So with a heavy heart, we finally decided to abandon our plans to visit Cadiz for my birthday and go in search of some sunshine. It was a tough one but it will keep until next trip. The wind and rain are becoming a bit tedious, the poor forecast is around for at least another week. Let’s get the flock outta here!
I did a bit of digging on my various Motorhome Forums and the good weather looked like it was hiding around Murcia. That meant we would also need to bypass Granada this trip, another sad loss but again, it will save. We filled up with gas and diesel, nipped to Aldi for supplies and hit the road. We had to do over 300 miles so quite a journey. The route took us over the Sierra Nevada mountain range which was quite spectacular. I was very pleased not to be driving!! The scenery is something else. There is snow up here, I didn’t expect that.We have now decided to hire a car for a few days when we return in September and explore the Andalusian Pueblos Blancos (White Villages). They are so beautiful but most of them are sadly, too steep and narrow to be navigated in our big bus. Ronda is the largest and in my opinion the most beautiful. Everyone should try and see it, it’s fabulous. The town clings to a steep cliff and straddles the El Tajo Gorge with its Puente Nuevo Bridge. It has the second oldest bullring in Spain, Plaza de Toros. The old Town Hall is now a Parador Hotel. I am definitely having a night there next time I come. The old town, La Cuidad, has quaint, narrow streets. It all has a Moorish feel with its Arab Baths and Museo del Banderas, a Musuem dedicated to the old town bandits.
Each of the towns we pass is steeped in history, they all have their own unique story. So much to see that is off the tourist track. I’m devastated that we couldn’t park up in Ubrique as this is where the leather goods are handmade for the likes of Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Apparently there are some brilliant outlet shops. Dammit!! There are cave dwellings, gold mines and all sorts up in these mountains! Anyway we trap on, through to Almeria and head for the National Park at Cabo de Gata. We arrived just as the sun was setting but at least we saw it for the first time in 4 days! We got parked up with a sea view, mountains to the left and right of us. It was a bit windy but fine and warm. I rustled up one of my one pot wonders. I’m now expert at these!! My Remoska is a Godsend when I have electric hook up but they work just as well in my big stove top casserole pot. That night, I cubed a couple of chicken breasts, skinned and sliced some lovely spicy chorizo from the market in Jerez, chopped red, yellow and green peppers, courgette, garlic, stirred in a carton of Tomato Passata, chopped red chillies, chopped fresh tomatoes and a table spoon of green pesto. Loosen with a drop of red wine. Rinse some pasta, a handful per person, (I used the Marks and Spencer frilly stuff but anything works) in boiling water, once the chicken is almost cooked, add the pasta and plonk the lid on. It’s done in no time. Sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan. Jobs a good un! Serve with a nice glass of Rioja and warm crusty bread.
Next morning we awoke to beautiful blue skies, rolling waves and a low mist coming off the mountains. It looked quite ethereal. We had a lovely walk along the beach. There is an old lighthouse which now houses the local police. The fisherman’s shacks are very poor, it’s obvious that recent storms have had a devastating effect, the men are clearing up the damage to their boats and debris that has been washed up. There is a good fish restaurant which has been recommended to us. Will try that later. It’s strange to see snow on the tops of the mountains when it’s so warm!
It’s an odd place. Just about the whole of Almeria is covered in miles and miles of poly tunnel style greenhouses growing tomatoes. Aside from that it has a kind of a Wild West feel to it. It’s known as The Badlands! In fact, just up the road from Cabo de Gata you can visit a fully fledged western film set at ‘mini Hollywood’. A lot of the old spaghetti westerns including A Fistful of Dollars were filmed here along with a series of Dr. Who. Wonder if Clint Eastwood walked on this beach?!
Anyway, time to move on to our next location. Our friends Brian and Vera from Bakewell have recommended a wildcamping beach spot near the town of Aguilas, Murcia. We are ready for some beach time. It’s approximately another 70 miles away so no time to lose! Found it easily and wow, what a gem! Check out our new back yard!!
There’s a series of pretty coves complete with caves! I am seriously doing my happy dance! We go to sleep to the sound of lapping waves and wake up to see the glittering Med. Heaven? I think so. It’s my birthday eve so we hop on our bikes and cycle into Aguilas town, some 3 miles away. We have heard we can buy fresh fish on the harbour. We go in search of a pre-birthday lunch and goodies for a birthday beach day tomorrow. It’s a nice little town. Not as stylish as we’ve seen but pleasant enough.
We are told cycle helmets are compulsory here in Spain. Don’t they know it will chuff up my hair? Anyway I thought I looked daft in mine until I turned around and noticed Mark had got his on back to front. Never a dull moment! We bought lovely big gambas, baby squid, saffron and everything else to make a yummy birthday paella tomorrow, whoop whoop! Also got some good fizz.
Back at base now watching the sunset. Dylan has had his sea bath and a cavort on the beach with his spotty Dalmatian friend, he’s pooped out bless him!
Might have a little birthday eve drinkies, then, don’t mind if I do. Just trying to boost the local economy you understand.
Cheerio for now dear friends and readers. Salut!!! 🍷🍷🍷