Tio Pepe, Jerez

There are times, rare indeed, when everything just seems to go your way. This past weekend started that way.

It began when I arrived at the Montecastillo Golf and Health complex and told them I had booked a room for four nights. “Oh yes” said the receptionist, “you have a villa”. Whatever, I thought and was told I could drive my car around to it. What I wasn’t told was to leave it in the parking layby and not follow the golf cart road right up to the door, so I got it a little wrong. I have found, people allow classic car owners to do all sorts of things that ordinary drivers are not allowed to do and so everyone smiled politely over the weekend and said nothing about my parking.

I was speechless when I entered the two story villa I had for the weekend. It was the same floor area as some two bedroom houses. I thought “If only I had known, I could have thrown a party”.
The complex has of course a gym that I really needed, having only twice done any real exercise since leaving England. I could also play as much golf as I wanted, except I haven’t played since I was stranded at Charters Towers, in Australia, for four weeks. So I passed on that facility.

As usual, I hadn’t done any research on Jerez (pronounced Harez) and so was delighted to find, when I went into town that I was in the centre of the sherry producing area. Being a little partial to a Tio Pepe before dinner I decided to take the official tour of their winery. The tourist bit was a similar set-up to the port caves in Porto, but very different production methods, it was enlightening.

Next door to the Montecastillo complex is the Circuito de Jerez F1 test track. Sunday afternoon I idly drove up to the entrance to see if I could blag my way in and was very surprised when the security officer said yes, I could go to the Pit-Stop restaurant and watch the motorcycle racing. Even more surprised than me was the restaurant owner who was ecstatic when he saw Bridget. Although his English was on a par with my Spanish he clearly wanted to show me something in the restaurant. It turned out to be an event calendar and scheduled for the 11/12th September were two days of historic automobile races. I would dearly have loved to attend the event, particularly as the guy was sure Bridget would be able to go on the track, but unfortunately we will be on the ferry and unable to go. You can’t win them all, but it was a close run thing.

The next and probably final blog will be from Gran Canaria.

PS. I have posted some of the photos from our party in Porto as promised (had to be careful there were no spelling mistakes in the heading Porto Night Out)

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