Wednesday, 15 March 2017

La Hoya & The Batteries

So nice to be spoiled now and again isn't it?
Well thats the case here at Casa Rudo

Not really part of his on site management plan but these guys are really happy to have us stay and sort ourselves out battery wise 

Impressive sunsets add to the ambience

Early March weather 

Our timing is perfect and we soon enjoy the hospitalities as Dorine cooks enormous Gambas for the campers on site
She presented three of these huge paella dishes for the guests to consume
Happy days!

Beauty & the Beast

A cracking ride in to Aspe through the hills one day on Max is rewarded with lunchtime tapas with huge portions and knock down prices

A cycle ride in to nearby La Hoya has us availing ourselves of the Menu Da Dia which at €7.50 each seemed like a good idea Stan....

I give in to Rudy's insistence on pool sampling and brave the 17 degs water temp in the name of all things British
Bit different from the 30 degs in July!

OK I have the theory (backed up by numerous WhatsApp comms with my travelling buddies) 

Now I have the batteries courtesy of Rudy & Co Couriers...

What could possibly go wrong?

I have to say that the service from was excellent and their promise of delivery to Spain of three working days held up nicely
Both Banner leisure batteries, vent pipes & cap removal tool delivered for £258.00

Batteries fitted as per plan the two Happy Bunnies go off to a nearby massive shopping complex with fellow campers
Some retail therapy is undertaken for the girls in preparation for the main event..

We visit an Argentinian restaurant where the theory is you get the basic additions to your meal, rice, chips, salad...etc at the start of proceedings, then they bring you a never ending supply of freshly grilled meats on skewers to the table
Pieces are carved off at your desire and the trick is to pace yourself nicely for the next couple of hours. Problem was I was nearest the waiter and he selected me first for serving so great willpower was employed in order to reach the finishing post without consuming too many of the 'cheap meats' and thus missing out on the better quality stuff due to a bloated belly!
A nice experience but we would give it a miss next time we think as its too much of a 'Faff'
We prefer Dorine's cooking anyway!

Time comes to say farewell, at least till our return in June, and we set off back to Ricote on possible the hottest day so far

Next day back at the battery testing base in the hills Gino & Kathy visit us from Casa Rudy on the Beast (actually a Kawasaki 1400 GTR)

Relieved of leathers we visit the local restaurant at lunch for a cooling drink and a tapa

Much hilarity at the bar as we just have to order the 'Tuna Orgasm'

Mildly disappointing but tasty nevertheless. Was I expecting something else?

The Belgian contingent bid their farewells and continue on their tour of the surrounding hills and back to La Hoya
Takes us back a few years does this and TBH I quite fancy the idea of a big tourer again but those leathers look a bit too warm today...

Next day we set off walking again down the valley to Ojos where we see this underrock parking arrangement. Bet that flimsy netting will do the trick....

A cafe is duly found and refreshment taken for the explorers

As ever the days are filled with sunbathing and stitching
Nice life this!

Sunday, 5 March 2017


Time for some relaxation me thinks now frivolities are over so we head for an unknown (to us) location in the hills above Murcia

Ricote nestles in one of several valleys in a stunning area that looks like a giant oasis

We are soon off walking a marked circular route up through the lemon groves that surround the aire and in to the hills above the village

Essential grove transport for the growers

An old wash house provides a rest early on in the climb

This little fella didn't budge an inch even when a passing car ran over him!
Dead before the event we think....

Some poor engine's final halt

The view down to the next town of Blanca

Convincing rockfall..
The stone here is very soft and there is much evidence of erosion

Back at base there is much commotion as these brightly coloured pigeons (painted by their owners) vie for the chance to mate with the recently released female
All in the name of sport!

Its market day close by and there's a guy selling grilled chicken in garlic & thyme with roast potatoes

Surely the tastiest lunchtime meal?

The weather while we are here is just sublime
Plenty of sunbathing to be done from getting up and walks done for a change in sensible temperatures
This one was up to the Castle above the village, very little left I'm afraid after all that erosion

The wear and tear leaves its interesting mark though

After a week we decide to head down the valley to Archena to another site we'd read about so stop outside Ricote for the 'hair washing/hoovering' regime with the genny going
No lekky at the site and really didn't want to disturb the tranquility back in the village

So quite bizarrely and after having spent just a few hours in Archena at the aire and doing some shopping we decide its not for us and then promptly drive back to our original location in Ricote as its just so perfect for us

More walking then for the next few days

The circular route is done again in reverse under very blue skies

That's us near the triangular roofed orange buildings

Nice lemons Nina!

The other tale....

So after just 15 months my French leisure batteries have decided to die on us...Merde!
Whilst at Ricote under sunny skies the batteries are filled via my solar panel arrangement during the day. Each morning we awake to find dead units and I spend the week tinkering around with fault diagnostics to try to find the cause
My fellow 'Tekky' travellers via WhatsApp dispense sound advice and the story unveils daily like some sad novel...
Basically the SP is that they've never really been wired up properly in conjunction with the solar arrangement for best working and the change to AGM batteries wasn't a wise move with the 'Lead acid' preferring charger.
So after some head scratching we decide to relocate to Casa Rudo not too far away and source new batteries to be delivered here from a UK company
Sounds costly but actually they are half the price of the ones here and delivered from Belgium for a sensible fee of £25.00, no brainer really....

Of course Rudy & Dorine's hospitality knows no limits and they squeeze us in right next to their abode whilst we await our delivery