Day 123 – El Ejido to Benicassim

We were packed and ready to go in record time. It certainly helps when the weather is fine. It also helps when we are organised and do everything in the right order.

It was a long drive, perhaps the longest of our four months away, and we’ve exchanged the poly tunnels of El Ejido for mandarine groves of Castellon.

It was a surprise to me to learn that Wednesday was a public holiday in Spain, All Saints’ Day. Shops were closed, so we couldn’t buy provisions for the next few days. We also need an exchange bottle of campingaz, a new peg mallet and screenwash. Amarillo currently has three warning lights: oil change due, top up screen wash and refuel pinged just as we entered the campsite.

Clare took the boys and Meg to explore the town while I pitched. Due to not being able to restock, we had limited food options – pasta and baked beans being about it. I suggested Clare look for a pizza.

I finished pitching just as the sun set, and went off to find Clare and the boys. They were just returning to the campsite as I left – great timing.

Clare had found a bar serving food until 8.30, so we grabbed the boys’ sweaters, and off we went. “That’s odd!” Remarked I, “At 8.30 most bars are just beginning to serve food in Spain.” Sure enough, at 6.45 when we sat down at a table, we were told that food is served from 8.30, not until 8.30. After some argument, including the idea of pasta and baked beans resurfacing, we phoned a restaurant by the beach which definitely was serving food before 8.30. We went there and had a lovely meal which included an enormous portion of chips. Better than beans and pasta.

The bill came, which Clare put on her credit card, and for some obscure reason, the waitress decided to ignore the Euro bill and charge us in pounds at a very unfavourable rate. We then had to wait 20 minutes while the error was corrected and we could pay the bill properly in Euros. Why restaurants feel they can disregard their own bills and charge customers in an entirely different currency is something I find totally perplexing. But it happens with frightening regularity.

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