Winding roads of the Sierra Nevada

As usual Pete just loves to mix things up, so we decided not to follow the touristy coast of Spain for a while and before I knew it we were driving over Spanish viaducts which are pretty high up whilst being battered by side winds, I must admit I really am not the best person when it comes to heights, so you can picture me holding on to the passenger door handle for dear life every time we passed over a high bridge or viaduct… with my stomach churning and really not caring or daring to look down to the places that Pete kept insisting on pointing out along the way, then passing through tunnels both short and long, not to mention up and around some very twisty, winding mountain roads and up therein to the Sierra Nevada, the place where the clouds drop down and come to greet you… And then on into the campsite Orgiva.

We had stayed at Presa La Vinuela for a whole 7 nights leaving there on the morning of the 27th Feb… I was pretty grateful to the dog for thankfully staying healthy so we could stay the extra time there as I had loved it, we also made use of the ACSI discount of 7 nights for the price of 6, if we hadn’t been so low on food stocks and desperate for shopping I think I would have been happy to have stayed there much longer, but alas, it was not meant to be and running out of teabags 2 days before we left was a major deciding factor in that!!! The campsite shop there only having those horrid herbal type tea bags really wasn’t helpful, we tried them, but decided it would be coffee all the way which then left us wide awake and crazy with caffeine come bed time!!!

Orgiva campsite is a very small campsite set in the mountains with allegedly 30 pitches but looking at this further the pitches are mostly pretty much tent sized and we are taking up two pitches just to park… There are about 10 motorhomes here and a couple of tents which leaves a couple of larger areas for perhaps a couple more motorhomes and a few smaller pitches for maybe smaller vans or some tents… We entered the site and again had to avoid low hanging tree branches and ornate looking lamp lights hanging off the sides of the buildings, having managed to avoid all obstacles we found ourselves a plot…

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Typically and on style we totally missed the turning to a huge supermarket on our way here… yep we passed right by it… so now we found ourselves headed for the mountains with very few provisions on board (more importantly no tea bags) so we were left hoping there would be something around where we were headed…

Receptionist at camping Orgiva told us there was a supermarket 2km up the road, so once pitched Pete thought he might get his bike out along with the doggy hut and ride to get some shopping… to my surprise, hilariously Pete was back 25 mins later… wow that was the quickest shop ever!!!… Pete’s face then said it all… We had totally forgotten about Spanish siesta times and the shop was closed for 2 hrs…

Poor Pete then had to cycle there again once the shops reopened, I stayed at the motorhome and cooked us up a nice big stew, using up some old potatoes, frozen veg and some frozen beef we still had, it went down a treat when Pete got back and it also made some room for the fresh food… Can’t beat a bit of one pot comfort food cooking when in a motorhome!!! With a tiny sized oven and just three hob rings, when low on food supplies you would be surprised what food you can knock up using just one or two pots and make into a comforting, satisfying and tasty meal (I usually let Pete cook… but just to prove I can actually cook I photographed the meal I was cooking!!!)

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We ventured out for a couple of hours to explore the area before the rain came in, we walked along a trek we’d found at the back of the site which took us on to a rough concrete covered road and into the nearby town of Orgiva, I must admit I really didn’t enjoy the stroll and had a bad vibe from the get go…

This may have been due to the countless amount of guard dogs, charging at fencing and gates to get to Toffi and us… Amongst these were breeds such as Dogo Argentinos, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Pitbulls, Sharpei’s along with many other smaller less intimidating dogs… Now don’t get me wrong I am a dog person and have owned bully breed dogs since my teenage years, but it always makes me nervous (and my nervousness is probably then transferred to Toffi also) when I see other powerful dogs charging at some measly wire fencing to get at us, plus knowing Toffi is often reactive too only gives me more to worry over, it’s no fun splitting powerful dogs up in a fight!!! So our walk was a fraught one today!!!

There’s been a change in the weather now and looks like it’s going to be wet for perhaps the next week, we are on weather warnings for rain, thunderstorms and heavy winds for at least the next couple of days… so it looks like we may be staying here until the weather subsides.

We don’t fancy driving through freshly wet and now down the possibly slippery mountain roads, although the roads are pretty good coming into the mountains here we can wait till the weather behaves just a little better!!!

It reminds me of a time many, many years ago when we were holidaying on the island of Zante/Zakynthos – Greece, we’d decided to go for breakfast in a cafe which someone had highly recommended for the most breathtaking views, the cafe literally overhung the mountainside, (the views and breakfast were pretty amazing from what I can remember!!!) but on the way back down we experienced a pretty scary moment of nearly going off the side of the mountain in the hire car we were driving!!! We we’re high up on the mountainside road, sheer drops off the side and with a big coach also following carefully behind us… when we just lost control and the car span out…

Perhaps there was a bit of oil on the road or the morning heat melting the tarmac road, we will never know but luckily we managed to come to a stop literally just a couple of inches from the sheer drop cliff edge, the car had spun three times in total, how we didn’t go over the side of this mountain I really do not know, there were no safety barriers there either, the tyres were literally caked in tarmac afterwards from the sheer braking and sliding of the vehicle, we were only going at a speed of about 20 miles an hour as I’d been nervous due to my hatred of heights and I’d been constantly telling/nagging Pete to please drive carefully and slowly, well what an exciting day that turned out to be… (this possibly explains why I now hang on to the car handles for dear life, I literally hurt my left hand doing this the other week… yeah really not too keen driving high up mountain roads too often but the views do make it worth it!!!)

Pete had mentioned that there was a lot of multinational hippy type people in the area and that when he’d gone shopping he’d seen a lot of them around, so curious he searched on the internet and found there’s a hippy commune nearby thats been there since the 80’s!!! I must go find a flower to put in my hair…

This campsite here is ok, toilet and shower facilities are clean, and plenty of hot water, with a black waste facility in each of the mens and womens toilet block and the restaurant seems to be used by locals so probably a good sign, although we haven’t used it yet…the swimming pool is closed as out of season…

The rain has now begun so its chill out time for us to perhaps watch a film or two or read a good book.

Will update all you lovely folks soon,

Take Care

Donna x

GPS Coords Camping Presa La Vinuela N36°52’25”  W4°11’9″   €17 pn 7 nights for 6 deal with ASCI discount card + free wifi

Camping Orgiva is €20 pn but 10% discount for 3 days 20% for 7 days 30% for 15 days or a whopping 50% for 30 days + free WiFi (site not listed for ACSI)

What a difference a day makes…

It’s true, what a difference a day makes… It has been fabulous to be up in the mountain regions of Las Romanes overlooking the largest mountain of the Andalusia area “Sierra Blanca”, and then to be watching as the different weather systems roll in and then roll back out again, the rolling mists of this morning gave a fantastic display and looked to be smothering the mountains, but by early afternoon most of this mist had lifted with just the mountain tops still covered in the eerie mysterious looking cloud coverings…

 

The area has given us all a lot of reflective, quiet time, we have enjoyed relaxing and being able to ramble around on foot, without the worry of walking near heavy traffic on scary main roads and also away from the traffic noise, it’s just so relaxing here, the campsite has been that quiet, that at times we’ve woken and it’s been nearly 10am instead of the usual hustle and bustle of waking at 8-8.30am… there are no barking dogs here at night either (which seems to be the norm in most of Portugal and Spain in our experience so far!) the only noise here is the sound of small songbirds chirping away and singing in the treetops.

 

There was a light shower of rain last night… but it was only a very light drizzle of rain, the dried out lakebed has been an interesting place to walk, and for us to explore, with the lake bed being so parched and barren looking that it takes on an appearance of a lunar landscape, the lake itself should have been at least 3 times larger than it currently is, if not bigger still, so it shows us just how much drought there has been in the area… But what a wonderful escape the place gives…

 

Toffi has thankfully stayed healthy and has been thoroughly enjoying her off lead adventures and the freedom of that very much, there is a stoney pathed walk that encircles the entire lake system and more pathways beyond that, most days there has been a shepherd who walks his herd of sheep and goats back and forth past the campsite daily, however I was more impressed with the fact that he has with him at least 9 dogs (breeds ranging from a huge Bullmastif, a 3 legged labrador, a couple of terriers and at least 5 herding collies to boot), but all are individually helping him herd, each with their own little jobs, and also charged with keeping himself and his herd safe during their daily ambles, it’s a bit like watching Dr Dolittle wandering past daily, and you can hear them all coming as some of his sheep wear bells around their necks, I also saw another man wandering around the campsite with a parrot on his shoulder…  but each to their own…

 

Camping Presa La Vinuela certainly is a place to come to recharge, ramble and just to relax… and maybe for some it would be too quiet, but for me it wasn’t the case I found it refreshing and relaxing, it gave me time to gather my thoughts and reflect on our journey so far and wonder just what lay ahead of us…

There is also a restaurant at the campsite which we also tried out after being tempted by the lovely aroma’s of the cooking wafting down over the campsite one afternoon, we chose a skewered pork/chicken Kebab with chips each at €12 and also had a couple of small beers each to wash it down, the food was tasty and mostly cooked well (apart from the small sweetcorn cobs which were a little too blackened for my liking), our bill came to €37 which included the tip of a few euro’s, I think this was slightly overpriced for such a casual lunchtime meal, as each meal consisted of a dry crusty bread roll, a couple of chunks of green pepper, half an onion, couple of slices of tomato, 2 over grilled small chunks of mini sweetcorn cobs and just 4 bite sized chunks of meat each, accompanied by skinny chips, the kebab items were also already removed from the skewer (I’m guessing this was for everyone’s safety and that they just didn’t trust us with a skewer each!!!) and maybe I felt it a tad expensive just because I was really, really, really hungry that day and just wanted more!!!  However I think perhaps you are paying more for the service and view, which is I have to admit very picturesque, as the restaurant also overlooks the mountain “Sierra Blanca” so with the wonderful views of that together with the lake… there is a certain wow factor, and although out in the hills and away from the bigger towns it seems a very popular place for people to come, meet up and enjoy a meal…

Until next time…

Take Care

Donna x

GPS Coords Camping Presa La Vinuela N36°52’25”  W4°11’9″   €17 pn 7 nights for 6 deal with ASCI discount card

 

Up in the mountains

We had a bit of a traumatic drama on the last evening of our beach wild camp, Toffi made a very, very poor decision and ended up with a barbed fishing hook lodged and pierced right through her tongue!!   She’d picked it up on the beach and it was a pretty nasty ordeal for all of us, Pete ran back across the beach in his flip flops to the motorhome to retrieve some side snips to cut the hook, while I was trying to dislodge this nasty looking barbed hook and keep her calm, Pete managed to snip one end of the hook, unfortunately we couldn’t snip the barbed end, so it was the end that had loads of nylon fishing line attached to it, (however this wasn’t a bad thing as it ensured none of the line was swallowed as this is more fatal to an animal than just the hook!!) while we worked out what to do next, we then had to concentrate on trying to get the rest of the hook back through and out of her tongue…

We tried and tried to get this hook free but we were failing at each try, Toffi had so much faith in me… I felt truly humbled, that a Bull Terrier with such a powerful and strong jaw would allow me to open her mouth and mess around in there, in what must have been such a painful predicament (she wouldn’t even let Pete open her mouth), although Pete had by then started to turn a little pale at the sight of the blood and at watching me trying and trying in vain to get this hook out of the poor dogs tongue, but he held fast, (Pete’s not the best when it comes to injuries or even blood and has been known to almost faint just giving blood) but luckily my first aid training kicked in and the last thing I wanted was for her to now swallow this hook, but I was not having much success freeing this thing trying to push the hook back through her tongue while keeping her calm and keeping her jaw open, so we decided to get her back quickly to the motorhome and find the nearest vet perhaps they would sedate her and free it better without the distress we were causing…

Back at the motorhome Toffi took a small drink and when I checked just after that the hook was gone!!! Now we were left with the dilemma of a missing hook and hoping she’d had the sense to spit it out and hoped she hadn’t swallowed it, we got her to the nearest vet 20 minutes later and to be honest this just made us feel hopeless, I have to say the vets here are all very nice people, but their treatment methods are still a bit behind the times, if I was home in the UK her vet would have rushed Toffi in and had her sedated and done x-rays etc… over here the vet we saw didn’t even examine the poor pooch and just said “oh it’s quite common here” and “happens all the time” her advice… just feed her asparagus and bread, then hope that it binds around the hook and sharp barb, then hope again that it passes through naturally without too much damage, you will know either way in 3 days there’s a 50/50 chance now… good luck just keep a good eye on her!!! If you want an x-ray we will do it in maybe 3-4 days at another vets!!!

Shocked by this we left the vets and straight away headed to the shops, asparagus and bread purchased, Pete cooked up the veggie delight and made it a bit more tempting with some sausages thrown in, within 2 minutes of eating it Toffi proceeded to throw the whole concoction up… which was an absolute delight obviously and probably not helpful to the whole situation… Still no sign of a hook… We gave her time to settle and decided chicken and rice was best to give her with a bit of bread and jam to follow, thankfully this stayed down, it’s been a couple of days since the drama and although Toffi doesn’t seem to be suffering any adverse effects, we will just have to wait for at least another couple of days to know for sure…

 

In the meantime we have been to fill the motorhomes gaslow tanks up with LPG this cost a whole €11.50 for 17 litres which should see us through for a few more months and then we booked into a campsite where we could at least ask for help if we need it, we explained the situation regarding Toffi to reception and they were great and have given us the number for the vets nearby in case we need them urgently… Fingers crossed for Toffi, I have since sat her down and had a word with her about her poor decision making abilities and have advised her to think about things next time!!! (Toffi has been in debate and is now claiming to be the coolest dog in town… what with a pierced tongue, she’s now whining on about wanting to get her ears and nose pierced to match… I have of course laid down the law and told her no chance not until your at least 16 human yrs old!!! we will discuss it again in 10 yrs time!!)

The campsite we are currently on is lovely “Presa La Vinuela” it’s about 20 km inland and the view of the mountains from our pitch is just breathtaking… The site pitches are pretty level and a nice comfortable size, with a nice friendly feel to the place, Facilities clean with lovely piping hot water, washing machines and tumble dryers, swimming pool etc the site however is a bit tight for maneuvering around on, especially on the mid tiers (someone had described the site on the ACSI reviews and excellently described it as not for the faint hearted for this very reason!) but once pitched and settled in, it is well worth the agro of a hard park up… €17pn but a discount of 7 nights for the price of 6 (we are only booked for 3 at present but this is only because of the dog’s situation, if she stays healthy and we don’t have to travel for vets etc we will gladly stay longer)

 

 

 

Although we had walked the terraced style site before pulling in and had both decided on the pitch situated on the bottom tier and overlooking the mountains, as we went in with me walking beside the van ready to help guide us in, Pete must have changed his mind at the last minute and was headed for a totally different pitch, Blimey this guy likes to mix things up, Pete now thinking perhaps it may have been a better pitch on a different tier, this is where we made our mistake… It would have meant our hab door facing the wrong way for sitting out and a lack of space for us to turn around and correct this, so we then had to take our trailer off and do a dodgy 2.5 point turn to get around the rather tight corner, using another thankfully empty at the time side pitch to give us the turning space needed,  but here is also where we almost came a cropper, trying to get out of this turning was another thing and going around the tight corner trying to avoid the concrete walls and metal shade posts which were now surrounding us on 3 sides of the turn was something else, and with our towbar just 1mm away from one of the walls, we finally got ourselves around and down to the tier below and reversed onto the pitch we had originally chosen, we should have just headed straight down the main driveway, turned and reversed straight into the pitch as originally planned… when will we ever learn, I guess some one has to be the entertainment upon arrivals!!!

It was tight for us… so motorhomes bigger than ours at 7.25 metres long would have some issues, my advice for anyone in a bigger motorhome visiting this site would be to choose a pitch on the bottom tier as it’s much easier straight down and then turning either side there, where there are less concrete walls and the road is wider for turning, or stick right at the top but don’t make our mistake and try a middle tier!!!

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We took a leisurely hike to the other side of the dried out lake where I had spotted an empty house and foolishly pointed it out, but being intrigued we had to look… while there I could see the cogs turning and Pete’s thoughts as he was looking around and it wasn’t long before he mentioned “wow this would be great”, along with “what a project” and “look at the view”… I must admit though it was quite a view and would be quite a tempting project… with a rather shoddily built and half finished swimming pool attached to boot… I guess the place has good potential… there are just so many buildings over here that would be amazing if actually completed… but then I look at the shoddy workmanship and quality, also the bricklaying skills with walls put up by what look like unskilled brickies… but yes what a project… however I would have been tempted to simply pull the building down and start again… if we won the lottery I told Pete we could come back and buy it no problem… because at a guess it would cost at least 300k as is to get to a proper standard (or at least my standard!!!) But I could certainly see the attraction of this building with both the views of the lake and mountains… and currently it’s just left rotting away and full of birds nests…

 

We are off to enjoy the weather while it’s nice and explore the surroundings till next time…

Take care

Donna x

GPS Coords Camping Presa La Vinuela N36°52’25”  W4°11’9″   €17 pn 7 nights for 6 deal with ASCI discount card

Wilding on Benajarafe beach… Costa del Sol…

After spending a week on the very nice campsite Valle Niza we decided to wild park on the beach for a few nights… Benajarafe beach, part shingle with wild looking, dark coloured sand and full of lovely sea shells the sunset has been amazing to watch and the weather warm both at day and night…

 

 

 

I have been keeping a memory jar of sea shells i thought it would be nice to make something with them, either when we get home or along the way that is if I can find a fine small drill that’s gentle enough to make the fine holes with and then the parts I need to make the stuff I have in mind, I could then use my time to craft with the collection…

The beach here is nice and quiet with the restaurant La plata Casa Matilde nearby which is also on the beach we plan 3 nights here, there’s currently  between 3 and 10 vans parked up here each night near the reed beds at any given time…

 

 

 

Toffi of course has loved having the beach right on her doorstep and has had the smell of a salty wet dog ever since we’ve been here, she then spends her evenings sprawled out, dog tired and sleeping off the sea air with a rather relaxed and obviously a rather attractive snaggle tooth look about her!!!

 

 

 

We have chilled out while we have been here walking the length of the  beach, the dogs been in seventh heaven but it will be time to move on soon enough, we will either stop at an aire or campsite we haven’t yet decided as we really need washing machines/dryers for the bedding and blankets, empty black/grey water and the motorhome needs a good clean out inside…

Have fun till next time

Donna x

Benajarafe beach wild camp GPS N 36°42’57” W 4°10’44”

 

A meet up in Malaga – Camping Valle Niza

We found our pitch at Valle Niza and true to word right next door to our friends, we pulled up at around 4pm on the 10th Feb, some of the campsite residents were playing boules and as usual our pitching up turned into comedy central (well someone has to entertain the regulars)… it’s pretty tight for maneuvering in this campsite and we at first tried pulling off and into the site side lane where our pitch was and reversing in from there, but it was turning out to be an impossible task, so with the help of the very nice men who were playing boules, we came out again into the main site lane, reversed into our pitch from there with the boules men shouting instructions and pointing out the high kerb etc to Pete and me nipping round the other side of the motorhome, where I noticed we were just about to hit a metal site sign, which in turn would have gauged out the side of the motorhome… so with me super sprinting towards and then grabbing the sign, I managed to turn it out of the way just in time and before any impact, and more importantly also before an instant wipe out of all four of my fingers… phew!!! Before we knew it we were in the plot!!! I must admit I have great admiration for the driver of the massive RV (approx 10 metres long) parked up on the other side of us, hats off to him, not sure I would want to take that down the country lanes of Cornwall though…

The site Camping Valle Niza is I have to say one of the prettiest we have been too in a while, with lovely and attractive red and orange flowering shrubbery and with well kept lawns making the exact right first impression, the facilities are lovely, clean and with plenty of hot water, the staff are helpful, friendly, very welcoming and we recieved a free bottle of red wine on arrival… There’s a gym for a good work out if you feel the need and a physio room here (I might pop into physio, see if they can help my shoulders!), there’s a yoga room and a social room with a plentiful supply of different books to swap and borrow (I dropped off at least three books into the library that I had already read and that we were just carrying around), there are Spanish language lessons, a playpark area for the children, and a boules playing area and also table tennis, the WiFi here is €2 a day for a login code but offers are available for longer terms at a very reasonable rate and there is ample speed to the network too, so very worth while for the money!! All in all I have been very impressed with the site and I would highly recommend it to all…

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We had plenty of entertaining evenings with Anne and David, we are so glad we managed to meet up with them again on our travels… On Tuesday this photo of Toffi was taken by Anne while we were enjoying an evening with them, poor Toffi as you can see in the photo was left home worrying over our well being and was keeping an eye on everything from the motorhome window, Wednesday we made sure Anne and David were well fed, we cooked them what turned out to be a rather runny fajita meal with nacho crisps and dips for starters and allowed the wine to flow (Toffi even managed to steal the nacho crisps later in the evening, naughty dog!!), we then had a wonderful curry and drinks at Anne and Davids on the Friday night… Anne and David were fabulous company for the week and we had a fab time, we shall certainly miss them!!! If you are reading this Anne and David Thanks for tolerating us, and our bad cooking, also thanks for tolerating Toffi’s barking for the week… And thanks again David for treating Toffi to extra walks, I am pretty sure you have a friend for life!!! Have fun and stay safe on your travels…

While we are out walking Toffi in the last few days we were also checking out the area, we’re thinking of having a couple of days wild camp in the area… David had mentioned a place down the road which looked quite appealing and we’d spotted another park up just up the road so we’ll see which one we chose!!

 

 

We’ve taken Toffi on the darkly sanded/shingle beach several times while we have been here and today we visited the part of the beach down the road (again checking out the wild spot David had mentioned and directed us too earlier) while there we did a small plastic clean up on the beach, we only a picked up on few foot of the beach but that’s a fair amount of plastic for just a few feet of ground, luckily there were bins provided all along the beach, so it was just a matter of picking what plastic and rubbish we spotted and putting it into the bins, it is near where we are considering doing some wild parking so if we do decide to go there we will do a bigger litter/plastic pick up as a payback to the community… Spain does seem to have a lot of plastic and other litter laying around, so “every little helps” as the Tesco’s saying goes!!!

 

 

While we were at the beach some bloke strapped what I can only describe as a big fan looking thing to his back and took off on a half parachute type thingy, I guess a bit like powered hand gliding or is it called paragliding, I have no idea what the sport is really called it’s just a guess… so for those of you with the knowledge, answers on a postcard and all that Jazz… but I have to say it did look rather fun and I bet he had some amazing views from up there…

 

 

Saturday morning came and it was time for us to leave Valle Niza our bill for 7 nights was €112 we have now parked up on the beach Playa Matilde there’s also a restaurant and cocktail bar here on the beach, I talked Pete into us having lunch in the restaurant after a stroll on the beach, I had steak Pete had grilled sea bass our meal came to €42 including the tip we didn’t have starters etc but we did have the most expensive mains on the menu, but we wanted to treat ourselves and because we intend to wild camp it also means we have still put into the local economy.

 

we also spent 30 mins picking up plastic to help the environment and I had also promised to do so for our avid environmental friend Louise, who has just started a plastic clear up web page for beaches… again “every little helps”… amazing how much plastic we cleaned up in just 30 mins and hopefully it will help make the sea and beaches a nicer and safer environment for both humans and the wildlife…

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We are going to wild camp here tonight and hope we don’t get moved on, it is a lovely and peaceful place to enjoy…

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Until next time folks enjoy

Donna x

GPS Camping Valle Niza  N36°43’10”  W4°9’53”  €19 pn but cheaper deals for longer stays with ACSI card

Casa Matilde wild camp GPS Coords N36•42’57” W4•10’47”

Next stop… Marbella!

It was soon time for us to pack up and leave Camping Torre de la Peña after staying for 5 nights the final bill came to €103 (€5 of that was the dog tariff, I don’t mind campsites charging a small extra for the dog, most campsites do, but I do wish they would at least chuck in a daily walk for it… like first thing in the morning would be great for them to come pick her up for a half hour walk, while we catch a lay in or at least give us time to get some coffee into our systems..)

We stopped off in the town of Tarifa on our outward travel, parked up on the outskirts where there was plenty of parking and walked up to the main drag which is full of great surf shops, we then took a stroll down to the old town part which was very quaint and typically Spanish, another lovely place to visit. We walked back to the motorhome along a pathway lined with palm trees next to the beach.  There is a field for motorhomes to park in, on the outskirts of the town Tarifa for free (head into and follow the road adjacent to the stadium, and it’s close to the local police station), we didn’t stop there and I didn’t get Coords but it looked like they had a black waste/grey emptying facility there which could be handy, but I really didn’t notice if they had a fresh water filling point.

We were soon on our way again, we drove past a rather large rock called Gibraltar, then drove through a few towns, up some motorways, we paid a total of €5.15 on toll roads (take heed France as your tolls are way too expensive in comparison!) and then through some tunnels, some with high bridges leading into those tunnels on which we sometimes got side whipped with high winds, but we ended up in Marbella safely and at a popular campsite called Cabopino where we are staying for 4 nights at €19pn, the place is packed and we can certainly see why…

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We are parked just across from the bar on this site (which Pete’s quite happy about), we popped in to have a couple of drinks when we were set up and settled in, they held a “quiz night” that night in the bar and today the campers are all being treated to free drinks and food from the campsites social room, I must admit it went down a treat! the paella, bread, sausages, chops and kebab sticks were lovely, washed down with a choice of free beer, wine or sangria…

Nice to see campsites doing this, I can see why the place is so popular, there is always something being done here for the campers benefits, there’s a heated indoor swimming pool that is open, as well as an outdoor pool here also which is nice, usually there’s just an outdoor pool which are all closed in the winter months as its out of season…

On our third night here the bar held a music night, they had 2 singers perform in the bar area, seemed to be most of the long-term stayers really enjoyed the list of Elvis, Tom Jones and Roy Orbison songs being belted out rather loudly over a microphone till 11.00pm…

WiFi seems an issue here apparently the speed is really poor and it is the most expensive I have seen so far at any campsite at €19 for just 3 days access with poor speed that is a pretty excessive price, value wise… Of course Pete bought into it and pretty much regretted it straight away…

We walked to the beach on a wet cold day, but when we got there Toffi was very disappointed to see the no dog signs… so we headed back cold, wet and disappointed!…. but the next day was much warmer and we found another part of the beach with sand dunes, Dunes de Artola, with a much more scenic walk, and Toffi got to enjoy the sea and the sand, she is now tucked up in a warm blanket sleeping of the exercise, and dreaming of yet more beaches…

We have been in contact with our friends Anne and David who we met all the way back in Caceres campsite and then met again at Turismo, and we plan on meeting up with them at the campsite they are on, Valle Niza, we phoned ahead to book as our friends had said it was pretty busy and to be safe get it booked, we were then told to email for a booking which we did, but in the meantime Anne had approached reception and managed to secure the pitch right next door to them… What an absolute star!! We are really excited and should get to see them on Sunday it will be lovely to catch up with them both…

I was contacted during the week and informed my mum had been taken into hospital poorly, she seems to have contracted that dreaded awful Aussie flu that is currently going around the UK and with her already suffering with lung problems she has been told she will need to stay in for the next week at least… Hope you get well soon mum x

There’s a carpark down near the sand dunes not far from the campsite  and there are a couple of motorhomes parked up in there might be good for a nights stop over wilding… They at least seem to be getting more sunshine there then we are on our shaded campsite pitch…

Well enough from me for now

Take care

Donna x

GPS Coords Camping Torre del la Peña N36°3’23” W5°39’31” €24.80pn

Camping Capobino N36°29’21” W4°44’35” €19 pn with ACSI discount

 

Tarifa

We moved on from Camping La Rosaleda on the 1st Feb, our final bill there came to €51 for 3 nights, we travelled an hours journey to the next stop we had on our plan, only to find the site closed, after a faff around and us turning around, where Pete managed a three point turn quite nicely with the trailer still attached just in front of the closed site gates, we found ourselves moving off again to the next stop on our plan, but, looking at it on the sat nav, it was going to take another 2+ hrs of driving to get there, so we were looking out for sites along the way, we managed to pull in at a roadside campsite sign and found ourselves at Camping Torre de la Peña near Tarifa, with a pitch found we settled in, we took a walk to see what was around, you can see the coast of Africa from here, the lights twinkle at night from the not so far off shores of Morocco, Tangier, which is just across the short span of sea that separates us, what a small world we live in!!!… If we didn’t have Toffi with us we could have travelled over and had a day trip to Africa… But nevermind we shall leave it for another adventure!!!

 

 

The site here is fine, staff friendly, the facilities clean, although these are a little draughty and open to the elements, unfortunately there’s only wifi at the reception or at the bar so we shall have to use our measly 12gb on our 3 mifi account, we will stay for 5 nights here to enjoy the views, the rate is €24.80 but 3 nights or more gives a 20% discount and so on which brings the price back down to approx €19pn… We have a pitch with a close sea view at last!!  Some campsites around here are charging €40pn at that rate it’d be cheaper to get a package holiday with flight and hotel for a week!!!

 

We thought we had better check out the bar and have ourselves a cheeky afternoon drink after we got here and were pitched, dogs are not allowed in or too near the bar, so we found ourselves sitting on a concrete bench near the end of the building, ostracized because of having Toffi with us… Nevermind we have drinks back at the motorhome anyway, so after a quick half, off we stumbled back to chill out back at the dog friendly motorhome…

DSCN0081

We took a stroll to see what was around, we rambled partly along the roadside where we encountered our 1st nest of the dreaded  processionary caterpillars, then partly into wooded areas (where a feisty dog thought he would give chase and have a good bark at us… I gave chase back and he skittered off and hid… some guard dog!) then we walked  partly along the coast and across what there were of beaches, we climbed down and along the rocks, even with the tide out here it doesn’t give much beach area to walk along, I am finding it a little frustrating for walking here, as it’s not really set up for pedestrians and you are pretty much expected to walk along busy main roads with huge lorries, cars and other traffic careening past you at speed, it’s pretty unclear where you are or are not allowed to walk, and the marked out walks on the maps reception have given us were also pretty unclear when we tried to walk them as we came across fences etc.

Anyhow Pete wanted to get to some Roman ruins called “Baelo Claudia” which we had driven past on the way here, but trying to walk to it we soon came to a full stop, that is when Pete wanted me to walk through a field full of bulls… again, (I avoid fields with cows and bulls in, as I must admit I like them to look at… but am very weary of being too near them, last year Pete made me walk through a field full of massive bulls, I did so nervously and under much protest and although nothing bad happened, when we got to the exit gate on the other side of the field there was a big red farmers warning sign saying “Danger” and “Do not enter field” because of the bulls!!! I swore then, no more walking through fields with cows and bulls in!!) just before that Pete was trying to get me to try a bit of rock climbing over cliff faces (yeah I’ve come to the conclusion he’s either hilarious or deluded)… Over here you follow small pathways which you think must go somewhere and they pitter off to dead ends, it certainly makes you appreciate the national trust in the UK for providing long, well marked out good walks with half decent walkways back home, I think they assume over here you are going to drive to every destination.

 

I had managed to trip out the electrics here on this site at least 5 times in the first two days, so I am guessing the amperage is pretty low, as even just putting the kettle on alone sometimes blows it…

It’s been quite low temperature wise with on/off stormy weather the last few days in between some sunnier times with temperatures ranging between 8° on colder days to 16° on warmer days, we have been hearing reports now of snow in Valencia and Alicante so we’ll move slower up the coast and hopefully miss that delight…

Apparently dolphins, orcas and pilot whales pass through the strait of Gibraltar of which we are looking out on to, so I have been eagerly on the look out for some, but haven’t seen much apart from lots of big ships passing through, it’s one of the busiest shipping lanes worldwide with an estimated 80,000 ships passing through the strait every year…

 

Pete had set off on his bike to go in search of seeing the ruins, while Toffi and I stayed at camp and did the boring stuff like the washing etc… I thought it far too busy a road to take Toffi in her doggyhut on, just in case she freaked out while we were riding along, Pete took hrs to return back to camp and I must admit I had started to worry slightly… but when he got back it turned out he hadn’t realised just how far away the ruins were, he had done over a 15 mile round trip on his bike, he was pretty tired when he finally got back from seeing a bunch of old rocks, but Pete insists it was more like a 30 mile round trip, google maps says otherwise…

 

Till next time

Take Care

Donna x

GPS Coords Camping Torre del la Peña N36°3’23” W5°39’31” €24.80pn 20% discount 3+days (approx €19pn), other offers available for longer.