Monday, 10 August 2015

Time for a blog change

I've had this blog for about 3 years but only made two posts, not very good really. So I have decided to change it away from just travels and add in other categories to blog about (by other categories I mean whatever I feel like!). I think it's a good idea to blog, even if nobody reads it, because it's the modern equivalent of a diary (albeit a diary that anyone can read). It's good to keep your thoughts somewhere to look back on and remember in the future, especially at a time when my wife and I are expecting our first child. I'm still going to blog about our travels, after all that's why I started this blog and it's our number one love! So for now I'll go, who knows I might manage to write another entry this week!

Friday, 17 January 2014

La Torre Del Sol, Spain, March 2009

This post has taken a while to make but I have been moving house and settling in, helping Gem with planning the wedding and then came Christmas! So apologies for that, anyway....

Our first holiday abroad together (and only my second time abroad at all) was to 'La Torre del Sol' camp-site near Cambrils, Spain. This was about 4 and a half years ago now so it's been quite hard racking my brain to remember what happened!

We booked through a famous newspaper's £9.50 holiday deal, thinking it would be a great bargain however, we didn't take into account that the cost of flights that would eventually make it more like a £209.50 holiday deal.

'La Torre del Sol' is just outside the small town of Cambrils in the Catalonia region of Spain, around 2 miles from Salou, 5 miles from Tarragona and 40 miles from Barcelona. There are good rail links from Cambrils if you fancy a day trip to the wonderful city of Barcelona, with tickets for a single journey costing from as little as €7.65 (£6.46) and taking around an hour and a half to get there. We chose to stay in and around the camp-site as we were only there for a few days, we did regret not taking a trip to Barcelona but we did make up for it a few years later (more to come on that in the future).

After a short flight and very speedy taxi journey we arrived at the camp. We checked in at the reception and had a personal escort to our chalet. The chalet's were impressive with a nice decking, which were home to a big BBQ. 

Gem with her best catalogue pose to show off the chalet.

The nice spacious inside - and me playing with some cards. Simple things keep me entertained
The view off the decking, ignore the pants being hung up a few chalets down

We settled in and then went for a look around the camp site. We found that the beach backed onto the site and was generally quite quiet and that there was a large swimming pool. After a little explore we decided to go shopping in the site supermarket where we purchased various Spanish items for our barbecue (which we were a bit iffy about as neither of us speak very good Spanish so we had no real idea what they were) and a can of Relentless (there was probably many more items but that's all I remember due to being amazed that Relentless had made it to Spain). We headed back to the chalet armed with ingredients to put to use on our BBQ, feeling rather hungry and hot. Unfortunately the big cook-up didn't go entirely to plan, and by entirely I mean almost not at all to plan. I struggled to work out how the gas system worked and it took forever to start warming up. When we did eventually feel some heat we stuck some of the food on. Cue another 30 minutes or so to pass by and the food was still pretty much raw, it was like trying to cook with a matchstick. So we gave up and used the trusty oven instead!
Utensils left strewn asunder, that's just how I roll

The next day we decided to go and chill by the pool, so after getting ready we headed on over. Gloriously, and much to Gem's delight, the pool bar served cocktails so we bought, and quickly drank, a couple and relaxed reading the English papers.
It was easy to relax next that pool. God, I wish I could jump in there now

Very Cool. And the drink was cold.

I had to jump in.

Gem's default setting - drinking a cocktail

On the night we decided to go out to eat after the previous day's barbecue disaster. Ignoring all the traditional Spanish dishes in the 'La Torre del Sol' restaurant, we headed to 'Pizzeria de Cueto'; an Italian restaurant. We both ordered Spaghetti Bolognese which was obviously nice as I remember eating it all this time later!

The next day we had an hour back by the pool again before deciding to have a walk down the beach to the nearest town. We thought the beach would be a better option as there were no footpaths on the road and we had little confidence in our Spanish (mine consists of 'Hola' 'Grasias' 'Ci Senor' 'Dos cervaza por favor' and not a lot else) to allow us to catch the bus.

So off we headed strolling on the sand. Very stupidly though we hadn't taken any water and eventually, in the hot Spanish sun, we were feeling quite dehydrated. I remember feeling as though I was about pass out and getting worried as we'd walked quite far away from the site. We sat down in the shade for five minutes before deciding the best option would be to press on to what looked like a small village a little further down the shore. After what felt like an age, we reached said village and thankfully there was a nice little sea front restaurant. We stumbled in and grabbed a couple of cokes and a couple of waters and were soon feeling better. I don't recall us eating anything there but I'm sure we would have done; then again I seem to recall everything else pretty well so perhaps not. 

We then headed back with the remainder of our waters, taking a slight detour through what appeared to an abandoned caravan site. Upon arriving back at La Torre Del Sol we noticed a lot of Spanish guys gathered around portable TV's and found out that it was an El Classico match, Real Madrid v Barcelona. We eventually got back to our caravan, scolding ourselves for being so stupid in not taking any drinks with us.

Put that tongue away! This was a different day from the walk of death I think.
Nearly passing out!
Doesn't she look beautiful!

We just chilled for our final night as we had an early transfer back to the airport. We would definitely return to La Torre Del Sol and it's still on the cards, we're just visiting a few other countries before going to Spain again at the moment. One thing we would do different (other than nearly dying of dehydration) is to make sure we are driving as the site is a quite far from anything. Although I think we'd be a bit more confident in asking about the bus next time.

La Torre Del Sol's official website can be found here. Holidays can be booked on-line and a 7-night stay in August can booked from 700 Euros for a furnished Trigano (big tent). The Chalet we stayed in can be booked for around 1300 Euros in August which seems steep but it can sleep up to 6 people so works out at about 220 euros each.

To Come....

Our next trip abroad was to Tunisia a couple of months later, hopefully it won't take me anywhere near as long to write about that!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Around the world with... An introduction

Travelling is arguably the best thing in life. I don't think there are too many people who would disagree with that statement, and I know I can speak on behalf of both myself and my fiancée Gem when I say that for us there really is nothing better than travelling to a new place or revisiting an old friendly destination. We have visited 40 (plus) locations in 11 different countries in our 5 years together and we're not anywhere close to being satisfied that we have seen enough.

Us on the Puttgarden (Germany) -Rødby (Denmark) ferry

It's not just the actual act of travelling that excites though. I'm sure that I'm not alone when just the mere mention of travel ignites a fire and creates an itch inside of me. Travelling is infectious, as soon as you take one little trip to Wales that wanderlust kicks in and before you know it your daydreaming about trekking through the Nepalese Himalayas or cycling through the canals of Moldova (without knowing if they actually have canals). I love everything related to travel whether it be reading about drives across the USA, listening to peoples tales of backpacking around south-east Asia or looking at photos of a train ride through Scandinavia. They all make me yearn to be adventuring somewhere, anywhere!

Yearning for somewhere like this, Friguia Zoo, Tunisia

I hope to keep a blog of my travels not just for (what I hope to be) interest of others but also for me and the future family I will undoubtedly have. It's important to keep memories alive as much as possible and while photos are a great way of reintroducing forgotten adventures, actually having things written down is a much more productive and accurate way of keeping the details in tact. I am also going to recommend other travel blogs and sites that I enjoy while hoping that any readers will link me to their favourites too.