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Saturday, 5 December 2009

Think of what you're saying. You can get it wrong and still you think that it's all right

Our lack of a wide Spanish vocabulary is not a problem at camp sites and cafes. However, when Carol’s bike needed a new back wheel our inability to communicate what we required was frustrating. After many return trips to the bike shop in Mazarron we left with a new back wheel which is not a quick release, is the maximum width for the bike, causing problems with the brakes and has only six sprockets on the cassette, rather than eight. When Anthony put the wheel back on the bike, he was able to adjust the mechanism to accommodate the difference, but was further frustrated to find that one of the sprockets on the cassette slips; leaving the bike with only 15 usable gears, rather than 24. It seemed we had paid 48 Euro for a less than perfect replacement and a visit to a different bike shop is expected in the near future.

On the positive side, we did get the opportunity to chat to the shop owner’s mother about non-technical matters, children, the weather and the expense of Christmas. She constantly corrected our poor pronunciation, but chivalrously complimented our poor Spanish.

We left Mazarron for the Cabo de Gata Natural Park, driving through very contrasting landscapes; beautiful mountains covered in low scrub, with ruined farmhouses and small villages where groups of three or four were harvesting olives, neglected towns surrounded by hundreds of poly tunnels, each the size of a football pitch, all fulfilling our need for year round tomatoes and providing minimum wages for immigrant workers, urbanizacions of rows of identical new villas, each with a white balustrade and a swimming pool.

The photograph shows the spectacular coast at Los Escullos where we are camped for the Spanish holiday weekend.


  1. Sent you a message via your blogg. Not sure if we managed to get it away to you.
    So won't repeat what we hope has gone. (Bev and Dave Dewar from NZ - met Camp Piccalo Paradiso Italy June 16th)

  2. Hi Bev and Dave. Lovely to hear from you, yes we have fond memories of a lovely evening spent with you in Sasso Marconi. Sorry, we didn't get a previous message, but hope you pick this up. As you can see we are still travelling and having a lovely time. Hope all is well with you both. Good wishes Carol and Anthony