We had another peaceful night at this wonderful location outside the walled village of ‘Medinaceli’, we hadn’t even heard the additional Motorhome arrive, at some point during the night.
It had been another cold night though, with temperatures down to -3 degrees(c), so as soon as I awoke it was on with the habitation and water heating, and of course the kettle, but the sun was already rising in the sky and it was virtually cloudless, so it looked like we had ourselves another good travelling and solar energy day ahead of us. Whilst I do not wish to speak too soon, after all we had only spent just two days and nights ‘on the road’, but I am pleased with the amount of power that we are getting from our two 90amp leisure batteries, which are having to cope with not just our heating and lighting demands, but also the charging of our mobile phones and iPads and my E-Cigarette batteries. We obviously put things on charge whilst we are driving as we have two USB sockets in the front cab, one for ‘Snoopy’ and one for an additional device, and whilst we only have one 12v TV socket in the habitation area, we use a dual socket adaptor in it so that we can power two devices off it at any one time, the front USB’s only work off the vehicle battery, so okay when we are driving, the one in the rear works off the leisure batteries so we can use them when we are driving and also when we are parked up. I am constantly using my iPad for checking routes, checking out potential overnight parkings, drafting my blog posts, checking Emails and following what is going on in the News, and of course trying to keep up with my German language course. So, although it has been pretty cold at night, and has been getting dark pretty early in the evenings, we have been blessed with clear blue skies and lots of sunshine throughout the day so, as they say, so far so good, but I won’t count my chickens just yet, it is after all very early days. I keep saying that, you would be forgiven for thinking that we were novices at this, but it has been a long long time since we have been able to take the opportunity to do any sort of extended travelling and certainly this is the first time in what is our new home on wheels. We are missing one vital member of this team though, ‘Dave’, he is currently safeguarding our ‘Bolt Hole’ but he will be back as part of our travelling family of Nomads very soon.
Everything is working as it should, inside the van, we are now getting used to living in a much more confined internal space than we had when we were travelling in ‘Big Momma’, although I am finding that not having a separate shower can be a bit of a palava as we have to take everything out of the washroom before we can shower, our dressing gowns, towels, toiletries bags, toilet rolls and toilet brush, then once we have showered we have to dry down the walls and the toilet so that we can put everything back, fortunately there is a screen that pulls across to cover the large mirror and the bathroom storage cupboard and the large sink tilts up and locks into place. However, we are getting into our shower routines so it is not really a major issue, but being totally honest, I do miss not having the separate shower cubicle and separate washroom like we had in ‘Big Momma’, but I guess that this is just one of the sacrifices of downsizing and losing three metres off the internal length of the vehicle. But, if there is one advantage of the more compact internal space that we have discovered thus far, it is with the heating, it does not take very long to get a six-metre long van toasty warm !!
So, after we had breakfast and had got washed up, we got the van turned around and back into ‘travel mode’ before driving across to the Service Point to empty the grey waste and chemical toilet and top up the fresh water.
The Motorhome Service Point provided ‘free of charge’
Our destination was originally going to be to ‘Sacedon‘, a small town on the southern shoreline of the ‘Embalse de Entrepenas‘, however, after reading the reviews on the P4N App, which had several adverse comments about boy racers and youths making lots of noise late at night, we decided on a more tranquil location, still on the shoreline of the same ‘Embalse’ and just outside the small village of ‘Pareja‘, it would be a 67 mile drive, a bit further than we would have liked but there were not a lot of alternatives, given the weather conditions. After driving along the pretty new motorway (toll free), we eventually turned off and back onto a National road, then the landscapes became much more varied and interesting, there were lots of Ascents and Descents, and absolutely loads of hairpin bends, but the road was well surfaced and wide, and with very little other traffic, in either direction, it was a very relaxing drive with stunning vistas.
The small village of Pajera in the distance
Shazza was enjoying being the passenger for a change, but even if she wasn’t, she would have needed more than a crowbar to get me out of my Captains driving seat !! I had programmed the GPS co-ordinates into ‘Snoopy’ and so far on this trip we have had none of those driver versus ‘twat-nav’ altercations en-route, which is always a blessing as ‘Snoopy’ can become very obstinate at times. We had set off in good time and had hoped that we may have come across a few small villages or towns worthy of investigation, but there were not many that we actually passed through, and those that we did were so small that we passed through in no more than a blink of an eye, so we actually arrived at our destination a little earlier than we had anticipated. It was not on the main part of the Embalse, more a side tributary running off it, more like a decent sized circular lake really, but it was nice and their were no other camper vans or motorhomes anywhere in sight.
The arrow marks our night stop on the Embalse (Reservoir)
A diagram of the bit of the Embalse that we were parked on, the ‘P’ in the top left was the Car park where we spent the night
We are always impressed at how the local Councils turn areas such as these into recreational facilities for the communities they serve, we arrived onto a lovely paved car park, situated looking right over the waters edge. The lake had two Islands of small shrubs and bullrushes on it. There was a small promenade area with a slipway where, in the Summer months, according to the information boards, people could come and launch ‘non-powered’ craft, Canoes, Kayaks, Paddle Boards or Wind Surfers and there was a nice footpath/cycle path that ran around the whole circumference. At one point on the lake there was a small picnic come sunbathing area and further around they had provided a wooden hide so that people could come and watch the vast variety of birdlife that visit and nest in the area, the information board showed lots of Birds of Prey, two or three species of Owls, Cormorants and the usual array of Ducks and of course the much smaller sparrow like species. The majority of the birds were elsewhere, somewhere a bit hotter for the Winter, unlike us, but we did see some Cormorants, but as we are used to seeing these down on the Costa del Sol beaches it wasn’t a WOW moment.
The view out of our front lounge window
The footpath/cycle path that encircled this part of the Embalse
Stunning views from the footpath around the Embalse. The ‘Little Fokker’ is in the photo !!
The view of the village from the far side of the Embalse
It was a lovely and warm day, probably the warmest yet as I only needed to wear my ‘hoody’ top over my tee shirt, instead of an additional jacket over the top of my hoody, which had definately been a requirement over the last couple of days. When we arrived there were only a couple of cars parked up, locals walking their dogs but they soon departed and it was looking like we were going to have this idyllic location all to ourselves, but just before sunset we were joined by two other Motorhomes. Other than walking around the ‘lake’, as I found myself referring to it, we did not do very much else for the remainder of the afternoon, we planned our next few days stops, we had always planned to stop on our way down in the larger towns of Cuenca, Albacete and Murcia and so we looked at a number of alternative night stops at or around each location, although we were not sure how many days we would stay at each of them, it would depend on what there was to see and do, we are not shoppers but we do like wandering, so it would be very much dependent on how much there would be to wander around, and then, if we needed more than one day to do it all, then so be it. However, we were keen to get a little further South, to the much warmer weather and more importantly the much warmer nights, 10 or 11 degrees(c) and to find some nice secluded spots where we could stop for a day, or two, or longer, we were in no hurry and could make it up as went along. However, we already knew from personal experience of having a property on the Costa del Sol, that Coastal locations during the Winter period would already be jam packed with Motorhomers, but still, we had time to look around and hopefully find locations which would not entail travelling too many miles in any one day. Our concern is that if we get too close to where our ‘bolt hole’ is located, we may just say ‘sod it’ and go to the Apartment, so we want to stay away from the Malaga region for as long as we can, but we shall see how it goes.
As far as our daily expenses go, we have spent absolutely nothing on this our third day but as our grocery cupboards and fridge contents are starting to diminish so we are going to have to do a bit of a re-stock on a few basic essentials, Milk, Bread, more fruit and vegetables, stuff like that. We have used around a half a tank of diesel since filling it up in the UK just before we left, so hopefully we may manage another few days before needing to fill up again and even with the constant use of the heating, we are okay for LPG, we have not so far had to pay for any night stop locations or other parkings or indeed needed to pay to fill up with water, so after day three our average spend has been just €10 per day.
Well what can I say, an absolutely fantastic night, so quiet and peaceful and we both slept very well, so well in fact that once again we had not heard the Motorhome that had arrived, at some point after we had gone to bed. I am finding though that I am waking up in the mornings between 7:00-7:30am and having such uninterrupted sleep, I awake fully refreshed and just cannot lay in bed. However, it felt really cold outside of the duvet cover, colder than normal, so I got out of bed, turned on the gas habitation and the water heater and then got back under the warm duvet for another half hour, Shazza grumbled as I disturbed her from her slumber, she isn’t a morning person, never has been. Once I deemed the temperature to be warm enough I got up and put the kettle on, I slid one of the top skylight nightblinds open and there it was, the thick ice again, I partially opened the blind on the Habitation door window and peered out, that is when I noticed that we had a neighbour, his front windscreen was a white-out, with ice, and even on the ground the tarmac on the parking area was white with a thick groundfrost, as was all the surrounding grass and shrubbery, but strangely, it did look quite a beautiful sight particulary from the vantage point of a toasty warm van. “What are you doing ?” came the muffled grumble from underneath the thick duvet at the rear of the van, now I knew that she knew exactly what I was doing, so I refrained from making a comment on my activities, “Are you ready for a coffee now ?” I responded, “May as well now that you have woken me up” came the somewhat less than amused response.
As I am not much of a breakfast person, well at least not until I have been up for a couple of hours, for some reason I just cannot face eating food first thing, so we decided that on our way to the large town of ‘Cuenca‘, which was 57 miles away, we would stop en-route at the small village of ‘Canaveras‘, which was around 30 miles away, find a shop where Shazza could pick up a few fresh provisions and also use it as our breakfast stop. I had chosen this location from a camperstop that was listed on the P4N App, however, once we arrived at the small village we could not find it, although ‘Snoopy’ was quite adamant that we had arrived at our location !! Perhaps this was just another one of those locations where the GPS co-ordinates have not been correctly given, we will never know ? We drove through the small roads of the village but we could not see a shop anywhere so we decided to just carry on and see if we came across any shops in any of the other places that we may pass through. We were not desperate for the provisions, it would have just saved us having to grocery shop when we got to Cuenca and have to carry bags all the way back to the van, as our next P4N location was outside the tourist information office on the outskirts of the town. There was a camperstop listed on our ‘Camperstop Europe’ guide but it was parking only, with absolutely no services, but they still wanted €15 for the priviledge !! At least outside the Tourist Information it was free, and although that had no services either, they usually provided free WiFi and it was a much shorter walk into the town. The P4N reviews had stated that although it wasn’t an official parking for Motorhomes, they allowed you to park where the buses parked, we assumed that they must have meant the tourist coaches in the holiday season. As it was, we arrived at the provided GPS Co-ordinates, and yes there was the tourist information office, we drove in and we could see that the car park was full, but what we could not find were bus or coach parking bays, it wasn’t just a matter of we could not see them, just simply that there wasn’t any, and we couldn’t see anywhere where a bus or coach could have parked anywhere near to the Tourist Office !! We stopped very briefly, as we were on the exit road from the Tourist office which led directly on to a busy main road junction. We considered whether we should go to the other ‘Camperstop’ location and just suffer paying the €15, but it was in fact only a very brief considered discussion, we were not bothered about seeing Cuenca that much, after all, it was probably just another typically Spanish town so we agreed that we would move on to our next destination, the small city of ‘Albacete‘, although this would mean a further drive of 99 miles. I had a quarter of a tank of diesel and could just about make that distance, but we never like to be close to running on fumes, so we decided to stop and re-fuel somewhere en-route, but we were both also feeling hungry by now so we were also on the lookout for a roadside lay-by, or picnic area, or even just a forest track to pull into would have sufficed.
But, it seemed as though we were going to have one of those days when nothing seems to be going in our favour, it happens, that is what campervan life is all about, sometimes things go according to plan and sometimes they don’t, you just have to take them in your stride.
First we had to get out of Cuenca and ‘Snoopy’ was instructing us to head right through the town, a very busy town, with lots of traffic, cars, buses, lorries, motor-cycles, pedestrian crossings and traffic lights every 100 metres, and just for some added excitement, cars and vans that were seemingly abandoned on the inside lane of a very busy main town road, not forgetting suicidal pedestrians who would just walk out from behind tall vans and cross the road, then glare at you as if nearly sending them to their maker early was your fault, it was clearly a day when I should have put my brown trousers on, but we escaped unscathed, but only just !!
It was really good to get out of this town and back on to the much more empty main ‘N’ roads again, the sun shone through the windscreen and it was searingly hot, so much so that we had to turn on the cab ‘air-con’, even though the outside temperature was still no more than 6 degrees(c) !! We were driving through a combination of lush forest with wild rushing rivers, agricultural land with farmers ploughing fields and then up steep ascents with lots of winding switchbacks, but which, from the top, gave fantastic views of the surrounding landscapes for miles around. The one thing these miles of road were not giving us were places to pull over for what was rapidly becoming ‘Brunch’, we were quite surprised at the lack of any ‘Miradors’ (Viewing Points) or ‘Picnic Places’ but just when we thought that feeding our hungry stomachs was going to have to wait until we arrived at Albacete, we came across a very welcome sight, a ‘Repsol’ fuel station which had a parking area to the side, so here we could feed the ‘Little Fokker’ as well as two other very hungry ‘Fokker’s’ !!
After being fed and watered we continued with our longer than envisaged journey, but we were to leave the very scenic national road, because they had built a new motorway (toll free), it was a very monotonous stretch of road, but at least it ate up the miles and took us all the way to our next park up. It was so easy to get to and we did not have to drive through the centre of this city, although when I say City, it is not as large as say Madrid, or Seville, but it was a bit bigger, and a lot busier, than what ‘Soria’ had been.
We arrived at what is essentially a car park, but it does have eight dedicated motorhome bays, and a motorhome service point, this city is obviously not anti-motorhomes like some of them are. There were only two other vans parked up when we arrived but one left shortly after our arrival, did someone tell them we were coming we wondered ? The parking place was opposite the University, it was next to a busy road but the guide had stated that at night the traffic calmed down and it was not obtrusive, we would see.
We were no longer hungry so after getting the van put back into ‘home mode’ we sat down and enjoyed a nice hot mug of coffee. The sun was still high in the sky and our leisure batteries, after the longer than scheduled drive, were completely full, as were all our electronic devices. The reviews on the P4N App has said that it was a thirty-minute walk into the city centre, we needed a decent leg stretch so after checking ‘Google Maps’ to get the direction, we got our coats on and headed off. It was great to be in civilisation again, although we do both enjoy a bit of solitude, sometimes it is nice to know that you are not alone and whether it was because this is a University City I do not know, but there was a definate vibrancy about this place. From the minute we left the van we were walking along pavements that were lined with Cafe’s and Bars and Take-Away food establishments and shops, this was almost certainly the student area.
Because there were so many buildings, and people, and traffic, it certainly did not seem like a thirty-minute walk into the city centre, and once we had, to be perfectly honest, we found that we preferred being in the outer suburbs, moreso than the city centre, perhaps it was because we are not shoppers, if we had been, we could have spent hours and hours here, wandering through the numerous streets and sidestreets all lined with a vast array of retailers. The one thing that we noticed, from the architecture, was that this is very much a modern city, most of the buildings are new, or have been newly renovated, even the Cathedrals stonework looked much too clean to be medieval.
The Cathedral, it wasn’t that impressive so this is a photograph of its best side !!
We didn’t find out what this building actually was, but it was certainly colourful
We had of course hit the city as it was starting its ‘Siesta’ period, not unusual for us, we have a knack of arriving at places when the shops are closed, although as far as I was concerned it is a very good strategy for management of the budget. Even so, the streets were still very busy with traffic, probably the office and shop workers going home for their three hour lunch breaks, yes seriously, I jest not, from the notices on the shop doors we discovered that they were closed between 14:00-17:00. Even the Tourist Information Office was closed, when we eventually found it that is, as it had moved from the building which had a sign over it saying ‘Office de Tourismo’ to another anonymous looking building, which was just across the road as it happens. There wasn’t actually a great deal to see here, on a tourist level, other than the Cathedral and a couple of Museums, and even they were closed for Siesta, however, there are a lot of green areas including a rather large City Centre public park, which we wandered through, but the Cafe in the grounds was closed, not for Siesta but for the Winter.
The grand entrance to the Central Park, it was nice enough to walk through but it is Winter so no colourful floral displays, however, it passed a bit more time for us and provided us with a much needed leg stretch after a long day’s drive.
All in all though we had enjoyed our ‘self-escorted’ tour of the City and it was time to head back to the van, but not before first stopping at one of the many Cafe/Bars in the student zone for a refreshing drink of something cold, on this occasion just a couple of Coca-Colas.
When we returned to the van we found that we had another couple of motorhome neighbours and as we sat, just people watching, as you do, a police car drove in and pulled up in front of us, one of the policemen looked, smiled and gave a friendly wave and we could see the second police officer looking at our vehicle registration and writing it down. We were not perturbed by this as we had read that this is a daily occurrence, we think that this is their way of checking that vans do not overstay their welcome, the maximum period here is 48 hours. By the time the sun had set, which is now a little before 6pm, six of the eight allocated motorhome parking bays were occupied.
We feel quite safe and comfortable here, so much so that we have decided to stay here for another day and night. Apart from the cost of filling the van with Diesel (€84), which is obviously a necessity, as opposed to an extravagance, which applies equally to filling with LPG when required, our daily expenditure for today is €4 Euros on two drinks. Although on this trip we are not working to any sort of strict daily or weekly budget, but we will be once we retire, in the very near future, and get back to living on the road on a more permanent basis, therefore this brief adventure is more akin to a dress-rehearsal for us.
Although we have done extended travelling in a van before, that was a good four years ago now, so this will, hopefully, give us a more accurate picture of what costs are currently. In the future we will probably not be moving on as regular as we are on this trip, which up to now has seen us moving on a daily basis, so on our future travels around Europe we will, more than likely and given the opportunity, be trying to stay a bit longer at locations, which will reduce the fuel expenditure and, as we will not always be travelling during the Winter, as we are now, we should not need to use as much LPG on heating the van during the nights and in the mornings. So this mini-adventure serves two purposes for us, first we are getting the opportunity to really test out the van and all of its functions and facilities to see what, if any, limitations it may have, and secondly to ensure that we can live comfortably within what will be a limited budget. So far though it is looking pretty positive on both aspects, but in reality we have only just started on our mini-adventure and who knows what lay around the next swerves in the road.
Well if you take into consideration that we are parked in what is essentially a car park, opposite a University, at the side of a busy main road and a few minutes away from numerous Bars/Cafes, we slept pretty well, we were not disturbed, the traffic calmed down by midnight but was not obtrusive even before that, we have had no boy racers or drunks acting the fool, so all in all it had been another pleasant night’s park up.
The one thing that had not changed was the icy cold temperature in the morning, so the now usual routine was once again re-enacted as per putting on the habitation heating, water heater and kettle. The one good thing is that even in these minus temperatures the water has not been dumped so it seems that having both our water tanks, drinking and waste, on-board, as in under the double flooring, actually appears to be working quite well. By 09:00am the sun is up in the sky and pouring valuable solar energy on to our roof mounted 150w panel which feeds our leisure batteries. We do not put on our external silver screen covers when we are not parked on Campsites or secure Aires for safety reasons, not that we have felt unsafe on any of our adventures to date, past or present, but if the occasion did arise when we needed to make a quick getaway we could do so, the downside to that is having to mop up the heavy condensation on the inside of all the windows, we did not get any on the windscreen or cab door windows when we had the silver screens on, but it is currently just a part of the morning routine and it only takes 10 minutes or so. Once all the blinds are open the sunshine pours in and the heating gets switched off and the heater can take a break until sunset when, as soon as the sun drops, so does the temperature. The daytime is a good time to use the consistent supply of solar to charge up all our devices as we are not using any other internal electrics, the fridge/freezer runs off gas whilst we are stationery on our park ups and switches over automatically to 12v, powered from the vehicle battery when we are driving, obviously if we had access to a mains EHU it would run off that when we are parked up but we have not personally come across any Camperstops, as yet, that provide such a facility, although there are several out there, just not the ones we have been using ?
So we decided to have a non-driving day today (Saturday), primarily because we have planned to go straight to ‘Murcia‘ for our next stop. We anticipate that it will be a much bigger City and therefore very much busier traffic wise, well it is the Capital City of the ‘Murcia Region’. My thinking is that as the shops in Spain, including Supermarkets, do not open on a Sunday and with it being out of the Summer Tourist Season, the roads will be much quieter and therefore less frantic when we arrive and are looking for our Park Up, which again has been provided courtousy of the P4N App, Camperstop Europe could only provide an Aire a few miles outside of the city, which again wanted €15 for the priviledge, granted it did have EHU included in that price and WiFi, but we dont actually need that at this particular period in our travels and the P4N location is very close to the city centre, a short bus or tram ride, which suits us perfectly. We have no objections to paying for Aires, Camperstops or even Campsites, if required, but if their are alternatives that are provided ‘free of charge’ then its a no brainer really.
Although we had seen the city in Albacete and there was little left for us to actually do, we would enjoy a restful day as well as doing a bit of shopping to re-stock our dwindling stocks of fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, milk that sort of stuff. Fortunately there is a ‘Mercadona’ supermarket just a few minutes stroll from our Park Up location. Three of our fellow neighbours departed this morning, after they had availed themselves of the ‘free’ motorhome services area, so I was able to enjoy partaking of one of my most favourite leisure pastimes, people watching, I know, how sad am I at watching people empty their toilet cassetes, empty their washing up water and re-fill their fresh water !! However, once they had all finished and departed, moving on in whichever direction they were headed, I got on with watching the locals pass by, dog walkers, joggers, some on those new motorised scooters, others were getting on and off buses, it was a busy Saturday morning her in downtown Albacete. Then, a really beat up looking car drove in and parked right next to the service point, a youngish chap gets out, unloads two large plastic containers and commences to fill them from the fresh water tap at the Motorhome Service Point, after doing so he then drives off again. A few moments later another car, fairly new looking and in good condition this time, pulls in with a small trailer behind. In the trailer were two larger water butts. An elderly looking chap gets out, I knew he had done this before because he had come prepared with a hose to attach to the water tap. It took some time to fill his water butts and he had just started filling the second as we departed the van to go out shopping, he looked across, I waved and smiled and said ‘Buenos Dias‘, he acknowledged with a smile and a wave. We can understand the locals doing this, if the community can provide free water for foreign visiting nomads, which must be paid for out of Community Funds, then why shouldn’t they have some of it.
We returned from our shopping trip to find that we had a new neighbour, parked right next to us in a very large Spanish registered Carthago motorhome. They had parked in forward and were overhanging into what was the car park road, why I do not know when there was plenty of room to go further into the bay and be parked correctly, but more irritatingly, they had spoilt the radius of my people watching view, I was not happy. Having driven in forward, their door was facing my door, so only a little more than a metre between us, their habitation door was open and I could see that they had two small dogs, not a problem as long as they were not of the ‘yapping’ all day and all night variety !! But then I could not believe my eyes, instead of taking the dogs for a walk he literally dangled them from the door, on their leads, and then let them pee on the tarmac outside our vans, we shall just have to make sure that when we get out of our van that we check the floor for any other little parcels they may have dropped !!
I may have also mentioned earlier in this post that everything was functioning within the van, well it was, until Shazza started messingwith the 12v TV socket, the one that we use to charge up two devices at once. The first thing I heard her say was, “I just want to try something“, but she didn’t say what that something was and before I got the chance to ask, the next words out of her mouth were, “We have no Power“. I checked the lighting, it all worked, I checked the water pump, it worked, “There is nothing wrong with our 12v system” I said, “Well we don’t have any power to the TV socket” she said, in a matter of fact way, in a tone that only women can do, “Well it has been working just fine up until now, what did you do ?” I asked. She said that she had unplugged one device and plugged in her Kindle as she wanted to see if it would charge and when it hadn’t she had re-connected whatever it was that had been in there charging in the first place, and now there was no power to anything. I went and checked the Elektroblok and fortunately, although the majority of the wording below each fuse is in German, which obviously are words that my German course hadn’t got around to teaching me yet, but as luck would have it, under one of the fuses was the word ‘TV’, I took out the 10amp fuse and could see that it had blown, a quck change of fuse and hey presto we had our device charging capabilities back, well apart from her Kindle that was. “What am I going to do now when I need to re-charge it ?” she asked in a concerned way, “How much charge have you got left on it ?” I asked, “About 50%” she says, “That will be okay, just read your book a bit faster” says I, she was not amused. We do have a 300w inverter which works off the 12v socket, which, I informed her, would charge her Kindle when required but best done during the day when the sun is maximizing its energy feed to our leisure batteries, we also had the power pack which should do the job as well, so, as always, my motto is that there are no such things as problems, they are simply just solutions that are waiting to be discovered…..
We went for a short walk around the external areas of the fenced University complex and just wandered in and out of a few backstreets, just for a bit of exercise really and to enjoy the fresh air, we came out near a large Department store, you know the type, those that have six floors and sell everything you need under one roof, so we just went up and down the escalators and wandered around some of the aisles, we chuckled as we could imagine that the security cameras would be following us around, thinking we were shoplifters, I guess we must have looked a bit suspicious, especially when we stopped at the huge display of electronic gadgets and started playing on the computer and phone screens that were out on display, we left, after exploring all six floors, and were sure that when we looked back over our shoulders we saw half a dozen plain clothed shop security staff who had been following us, dart behind clothing rails.
So a relatively uneventful day in the grand scheme of things and our daily expenditure comes in at €58 Euros, solely on groceries, which should last us a few days !! I guess though that this really comes once again under the category of ‘Essential‘ expenditures.