Balerma and Sangria

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Finally the storm passed and we managed an escape from the mountains of the Sierra Nevada on the morning of Tuesday 6th March we meandered our way steadily back down the twisty, winding mountain roads from campsite Orgiva (total bill for 7 nights was €127) then we headed back towards the coast, we travelled on for another 60 km, although the weather had eased the wind was still lurking about awaiting the unwary up high upon the viaducts, we had looked at a campsite not too far from the bottom of the mountains but decided to head just a little further instead and hopefully find some sun…

We stopped at Camping Mar Azul in Balerma €17 per night, it was time to get up to date with the boring stuff like bedding & clothes washing, cleaning and just generally sorting ourselves out, washing machines here are €4.50 per load, tumble dryers were €3 per load, we washed 3 loads of which we managed to dry 2 loads on the line and 1 load in the dryers, over €15 spent on this alone, getting your washing clean costs a small fortune when your on the road, and although you can hand wash some stuff… that is ok if you just need to freshen things up… but you certainly miss not having a washing machine!!!

We will be staying at Camping Mar Azul in Balerma for 3 nights and shall be moving on, on Friday 9th, the campsite itself is lovely, good sized pitches with sun, attractive, the site is very clean and tended too extremely well by the staff here, who are also friendly, the facilities are clean, although I found the hot water in the women’s showers to be a little hit and miss at times… there’s free wifi here which is a bonus but it also can be a bit hit and miss, there are play areas for football, basketball, Boules, tennis, table tennis and also a playpark for the smaller children along with some very attractive looking swimming pools but because it is out of season these are currently closed…

The campsite is placed on the coast and is surrounded by fields and fields of plastic covered polytunnels, the sat nav sent us on roads through these fields to get here, these are not really noticeable from inside the campsite but give the surrounding landscape a rather unkempt look upon travelling through the field areas, along with a lot of evidence of plastic contamination also littering the area, but I guess whatever they are growing inside those tunnels need the protection either from pests or the weather…

While at Camping Mar Azul we decided to go for a lunch at midday in the campsites cafe only to find they were not serving food until 6pm… so instead we shared a jug of Sangria for €8 which came with some free Tapas to tide us over consisting of a selection of 4 slices of meats, olives and cheese and we decided to come back later for a meal…

Unbeknownst to us Pete had mistakenly paid twice for the lunchtime Sangria thinking he was paying a deposit for a reservation for later that evening… so he’d actually paid €16 at lunchtime, we returned at 6pm for Paella at €12 each and another jug of Sangria at €8 upon paying the bill in the evening is where we realised that Pete hadn’t paid a deposit for the reservation but accidently paid twice for the Sangria at lunch time instead and we were then billed €32 and having no change available Pete then gave €40 for the bill and told the waiter to keep the rest as tip (now I am not tight and we always give a 10% tip as is expected here) but we are also travelling on a budget, so I was not amused at realising we had now spent nearly €60 for a Paella each and 2 jugs of Sangria which should have come to only €40 or €44 with a tip this is the reason we are becoming reluctant to eat out anymore and at this rate I shall have to return to work or we will be begging in the streets… almost every meal we have eaten out at so far on our tour we have unfortunately been overcharged for… although it would seem more our own fault for the overcharge this time I shall in future be keeping a stricter eye on the costs if we eat and drink out and limit our gaffes… but I must admit both the Sangria and Paella were extremely good, as were the serving staff…

The bill for 3 nights Camping Mar Azul in Balerma will come to €51 plus extra for any electric used over the 4kw allowance given per day, we liked the site very much but are moving on due to a lack of places to go and adventure outside of the site, there is a beach just across the road which we thought would be ideal, but we were extremely disappointed to find the beach so contaminated with litter it was far from the ideal place, Toffi came out in hives and another nasty rash after just 5 minutes of walking there, so it was now a no go area, it is such a shame as it would have been such a lovely beach for visitors and we would have stayed longer if this was the case, but for the state of the outside area at a guess you would need a party of up to a thousand volunteers to clean this beach as it went on for what looked like miles as did the litter… litter as far as the eyes could see!!!

Although we have visited some lovely beaches on our tour so far, I have also been disappointed by the state of some of Spain’s beaches and saddened to see the huge amount of plastic contamination and litter on many of them, but it would seem the water quality on some of these beaches can also be a hidden danger too, so far our dog has been made ill/injured twice in just the last couple of months both of these by beach visit related incidents, as we come from Devon in the UK with lots of coastline and beaches on our doorstep we know all too well how hard it can be environmentally to keep beaches clean and protect the nature, but to also attract tourists and keep locals happy at the same time and we know a lot of money goes into making this happen in the UK… So it’s a sorry state of affairs to see such a contaminated beach that could with a little effort be such a welcoming place to visit…

We saw some signs to a Roman ruins site so we shall try to visit that either today or upon leaving here tomorrow and see where we end up from there, we really want to find somewhere that will be good for exploring and with somewhere for the dog to have a good old romp around…

Catch up soon

Take Care

Donna x

Camping Orgiva N36.8875 W-3.4170  €20.50 per night

Camping Mar Azul Balerma N36°43’22”   W2°52’40”  €17 per night with an allowance of 4kw electric free per day