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Life of Riley continued…
What a start. A week before we left our fridge freezer at home broke down over night, so by the time I came down in the morning everything was defrosted – huge mess!
The day before we leave the hoover got some paper stuck in a part that needed dismantling and I got that out, however I cannot get the wheel screwed back on again, I just left it for when I get back.
We are back in Spain. The trip was not without hitches. We lost our way and drove around for three hrs. The hotel was booked for the day before and the heat was incredible 38 degrees Celsius and no air con in the car, so I had to keep cooling the dogs off with water on their bellies and all windows were open, just don’t imagine what our hairstyles looked like.
The hotel thank goodness still had a room vacant at 11pm, when we finally got there. The room temp was also so hot it took the aircon 2 hrs to cool down to a decent temp. The next morning we got up to drive via Seville/ Cadiz to Manilva. We got to Riley in 9 hrs and it just got hotter we had 43 degrees Celcius in the evening. I was not happy.
All pitches were occupied, next to us unfortunately with a noisy bunch of Spanish who jabbered at the top of their voices till 3am the following morning so not much sleep, between 6-7 I get up to give the dogs a walk in the cooler air of 23 degrees Celsius. The next evening at 10pm we all of a sudden had a security guard banging on the door telling us we have to disconnect all our electric, water, tv and sewage pipe now or they will cut us off. Needless to say I did not. The following morning I find the sewage pipe disconnected and gaffa taped up in a plastic bag under the Bus.
It turns out the noisy bunch accused us of stinking up the place. Which cannot be as we have no water nor toilet working in the bus for months, so we have been using the on site facilities.
Sunday we got our toilet fixed and the water back on, only for me to find after un gaffering the sewage pipe, that it was now broken and so short I can now only just get it into the drainage, but not really be confident in using it. So back to using the on site facilities. Needless to say I am furious.
Oh and did you see the temperature pic on FB now hitting 45 degrees Celsius. At least I can shower the dogs as often as I like with the outside shower/tap.
They love sleeping under the bus during the day.
Monday the temperature is in the 30’s but we finally have sea breeze/wind. It feels a lot better not claggy and not so hot. Today we are going to BBQ for the first time for supper. I am actually sitting outside at the table with the pc and loving it. Well needless to say that didn’t go well, we can’t get the BBQ gas flowing through. So I roasted the chicken in the oven instead to savethe dinner, it was late for us to eat at 9pm not for the Spanish they start at 10pm or 11pm their dinners.
Tuesday and nothing has changed with the sewage pipe, nobody turned up to repair it. Next thing we know we aren’t receiving any UK channels apart from BBCnews on the television. James has being switching and trying everything and every button he can to get it working. Needless to say we are not into watching QVC shopping channel or the Hindi channel and definitely not the Arab news and even BBCnews gets boring after an hour. Patrick turned up and said if we get an HMDI cable we can use the tablet for watching TV with a VPI. However I am not shelling out for a cable and monthly or yearly subscription if we have paid for this satelite tv.
I had to buy a connector three pin campsite plug to three pin UK plug it cost £15, so that I can charge the mobility scooter without having the door of the rv open with a cable running the bus and out the door to the scooter outside at the back of Riley. I can only charge at night when it is cooler as the charger heats up and everything is so dry here any heat source not watched can set the site on fire.
We now know what the problem with the TV is. Someone has pulled the cable out of the earth, cut it through and hid one end in the bushes and slung the rest of the cable over the sat dish.
So we now need an engineer. I tried to connect the two ends with the appropriate clips – no success. The BBQ I think needs a spanish pipe and gas bottle fitting, James thinks every gas bottle is the same, so no BBQ. Back to cooking indoors in the heat. The dogs get cooled everyday with a shower midday, however the wind is now coming from the sea so it is rather pleasant and at night one can at least sleep. I have been running around looking for Miguel who said he would come Tuesday to fix the sewage pipe.
Juan, Miguel’s older brother came to fix the sewage pipe – also that doesn’t go to plan. The part (tube)that goes into the pipe that fits into the concrete floor hole all the grey water runs down doesn’t go back into the shortened pipe. It seems the factory it came from had special machinery to get it in. Juan find a plastic bottle cuts it to shape so it now replaces rather badly the concrete hole in the ground and tapes this bottle modification to the pipe with copious amounts of gaffa tape. Doesn’t look pretty nor do I think this is going to be a long term solution, Saturday I will have enough grey water in the tank to try it out. I think it will go everywhere not only in the concrete hole and it will stink ( as standing waste water does).
A good thing is that the dyson hoover I brought with me is working a treat, at least something working well!
We have been out to eat menu del dia a few times as I just don’t want to be cooking everyday also if I do I have to shop every second as the fridge is not that big. I have cut down to two meals a day a small breakfast and dinner or a small breakfast and menu del dia. The dogs are well but not eating well I think it is the heat, little Bo-jangles ate as normal but by the evening he brought it all up on their evening walk.
I have to groom them again, we all look worse for wear. The hair seems to frizz up (Bo looks like an electrocuted mop, I don’t look much better) and dry out, Ben and Bo swipe up every bit of sticky dirt, leaf or burr they can find and bring it into Riley.
I’ll try some L’Oreal hair oil with UV protection on Bo, see if that helps. The weather report says by Monday we are into the 40+ degrees Celsius again. I will give the dogs frozen chicken as an ice lolly. I have not had any time to do any kind of pics nor video, I will do though.
The site washing machines are in repair, so I have to wait with that as well, I will have to be in the same trousers for a couple of days then. I have about 4 machines full with the sheets counted in. This is the last weekend for the Spanish holiday makers, so the site should become a little more empty by Sunday.
The other good thing I brought with me is the dehydrated dog meat. It would have been awful with flies if I had tinned/wet food and it would have gone off within a couple of hours.
So from now thing ought to get better….
The story continues next week
Thanks to Patrick, who has identified someone who can rebuild the toilet step things are moving on.
When James arrived on Riley this is what he encountered. this is the result of many years of drip leakage.
No toilet just the hole and no water, due to it being switched off at the mains.
The water is not a problem – thanks to the toilet/ shower blocks. Drinking water get fetch on a special fountain anyway. The mains water has too much chlorine in it.
I have now ordered the parts (the flange seals) that are broken, then everything can be put together again.
here the old pics – not for the faint of heart.
I am so pleased the company sends parts directly to Spain.
Soon we will be back to this:
Oh before I forget; I did upload the videos that were still on my camera after getting my laptop fixed.
The repair was a story of nightmares:-
The service from HP ( I paid for this “service” for 3 years – not cheap) which was less than satisfactory. There was no communication that helped, when there was nobody knew what was going on.The Laptop came back unrepaired, I wasn’t informed what the fault was, nor when it was arriving after HP having had it in their hands for eight working days.
AND it was delivered and just left at the front door on the porch for everyone to see and no note or sms …, not only that it now had a dent on the flip top.
So the whole repair scenario started a new: It took another 10 working days. I had to pay £180 for the repair! AND again the delivery was as horrifying as before, only this time I saw the delivery happen coming down the street from walking the dogs.
I could swear I have aged 5 years with this experience and am multiple phone calls poorer.
Anyhow here the videos- unplugged or not edited . Sorry for that. I hope you still enjoy them. I will try harder next time.
Today’s just a short one…
No wind today, it feels a lot hotter than it is. The weather report says 21 Celsius, however it feels like 25 or more. I got my swimming costume out. I haven’t worn it in 10 years or so.
I went to the pool – OMG it’s colder than I thought. Once in I’m alright and swam a few rounds.
Today is also the day we have our first Al Fresco lunch. The dogs would rather be inside, even though it is warmer in Riley than out under the shade of the awning.
I also managed to wash the windows ( I was lazy only did the front and two sides, the ones we always look out of).
I still haven’t been up on the roof. I left it too long this morning then it was too hot to go up.
Whoopee I managed to get up on the roof, it’s Sunday Morning. I took the silicone with me but having got up there I noticed it had dried out – Bum! The forecast says rain for later today, Monday and Tuesday. I will just have to put a cloth up against the drip then and hope for a lot of drying out until I get the stuff needed to repair. It is in whole a bigger job. All seals do need redoing this summer, but I had hoped for an intermediate quick fix.
It’s raining today, so we have decided to use the time to do grocery shopping. This time we went to Lidl just up the road. What a surprise, it is huge. A lot bigger than in the UK and it has a butchers in it. I did a humongous shop and was expecting it to cost me more than 100 euros – it came out at 82 euros. Phew! I wasn’t even sure whether I can get all the stuff into the cupboards in Riley.
I don’t enjoy going shopping of any sort ( even window shopping bores me after a little while).
I got all the stuff in, hopefully I don’t need to go anytime soon again.
Hope to see you back soon
Ps, After a month of being here I am slowly starting to see the pattern of the sea colour and the weather forecast. I don’t ever recall seeing the sea change it’s colour so often and rapid. Not only shades of blue, green and brown also menacing greys and almost black.
I now get an understanding why painters love how the light and colours bounce here in Spain.
Oh I nearly forgot to tell- this morning I walked on the paseo passing the mobile homes on the first row and there was one where the top bedroom windows curtain was open and lying in bed a man was taking pictures on his mobile phone of the sun rise. That looked so funny!
2nd of April was my Birthday, a hot and beautiful day I celebrated by going to the restaurant on the site to sample their food. I must say the standards were unexpectedly high and the food was good. I happily “rolled” down the hill to Riley watched an hour telly went to bed and fell almost immediately fell asleep.
The next morning looked promising. The dogs had a run and tumble on the beach enjoying themselves thoroughly. A lot of people have left the campsite, so it has got a lot more quiet, almost like a ghost town. I don’t mind at all.
Midday the sun is high and it is hot, walking the dogs is a very slow affair, we go about 20 steps and stop in the shade, a 10 min walk takes 30 mins.
On our way back a Weimaraner bitch off the lead comes up wants to see my lot all on leads. Shea is sat in the shade behind me, Bo-Jangles is running round me getting me all tied up as is Benny. I bend down to untangle my legs and all of a sudden that bitch bites y bum. The owner an old Spaniard just kicks the dog and walks by says he wants Bo-Jangles and disappears with his dog.
My behind hurts, I go back to Riley to see how bad it is. James for a second doesn’t believe me until I pull down my trousers to show him – there are three teeth marks, thank goodness not bleeding too bad, I washed the wound with Aloe Jojoba hand and face soap https://goo.gl/hAkZpO, then sprayed it with Aloe First https://goo.gl/BTQdTI put Aloe Propolis Creme https://goo.gl/9TPt0o as an anti septic and preventative measures.
The question now was whether to go to the health center to get a tetanus jab?
I can’t remember when I last had one. So James and I decide to go. Of course it is a Sunday, so we have to drive into Estepona and find it there.
Well That is another moment I’d rather forget. Driving the new car into Estepona looking for the Health Center with a vague idea where it is and a sore bum. Even though I had asked a few people where it was, including a taxi driver I abandoned the search after what seemed like hours of driving around in circles. One would think there are sign posts for something as important as a Health Center . I felt as if I was dying of stress. I drove back to Riley.
The next day I went into the next town Sabanillas and found the Health Centre. After standing in a queue for about 15 mins the receptionist said they couldn’t treat me with only my passport. Of course as I have only ever been to the doctor 2 in UK and never in Spain, I hadn’t thought of getting a NHS health card. They offered to do the treatment if I paid cash – I thought ok it can’t be that bad for one injection and asked how much.
The answer nearly made me faint. Without the injection itself 70 euros excl. vat, so that would have been about a total of 100 euros to get a tetanus. I refused and walked away.
I have had no side effects from the bite and the appliance of the Propolis creme twice a day has healed everything up only small spots ( like mosquito bites) are left now.
If I can get a photo of this guy with his dog I’ll post it everywhere. I haven’t seen him or the dog since.
We are still no further with the toilet repair. We have called our friend Patrick who will come by in three days. I have found a company that does parts in the UK, they have sent me an instruction manual with parts to identify – however I have no idea what I am looking for without taking the toilet out which will happen hopefully when Patrick comes with some tools. The blockage is slowly clearing, as I clear the tank every second day.
This is where I wish I had a composting toilet. I was researching them and if I had the money I’d settle for the Natureshead one, which would fit perfectly. Then I wouldn’t have this sort of problem, be more “green”, no odour and get plant soil.
I did a general “health” check on Riley today
-start the engine, generator, air con cold, furnace hot, gas boiler for water, water pump, fans, all lights and checked the windscreen wipers with water fill etc.. all seems good and in working order
Tomorrow I’ll check the outside roof conditions, tires, LPG, seals and hopefully get round to cleaning the windows as well. That fell short today as I needed to go shopping for groceries and do some washing.
We have found that having a “menu del dia” is the cheapest way of eating out at eight euros per head and includes a starter, main, dessert and drinks.
If one would go daily for ones meal of the day then one does save money on electricity /gas (cooking). One could live then on 15 euros a day food wise including some shopping for breakfast and dinner.
We have had 30 degrees centigrade the last two days and the night temperatures are getting warmer now too and hitting the double figures averaging 12 degrees Celsius.
I try to get a siesta of an hour in the afternoon, just chilling trying to sleep in my beach hammock.
The site is being prepared for the summer, all the hedges and trees are being pruned and some of the palm trees are being dressed (their skirts are being taken off). The sea has now got it’s rolling sound with the surf crashing on the soft sandy beach. Shea was in it this afternoon playing silly buggars up to her knees when a big wave came and rolled over her back – she was delighted, running after the surf wanting more. Benny was rather layed back about it all and just kept to the wet, no surf sand and little Bo Jangles just had his paws in the surf every so often.
So I managed to film the walk into Duquesa Port. It was lovely! What one doesn’t see in the video is on the way back I stopped to let another dog by and the paseo garden sprinklers came on! Shea and I got a soaking from behind! That would have been a candid camera moment!
As soon as we got back to Riley we all had some Roast chicken which I picked up yesterday. It was done over fire wood, so had a lovely flavour. Then we all had a rest. I hung out in the hammock. James in the outside recliner and the dogs in Riley with the Cool fan going.
Oh a couple of pics from France taking a break in an Aire.
Bye for now, see you later …
I caught everyone out. It’s &am and everyone is still sleepy. Had to take a quick video, sorry there is no sound.
The dogs have found out the sea is a cool wet to enjoy, Shea goes for a mini swim, ben dabbles in the puddles left behind by the waves and Bo-Jangles wets his feet in the surf and lays in the wet sand just above the water reach line. I have finally sais properly hello to my next but one neighbours, that are also long term stayers John and Marge. They also have an american RV a Monaco Knight. John is always busy doing something on the or around the RV, today he was pulling up the weeds around and trimming the hedges.They have added a touch to their RV like flower pots hanging from the front mirrors, which are pretty to see when walking by. I would like to get some air plants inside to help with any kind of moisture in Riley and it looks good.
I must mention at this point there always is a learning curve with RV’s especially if they are “preloved”. Our first challenge has popped up. We have had a sewage problem in the bathroom toilet. Not a good one unfortunately the solids backed up , needn’t say more.
Obviously the former owner did not know one always leaves the black and the grey tank valve shut, even when hooked up to direct sewage disposal and then empties every two weeks or whenever necessary.
Now there is a double problem
A) get rid of the problem in the black tank, this might take months to totally clear it all out, as I haven’t got a flush hose or swizzel stick either
B) the flange also took a hit and split, so we need to source a new one, the RV shop in Sabanillas doesn’t have the same brand or something that fits. Also I haven’t any tools to get the toilet and the carpet off.
My plan is to ring a friend who is a marine boat expert, maybe he can help.
We have had another weather change, most noticeably at night the winds come up, boy and they do they are strong enough to shake Riley. By the morning 8am they have quietened down a lot. The dogs enjoy walking at this hour, it’s slightly cool and the wind invigorates them. The sea has a dark blue colour almost that of Riley. By 10am the wind is still going but it has got a lot warmer. The advantage of the wind is (selfish me) nobody is on the beach.
Late last night it was pleasantly warm when walking the dogs and I heard coming from the river next to the campsite frog-song amoungst the bulrushes. Bo-Jangles didn’t know what to do, it made him a little nervous – I suppose they sound different to the pond frogs at home.
I also have had a long chat with newcomers on the pitch behind, they are German, he used to sail a lot and has given that up now. The chat all came about as I was introducing my three to their patter-dale terrier. The day before they saw me washing my three smellies and commented on it. On the whole this site is very international, I ought to brush up some of my language skills.
I also have another tip: If you have a big enough freezer and see a bread offer, take it.
Spanish fresh baked bread is fabulous, the half barras (similar to french stick) were still hot out the oven I bought 5 for a Euro, got to Riley, stuck them in freezer bags (one per) and bunged them into the freezer. I have taken one out every morning, put into the convection oven for 5mins and out comes a crisp warm delicious barra.
Too windy at the moment to make a video – it will be too noisy, but as soon as I can I will do one to share more with you all.
Bye for today
When life is good time flies so fast. I keep pinching myself. I have been walking the beach a lot enjoying the sites and trying out different walk times to see when is best to have the dogs with me but off the lead not with many other dogs about, so that I can bring my camera out to take some video and still footage to share.
If you think Spain is a cheap place to live – you might be surprised that prices are almost the same as in the UK or more expensive if you are looking even for creature comforts of ready made salads or meals – they are double what you pay in UK and nowhere as good.
We have just experienced 3 days of nearly solid rain, of which two days were super heavy.
I am glad to report we had no major leaks in Riley only one tiny drip I’ll investigate after buying a ladder (and some cocking) to get up on the roof and just seal maybe bits that have gone a bit brittle.
This leads me to a tip – What things to consider whilst going RVing
- take a heater and fan – they consume less energy than the air-con
- take some warm clothing – not that it gets cold in temperature, but the damp air makes it feel a lot cooler
- take rain gear
- get a dehumidifier – strictly speaking what I have is not a dehumidifier it is a moisture absorber – the “Unibond Aero Pure 360” I bought 2 thinking I might need them both on the 36′ Riley but one does the job.
- make sure you have a decent hoover – I didn’t take mine relying on what was left in here – what an annoyance it doesn’t hoover up the sea sand nor the dog hair properly, I have to crawl in my knees using only the hose to get anything sucked up half decently. A laugh for anyone that is watching…. Oh on that note – many RVers choose to take out the carpet and replace it with lino or laminate or tiles – before doing that rethink, as the slide-out will let in a lot more cool air and make the floor a lot cooler to the foot and ambiance.
- If you have pets take covers for all seats thank goodness I took super king size sheets with me – they are now covering all major seating. Next time I might take the sewing machine with me and make them look like proper seat covers, but for now they will do.
Oh I nearly forgot to tell you about the connectivity problem once it starts raining. In Spain when it rains the TV scrambles and the internet connections go down big stile, so make sure you get a good internet signal receiver either an iBoost or a MiFi or both – I am looking into that now too. I am researching which is best for where we are. Did I mention the internet connection is awful to put it mildly , not only in the rain. I think I have found a solution (a Booster won’t do so it will have to be a Mifi situation, satelite isn’t good in this corner either and way tto expensive) only nearly everything is closed on Good Friday- Easter Monday. Oh the joys I remember of living in Campello/Alicante years back where we rented a house only to find that the telephone and internet socket on the walls were fake (just screwed on to pretend one can get a phone line in). We spent a fortune on mobile charges for a year, The irony of the whole story was that 50 metres at the back of our garden was the telephone wire post and telefonica promised us to lay the aerial line to the house(that never happened).
So later this week I will be out there taking a video and posting it (hopefully that works) onto Youtube. Yesterday afternoon I had the most beautiful rainbow right in front of my “office” window. Just shows I have to have the camera on the ready at all times.
I have done a video, however I can’t load it up at the moment.
Easter Week and the sight has a few more people on it, it seems there is a dog on nearly every Motor-home, to the delight of my three. They just love sitting on the front seats and looking out the window watching all the to and fro’s. I had to laugh yesterday two vans turned up in front and both had an Eriba Puck (not as mine was) towing behind.
So for today – Good Bye