2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

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ashtondav
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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby ashtondav » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:35 am

Ah Pedraza. Giles Coren food critic of the Times had his best meal ever there!

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/travel/artic ... ce-i-know/

It might be behind a paywall.

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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby katy » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:49 am

DA are you going back the same way? After A levels I spent 6 weeks in Las Navas del Rio Frio which may be very close. Not a remarkable village but beautiful countryside and there is an old palace nearby to visit with a deer park.

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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby 1bassleft » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:38 am

Pedraza is just the sort of north of Madrid stop that would make sense for my journey back. Thanks for the report and glad/hopeful you've got here without incident.

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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby Devils Advocate » Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:53 pm

Thanks again guys. Just bought some more data for the phone so can now reply. We used up the data on our English card on the way here with google maps, Tripadvisor and Booking .com lol

First off to Ashtondav. Many thanks for the link re. the food critic in the Times in Pedraza. Mrs was over the moon to read that article just now.
And yes we went to the same place.
Katy. Thanks for that. I'll google that now. Going back is a bit less laid back than coming as there is a boat to catch.
We sail back from Caen as opposed to from Saint Malo so will have to have the final stop at the port.
Main difference on route back is we'll strike inland from Saintes area to Poitiers, Le mans etc on route to Caen.
Thanks again for that.

Olive :mrgreen: So far so good on the punture front lol

1bassleft. Many thanks for the informative info. and yes
it wouls be great to compare notes. If you drop me a pm with a phone number or contact details I'll call you for a chat on our return.

Star of the show in hindsight this year thinking about it honestly was Mirand de Ebro. Maybe not as classy a hotel as we had in Pedraza although very nice {hospederia convento} the town is so vibrant at night.

One stay we'll be repeating is in France. Last year was stunning so it had to be booked again.
I reccomend it so highly. It is near the small village of Saint Savenien near Saint Jean D'Angeley where we stayed on the way across.
The place is called La Pertuzerie and is a beatiful small farm/smallholding run by a lovely French couple. The house is magnificent as are its gites and outbuildings.

The couple are wonderful chefs and offer Table D'Hote.
Something we'd never done and were dubious to do so.
We almost decided to drive in to town for a meal but decided to stay and have dinner with the couple in La Pertuzerie.

That was a sound choice as it's one of the nicest dining experiences you could imagine. Top ingredients off the farm and pure French quisine. The food and wine flowed
from 8 until late and as I say a league above anything a restaurant could offer. Lovely couple..huge fire in the massive kirchen and Top class food and wine. Please try it.

Again thanks guys. The one sad thing is arriving at our casa here is now becoming an anti climax after experiences like this.

Ps...yes we'd love to do the trip on the Med side next time so will be pucking brains shortly.
Ah well....back to tidying palms and sorting the jungle out here. :mrgreen:
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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby Gasman » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:47 pm

A tip to save your data when travelling, especially from one country to another - download the map/s of the area/s you will be driving through in Google Maps, Offline Maps, Choose your Area Map - if you are short of download space in your phone, and have access to free wifi en route, then just do the maps up to where you are going, then delete that one and download the next day/s travel onward before you set off the next day.
We travel frequently into Portugal and not only does it save on data roaming (even if it is the same price as at home - we have a limited amount of Gigas) but in dodgy reception areas the map is already loaded so you just need Mr Google to find his way via GPS. Seems to work a treat for us!

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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby Gasman » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:49 pm

Sounds like you are enjoying your holiday-en-route! Hope the return trip lives up to expectations!

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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby Devils Advocate » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:04 pm

Hey Gasman. Many thanks for that and also for your tip re. the maps. Nice one and appreciated.
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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby 1bassleft » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:11 pm

My wife's 'phone recognized you on WhatsApp straight away so I've used that to send a note, DA. Just putting a line in here so you know that the unsolicited ping is from me.

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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby Devils Advocate » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:22 pm

Quick update guys. Been a lovely stay so far at the casa. We have been doing a lot of the jobs we intended doing but always put off. It's been great getting the place spruced up and looking forward to lovely evenings out and nice lunch breaks..

Anyway we have now finished the big jobs ie new chino on car parking area, repaint, windows refreshed and gardens sorted.....now we need a proper holiday as opposed to setting off for the UK this Friday.

So, main reason for my post was to sing Brittany ferries praises. We decided to stay an extra week and they've moved our Caen sailing daye forwards by a week. Hassle free and all for 25 quid.....which they apologised about.

RAC were great too extending cover by a week for the same cost as Brittany charged.

Just need to get the cats hotel stay lengthened by a week now, she'll love that :mrgreen: Just hope weather stays like this now for next 2 weeks or It'll be all my fault for changing plans lol
Cheers.
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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby 1bassleft » Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:53 pm

Nice. Found a cheap flight for my son to come over in late October so we're on for the road trip as a three. Makes the hotels more complicated/expensive but much more fun bringing him along. Dax is out, as they didn't have anything suitable, but I think I've lined up a toll-free route back from Malaga. Alcala de Henares (Cervantes city - edged it over Guadalajara), Bayonne, Tours and overnight in Boulogne (overly familiar with it, growing up in Folkestone, but nowhere else nearby) for the Chunnel.

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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby Devils Advocate » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:29 am

Well final day in paradise today :mrgreen:
Longest time away we've had so far.
Thoroughly enjoyed it too mixing work with holiday time. House is now as sharp as can be and I finally got around to getting the pool back in action after a 3 year lull.......what a job. I'll relay the process maybe in another thread re. the filter sand change and the change from black to blue lol.

Mixed feelings now, house is still for sale but an offer has come in for it. A year ago we'd have taken it with glee but we've enjoyed the stay so much we have turned the offer down, maybe a silly mistake but no need to blow it out if you still enjoy it is there?

So on finals now, goodbyes said and final tidy around taking place.
A bit homesick too now and missing my mates in England and our cat lol

Can't wait for the drive home....some nice places booked en route to Ouistreham. Just a shame I couldn't book the one recommended on here at Lerma. It was booked up for the night we originally were setting off and was also booked for tomorrow night after we extended the stay.....shame.
Speak soon.
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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby olive » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:21 pm

Safe journey.

I look forward to your account including puncture count!

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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby Devils Advocate » Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:54 pm

Hahahaha. Many thanks Olive. Puncture count so far is zero.....now if that's not tempting fate :mrgreen: Just actually checked car over for the journey back and all levels and tyre pressures are as they were a month ago. To be fair though I only used it once whilst here for a run out and used the old Vitara for the rest of the stay.

Place looking bare and sad outside now. All plates and plants removed from walls and all furniture back inside apart from 2 chairs for tomorrow mornings final coffee and look at the views as dawn breaks.

One slight sticking point though. Car is all but packed and mrs has declared she wants this huge and old Tagine complete with fire pit taking back lol. The atmosphere went frosty whan I said " sod off" so i'll re jig later :mrgreen:

Tank of VPower in Velez tomorrow morning then hopefully through Madrid in good time for lunch somewhere en route.

Off to repack car now :wink: ï
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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby 1bassleft » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:19 pm

Unlucky, DA. I have the mind-changes at the last minute, too - even if we fly - so I know the reshuffle all too well. Sorry you're heading back but keep the thread updated with the good, the bad etc.

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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby Devils Advocate » Thu Oct 11, 2018 4:47 pm

Been great chatting to you over the last few weeks. Enjoy the rest of your stay and we'll catch up shortly in sunny Lancashire.
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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby Devils Advocate » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:33 pm

Safely arrived in Aranda de Duero and checked in to Tucanda Aranda. Just been in to restaraunt to ask if they can do the Lecheral without the 2 inches of oil they served it with last year....they've said " possible".....we'll see :mrgreen:

Drive uneventful, 450 miles with 3 stops......6 and a half hours actual driving time.
Sailed through Madrid via R4 and M50.

Only row we had was when mrs got bit by something and said she needed the aloe vera. Realised it was packed at bottom of luggage and under that f****** antique tagine. Ah well :mrgreen:
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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby 1bassleft » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:55 pm

C'mon DA, how was the rest of the trip? Or are you still sitting at the roadside, no wife, no car, an upside-down tagine over your head,covered in bites and out of aloe vera?

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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby Devils Advocate » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:52 am

Hahaha, no all was good thanks mate,

Set off from Tucanda Aranda early doors on the Saturday, had crossed the mountains by 10.30am after having brekky at a roadside cafe in La Rioja. Being Saturday traffic was light but it was quite busy on the Bordeaux ring road none the less.

Made it to our gite we'd booked in Saint Savenien, near La Rochelle in great time and basked in the gardens with a beer or 2 in the afternoon, bliss.
Shared dinner with the owners and a Belgian couple that evening, skate wing from the coast and organic veg from the gardens, superb, washed down with some local wines.
Interesting chat with the French and Belgians over dinner when they asked us the inevitable question of what we think of Brexit :mrgreen:

Leisurely farm breakfast at the main house in the morning then a comfortable get away at 10am for Ouistreham,
Roads empty and no HGV's save for the refrigerated ones. Had lunch and filled with VPower at Le mans......as an aside got home from there to Merseyside/Lancs border with half a tank left and still using it!!

Changed plans at Ouistreham, we swapped hotels, deciding not to stay in Port area as we did last year. The running battles between the Migrants and Police was a ball ache last time and it looked like it could be worse this time.

So we drove up to the old town and stayed at a lovely old typical French house/hotel near Sword Beach.
Still very easy access to get to the port for 7am next morning.

Having arrived at a great time mid afternoon I decided to take up the advice I received on here last year and visit some of the WW2 sites, which we did and the Mrs was fascinated by it all too.

Our walk along a very quiet Sword beach was the key moment for me. So humbling to be there whilst thinking about what went on in 1944. The sheer expanse and area our troops and allies had to cover was mind blowing. Hard to comprehend and take in.A truly poignant few hours.

Anyway as per usual France was shut again for the evening...........Spain opens its doors at 9pm, France seems to shut theirs :mrgreen:

So seeing our 2 restaurants of choice were shut we were forced to use the only one still open at 9pm. I fancied trying the Moules whilst we were there as it has to be done. However I didn't fancy ordering them myself, so I told the Mrs to order some for herself and I'll have a few, she told me to prod off and ordered prawns and salmon. I had the soup and a steak and sulked lol.

Wow, beer!! Had a cheeky couple in the afternoon, £4 a thimble full, couldn't believe it. I'd be drunk at our village bar in Spain for that haha.

So that was that, earlyish night, up, showered and dressed. Car repacked and off to the port.
Sailing bang on time but half term in France sadly, about 14 million screaming school kids and students on board all talking at the same time, I still have tinnitus from it. Brittany Ferries "Full English" breakfast at £5.50 was a bargain, tasty too as I'd not done the full English for over a year.

Got back to blighty and after a scare with the boarding ramps not coming down (we were right at the front, first car) and being told we'd all have to turn around thankfully they fixed it........phew!!

Won't say much about the drive home from Portsmouth except, rain, heavy traffic on A34/M40, missed M6 toll turn off, got stuck in Brum rush hour traffic, roadworks from Wolverhampton to our house lol. Nightmare!!!

Shouted an Indian an hour after getting home, Bhajis and Tandoori Chops for me, Chicken Shashlik for my swamp duck.

Bed, then up early to unpack car and get "grumpy cat" back from cats home.......that was a nightmare too :mrgreen:

And so that concluded roadtrip 2018. Need to spice it up next time with a different route, so I'll be back!!!

Cheers
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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby Gasman » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:01 pm

Well, you made it then - the nightmare bit up through England make us think yet again that we will never move back to the UK! Let us know about the price of beer up there too ... we will stick to good old Cruzcampo!

Thanks for the write up - gave us a chuckle as we await the promised rain-storm ...
Cheers

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Re: 2018 road trip to the Casa. More ideas like last year please.

Postby Devils Advocate » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:48 pm

:mrgreen: Many thanks Gasman. appreciated.
Yep "Darn sarf" is always a pain in the butt for me, get back in to the green and pleasant land of Lancashire and traffic woes diminish lol.

Beer here is cheaper than France for sure, where isn't? lol, however not as well priced as in our local bar in Spain.

I like Cruz but do love Alhambra especial too........and Mahou.........and San Miguel :mrgreen:

I really hope the storm causes no hassles for you and that it passes by without any worries.
Take care and all the best

Best regards.
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