Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday 20 February 2009

A safe and pleasant journey to Spain

I arrived in Spain Wednesday evening after a pleasant and completely trouble-free two-leg flight from Inverness; the flight down to Bristol left on time and we landed about 10 minutes early. I'd never been to Bristol airport before; it is busier than Inverness, but not bigger. Check-in for the Murcia flight was done within 10 minutes of me collecting my baggage (half an hour before check-in for the MJV flight was due to open officially) and I then proceeded straight through immigration and customs. Although it has many more cafes and restaurants than Inverness (most places do) it is still quite a small airport and was not at all busy so I had a relaxing lunch in one of the upper eating areas. The flight took off on time, or shortly ahead of time and we touched down in San Javier 15-20 minutes early. I was able to pick up the key for the hire car about five minutes after entering the terminal, well before I collected my luggage and that only took a further 10-15 minutes, too, so within about 20 minutes of entering the terminal I was heading for the car. I now know the routes from San Javier to Mazarrón pretty well so did not bother with SatNav (I still feel more comfortable using it to/from Alicante airport though) and used the 'toll-free' route described in my website here. It barely took the 55 minutes I mention as the estimated time for this journey as the roads were not at all busy.

The only 'excitement' on the trip was that coming off the A30 (Cartagena-Murcia) autovia to join the RM-2 heading for Alhama de Murcia, there was a big police presence before the exit ramp warning people to slow down and at the 'glorieta' (roundabout) over the A30 all cars were being slowed down almost to a standstill with torches shone into every car. Obviously the police were looking for one or more specific individuals - however, I was not one of them quite obviously (I can only assume I was the 'wrong colour') so I was waved on.

Oh yes, the next morning (Thursday) I did the usual grocery shop - Mercadona (Puerto de Mazarrón) - and on the sail-boat roundabout most cars were being stopped and asked to show driving licences. All very polite and once he had taken a look at mine I was waved on. Moral of that story - car your driving licence and ID/Passport at all times (I wasn't asked for the latter though, as my licence already has a photo of course).

Now to the really important stuff! The lady who looks after my house (holds keys, etc) had kindly visited earlier in the evening before my arrival to switch on a light, the heating and plug in the immersion heater - so I had hot water to take a wash and of course for a shower the following morning. Life always looks better after a hot shower! The electricity problems here at MCC are not over yet, of course, but for the moment it works. Let's see what happens next week when we go over to direct funding (through the CoO) of diesel for the generators - fingers crossed!

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