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UK and Granada

November 30, 2012

Well, we’re back on board “Rampage” again after just over a month away in the UK.  We haven’t put up any posts whilst we were away for two reasons: firstly we were simply too busy and secondly, although we had a great time, it possibly wouldn’t be of too much interest for other folks.  However, just to give you all a flavour of what we got up to, the following is a brief synopsis. 

 

Jonno and Duncan flying kites in Richmond Park

Jonno and Duncan flying kites in Richmond Park

We flew into Gatwick from Alicante on 25 October, and spent a couple of days with our son Jonno and wife Lucy in London, where we managed to see the latest James Bond movie on the first night of its release in UK and make the obligatory visit to Nando’s afterwards! 

Duncan and I with Polly, warmly wrapped up for a trip on a Cornish Pilot Gig

Duncan and I with Polly, warmly wrapped up for a trip on a Cornish Pilot Gig

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Duncan rows while J waits in the bow for her turn

We then caught the train down to Cornwall to spend time with our younger daughter, Polly and husband Tommy.  We then caught the train to Wrexham to stay with Mike and Jane which took up most of a day and involved three changes but was cheap! 

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Duncan with great-nephew, Eric the Viking

 

J at the 2012 Stunning Ruins gathering - drinking as usual,  and joined by honorary Ruin, Helen Williams!

J at the 2012 Stunning Ruins gathering – drinking as usual, and joined by honorary Ruin, Helen Williams!

Once there, we borrowed Mum and Dad’s car and visited all my family plus loads of friends and generally caught up with folks in the North West and Wales besides doing a mammoth shop, both online and in the local shops.  We went to the Remembrance Day service in Malpas, the village where we used to live, and had a splendid family lunch afterwards hosted by sister, Jinny at Bank Farm.  Mum was able to attend but sadly my father now becomes too disorientated outside the familiar environment of his care home to be able to enjoy such events.

 

Family lunch at Bank Farm, with Jinny, Mike, Joy and Susie

Family lunch at Bank Farm, with Jinny, Mike, Joy and Susie

J and I then visited her brother, Ian and wife, Barbara in Cardiff and their sister, Lizzie, came over from Kent to join us all there.  We had a great time including meeting the newest member of the Thomas side of the family, young Sheridan Miles. 

J's sister, Liz, with great niece, Sheridan

J’s sister, Liz, with great niece, Sheridan

We then made our way back once more to Wrexham via Tamworth, where we looked over brother, Mike and wife, Jane’s new narrowboat “Gotaroundtoit”.  They will be following in our footsteps and moving to an aquatic life on board her as soon as their house sale is completed. 

 

Mike and Jane's enormously long (70ft) narrowboat "Gotaroundtoit" (their's is the one at the back of the shot.)

Mike and Jane’s enormously long (70ft) narrowboat “Gotaroundtoit” (their’s is the one at the back of the shot.)

The final Saturday of our visit found us in Low Bentham, sitting the Punch Bowl pub waiting for sister, Susie to bring our elder daughter, Naomi and her children in for a drink – they were over in the UK from Dublin on a visit and didn’t know we would be there!  A really great end to the visit, seeing their faces as they walked into the pub to find us there!

 

Deep concentration decorating cookies

Deep concentration decorating cookies

The real question from Lily is when can we start eating these cookies?

The real question from Lily is when can we start eating these cookies?

Encouraged by Granny, who provide the balloons, Jess and Charlie get nicely wound up and excited just before bedtime!

Encouraged by Granny, who provide the balloons, Jess and Charlie get nicely wound up and excited just before bedtime!

We flew back into Alicante on the evening of 19 November where we picked up a rental car and then stayed in a hotel overnight before heading off to Almerimar to visit Clive and Jane on “Jane G”, who are over-wintering there.  We stayed with them a couple of nights before heading off on what was meant to be the first stage of our “Road Trip Round Southern Spain”.  We were aiming to visit Granada, Cordoba, Seville and Malaga before heading back via Almerimar (where we’d left the bulk of our luggage) and then on home.

Inside the Alhambra, taken from the Alcazaba and looking towards the palace of Carlos V and the Nasrid Palaces

Inside the Alhambra, taken from the Alcazaba and looking towards the palace of Carlos V and the Nasrid Palaces

 

Alas, fate intervened, events conspired against us and halted the trip in Granada.  Firstly, J was eating a picnic lunch in the Sierra Nevada above Granada when she managed to eat a bee, which promptly stung the inside of her mouth.  Her face swelled up like a melon and she was in quite a lot of pain, so we cut things short and headed for the hotel, where she did a good impression of a child with mumps for the rest of the day.  The following morning, I went for a walk to find out where things were and managed to set off an old injury to my hamstring, leaving me a bit lame.  However, we managed to buy a walking stick for me and set off to visit the Alhambra, a palace and fortification dating from the time of muslim rule in Spain.

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View from the Alhambra looking across to the Sierra Nevada

The palace is incredible, reminiscent of the Top Kapi palace in Istanbul, with lots of ornate decoration.  We took our time wandering round it and I was coping quite well with all the walking but was glad to have a sit down once we’d looked round the main palace.  However by the end of the day my leg was troubling me a lot and J still resembled a chipmunk so we retreated to the hotel for the night, still undecided about continuing our trip the next day. 

 

The famous Patio de los Leones

The famous Patio de los Leones in the palace of the same name.

After a fairly uncomfortable night, we concluded that as all sight-seeing involves a good deal of walking, the sensible thing to do was to call it a day and return to Sant Carles.  We did this in a single day, calling for lunch and baggage collection with the crew of “Jane G” on the way.  We arrived back here by about 8.30pm and fell into bed, not rousing ourselves until quite late on Sunday 25 November.

 

And that’s us up to date!  We think we will postpone completing the “Road Trip” until the New Year, as we now have a fairly long list of jobs to be done on “Rampage” before we set off next April.

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