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Thursday, 12 November 2009

Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash

Tuesday is what Anthony calls our ‘Day of Reckoning:’ we set off on this trip on a Tuesday, so this is the day we go through our cash book to see what we have spent our hard-saved euros on during the past seven days. Anyone who has ever worked with Carol will not be surprised to know that we have an Excel spreadsheet to record the weekly spending; this allows for analysis of our expenditure, including projections for future spending, or to put it simply, do we have enough money to last until next April? At the moment the answer to this question is yes!
We are impressed with how the Spanish manage their natural habitats. Generally, any area marked as a nature park, whether local, regional or national, will have a car parking area, information boards and way marked paths. The town planning is less impressive and we have seen numerous examples of inappropriate developments, half finished projects and soulless resorts built for seasonal use, that are ghost towns by November. Local planning is a minefield in Spain; for every slack local mayor, there are others who have struggled to place restrictions on developers.
We stopped at Moncofa for a couple of nights because the camp site receives good reviews. However, this purpose built resort is not really our cup of PG Tips, yet even here there are contrasts. We cycled to the edge of the resort where some new blocks are being constructed, while shells of others languish unfinished. Between here and the next resort is an area of orange trees, meadows and wetlands; we had to stop while hundreds of sheep crossed the road from one meadow to the next, accompanied by bare-back riding Cattle Egrets, herded by one shepherd and his dog. We refuse to be jaded travellers, there is always something new and interesting to see, no matter where you are. Picking oranges from a tree and enjoying the sweet, fresh taste as we stroll back to the camp site in the evening sunshine – you can’t do that in Salford!

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