July 2013 Update

Garry McGivern’s July 2013 update. It’s been a fairly busy month with a lot going on locally. I was going to go on another tour at the end of the month, but the weather’s been so nice (we’ve had a mini heatwave) that I thought that I would leave it for a while. Seems a shame to go away when it’s so nice here and there’s so much going on.

Julie was on holiday at the beginning of the month so we decided to go away for a week. We managed to find a cheap deal to Menorca, £700 for the two of us, which included flights, airport transfers and hotel with all meals and drinks included!

It was an early flight, 6.20 am which meant getting up at 2 am to get up to Gatwick in time. No traffic on the roads at that time of day. It was an easy drive up. It’s been a long time since I’ve flown from Gatwick’s south terminal. I always seem to fly from the north terminal. It’s changed a lot since I was last there. There’s plenty of building work going on! Nice flight over. It took less than 2hrs, and we were in the hotel drinking a beer before midday!

The hotel was located in a very quiet resort in a residential area. There was a nice cove with a sandy beach and crystal clear blue water about 200 yards away, with a couple of bars and restaurants surrounding it.

In Menorca

Went to Ciutadella on Monday, the second of the two main cities on the island. It’s a pretty place with narrow streets which help to shade you from the scorching sun, but not really much there apart from expensive designer shops! We were back at the hotel by 1 pm that day! Where we met up with another couple, Rupert and Sally from Nottingham and ended up drinking beer with them for the rest of the day and into the early hours of the following morning!

Hired some bikes on Tuesday and rode the 8km to Cala en Bosc, the next resort along the coast. It was a bit livelier than our resort, with a pretty marina surrounded by restaurants, but that was about it. Saw one of the many lighthouses on the island at Cap D’Artrutx just before we got to Cala en Bosc.
Decided to go back a different way to the way that we came and went along the Cami de Cavalls. An old mule and military track that’s been turned into a long-distance footpath that encircles the island. Thinking that it would just be a dirt track that we could ride along.

The first 100 yards or so were ok then that was it. It started to twist and turn and became really rocky. In fact, it was all rock and no dirt at all. The rocks were really sharp and jagged, and we certainly weren’t wearing the best footwear. We both had sandals on. The path went up and down, making it even harder to walk and push the bikes! Think you’d need a good mountain bike with full suspension on to actually ride it rather than the basic mountain bikes we had!

Thinking that it might get better, we carried on pushing our bikes. But it didn’t. It just continued the same way. Rocky and rising and falling with the lay of the land! By the time we decided that it wasn’t going to get any better, it was too late. It was as far to go back as it was to go forward!

By now, it was just after midday, and the sun was getting really hot. Julie was getting all grouchy and wasn’t in the best of moods! She even started to sweat, and she says she never does that! (Obviously doesn’t exert herself enough then!) We eventually made it back to the hotel after nearly 1 1/2 hours (It was only 5 kilometres!), and we were looking forward to having something to eat. Unfortunately, the restaurant at the hotel had finished serving lunch and was closed, that went down well too!!

Deciding that we couldn’t get anything to eat for half an hour or so until the snack bar opened, I decided to go for a swim. Unfortunately, I forgot that my phone was in my pocket! I only realised after diving in and swimming across the pool! (Perhaps it was payback for making Julie walk back across those rocks!) As soon as I realised, I jumped out, turned it off and took the battery out. Luckily after a day in the sunshine the following day, it had dried out and was ok!

I decided to keep the bike for the rest of the week and would go out for a little ride in the mornings before breakfast.

Back Home

Being away last summer, I’d forgotten just how much there is going on locally most weekends. We’ve had the Taste of the World food festival at Fontwell racecourse. It is, as the name would suggest, a celebration of food and culture from around the world. With cuisines from the Far East to North Africa. The Caribbean to Central Asia. From the Mediterranean to Africa. Europe to the Americas and even closer to home, the British Isles. There were also live celebrity cookery demonstrations and creative cooking activities. I got a bit carried away and managed to spend a vast amount of money on some new saucepans!

The Rox is a free music and arts festival which is held along Bognor seafront and features more than 30 bands across seven stages and runs over an entire weekend. Along the coast at Worthing. There was the Worthing Lions Festival featuring a funfair, an American & Custom Car Show, a vintage bus rally and a market along the seafront. We’d gone along to support my good friends Steph and Teddy, who had a stall selling herbs that they grow themselves. And was pleasantly surprised as to what there was there. I even got my kayak out one weekend and went out on the sea. The first time I’d done that in a couple of years, I’d forgotten how much fun it is!

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