Well, we reached Jon and Linda’s for Christmas and the memory of cycle touring faded as we had a great Christmas and New Year as everyone joined us from the UK..

Christmas @ Jon & Linda’s

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Eating again at Las Palomas

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Monkey Business (Tom, Lily & Jen)

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Lily’s solution to using a laptop in the sun!

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One of Burley’s first beach runs ..

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Preparations for a chilly New Year..

My foot, which I broke/severely strained/pulled, trying to Kite surf in Tarifa continued to plague me with constant re-injuring and I was finally forced into submission and the realisation that I needed to rest it… We were having a great time at Jon and Linda’s with great company,  fantastic weather, endless days and not to forget the star of the show Burley, the new Boxer puppy addition to the family..
A couple of weeks later I headed back to the UK to take care of a couple of matters only to get the exhaust pinched off the van which cost a fortune to sort out (a pretty boring drawn out story that won’t get re-told here for your sakes) and by the time it was sorted Lily’s 21st was just over the horizon, something we’d intended to return for in any case.
So Kim joined me and we headed for the West Country for Lily’s birthday.
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During all of this an amazing work opportunity arose for me.. Really not part of our plan but then isn’t that always the case.. Anyway, thanks to a very understanding Kim, I’m heading towards Antarctica to spend 3 months sailing around Southern Argentina and Chile including the Beagle Channel, Cape Horn, the Magellan Straits etc etc before heading 3,500 miles east across the Atlantic with the Roaring Forties (the winds at latitude 40 degrees south that the old clipper sail ships used to take advantage of moving goods all around the world) helping deliver the expedition sail boat to Cape Town …
On my return plan A is to resume our hunt for summer…
We owe a massive debt of gratitude to Jon and Linda for putting us up.. Or do I mean putting up with us… Thank you guys xxxxxxxx
In the meantime Kim can be found at a beach near you… if you’re in Spain..

Fab time

Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of updates.. We’re still at Jon and Linda’s (Kim’s Brother in Law and Sisters).. In Southern Spain in the mountains near Almeria.. We’ve had a fantastic Christmas and New Year with loads of family over from the UK… And the time here has given my damaged foot time to heal (oh, did I forget to mention that previously :0).. More about that later! We’ll get some pics posted as soon as possible..

Be very suspicious of nice looking green grass!

Just before arriving in Enix (where we are now) we did a mammoth 150km (90 mile) day. We arrived in Roquetas de Mar pretty much whacked at gone 10.30pm. It didn’t matter though because we knew of a perfect spot for putting up tent from a previous visit to the area. An area consisting of acres of lush green grass promising the kind of  luxurious comfort to lie on we hadn’t had for a while, especially when compared to some of the camping spots we’d had no choice but to use over the past few weeks. So up went the tent, out came the sleeping bags and in no time we both fell into an exhaustion induced coma like sleep.

Until 3 am that is when all hell was let loose… we were woken by a horrendously loud hissing sound coming from all directions.. I leapt up and just as I was about open the tent door the hissing turned into spluttering then all became clear….

Yes, we were camped in the middle of a sprinkler system and we were getting jet washed from all directions!!!..

Jets had popped up out of the ground and were sweeping back and forth and spraying us in all directions.. On the whole the tent stood up to the battering with just one, quite close jet, lining up perfectly with a downward facing vent which proved a little problematic shall we say!! I attempted several ‘missions’ to stop the onslaught. With the use of  ‘precision timing’  and carrying a variety of objects aimed at covering the offending jet such as waterproof bags, waterproof jackets and kitchen sink (yes we have a folding kitchen sink!), I dashed out of the tent, ran up from behind and then jumping on the jet attempted to cover it. But all my efforts were in vain as all succumbed to the force of water and got propelled 10 feet skyward across the grass!! It must have been quite a funny site to anyone watching,  to see me running around in my underpants, diving on to the ground and then seeing all these things flying away up into the air.

So there we sat, as the jets swung back and forth robbing us of sleep until finally they stopped 30 minutes later and peace was restored…

So… if you see green grass in an area known as Europe’s first desert!!!

Well we had to leave Tarifa sooner or later so after nearly three weeks we hit the road again.. Updating the blog has been tricky due to wifi opportunity but we’ve just arrived near Almeria at John and Linda’s (Kim’s sister and brother in law) for Christmas :0).. We’ve 2,700 km (1,600 miles) under our belt..

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Looking back over the past few weeks:20121221-110505.jpg
John and Claire from Looe Island
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Our campsite castle :0)
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Kirsten’s birthday bash!
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Motorcycle antics
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Tim and Penny
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Gibraltar! Apparently the 3rd most densely populated area on earth. For us the best part was definitely leaving!

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Kiting Piratas.. Oscar and Victoria

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Gibraltar by night

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Morning from our beach camp in Benalmedena

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Patterns in the sand

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The start of the King’s walk at El Chorro.. Miguel (from the Camino Santiago) making a start

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Miguel and Kim

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Don’t look down

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Buddhist in Benalmedena

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Old Benalmedena by night

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Tracks in the sand – our tracks. Ever tried dragging a 40kilo bike thru soft sand? Not to be recommended!

You know winters here when you’ve got to change from your shorts into long trousers at 6pm.. :0)..
Winds dropped.. So Tuesday we’ll be breaking camp and heading eastwards…

We’re back.. it’s been difficult to load anything onto the blog and hey.. it’s just been too hot to do anything.. Okay, so I’m exaggerating a bit :-)..

By the way there were 13 cats!!!

We’re in Tarifa and just a stones through from Morocco. In fact you can easily make out the cities by night..

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Oh.. and we’ve just clocked up 2,000km!!!

We’re stopping here for a week to take advantage of a discount camping offer before we move on..

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Our home for a week

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The view by day

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And by night
The following pictures from the past week are a bit disjointed.. Best of the bunch sort of thing..

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Cabo de Trafalgar.. As in the battle, it all happened off here

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The local

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Bumping our way south through some pine forests last week

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Passing thru Bollina

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And to Tarifa, capital of Kite Surfing

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New friends and old.. Thorsten from Tarifa (well at the moment anyway) and a catch up with Felix again..

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Beach life

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Some random pictures
Loads more sunrises and sunsets but they must be getting boring!

We’ve found summer and 20 odd degrees, not boiling but great cycling temperatures.. It’s great to be by the sea again..

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Cadiz.. With a story of it’s own. We approached the city from the west only to find ourselves on a dual carriage way and facing a bridge with a no cycling sign. Quite a dilemma! Just as we were considering crossing the four lanes and turning back the police arrived. Braced for a telling off they instead told us to carry on and gave us a blue light escort across the bridge :-)

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Banyan tree in Cadiz, the type Buddha meditated under

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Cute fountain

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How many cats can you see?

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That’s what you call a sand castle (in Cadiz)

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Reflections

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Oh no, we need to leave, I can feel a new hobby coming on!

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Yep, another sunset!

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One last one.. For now!!

We’ve arrived at the coast just north of Cadiz to 23 degrees and sunshine :0).. We’re camping 200 mtrs from the sea with a beach shower and horses as neighbours..

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The Atlantic on The Costa de la Luz at Chipiona

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Camping on route from Seville

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Flat landscape with strong winds

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Jesus from Sanlucar in addition to other shots from round and about Sanlucar & Chipiona..

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Familiar territory

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Our camp with Dutchman Felix and his stealth camper

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Atlantic sunrise

That’s it we’ve finished the Via de la Plata… 1,000 kilometres from Santiago de Compostela..


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Not a good day for cloud spotting!
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With fellow Cyclist and local/American James
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Chilling out
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Waterscape
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The horse and carriage thing didn’t seem much fun or perhaps it was a photo being taken of them!!
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Stunning
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Re-inventing the past

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Sunset

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Another form of Remembrance

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City life

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A massive thanks to our new friends Espe and Anna for putting us up and making us so welcome in Seville