The long weekend

Trip Start Oct 01, 2009
Trip End Mar 06, 2010

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Flag of Spain  , Murcia,
Monday, February 1, 2010

Well hello again...January has been a quiet time. The weather has been pretty cold and wet but is mid winter after all here and in keeping as January is the coldest month...but having said that, we did manage a few sunny days when the shorts made an appearance giving the old legs an "airing".

Amanda went back to the UK to work for a couple of weeks and came back on the 23rd along with my kids; Kylie and Tom, and my son-in-law Dave. They were here for a long weekend so we had a great couple of nights out and a day trip to Cartegena (pronounced: Carta-hay-nah).

We had a fabulous Sunday lunch in Villa Martin at one of our favourite haunts; a family run Argentinian restaurant called "Che!!" which I am reliably informed is Argentinian Spanish for "cheers" and not french as is popularly believed. Due to most of the restaurants being closed on the Monday night we had dinner there too. The food and the service there are excellent, well worth a visit if you find yourself in the Villa Martin area.

On the Monday we drove down to Cartegena (probably the nearest big city to Villa Martin) in the camper van......After driving around for a while trying to find somewhere to park (a bit of a problem in Spain it seems if you have a high vehicle as they very cleverly put their parking underground) we found a parking space on a piece of waste land. We were greeted by a homeless lady living rough in a lean-to shelter she'd made from cardboard and wood against a wall. She very kindly offered to keep an eye on the camper for me...for a small fee of course!..2 at twice the price...Mind you...we did think we might have squatters when we got back and I'm sure if I hadn't paid the parking charge that would have been the case.

Cartagena's history can be dated back to the Carthaginian times in the third century B.C. and before, with lots of ancient Roman ruins and relics still evident today. The heavily fortressed walled city has been a major naval base since the the rule of Phillipe11th and is steeped in Spanish Naval history. Due to the natural deep water harbour and high "pincer" like cliffs making it naturally and strategically easy to defend it was an ideal place to locate a base. There are lots of visitor attractions and museums together with the beautiful street sculptures and marina. Unfortunately for us the weather was not kind but in the summer months the town is very vibrant with the bars and restaurants "buzzing"especially around the picturesque harbour / marina area. The architecture of municipal and Naval buildings is magnificent and the narrow streets (built so to provide shade in the summer) house many traditional as well as modern shops and Restaurants so there is great mix of culture and shopping making a visit a "must".

We got back to the van late afternoon and to our relief our "Guard" had done great job in protecting the Van and had not taken up residency. We drove back home before getting ready for our night out at "Che!!"

Tuesday was a wet and windy day so we all just lazed around until it was time for the kids to leave for the airport. Loaded up and in the van we drove to Alicante battling against the strong wind which I thought a couple of times would turn the van over...SCARY!..

It was great to see them though...Supposed to be a long weekend....but all too short!
Hasta la vista!
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