We awoke this morning to a hiatus on the rain front but with more forecast for later so, with our still wet washing adorning Sebo’s interior and having made full use of the other facilities on offer here i.e we both showered, serviced Sebo’s tanks, apart from the freshwater- unfortunately, as we tried to put our 50c in the machine to dispense 40l of freshwater, the machine decided to give up the ghost and, despite yer man’s best efforts to repair it, we weren’t prepared to hang around any longer. We pointed Sebo in the direction of El Saler and off we went. Shortly afterwards, the rain started again, along with howling winds. As we arrived at our chosen sleepy spot just after lunchtime, we settled down for a bit of lunch in the hope that the rain would stop or, at least ease off, so that we could get out for a walk. No such luck! The rain didn’t stop and the wind got stronger – we could just about see huge waves crashing onto the beach in front of us and a couple of mad walkers were struggling to keep their feet on the boardwalk whilst out doing their “constitutional”.
We waited, and waited,…. and waited but, nope, the rain got heavier and the wind strengthened to far in excess of the 19mph forecast by the usually pretty accurate Accuweather! In short, we never left Sebo other than to persuade a reluctant Harley to hop out and “squat” at intervals.
We relocated so that Sebo was head-to-wind and his back end as close into the sand dunes as we could AND resorted to putting his steadies down in the vain hope that it would limit the buffering effect. We made dinner, played more hands of cards than is probably healthy for a couple of newlyweds and finally admitted defeat and turned-in for the night. As if sleep was ever going to be restful! One of us , ever mindful of the sheer amount of water that was falling and with an irrational fear that we were certainly either going to be washed away or blown over, got up and snuggled up in the safety (!) of the dinette sofa with a book and a packet of chocolate biscuits, where she was found at 7am by her equally (??!!) restless husband!
Whilst he was pulling on his joggers and a fleece, I enquired as to what was happening, to which he uttered the now famous phrase ” Let’s get the f***k outta here!!!”. No sooner said than done! A quick look at the Camperstop App revealed a possible sanctuary in the form of a cheap campsite up in the hills , away from the ravaged coastline. CoPilot was duly informed of our destination and we ploughed our way through flooded roads slap bang into rush hour traffic in Valencia!! For any of you reading this that have experienced driving in any major European city during rush hour and thinking “yeah, and….?”- imagine doing it in the dark, in torrential rain with limited visibility, in a RHD 3.5t motorhome!!! Six lane roundabouts ( I kid you not!) when you can’t see the road markings and with mad Spanish drivers , presumably unused to adjusting their driving style in rain, overtaking, undertaking, cutting across lanes , all led to , quite frankly, an early morning “white knuckle ride” which neither of us expected.Believe me, it was TERRIFYING! I apologise for their being no photos of videos of this event BUT, as I’m sure you will understand, grabbing the camera was pretty impossible whilst I was gripping the seat so hard!
We finally managed to reach Xativa – a decent sized town with a castle which came highly recommended by Lonely Planet. We pulled onto McDonald’s car park and made use of their free WiFi whilst waiting for them to open at 9.30am! I hankered after pancakes and syrup! More comfort eating??!! Unfortunately, they don’t do pancakes here!! Grrrr. Resorting to a McMuffin, you can imagine my disappointment when tearing off the paper in my hypoglycaemic rage only to find that it had CHEESE on it!!! Since when has a Bacon and Egg McMuffin come with cheese as standard??? Double Grrrrr!!! Roy ate it – and I made do with a Lidl croissant which I found lurking in our overhead locker.
Torrential rain persisted, making Xativa’s castle a pointless exercise for us so we continued onwards and upwards to El Palomar’s promised campsite. By this stage, the heavy rain had started to wash away the ditches alongside the roads and we had to crawl along at a snail’s pace on some roads to avoid landslides and slippery mud-strewn road surfaces. It was with more than a slight sense of relief that we reached El Palomar unscathed!
On entering the village, we spotted the “camping” signs then promptly lost them again! On our second tour of the village, Roy spied a white van in Sebo’s rear view camera so, being the considerate motorhome driver that he is, he pulled over to let it pass. White Van Man obligingly overtook us, pulled alongside and gently enquired in his best English “camping?”. As we nodded fervently, he signalled to us to follow him – turns out the campsite is of the “municipal” variety i.e council run and, although it’s open all year, the gates are permanently locked and visitors need to phone a local number for access- lucky for us, this gent happened to be a council worker with a key!!! I actually wanted to hug him!! Especially when, whilst booking us in, giving us the key to the gate, WiFi code and explaining where the showers are, he happened to mention that the washing machine AND tumble dryer are all included in the €10 nightly charge! Team Sebo’s wet washing problem SORTED!!! Or so you would think……..