Wednesday, 5 October 2016

An update and second thoughts

Firstly, this is my third attempt to post this, hope it works this time!
Tuesday 4th October.

I'm seriously thinking of sacking this blog malarkey for a variety of reasons.

Firstly , when I was able to use Blogsy I had no problems creating and posting blogs, it was a piece of cake to upload text and photos and I had no problems at all. Then Blogsy withdrew support and when I purchased my new iPad I had to find another app on which to create my blog. I chose Blogpad Pro and ever since I've had nothing but trouble and whilst I accept some of these issues may be my fault the fact remains that Blogpad Pro could not be described as user friendly. The final straw occurred today; I've finally got some WiFi and so thought I would add to and then post the Blog I have been updating since we arrived in Spain last Saturday. Despite the app showing that it was automatically saving my work this has proved not to be the case! Frustration doesn't begin to describe my experience

Secondly, ( and I appreciate I could be making too much of this ) with a few notable exceptions we receive very few comments on the blog and consequently I mostly feel that I'm posting into the ether. If nobody is reading it, or if I'm not making it interesting enough that folk feel they want to engage or comment, then I'm pretty much wasting my time. The idea was never to maintain a diary for our own use but to let friends and family know what we were up to, where we were, what we were doing, who we have met, what we were eating and drinking and trying to put a smile on their faces. Also as a resource and maybe inspiration for other Motorhomers. If I'm not achieving any of that ( and how do I know if folk don't respond? ) then I might as well pack it in.

Anyway, we'll see; if I can get my head around Blogpad I'll feel a whole lot better.

Meanwhile we arrived this afternoon at Braganca in North West Portugal and we're parked up on a dedicated motorhome parking area (free and with all services) beneath the battlements of the old Castle (41.80387 -6.74632).
It's scorching hot and so we're waiting for it to cool down a little before we scale the battlements and have a nosey around.

We arrived in Spain on Saturday and stopped in the capital of the Basque region at Vitoria-Gasteiz. We parked up  in a massive car park on the edge of town, again with waste dump and water and again free to use (42.86527 -2.68544). We had driven nearly 250 miles to get there, which is a long day's driving for us along pretty boring motorways and lousy weather. On Sunday we set off to explore the City, especially the highly recommended Pintxo bars. First stop the Tourist Office, which was closed but due to open at 11am. A Coffee in the main Plaza and once we saw folk looking at maps and bumping into each other we guessed the TO was open for business. We explained to the young lady there that we only had one day in her City and what should we see? She gave us a map and drew a route around the old town pointing out all the "must see" buildings. I mentioned that the Artium Museum of Contemporary Art was highly recommended "Yes" she replied, "If you like Contemporary Art" suggesting she was more of a classicist. Off we set with our map and got lost immediately! A few dead ends and we were back on track. Then we got lost. Again. This pantomime carried on for an hour or so but we managed to tick off all the notable buildings, most of them were closed, it being Sunday, and most of them were behind scaffolding and undergoing restoration. The church of San Miguel was a "must see" but unfortunately Mass was being said when we arrived. Wandering around gawping didn't seem appropriate and whilst we could have stayed for the service we thought it would be better if we had our confessions heard first. Unfortunately there wasn't an English speaking priest available which probably saved us all a great deal of embarrassment.

By this time we were in search of food and set off for the Cube restaurant. Good reviews and adjacent to the Artium we thought we would have lunch and then visit the museum in search of stimulation and inspiration. After a two hour, five course meal Phil suggested we needed neither stimulation nor inspiration so we toddled off back to the van.

Yesterday we arrived in Leon, another motorhome parking spot and a pleasant location above the river (42.6045 -5.584270). We set off for the Gothic Cathedral, built in the C13th and which is considered to be Spain's premier Gothic masterpiece. A combination of poor foundations and the relatively fragile limestone used in the construction have led to countless works of reinforcement over the centuries. But the outstanding feature is over 1800 square meters of stained glass windows and the light inside the Cathedral is wondrous and changes throughout the day and the seasons. The only disappointment, for me, was being offered the "senior" admission price without requiring any proof of age! So just half a day in Leon and another place we'll hopefully come back to and explore some more.

I obviously have WiFi today although it's been a bit hit and miss over the last couple of days. Unfortunately I still can't post any pictures because they're not moving across from my phone to my Pad as they should do. Which is a shame but, no doubt, the issue will resolve itself.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. What a pain with blogger apps. I used to use an app called Post on my iPad for posting to my blogspot blog, but it was withdrawn. Now I use the Blogger app but Google have now withdrawn that from the Apple app store too! Luckily I have an android tablet so can still blog using that, but it is very frustrating.

    I enjoy reading your posts. I know it takes time to right them up and get them sent off. I feel the same sometimes, but then I look back over the past years and it's a great way to remind us where we've been, what we've done and seen. Hopefully you'll find an app you're happy with and get your blogging mojo back - I hope so!


    1. Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your comment. I guess I was just having a bad day and got more than a little frustrated. I've got my Mojo back!

  3. Hi Please keep posting I love to read your "Blog" I sold my campervan as my wife has health problems so I can live my travels through your blog. Thanks and keep bloging Pete

  4. Hi Pete,
    Sorry to hear about your wife's health problems, it must have been a wrench to sell your campervan. I will keep posting, I think I was just having a bad day. Fortunately we don't have many of those as we travel around. Thanks for your comment,

  5. Hi Pat & Phil, Kev and Liz here from Van Brian. Seems a long time since we met you on that Greek harbour. Just a quick comment on your pain over page views and comments. Quite early on when reading your blog I discovered the follow by email option at the top of your page. I used it and now read all your posts on an email that gets sent to my email address. This is great when traveling as it loads quick. But what it does mean is I never visit the actual blog to leave a comment or register as a page view. I wonder how many other people use this option so you never get to know your efforts are being appreciated. Any way enjoy your trip and keep blogging please. We've been home a week now and already feeling the need to wander off again. Maybe we'll meet up again somewhere?, Cheers Kev&Liz

  6. Hi Kev & Liz, good to hear from you. Miss your blog, it's time you got back on the road! I've got over my temporary despair with all things Blog, I was having a bad day I think. Let us know your plans when you set off again, it would be good to meet up again. All the best,
    Pat & Phil