The campsite at Torre del Mar is typical; the other campers are mainly retired, mainly northern European and are staying here for six months. It is a novelty to meet some younger people and we feel especially lucky when we meet someone who is on the same wave length as us. This week we met a young couple who are ten months in to their own gap year and we enjoyed sharing experiences and stories with them.
You might think that being on a long holiday and so far from home would encourage people to be more accepting of others; they do say that travel broadens the mind. However, it has to be said that we have met the people with small-minded views you meet anywhere; their prejudices seem even more difficult to grasp when we are all visitors in another country. The man who expressed genuine distaste when we said we came from Manchester and considered Reading a big step up from that fine north west city was one example. Another was the couple from Preston, whose first question when we told them we had moved from Preston to Salford was, 'aren't there just as many of those Asians in Salford?', then went on to add, 'it's really rough in Salford, isn't it?' We made an effort to politely demonstrate that there is another way of seeing things, but you quickly realise these are neighbours you will only talk to about the weather.
By way of balance, Mike and Doreen, the retired couple we met in the French Alps will remain an inspiration to us, they were open-minded, keen to explore new places and friendly. We hope we will be like them when we reach our 70s.