Spain (Camping Parque Tropical - Estepona)
Jul 7, 2008
|It has just occurred to us that it is Monday the 7th of July. We have booked the Gibraltar tour for the 09th July not appreciating that that is TWO days away, not tomorrow as we had, for some reason, in our heads that it was. This will mean another day here at Estepona.
We have decided to drive back to Carrefour and do a proper shopping, but rather than struggle back on the bus with all our shopping bags (and where I may have to kill someone else) we will take the camper, do our shop and load it directly into storage. We have also assigned ourselves camper cleaning duties today.
The trip to Carrefour took us passed a sign that indicated that there was a Lidl Store just two kilometres further along. Lidl is a supermarket that is really cheap, and has served us well pretty much everywhere we have been. We will push onto Lidl rather than stop at Carrefour.
The sign advising that Lidl was only two k away was not bad, being only 15k out. We pulled into Lidl and parked up.
The area around the supermarket is very affluent with a large number of very new apartment blocks, townhouses and beachfront Villas. There are also three International standard golf courses nearby according to a large billboard that invited us in to have a look around the latest development, which apparently has a really nice pool and a number of beautiful bikini clad babes also inviting you to join them. I am not sure if that is all included in the purchase price if 130,000 euro.
The reason for the affluence may be evident in the large number of English speaking shoppers in Lidl. We have certainly not seen affluence like this where we have shopped at Lidl stores where there is little English spoken.
We did our shopping and, once again, I was amazed at the relative low cost of the place. There were however several things that we were not able to purchase there that were on our list. Rowena agreed that we should stop at Carrefour and see if we could complete our shopping there. I reminded her that we had seen several of those things at our previous days visit to Carrefour, and then there was that cake shop….
Carrefour was on our route back and, most unusually, could accommodate a parked campervan.
We entered the shop and walked passed the Vodafone booth. I had a sudden vision that saw people rolling down the highway behind a bus, not young drunks this time, but people in Vodafone uniform from several parts of Europe. But the vision quickly disappeared as I also saw the nearby cake booth.
We found the things we wanted in Carrefour, and debated with ourselves about folding chairs, coming to the conclusion that we had done without them thus far….. and it was off to the cake booth.
We made our purchase and set off back for the camp.
The duties we had assigned ourselves was to spring clean the van inside and out. We have been living in this small space for nearly six weeks and it needed it. This took us a couple of hours, but the result was worth it and the reward was a couple of cakes each and the afternoon off.
I went onto the net. We have received a reply from the tour people to my inquiry as to what to do if we could not print the voucher. They suggested that we could forward it to a computer that was attached to a printer. Now why did I not think of that? I wander if the tour people ever travel on public buses. They also suggested that if I could find a fax they could send the voucher to us that way. Now that was of far more help. The camp is sure to have a fax…. Yeah?
Rowena had put on some washing and we decided to go and see if it was finished. On the way we would drop into the camp office and see if they had a fax.
Well they did, but no ink in the printer. So no they didn’t really! Oh well maybe there was some other way.
After playing with various options re the voucher, we tried to ring the tour operator. The phone number was diverted, according to the message on our cell phone, but to what we have no idea. After trying several times and finally running out of credit on the phone, we thought we would go and check the washing again and stop in at the camp office. Surely they could help?
We called in at the office, the staff member was not keen about letting us use the office phone, “It iza fer official thingza only” he said and pointed us to the public phone just outside the office area. Ah-ha! Ah….. it did not work.
What is it with phones in this part of the world? Do I have to buy a scooter and do all my communicating by texting (whist I ride at high speed in and out of traffic) to be accepted here? The staff member was not comfortable about us using the camp computer either, and besides it was linked to the same printer as the fax, which had no ink in it???
All in all, the staff member was of little help even though he could have been!
I started wandering whether, rather than buying a scooter, I should just buy my own bus? It would be worth with all the people that I look like having to kill.
We went back to the campervan.
After a while I though I would go and tackle the staff member again, but there had been a change of shift and the late shift guy was bl**dy great! He had some ink cartridges for the printer, understood the predicament I was in with the voucher, offered me the use of the computer and any other help he could give us. This man will always get free rides on my bus and will be completely safe.
He asked us to come back in an hour, which we did. We printed the voucher and he gave us several pearls of advice. It looked, finally, that we were set to make it to Gibraltar after all.
We had tea (home made hamburgers – yum). It was now about 6pm and I went for a siesta (which turned into a good long snooze) before going to bed, or in my case staying there, for once at a respectable time.
Due to the multiple ups and downs I will not try to rate this day!