After a couple of crap covid filled years, Toads on Tour are finally on the road again and bound for the Costa Dorada. Heres our adventure blog for your amusement and delectation.
We left home at 12:30 Sunday 24 July for Plymouth. Caravan loaded and car packed with 6 toads on tour – my favourite child (Joshuas girlfriend Alisha) is with us this year and very excited as shes not been on holiday for ages!!
After a slightly erratic trip to the port (we took a wrong turning going through Plymouth after stupidly listening to the car shatnav) we bumped into some dodgy pirate ferrets waiting for the ferry!! The Brands are joining us on our holiday – what HAVE they let themselves in for?!?!
Check in didn’t take long and we were soon onboard and checking out the bar! First beers of the holiday tasted great!
Waved goodbye to Plymouth bound for Santander and soon discovered that the Ferrets and Alisha are never gonna make a career as pirates 🤣 it was more than a little choppy and they turned a funny shade of green. It was soon decided that rest was the best medicine and most people retired to their cabins. Mr Toad propped up the bar in true pirate fashion with Toad #2 and the Toadette.
I hit the sack pretty early because we had a Chinese takeaway on Saturday night to “make life easier”…. 5am this morning life was very much not easier and there was a LOT of pacing to not revisit the Chinese takeaway 🤮 NOT what you need on a morning before heading off on holiday. Things eased by 10am without any chunder thankfully and I got stuff done. Didn’t make for a late night on the ferry though. I was NOT amused when Mr Toad crashed through the cabin door at 12:45 shushing everything – including his clothes as he hung them up and his tablets as he took them before bed 🤣 idiot 🤣🤣🤣
Monday morning brought happier tummies and the sight of Santander. After a decent breakfast onboard it was soon time to head to the cars and wait for the disembarkation. It was wagons roll and the start of a 400 mile cross country trip to reach our destination.
After a bit of a shaky start through towns around Santander as we took a wrong turn looking for a service station, we hit the road and started to motor. The weather was much the same as England and we were hoping it would improve. We needn’t have worried as we were heading toward blue sky and the temperature soon started to creep up. General toad mood was buoyant with random chatter, snoozing (apart from Mr Toad in the driving seat) and the occasional fart. Thankfully the smell in the car was generally pleasant as we’d all enjoyed showers on board the Post Aven…. a luxury that was not afforded to us the last time we made an epic 24+ hour journey to Spain. We pulled over for one wee-stop and at that point the Brands overtook us. They’d been held up at immigration for the best part of an hour but soon made ground as they had no wagon to tow.
2 hours in and we were 1/3rd of the way into our journey. Temperature was heading toward 30 degrees, mood: generally happy although starting to get tired. Mr Toad was laughing in the face of fatigue and powering through!!
We powered on through Rioja country (thought of Uncle Chris as we passed the fields of vineyards) and noticed something odd (other than general toad behaviour) as we passed through Zaragoza…. the pylons seemed to have giant nests on the tops! A quick google found that they are stork nests!! Loads of em!! As we headed away from Zaragoza we spotted a couple of the culprits. What a place to make a home eh! Temperature still rising and incredulous at the 35 degrees the car stated was outside, Mr Toad wound down the window….. he soon wound it up again!! It really was scorching.
We passed the Brands who had stopped at a service station to feed hangry ferrets but it didn’t take them long to catch us. Suddenly there were only 25 miles to go and we found ourselves on the road from hell – well it was if you’re towing 9m of caravan behind you!! It was barely wide enough for 2 cars and we were extremely thankful that it was late and there were few cars on the road. After much wiggling, winding and quite a bit of swearing and declaring the need for new pants we turned into Tamarit and rocked up at our destination. 10;15pm…. reception closes at 10 🤣🤣
Thankfully the night guard was on our case and rocked up to let us in and show us where our pitch was. We’d made it. 30 minutes behind the Brands. It was all hands on deck to get the wagon in the space and whack the awning up so that Toads had somewhere to sleep and then celebratory drinks all round…. 3:30am may not have been the most suitable bedtime after a long day on the road but it’s holiday right?!?!
Toads on Tour Day 2
🎶 Toads on Tour 🎶 – think Duran Duran when you sing that (you’re welcome 🤣)
This is home for a while. MANY arrival beers were sweated out this morning sorting out our accommodation!! It’s bloody hot ☀️ I am NOT complaining.
Got up and checked the rabble in to the campsite – they seem a nice bunch here. Made the next stop the on-site supermarket as whilst we packed PLENTY of arrival drinks in the fridge, we neglected to pack any arrival foodstuffs and the takeaway was closed when we arrived so a packet of popchips and half a packet of twiglets wasn’t really the most nutritious dinner and toady bellies are a rumbling (so much so we thought there was a storm on the way at one point!!).
Acquired croissants, bread, ham and cheese and various fruits to fill everyone up and then everybody pitched in to set up. We are now very comfortable in our surroundings.
The ferrets spent the morning at the pool and over a simple lunch we received a full report of “the slides that have water in them to make you go fast and the GIANT bucket that crashes water down on your head. It’s a very nice water park and there are deep pools and not too deep pools”…. I miss having tiddly people – the toads are much less excited about a bucket that crashes water on their head these days. Teenagers are well boring!!! 🤣
After lunch, Becky and I turned full mum mode on and set off in search of a supermarket 🤣 mummatoad driving is much more suited to foreign roads – my speed and gesticulations are second to none and application of the “Johnny Foreigner” rule is the answer to any traffic regulations we’re not quite sure of. We managed (sans shatnav) to find our way to Altafulla and the local supermarket and soon trolleys were full of suitable sustenance (and a little more beer too) and we made our way back to site to unload and join everyone else who had headed to the beach.
The sea here is NOT what I’ve become used to. Must be 24° easily!! It’s like a bath. We spent the next couple of hours wave jumping with ferrets and building a sand octopus and fort. The toadette was particularly invested in this activity proving she’s not all sullen teen after all 🙌🏼 Finley spent most of the time shoving handfuls of sand up his trunks – makes him happy though so it’s all good 🤣🤣
When everyone had had their fill of the beach we headed back and whilst the ferrets practiced their pirate ways, Mr Toad fired up the bbq to cook a magnificent repás for us all – not a pop chip or twiglet in sight thank god 🤣🤣 William was disappointed to learn that we didn’t actually buy the chickens feet we’d seen at the supermarket. NOT my favourite delicacy but he seems keen 🤷♀️ maybe we’ll get them next time!!
Now I’d love to tell you that we spent the evening watching the entertainment or propping up a local bar but it’s not true… Mr Toad and I spent the evening doing paperwork 🙄 life goes on even on holiday 😴 There WAS wine whilst working though 🙌🏼 every cloud and all that!! Everyone else played games though and explored the site so that’s all good and hopefully tomorrow evening will be more enjoyable now this shiz is done!
Will bring you more toad fun later. Have a great day peeps 😘
Toads on Tour Day 3
Toads on Tour day 3 – “the interview day”
Today is Williams birthday 🥳 we might not have known if he hadn’t reminded us at least 6 times every hour 🤣 he was more than a little excited when he came to show us his presents 😬
We had a lazy morning – the Brands and the toads hitting the pool whilst Mr Toad cracked on with paperwork and I sat my first proper interview in almost 20 years via zoom. I hate interviews – never been good at them but it went ok and afterward I could relax knowing that I’d done my best.
We celebrated with lunch and a trip to the beach. It’s hideous here. You wouldn’t like it. The sand is golden and the sea is warm. We really are putting up with it just to bring you lot a little amusement but it’s a REAL chore you know!!
We all splashed around in the sea and then Becky and I went on an adventure swimming round the castle footings to the next little bay. I’d NEVER have done this on my own but with Becky being such a confident swimmer I figured if I got into trouble she could either save me or leave me to become fish food so either way it’d be ok 🤷♀️ As it turned out, the swim was quite easy and the bay was beautiful. We stopped for a minute and searched for pretty rocks for the boys before swimming back to the main beach. Had much hilarity at Becky’s attempt to carry her “dinosaur egg” rock back by stuffing it down her bikini bottoms where it promptly fell straight out 🤣 ended up with boobs full of stones – the things we do for kids!!!!
Whilst we were gone Gareth excavated his own version of the Mariana Trench which was clearly thirsty work as he had to go for a beer with Mr Toad afterward. The toads all went too and so Becky and I left the ferrets playing for a while before we rounded them up with bribes of ice cream and birthday cake to get them off the beach.
It was as I was enjoying a post beach beer that I got the call to say that I’d been successful with the job! Gonna be working as the foreign exchange consultant at Hays Travel in Tiverton. Been almost 25 years since I was last in the industry and I’m sure it’s changed loads but I’m looking forward to my new job. Post beach beers became celebratory beers 🍻🎉
We headed back to the wagon to get ready for dinner and serve cake to the birthday boy and then there were dinosaur games and rugby practice before we headed off for dinner. NB It has been decided that my favourite child should play rugby – she’s good at it. Need to get her signed up for Cully ladies team!!!
We spent a very pleasant evening having dinner and celebratory drinkies. Discovered the beach bar is clearly the place to go for cocktails and chilled out vibes. Plus it has sand and trees that ferrets can play in and climb although they did spend a large amount of time monkeying and dinosauring around on the walkways too much to many peoples amusement.
They kicked us out the bar at 12 so we headed back for a nightcap – like I needed any more gin at that point!! Can’t tell you what time I crawled into bed but I had the foresight to check the weather and bring everything under the awning thank goodness… you’ll see why in the next instalment of Toads on Tour.
Toads on Tour Day 4
🎶Toads on Tour🎶 – there’s your ear worm again…. You’re welcome 🤣🤣 Day 4
Woke up to a biblical storm – it was awesome. You can see the amount of rain we had from the washing up photo!!! We knew it was coming and had thankfully moved everything under the cover of the awning (outside kitchen doesn’t matter cos it’ll dry!!). Our neighbours opposite hadn’t had the forethought though and so Jacob who was watching the storm at 6am ran across and moved their washing inside for them (he’s so thoughtful). Gave us a giggle as they must have wondered how it happened and we never said 😬🤣 #randomactsofkindness
Once the storm settled and after a mini ferret meltdown disagreement – one wanted to go to the beach and one wanted to go to the pool – it was settled on beach first, pool after. Off we toddled to the beach trying to avoid tripping over Finley’s bottom lip on the way 🤣
He soon cheered up when we got to the beach and (not content with yesterdays Mariana Trench), Gareth set about recreating the Umgoragora crater. It was an epic dig and the G-man was VERY invested in his creation so in the meanwhile we undertook what has become a toads on tour tradition and turned Finley into a mermaid. We did this on holiday in Kent last year and it was only right we did it again this year!! I’m not so sure he’ll be quite so keen on it when he’s 20 and we’re still giving him boobs and a tail but he loved it today!!! Kent photo for comparison – disappointing lack of shells around here!!!
The distraction of mermaidism (I hereby create a new word) meant that Gareth had finished his hole and sharky was super happy to chill out in it. The toadette seemed pretty happy in there too – toad in the hole!! Becky was busy helping William with a castle with a tunnel. Ferrets were FULLY entertained 🙌🏼 must be time for a liquid refreshment 🤔😬
I took the girlies to the bar (virgin cocktails for them) and the rest of the tribe followed when they’d had enough of the sand. FINALLY we were joined by Mr Toad who had finished his paperwork just in time for a beer – funny that 🤣
We all headed off to the pool for a couple of hours splashing around. The ferrets are excellent swimmers and have kamikaze ways that involve a requirement to be “launched” into the water from as great a height as possible 😳 or stealth like underwater attacks on unsuspecting toads 🤣 had to have me a medicinal Seagrams gin to get over the trauma 🤣🤣 that ones for you Aunty Suze – wish you were here!!
We spent a chilled evening at the wagon cooking a paella and various yummy meats we sourced at the supermarket the other day. William beat everyone at chess and uno was the game of choice for everyone else followed by an early night for ferrets who are super excited because we are going to the “grown ups water park tomorrow” 😬 watch this space for more of that very soon.