Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye….

25 Jul

So, this is it (click there if you want to hear a good old wartime song)! All the waiting to sort out legal documents for the house purchase is done. The ferry crossing is booked from Calais in Northern France to Dover on the south Coast of England. The dogs have seen the vet and have more documents than we do. The car is packed with tools, wine, beer and other essentials. The picnic is being made. The passports are in my bag.

Eager to go, the dogs keep trying out their “spot” in the car. They even have doggy seatbelts they have to wear on the trip!

We´re off! The trip to the UK to renovate a little Victorian house in the seaside town of Bexhill on Sea starts tomorrow, very early in the morning. I should point out that this is a Property Development project, our grown up “job” (for now at least). We will be back to Spain and Up Our Mountain as soon as the property is fit to live in and looking nice and hopefully some lovely people will rent it for a year or so and be very happy in it!

We´ll drive across Spain, skirting around Madrid and then up to the border with France at Irun/Bayonne at the edge of the Pyrenees. By tomorrow night we hope we´ll have reached Bordeaux where we´ll stop in a motel for the night. No time for anything glamorous as we´ll be up early the next day and heading up and across to the North coast of France via the edge of Le Mans then skirting east of Paris and finally the Port of Calais.

A long, long drive…

A quick hour and half ferry crossing later and we´ll be spotting the White Cliffs of Dover, then a left turn along the coast to our destination. About 2200 km, or 1300 miles in total in 2 days. Phew.

But don´t worry, we won´t starve. We have cool bags packed with ice blocks and plenty to eat. Tortilla, of course.  And an Empanada.  Baked Scotch Eggs are being made later today and tomorrow night when we stop I´ll make an Ensalada Cateta as that´s an easy one and will make a change from picnic food.

We have some lovely chicken wings (they´re huge as they´re from our own chickens) which I rubbed in crushed garlic and smoked paprika then left them in a little bath of chicken stock and white wine for half an hour before seasoning then roasting them for 45 minutes in a medium oven.

Finger Lickin´Good! (sorry, couldn´t resist saying it).

Bacon butties for tomorrow morning and then on Friday I am sure we´ll stop in France to buy some lovely hot coffee and buttery croissants to start our day.

It will take us a few days to get settled, and fingers crossed that the internet I have sorted out will work. Apologies in advance for possibly not being able to keep up and comment as much as usual, but I´ll do my best as I would miss you all too much.

Eek…scary, hairy carpet!

Hopefully I can keep you updated on our progress with some “Cooking Under Fire” thrown in. The kitchen is being pulled out this week and the new one won´t go in for a week or so, but I do have an oven, a sink and a table. Honestly, what more do I need?!

So, wish me well, we´ll drive carefully and I´ll see you all again soon.  Maybe we can all share an extra-large portion of Fish & Chips on the beach?


113 Responses to “Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye….”

  1. ChgoJohn July 25, 2012 at 09:31 #

    What an adventure! Safe travels, Tanya, and good luck with the renovations. One thing’s for certain, you’re going to eat well during your journey. And you couldn’t ask for better company. Just look as those 2 pupsters of yours! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 09:32 #

      Ah, thanks John. We definitely won´t go hungry! The pups seem to be just as excited as we are 😉

  2. Florence July 25, 2012 at 09:32 #

    Hi T, Have a safe trip. Take care of yourselves.
    Regards Florence xx

  3. nuvofelt July 25, 2012 at 09:33 #

    Drive safely, and have fun in Bexhill. Hope you get the job done superfast so you can return to your home.

  4. chaiselongue1 July 25, 2012 at 09:37 #

    Bon voyage and good luck with the project – it looks as though you’ll be eating well en route! I thought I’d be able to wave as you went past but I see from your map that you’re going the other way!

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 09:43 #

      Merci bien – yes, although we may come close to your way on our return if our pal is in Montpellier (she´s in Corsica right now)…

  5. themateriallady July 25, 2012 at 09:40 #

    Safe journey. We know you are well catered but I hope you have packed a good picnic for the dogs too!
    I wish I was closer to Bexhill so I could drop you a quiche or casserole, whatever would be weather appropriate – no-one can tell at the moment. Keep us updated with renovation progress when you can.

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 09:44 #

      Ah, thanks! Yes, I am currently preparing doggy food for the journey…they would never let me forget to feed them 😉

  6. Jane's sew & tell July 25, 2012 at 09:45 #

    What a lovely adventure. Your tortilla reminds me of the “travelling omelettes” my flate mate’s Mother used to make us when I was at university.

    Good luck with the renovations. I look forward to the next installment.

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 09:59 #

      Travelling omelettes is a perfect description of a tortilla as they are always made to be taken on picnics, to the beach, on a journey!

  7. crumpetkitchen July 25, 2012 at 10:05 #

    That’s a long drive – but a great picnic basket to take the edge off! Travel well and happy house renovating (and terrible carpet removal!).

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 11:19 #

      Hideous carpet – mind you, it also means that they left nicer original features like fireplaces! Thanks for the good wishes 🙂

  8. TheDorsetFinca July 25, 2012 at 10:16 #

    Aaahh.. look at your gorgeous dogs. I love how they already look so supportive of your new adventure. Best of luck… enjoy the drive… please bring the rest of the summer sun with you! x

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 11:12 #

      They are very excited – lots of new parks and beaches to sniff out! Thanks for the good wishes, I am packing sunshine today for you 🙂

  9. TBM July 25, 2012 at 10:16 #

    Oven! I knew I was missing something in my kitchen. Safe travels–and I’m so jealous. I would love to go on the road trip and eat all of the wonderful food. It beats my PBJ sandwiches and chips (sorry, crisps). Look forward to hearing more about your adventures!

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 11:13 #

      Oh, a few sandwiches never go amiss on a road trip! And as for the oven, well it´s the old one that has been left behind so I´m not sure how functional it is 😉

  10. Sawsan@ Chef in disguise July 25, 2012 at 10:24 #

    Wishing you a great and wonderful adventure.
    I know you will make the best out of it and I hope the renovations will go smoothly
    Have a safe trip my friend 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 11:13 #

      Thanks so much for your kind wishes Sawsan – we are looking forward to the adventure!

  11. Ria July 25, 2012 at 10:28 #

    Wow! What a full car – the dogs seem to be sitting on the beer – so well trained!!
    Glad you’re concentrating on the food but have you packed the tools as well 😉 See you soon xxx

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 11:14 #

      You spotted the beer! Well, we thought it was safe there, they do have a cushion between them and the cans though for comfort 🙂 See you soon xx

  12. expatchef July 25, 2012 at 10:39 #

    Safe travels to all of you! Have fun and hope you get your Fish and Chips soon! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 11:14 #

      Thank you – fish and chips always seem to taste better when eaten on a beach!

  13. niasunset July 25, 2012 at 10:43 #

    Have a nice, enjoyable and safe travel dear Chica. I wish you great and beautiful travel and days, you dogs seem so lovely and well trained too! Blessing and Happiness to you all. Thanks and Love, nia

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 11:15 #

      Thank you so much Nia. It´s a long trip but we´ll take it safe and steady. The dogs are pretty well behaved generally, let´s hope that comtinues!

  14. Roger Stowell July 25, 2012 at 10:46 #

    Good luck with the new project and bon voyage. Looking forward to seeing the “cooking under fire”.

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 11:17 #

      Merci Roger. I am secretly quite looking forward to the Cooking Under Fire. Big Man has always said I should have worked in Army Catering (probably because I tend to produce massive portions of everything) – the idea of trying to produce exciting food with the minimum of equipment is quite an exciting challenge for me 🙂

  15. Fiona Flores Watson July 25, 2012 at 10:56 #

    Best of luck with your new venture, hope the weather stays nice for you!!

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 11:20 #

      It owuld be great if the rain holds off – painting and building does seem a little easier if the weather is good!

  16. mcfdekker July 25, 2012 at 11:33 #

    Exciting journey!! Best of luck to you and I’ll definitely keep an eye for updates on the house renovation!

  17. mrszeg July 25, 2012 at 11:37 #

    Sounds like an amazing trip! Good luck with your project.

  18. rutheh July 25, 2012 at 11:41 #

    All sounds quite glamourous to me from this vantage point. Looking forward to following progress. The pups are probably quite glad to actually be in the car and on the way after all the preparation, packing and anticipation!

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 12:03 #

      Well, we´ll try and inject some glamour where we can. I think it will be more dusty than glam though!

  19. Promenade Claire July 25, 2012 at 11:53 #

    Bon voyage ! Looking forward to seeing you this side of the channel! And don’t worry I haven’t eaten all the beetroot, yet 🙂 Safe and happy travels my friends, and a woof woof to the doggies 🙂
    Oh and your food is looking impressive, far better than my attempt at butties for our big journeys across France… oh the shame 😉

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 12:05 #

      Ah, thanks Claire! I am enjoying making the picnic…I remind myself of my mum when she used to do the same for the great annual trip to Italy 🙂 Looking forward to the beetroot – and a beer or two of course. See you soon!

      • Promenade Claire July 25, 2012 at 12:10 #

        The beer or two are a given 🙂
        and now I’m imagining beetroot roasted in foil on your campfire !

  20. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy July 25, 2012 at 13:40 #

    Best of luck on the journey! I look forward to more posts on your adventure!

  21. gardenfreshtomatoes July 25, 2012 at 14:21 #

    Happy Journey, Tanya! Have a glass of wine by the river for me in Bordeaux…I miss that city!

  22. Eha July 25, 2012 at 14:36 #

    Well, Gracie Fields said to say ‘Cheerio’ and here you go and we are waving as advised 🙂 ! Fun to see you with empanadas AND Scotch eggs: one foot in each country! Seriously, may the renovation fairies be with you!!!

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 15:18 #

      I can see you waving! And yes, food from each country…hopefully we´ll get some French cheese too en route!

  23. cookinginsens July 25, 2012 at 15:08 #

    Good luck! Looks like a fantastic trip up!

  24. Mad Dog July 25, 2012 at 15:50 #

    As you are coming to England, I’m waving you hello! Good luck with the trip. I’m imagining you cooking sausages and mackerel on sticks over a bonfire in your seaside back yard 😉

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 16:01 #

      Yes, it´s hello from your end! Not sure how the neighbours would feel about a bonfire as it´s a teeny garden, but hopefully a bbq will be acceptable!

      • Mad Dog July 25, 2012 at 18:06 #

        You can tell I was in the Boy Scouts – my instinct is to build a fire whittle some stakes and cook things 😉

      • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 18:13 #

        Please do feel free to come round and whittle and cook if you´re in the area!

  25. idiosyncratic eye July 25, 2012 at 17:00 #

    Madrid and Rouen are the worst points for getting lost on that route, if you have one of those ‘fantastic’ satnav devices it will go silent and abandon you to the mess. Just north of the French border in the town of Labouheyre is an amazing bakery (on the main square) for loading up on French breakfast/picnic treats. Travel safe. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 18:02 #

      Great tip about the bakery – thanks so much! I know what you mean about Madrid and Rouen – we´ve been caught up in them a couple of times. The satnav seems to have a bit of heart failure so I also have a printed route map and (probably the best of all) good old fashioned maps!

      • idiosyncratic eye July 25, 2012 at 19:32 #

        I don’t trust those machines at all, especially now I have proof of their silence at such key points. I have more faith in maps and common sense. It’s a lovely little bakery on the square, a proper artisanal one not a Banette special. Oh and check out the toilets just round the corner. They’d be worth a photo or two, I never took one when we were there. 😉

  26. spree July 25, 2012 at 17:08 #

    What a TRIP this will be Tanya, and what an adventure ahead! Keep up your pluck girl…keep the dogs close too, that helps. Wishing you every possible good thing along the way. Will so look forward to hearing the news…Bon voyage! [wave!]

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 18:03 #

      Thank you so much Spree! We are all feeling a bit tired and emotional today – we seem to have done so much to prepare and now we´re just waiting for the off. It will be good to have the dogs with us – the little family all together! Will be keeping you all updated (internet permitting) 😉

      • spree July 25, 2012 at 19:29 #

        I don’t imagine you’d do it differently, roght ? and yet there has to be a bit of the bittersweet in this…leaving for a while the place on the mountain you love and have made home. I hope that there’s soon enough of the sweet in this place your family’s headed Tanya to confirm that it’s all so much worthwhile. I’ll be thinking of you…

      • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 19:31 #

        Thank you so, so much!

  27. Michelle July 25, 2012 at 17:20 #

    If I can’t be there for the picnics, I’ll just be glad to follow along long distance!

  28. bitsandbreadcrumbs July 25, 2012 at 17:23 #

    That really is a long drive, but looks like you have it all planned out and are well prepared with those important and tasty provisions. The dogs look ready to go! I’ve made that ferry crossing from Calais to Dover many years ago. My father bought a car in Germany and we drove around Europe then ferried it to England and toured there and Scotland. It’s a cool crossing. So I meant to ask when you mentioned these on my post…but what are bacon butties? Have a great trip, be safe, and we’ll look forward to reading all about your adventures in England with the new house. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 18:08 #

      I love the ferry crossing – just long enough to fill your lungs with sea air and then you can see the White Cliffs of Dover. Butties?! Aha, an English word (from the North I think) for a sandwich (usually made with thick slices of crusty bread and lots of butter)! Bacon butties are best (in my opinion) with good dollop of HP Sauce – a spicy brown ketchup, yum! Sometimes I forget myself and throw in words I forget not everyone is familiar with 😉

  29. Marianne July 25, 2012 at 17:53 #

    Buen viaje Tanya. Safe travels back to the UK.

  30. thecompletecookbook July 25, 2012 at 18:20 #

    Doggie seat belts – LOVE IT!!!
    SO excited for you for your venture that lays ahead Tanya! I would love to come with just for the food on your drive!
    Travelling mercies to you all and I can’t wait to see photos of everything!
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 18:56 #

      Thank you Mandy! Can you believe it that here in Spain whilst they´re happy to kill bulls, they do have the very sensible law that dogs must be restrained in cars! I would have done it anyway though. It´s just like a little extension lead that clicks into the normal seatbelt thingy at one end and hooks onto their harness at the other end! I think we probably have enough food to share with all the other people who will be travelling over the next few days 😉

  31. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) July 25, 2012 at 19:43 #

    Safe travels back to the UK and I’m looking forward to hearing about the renovation/adventure!

  32. Bluejellybeans July 25, 2012 at 20:36 #

    En efecto parece que todo está en orden y estais listos para el viaje. Me encantan los road trips y este parece fantástico.
    Muy buena suerte, I will wave you goodbye cuando pases por madrid 🙂
    ¡Buen viaje! (me ha encantado la canción y el menu tiene una pinta buenísima…hmmm)

    • Chica Andaluza July 25, 2012 at 21:38 #

      Gracias, y nosotros también vamos a hacer un “wave” pasando por Madrid!

  33. ambrosiana July 25, 2012 at 23:06 #

    Good luck on your new venture and have a safe trip! I am looking forward to read your posts on Bexhill on the Sea! Please go to De la Warr Pavilion and Sovereign Light Cafe on my behalf! I really envy you! Buen viaje Chica!

  34. narf77 July 25, 2012 at 23:21 #

    Right there with you! I will eat most of the chips and you can have the fish…love the red carpet by the way…how else would you tell people without words that you are the owner of 2 predominately white dogs? (DUH!)…I hope you have an easy trip and that those buttery croissants live up to their allure and that the coffee revives you both enough to make that ferry crossing and back to old blighty and that when you get there you can settle down and get stuck in to renovations. We renovated last year. We pulled out the entire kitchen. We had a box with nothing in it but a few bare pipes and concrete sheeting on the floor! It was the middle of winter, we had no heating, the dogs huddled around a tiny ancient 1 bar gas heater that we found somewhere and life was tough. Now we have our own customised kitchen and life is good! They say you can’t have an omelette without breaking a few eggs and you can’t have a good Spanish tortilla without breaking eggs, mangling potatoes and shredding herbs! All of that activity is going to exhaust you and frazzle you. When we renovated our home in town and had finished painting I took the dog for a walk at dusk… totally exhausted and wondered why a man crossed the street when he saw me until I saw myself in a shop window…I looked like something that Stephen King had dreamed up! All I can say is “buena suerte!” and we will all be here to give you (unwanted) advice whenever you need us 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 30, 2012 at 23:30 #

      Thank you so much for such a lovely comment. We have now arrived and are at the end of Day One and I am already feeling like that Stephen King character 😉 Looking forward to working at a more sensible pace now the initial excitement is over and keeping you all updated!

      • narf77 July 31, 2012 at 07:28 #

        You will get used to it…think of it as your big adventure for the year! That way you might just be able to fool your brain into enjoying it all rather than seeing it as work…A glass half full of Sangria! Glad you got there alright and that you are settling in. Give your partner a hug as he probably looks and feels more like the Stephen King character than you do lol 😉 (besides…you never know when you are going to have to get him to reach something high up for you or carry something heavy so best keep him sweet 😉 )

  35. DianeT July 25, 2012 at 23:41 #

    Wish I was there to welcome you at your destination. Oh, well. Maybe next year.

  36. Christina July 26, 2012 at 00:01 #

    Awww…look how excited your dogs are! Too cute! Good luck with your new adventure! 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 30, 2012 at 23:31 #

      Thank you – we made it and the dogs behaved perfectly 🙂

  37. restlessjo July 26, 2012 at 00:17 #

    You’ll be in bed ready for your early start as I’m writing this but I just wanted to say “good luck”. Up a mountain somewhere in Bexhill doesn’t quite work, and I couldn’t bear to pass by Bordeaux without a good snoop, but I’m sure it’ll turn out well.

    • Chica Andaluza July 30, 2012 at 23:32 #

      Thank you – we´ve arrived and we hurtled past everything interesting but will take it slowly on the way back. Sea level in Bexhill isn´t so bad!

  38. PendleStitches July 26, 2012 at 00:51 #

    viaje seguro! And in case Google Translate has let me down “bon voyage!”. What an awfully big adventure. Have a totally splendid time!

    • Chica Andaluza July 30, 2012 at 23:32 #

      Thank you – a good translation! We´re here safe and sound…phew 🙂

      • PendleStitches July 31, 2012 at 14:46 #

        Fabulous! Have fun. I hope the weather holds for you.

  39. Tandy July 26, 2012 at 07:54 #

    I will be thinking of you and I hope the fires do not affect your travels! Have a safe crossing and see you on the flip side 🙂 Oh, and I love that beer and wine feature high on your list of essentials 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 30, 2012 at 23:33 #

      Well, you have to bring a little bit of home to comfort you through the stresses and strains!

  40. Garden Correspondent July 26, 2012 at 12:22 #

    Happy trails to you! I can’t wait to read about your adventures in remodeling…

  41. fati's recipes July 27, 2012 at 12:08 #

    All the best, Chica!!! 😀

  42. Karen July 27, 2012 at 18:12 #

    The adventure begins. Be safe…I know you will be eating well on your road trip. You and Big Man make a good team and can get the job done but don’t work too hard.

    • Chica Andaluza July 30, 2012 at 23:36 #

      Thank you Karen – we´ll look after each other!

      • Karen July 31, 2012 at 01:08 #

        That is what the love of your life does.

  43. Charles July 28, 2012 at 01:48 #

    Do take care Tanya! All the best on your journey and your project… looking forward to hearing and seeing how it’s going!

    • Chica Andaluza July 30, 2012 at 23:36 #

      Thanks Charles – we´re here now and just starting to get stuck in!

  44. Calico Stretch July 28, 2012 at 10:15 #

    Wow have fun. I wonder how the dogs will get on as I know you two will be working hard and enjoying (hopefully) the change of scene for a bit. I’m kinda assuming there will be time for play as well as work!?

    Happy travels too :o)

    • Chica Andaluza July 30, 2012 at 23:37 #

      Thank you – we´re here now and the dogs are on their way to winning a gold medal for perfect dog behaviour! We are already working hard, but yes, there will be time for fun too 🙂

  45. Karista July 29, 2012 at 18:16 #

    What a fun adventure! And the location of the property sounds so lovely. You certainly know how to travel well. Just reading about all the delicious food you packed is making me hungry. 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 30, 2012 at 23:39 #

      We certainly enjoyed our 48 hour picnic – you need plenty of “fuel” for a long journey!

  46. rsmacaalay July 30, 2012 at 09:41 #

    Wow this would be a good adventure, have a safe trip

  47. Linda July 31, 2012 at 02:35 #

    Wow Tanya, how exciting! I thought I made a big move and look at you! Renovations and all! I do wish you the best, you’ll be in my thoughts for a safe travel. Looking forward to seeing how your adventure develops!

    • Chica Andaluza July 31, 2012 at 14:54 #

      Thank you Linda and wonderful to hear from you – we´ll be back in Spain at some point soon (well, a month or so). Hope all is well with you!

  48. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen August 2, 2012 at 06:29 #

    I’m catching up.. so I know you’ve made it to your destination:) I think the snacks you’ve brought for your journey would be unmatched by anyone else I know.. including me. Sadly, we rely on fast food when we travel.. nothing so gourmet as this!!

    • Chica Andaluza August 2, 2012 at 09:09 #

      We might have relied on fast food if we had stopped anywhere long enough – but we were like Formula One drivers making super speedy pit stops!

  49. Maulana Angga February 20, 2015 at 06:35 #

    have a safe trip and have fun in Bexhill. sorry too late to say hehe

  50. Genteng tanahliat January 20, 2016 at 00:02 #

    i want to eat if see it,….;)

  51. kursi jepara January 26, 2016 at 18:07 #

    wow,…..i like adventure,…..good job

  52. sutrisnomebeljepara February 12, 2017 at 05:50 #

    nice picture,………

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