28th February 2010 Baiona

28 02 2010

Well, the rain didn’t stop this morning so we spent the morning washing up last nights dinner plates etc, filling up with fresh water and emptying the waste tanks. I also managed to sort the electrical problem out, it seems that running the electric heater was just too much for it and we had tripped the power supply. Still, a quick check and we were sorted and up and running again.

A quick walk with Jack when the rain subsided turned into a wet walk when the rain came back mid way. We returned to the motorhome and spent an afternoon with me watching Star Trek (the next generation) DVDs and Lorna making fresh tomato soup.

That’s about it for the day really, nothing exciting and no photographs unfortunately. The rain continued throughout the afternoon and night confining us to the motorhome for the day. Just one day in the sun please, maybe tomorrow?


27th February 2010 Baiona

27 02 2010

I got up very late today and barely saw the morning, the wind and rain had returned and I felt much better tucked up in a nice warm bed. Eventually I decided to get up and we both took Jack for a walk around the site whilst there was a small break in the showers. I took our little Canon A95 with us and filmed a short movie which documented the weather.

(Thanks to Nerys for the embedding code for the video)

We needed food so when a suitable break in the weather came we walked up to the local supermarket . Whilst I was stood outside waiting for Lorna the heavens opened again and the rain came crashing down. The walk back was a wet one, all of us soaked to the skin and Jack was so keen to get back into the motorhome he didn’t even wait for the step to lower, bless him.

The afternoon was spent reading, relaxing, watching films and the weather which didn’t improve at all, in fact the winds increased and the rain just never gave in. Days like this are ok every once in a while, hell it’s February after all, but consistently bad weather does grind somewhat, kind of glad we are on a campsite with electric hook up.

Speaking of which, the electricity cut out early evening so off went the computer and out came the gas kettle. It was dark and miserable so we decided not to bother the warden and leave it til the morning to sort out, electric hook up is nice but not essential and I’m not that selfish to go knocking the warden up on a Saturday night in the pouring rain!

Hopefully the weather will improve tomorrow so we can get out and about!

26th February 2010 Baiona

26 02 2010

I woke up at 10am this morning from the best nights sleep I have had for a while. I still didn’t want to get up but get up I did and straight into the showers at the campsite which had some lovely hot water and a powerful stream……..bliss.

We had our breakfasts and then headed out to have a wander around the town of Baiona itself. We walked along the beach, into the town and wandered along the promenade of shops and the harbour.

Baiona Beach

Baiona has a hill top fort which has a lovely path that runs all the way around it. The path runs all along the coast and the waves were quite strong, crashing into the rocks and sending splashes of water above the horizon. We walked the path which took us back to the harbour area, from there we were looking at all of the bars and restaurants, deciding if we wanted to eat out for lunch or get something and head back. In the end we decided to buy some food and head back, it’s enough paying site fees without eating out as well (the miserly side of me showing i’m afraid). Baiona has some lovely back streets, if you get away from the main promenade and into the town a little you are rewarded with some quaint old streets with little bars dotted around and the occasional square where the restaurant has it’s tables out and advertises it’s menu of the day for 10 euros.

The photo above was taken on the path that runs around the fort and shows something that we have seen lots of examples of throughout our travels in north west Spain. These buildings on stilts are everywhere and I have seen them highly decorated and, on occasion almost falling down. I believe that they are used to store fresh produce from the gardens but have seen them packed full of things from sweetcorn to the daily washing. Almost invariably they have a cross on one annexe.

On our way back we found a market that was close to closing, but we managed to buy some chorizo sausages and some bread for our late lunch. We walked back to the motrorhome, me stopping to photograph various views including this one of the sculpture that sits just outside of the main town.


And, of course the obligatory door!

Red Door - Baiona

Back at the motorhome we put the awning out for a while whilst the sun was still shining, we drank wine and cooked our tea of chorizo sausages, salad and fresh bread. As the light faded we had a slight spell of rain but we had had a good day out and not got wet, very different from the previous few days.

25th February 2010 Combarro to Baiona

25 02 2010

Well, last night was the first night that I have ever been concerned about our safety in the motorhome, not from louts or boy racers but from the extreme weather conditions that we experienced. We were both woken at about 2.30 in the morning by the howling gales and winds, the motorhome was rocking about like mad and it was enough to make our bed creak which only usually happens when we get up or down from it. We both got up and decided to watch the rain sheeting down from the window, it was literally pouring off the side of the van as if someone was stood on top with a hose pipe. We made the bed up ‘downstairs’ and tried to get back to sleep but neither of us really settled for a good while. I have never experienced winds like it, quite unnerving.

Rainy Days

We were up again at about 9.30 and though it was still raining the wind had subsided somewhat so we set off for Baiona where we had booked onto the campsite for a couple of nights so that I could receive my replacement hard drive. The prices were pretty steep but being off season they were reduced by 35% which meant we would be paying just over €20 per night with electric hook up. We found a spot and parked up but then realised that if we were closer to reception we would be able to pick up the free wi-fi in the motorhome as well, so we moved!

A quick walk around town later on, tea and a film and the day was done. The weather was much improved later on, no wind and only a little rain, tomorrow might be a better day fingers crossed!

24th February 2010 Vilanova De Arousa to Combarro

24 02 2010

We woke up again to a very stormy day, heavy rain and strong winds but no thunder and lightning, things are looking up!

We left the car park and headed along the coast to go and have a drive around the Illa de Arousa which took us over a long bridge onto the island. The island must be a stunning place to be in the summer, beautiful typically Spanish houses and a large port combine to make this a special place to be but the horrible weather made it fairly plain and uninteresting. We carried on along the coast in search of somewhere to stop the night, we wanted somewhere fairly sheltered as we had heard that there were more bad storms on the way, we even considered driving all the way down to Baiona to get to the campsite a day or so early. We ended up following the coast road deciding that if we got to Pontevedra without seeing somewhere we may as well carry on to Baiona. We passed through a few places including Cambados which looked like a beautiful place with a massive cobbled square in the centre of town, we found a car park close to the port where we thought we might be able to stop so we set it as a favorite in the sat-nav just in case. We then carried on through Sangenjo until we arrived at Combarro where we parked on the port (N42•25.44 W08•42.23) finding a slightly more sheltered spot. Though the rain had stopped it was still very blustery with the clouds passing overhead at a great rate. The motorhome didn’t rock much so we felt as though we would be fine there for the night. As usual, the measure seems to be to park up, wait for the Guarda Civil (police) to pass by (which invariably they do within half an hour) and if they don’t stop then you are ok. We generally look forward to seeing them as if they know you are there then they seem to make the effort to pass by regularly. Strange the things you learn isn’t it?

Dinner consisted of garlic mushrooms cooked with chorizo followed by pan fried chicken piri piri (well we will soon be in Portugal so why not?) and salad, extremely yummy, all washed down with the obligatory red wine from Lidl, €0.55 for a litre carton! Bargain.

23rd February 2010 Boiro to Vilanova De Arousa

23 02 2010

We went to bed last night and after about half an hour got up again to look at the rain and lightning that was in the area. When I say ‘in the area’ at one point the lightning and thunder claps were just seconds apart, the lightning lighting up all around us whilst the thunder rumbled at octaves so low it was like having a big subwoofer in the motorhome with us. I love storms like that! Eventually the storm passed and we returned to bed and got some sleep.

We woke in the morning to more rain and thunder and waited a while before venturing out with Jack for a walk, the sun appeared for a while but the rain was never far away. We decided to drive to the local Lidl to get supplies and then we set off again searching for a place to stop for the night. We headed toward Vilagarcia, the next large town but didn’t find anywhere suitable as it was a largeish town and too busy for our liking so we aimed toward Vilanova De Arousa and found a car park right on the sea front (N42•34.26 W08•49.44) where we decided to stop for the night. We thought of heading just a little further to the island Illa de Arousa but decided against as it was obviously out in the sea and we thought if another storm kicked in we would be a bit exposed.

Football Pitch, Spanish Style

Now onto the Hewlett Packard situation . I received a phone call this morning from the HP Spain people, as promised, and they were very helpful offering either to pick up the laptop, repair and return, or to ship out a replacement hard drive to the campsite that I said we would be on soon in Baiona. Unfortunately they couldn’t supply the Windows 7 boot disk so I settled for the Vista operating system disk so at least I would be up and running and I could re-upgrade when I returned home. The chap even phoned back to confirm that the orders had been placed, the hard drive arriving by UPS courier and the boot disk arriving slightly later by normal post. I might have to stay on the campsite a little longer than we intended to but at least it’s now sorted and the whole issue can be put to bed. What a relief! I’m still having a problem locating an external USB hard drive in Spain though, I tried another computer shop this morning and I couldn’t see that they had any, they appeared to have the caddy but not a proper hard drive. I suppose it would help if I knew what I was asking for in Spanish, it’s very difficult to describe a USB external hard drive of about 500Gb by grunting, pointing and making unusual hand gestures. I’ve got the ‘I’m looking for’ but after that, not a hope in hell 🙂

Just as I am writing this another storm is coming in, the thunder has just sent vibrations through the motorhome and though the sun is out, the skies are turning blacker by the minute and the wind is increasing. Excellent!

22nd February 2010 Boiro

22 02 2010

What a night we had last night!

The weather was shocking. We were parked up, nice and cosy in bed when at about 4am the motorhome started rocking and the rain started hitting the roof so hard it is difficult to put into words just how it sounded, it gradually became worse and worse, the noise increasing to almost deafening levels and the motion of the motorhome rocking back and forth was almost like being on a bad channel crossing. At one point I considered getting out and putting the steadies down it was that bad. Suddenly, it stopped. And it was that sudden, almost like (I imagined) being in the centre if a hurricane, a very strange experience indeed!

Stormy Boiro

We managed a bit more sleep and when we eventually woke up again it was by more rain. We heard via a phonecall that there had been terrible weather in southern Spain and that the Potuguese island of Madeira had also suffered very badly from the onslaught.

It still looked very grim outside so we elected to stay where we were for the day and make good use of the cafe over the road. Another lunch, another bottle of red wine and Internet access gave us a good excuse anyway. I restarted the communication with Hewlett Packard as seen in the blog post previous to this and as you can probably gather it didn’t go well with them refusing to ship a replacement hard drive from the UK to Spain, ridiculous in my opinion, particularly considering that Gaslow, a much smaller company, managed to get a replacement gas pipe to France for me within 48 hours without any trouble whatsoever. However, just after I posted the blog and was ‘tweeting’ it as an update I received a reply from Arv, the chap who obviously watches Twitter for #hewlettpackard hashtags. He was sorting it out for me and within half an hour I received a call from HP Spain telling me they would get the tech team to contact me tomorrow. So, things seem to be moving on on that front at least. It seems to me that going through the usual channels with these companies can be a lenghthy and frustrating experience but a well tagged tweet can reap much better rewards. I know the result came from the use of Twitter as the guy that phoned referred to Arv, not HP UK!

So there you have it, got a problem with a big company? Don’t bother phoning and talking to computers and foreign call centre workers who have set scripts to personalise accordingly, get a Twitter account and make use of the #hashtags, you might find you get a better response!

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