passionate about fabrics, and, it turns out, ceramics. We swapped confessions of secret stashes of fabrics, UFOs, as they are known in the trade, or, Unfinished Objects, and plans for more forays into markets, and the internet, in search of another “fix” of that special fabric!

After a great evening feast in her cosy, big kitchen, a much-needed shower and brush-up, we were off again. Even though I thought we’d left all this behind, when we’d sold Blue Crush (delightfully re-named Mariposa or Butterfly in Spanish, by her new owners and currently waiting in Lanzerote, ready to cross the Atlantic), Ian was intensely covering the weather forecast, which wasn’t good. There was seriously cold weather back home, the Azores High was not established, there was rubbish weather in W Spain, S Spain and the Algarve and the only chance of a glimpse of sunshine was to stay in the East! The decision was to travel down towards Alicante, and stay for a few days, in the hope that things would pick up later. It couldn’t stay bad, after all, all the biking info had encouraged training in the winter sunshine of the Algarve, 360 days of sunshine per annum! Who writes these tourist propaganda sheets? Have they not heard about extreme weather and global warming!!

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