You may have been folllowing our adventures over the summer and be aware that we had to rush back from Eastern Europe as we were experiencing problems with the on board gas supply. The diagnosis received back in the UK that it was most likely to have been caused by contaminated gas but we couldn't think where we may have picked it up from. We received an email from a couple we met in Greece last winter. They have had their LPG system replaced with a Webasto diesel system as they had had a gas explosion following a fill up of LPG at a new fuel station in Patras. This may provide a piece in the jigsaw puzzle, it seems like too much of a coincidence. I'm on the case to find out more information on the exact location etc.
Refilling with LPG in Spain is a nightmare because there aren't many fuel stations that sell it. We have come across this site and so far it has proved accurate. Just look at the list with GPS co ordinates and there is a Google map with locations pinpointed as well. Doesn't take much to excite me these days, but this is marvellous news! Click here and have a look.
The plan has been to store the van on the Costa Brava in Spain while we enjoy a winter in the USA and Mexico. So far so good. The weather has been very mild with only one day of rain in the past month. We have been parked on an Aire in Platja D'Aro. It has fresh water and dump for grey water and the toilet, free in the low season and located just behind the bus station. Apart from repeated visits to the dentist we've had a lovely relaxing time making new friends and having a break off the road.
The storage facility for the van is in Vila Sacra near Figueres, north of Platja D'Aro and we stopped with Chris and Peter in L'Estartit on the way. We were happy to sleep outside in the van but they insisted we came inside and we spent a lot of time trying to decide what we could squeeze into our back packs. Cruise clothes, party wear, techno gadgets, all tough choices.
On Monday night we went out for a drink to the bar on Les Medes campsite. It was great to catch up with friends there and the chat soon came round to a planned general strike for Wednesday that could affect most of europe. Even Ryanair were cancelling flights. But Wednesday? The very day we had arranged to leave the van and catch the train to Barcelona. Don't forget we love the spontaneity of travel but this was a bit inconvenient. No public transport would be available on Wednesday, and we were meeting up with Les and Tracey and couldn't let them down. So on Tuesday morning we were packing up and leaving at the speed of a Benny Hill sketch. Peter was horrified at the size and weight of the back packs, making enquires on our mental health and wondering if there were lumbar treatments available on the cruise ship.
Anyway, we're here in Barcelona, walking everywhere and relieved that we met up with the gang at Les Medes on Monday night as we wouldn't have had a clue otherwise.
Sorry to go on about the dentist, but I left on a positive note and I want to tell you about it. While I was having the root canals done last week I could hear 'Porcelana' mentioned. I assumed they weren't talking about replacing a bathroom suite and thought it more likely they were discussing the type of crown to be fitted. I thought a porcelain crown sounded expensive and as the tooth was lurking at the back of my mouth all I would need would be functional, rather than pretty. Having read the posters on the wall in Lidl I was able to squawk 'Barato' at the first opportunity. With a horrified expression on her face, La Dentista replied 'Cheap?'
Yes ma'm, I want cheap. This episode has cost 360 euros already. I'm quoted an additional 330 for my el cheapo mas barato crown and I'm pleased, the original price was 540.
Fast forward a week, the new crown is superglued into place, tango music on their sound system. Wholly appropriate following the waltz for the root canal. I'm pleased with the result and pay the balance on departure. The dentist has done me proud, I've got a porcelain crown at the lower price. Apparently La Dentista just cannot bear to use any other inferior quality material.
The chair is tipped back to horizontal, the right side of my face wedged against La Dentista´s left bosom. The Blue Danube is being played on their sound system and I open my eyes to see 3 bespectacled females, each wearing a surgical mask, faces upside down concentrating intently on me. I´m being a good patient, no Melodramatica this week. I´m actually trying not to laugh. The music is a ridiculous choice, a Strauss Waltz for the dentist chair? Not so amusing is the hand held flame thrower being used to heat metal spikes before they are inserted into the root of my molar. I´m on an ocean of discovery as I hadn´t had the procedure explained and therefore had no idea what I had consented to. The smell of the smoke emanating from my mouth is very strange. Two hours of prodding, poking and scratching in my tooth was more than enough. If I ever contemplate root canal work in the future, please remind me of this. I´m not going to get sentimental about a molar again.
Thanks to Peter Cowling for the cartoon.
I´m back for my final visit next week to have a crown fitted. Poor Mike lost a filling last night. Isn´t this unbelievable? They´ll have to issue a loyalty card next.
I love travel, any type. There is always a buzz in finding & exploring a place for the first time, meeting and making new friends and if you return things are never quite the same.
Going away? Travel essentials from across Amazon
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