16th January 2015 La Manga, Spain

We have been here for six weeks now so thought it was time to update our website or we will have nothing to look back on!

The main reason for updating if the truth be known is that Isabel has put us to shame by recently posting about six new blogs to https://hailstales.wordpress.com
After a couple of weeks of doing nothing but relaxing we have now got into a routine of exercise followed by more relaxing! Well after all that is why we come to Spain in the winter for.

Last year I began running again by following a podcast from the NHS called Couch to 5K in 9 weeks.

Couch to 5K is a running plan developed to help absolute beginners get into running. The beginners’ running plan was developed by a novice runner, Josh Clark, who wanted to help his fifty-something mum get off the couch and start running too. The plan involves three runs per week, with a day of rest in between, with a different schedule for each of the nine weeks.

This plan is for everyone. Don’t worry if you have never run before, by following this step by step guide you will improve. For more details on this plan or other health benefits go to the NHS website…….

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/c25k/Pages/couch-to-5k-plan.aspx

I think I got to week 5 last year and stopped as I was doing more mountain biking with Geoff and then when work began again I was getting enough exercise so never needed to run.

This year Angela has decided to do it to build up her lung capacity so after a trip into Decathlon to get kitted out she began. I decided to take it up again so I am running with her to give her support. She is doing really well and today we completed the last run on week 5 which was running for 20 minutes non stop and bless her she had a stitch from the start.

If you fancy a challenge and would like to get fit then give it a go!

For more space and comfort this year we decided to bring our awning and we both agree that this is the best set up we have had here. The carpets are down, we have two outwell storage units which houses our food and utensils, a little table and a reclining chair with footstool each. On our running days when we get back we use the awning for our stretching exercises on our mat followed by our second breakfast! I say second not because we are Hobbits but because we both have a bowl of porridge when we first get up an hour before running.

We still have a swimming ticket from last year for the indoor pool that has 13 sessions left so must start using that also.

As we do not have a car we use our bikes with panniers to do our shopping so that is another form of exercise but we have some very nice friends who have kindly taken us in to the caravan shop, Decathlon, Carrefour and also taken us out on drives out to coffee spots.

The lovely Derek & Rowena have taken us out to visit the Mabs shop which is a charity over here for people suffering from cancer and they were amazing support for Barbara & Geoff last year while she was poorly. We donated a couple of things and bought a few books. We went on from there to San Pedro del Pinatar for a walk along the boardwalk which was really nice. On the way back we went for a meal in Beal.

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We have been out with Al, Isabel & Hamish on shopping trips, coffee trips and house hunting in the posh La Manga resort but settled for a snack and coffee instead! Some reasonable prices but you have to be aware of the extra costs. We both still prefer our van to live in!

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Last week Derek and I went for a walk from the beach at El Portus. It was a hot day and a 2 hour uphill walk right from the very start. The last part of the walk and to get to the summit we had to climb what can only be described as a fire escape. I’ve never seen anything like it! We were rewarded with superb views while we stopped to eat our packed lunches. The only downside if you could call it that was that it was a bit hazy so the long distant view was a bit spoilt but apart from that Derek chose a great walk, even though our knees were a bit wobbly, tired and sore by the time we got back to the van.

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Sadly Derek & Rowena are leaving next week and we are really going to miss them, they are very kind people. We will especially miss Rowena’s little baking day treats.

We are excited for them because they will only be back in the UK for a short while before heading off to New Zealand for a seven week trip. Have a great time and we look forward to meeting up sometime later in the year.

Tonight we have been invited round to theirs for one of Derek’s homemade Pizzas which according to Marsha (daughter) is a fond childhood memory and she says they really are good as he used to work in a restaurant and could throw them really high! I am looking forward to seeing him do that in the caravan!

Yesterday we finally got round to Dick & Joan’s for a cup of tea and a good natter. We have been meaning to see them for ages but things kept getting in the way. They are both well and It seems still enjoying life out here in Spain, especially when you look at the weather back home at the moment. We are both glad that we are staying here until early March as we are normally thinking about packing up and leaving round about now.

About Dean

Angela and I decided that there was more to life than working hard to keep up the payments on the mortgage, to pay the gas, electric, phone bills etc. etc. SO............ In 2008 we sold our house, I initially took a year off (Unpaid) and Angela handed in her notice! We bought a motorhome and set off for a year of travelling! This was the best thing we had done in our lives (Apart from getting married) and we have no regrets. During the year I managed to secure a redundancy package which felt very strange. Almost sad as I had worked for the same company for 19 years (BT). It was always our plan to have a whole year off before thinking about the 'W' word. We began applying to the Camping and Caravanning Club (CCC) for the position of Holiday site assistants in August 2009. After the interview, work experience and induction we were finally given a contract at the CCC site in Inverewe (Scotland). Our plan is to work through the summer in the UK then head to Europe to overwinter before coming back to work the following summer season. Hopefully these few words and our blog will inspire others to get off the hamsters wheel and see that there is more to live than having a house and material things. A cliche I know but this is not a rehearsal, life is too short!!! Since our first contract in Scotland we have worked a winter contract in Oxford (never again!) not Oxford but a winter contract. Hereford for two years, living in a yurt for one! And Cornwall. In between our working we have also travelled a bit. Hopefully this website will give you an insight into our alternative lifestyle. Get out there and live the dream!
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