Week 19 - Crossing Spain, Again!!

Monday 23rd February 2015

We took the unwanted kit to Algarve Freight this morning and by the time we had finished poking extra bits and bobs into the awning bag I was quite staggered at it’s weight, and with the box and bicycle that went with it we have trimmed our weight by quite a bit.

Tuesday 24th February 2015  

It’s back into Spain day. We are going to a site we have been to before  - Camping La Sierrecilla - and despite there being a lot to see and do in the area we stayed just one night as the local dogs had an all evening concert.

We are hoping against hope that the dogs have tonsillitis or it may well be another one night stay.

No tonsillitis, they were all in fine voice!!

To get away from the barking dogs we went to the site restaurant for dinner tonight, after starting with an ensalada mixta (mixed salad), the waiter insisting that we did not need one each but should share one, he was right. Sue’s choice of spiced dogfish was unfortunately not available so she opted for battered gambons (prawns). So big was the plateful that she struggled to get through it all but managed somehow. I chose a local speciality Pulpo a la Gallega, a strange dish of potatoes and octopus but quite delicious.

The dog concert had ended by the time we got back from the restaurant and did not start up again until late morning so we are staying a few days, or until I can’t stand the noise any longer.

We have been asked a number of times why we don’t give more detail on the journeys we make from site to site so we have added a page that gives a few more details, the road numbers and condition etc, you can see it by clicking HERE

We did have some good news today an email from Brenda and Dave saying they had booked flights to come visit us. We now have to get some accommodation booked - It will be great to see them.

Wednesday 25th February 2015

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We visited El Torcal today, it is a massive lump of limestone upland which over the millennia has weathered into bizarre rock formations over 1200m (4000ft) above sea level. We went on a short walk of just 1.5km but the path was so rocky and in places steep with both climbs up and climbs down that although less than a mile the walk took well over an hour to complete but it was worth every minute.

Two pitches down from us is a Bailey Pegasus 554, apart from us we have never met anyone with the same Peggy that we had so I went down to say “Hello”. Like us they bought their 554 just before Christmas 2009. Like us they think it is a great caravan with the best layout in the range and like us they have retired early and have elected to travel. Julia and Simon seem a very pleasant couple and came to our van for a drink this evening.

Thursday 26th February 2015

Had I been the sort of person to suffer hangovers this morning’s one would have been mega. There are lots of wine bottles and beer cans to put in the recycling bins.

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Just 7km from the campsite is the Laguna de Fuente de Piedra, a famous beautiful lagoon. The largest natural lake in the Iberian Peninsula at 2.5km wide and 6.5km long, it is a haven for birds with over 170 different species recorded here. Apart from its abundant aquatic birds, it is well known for its flamingo population, the second largest colony of these birds in Europe after the French Camargue region and the only inland site on the continent where they breed. In spring flamingos flock here in their thousands to reproduce, attracted by the water's high salt content and the fact that it is shallow. There is a visitor centre with lots of information and a road/track that runs right around the lake but there is no actual access to the lake just “miradors” or viewpoints.

At one of the viewpoints a small flock, numbering around fifty, of cranes flew overhead and landed in an adjacent field. The flamingos for which the lake is particularly famous were only present in small numbers in the centre of the lake which according to the receptionist in the visitor centre is still too cold for the birds that should start arriving in great numbers in a few weeks time.

Friday 27th February 2015

It was our turn to visit Julia and Simon last night, feeling we had rather overdone it the night before we all slowed down on the drinking but Simon still reported lots of “dead soldiers” this morning.

We spent most of today pigging about driving from Repsol fuel station to Repsol fuel station to Repsol fuel station trying to change our empty Repsol gas bottle for a full one. Unfortunately it is a lightweight caravan bottle that it seems is only sold in holiday areas - we finished up in Malaga before we found one.

When we had gone to J&S last night we had taken our Mede8er for them to look at the films we have to see if they wanted to copy any, and they gave us their DVD collection to see if we wanted to make copies.

Simon came to the van this morning and made an offer for the Mede8er so impressed was he. A deal was struck and he handed over the dosh and became the proud owner of a good bit of kit. Sadly being a PC owner nothing on the Mede8er was recognised by his computer so we will have to reformat the hard drive and reload it’s content.

“Golly Gosh!!” I hear you cry “Selling your beloved Mede8er??” Well yes actually, in the year I have owned it Frank has been busy investigating and learning about Minix boxes running XBMC and had persuaded me that I should upgrade to one of them. It is a very steep learning curve that two months later still shows no signs of flattening off but we do, when there is a decent internet connection, also have through the XBMC, UK TV and radio and access to all the latest films.

Saturday 28th February 2015

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A driving day today. We had seen in the guide books lots of references to Garganta del Chorro that describe it as one of the geographical wonders of Andelusia. It is an immense limestone chasm, 180m (590ft) deep and in places only 10m (30ft) wide cut by the river through a limestone mountain. The Camino del Rey is a catwalk clinging to the rock race and leads to a bridge across the gorge. Sadly (or not - Ed.) it is closed to the public. Although Judith and Simon had given us details of the route to take we drove for miles on sometimes almost impossible roads, for which we were very grateful we were in a “Chelsea Tractor”. We had actually given up on seeing both the Gargantuan del Chorro and the Camino del Rey and were heading back to the van when we turned a corner and there they both were in front of us.

Sunday 1st March 2015

Spent the whole day today chatting with Judith and Simon, reloading Mede8er with PC friendly material and copying J & S’s DVD’s to our Minix hard drive.

This evening we had our first BBQ since Christmas, it’s been rather chilly in the evenings. We cooked quail with potatoes and squash - very nice. Lets hope the weather is now going to be warm enough for regular BBQ’s.

Last updated Sunday 21st June 2015                                                                                © S W Ghost 2015