On Saturday it was time to move on again. We know that we have to leave a bit earlier to be sure of getting a spot at our chosen site. So we were ready to go by about 9.30am! We said goodbye to our lovely neighbours, Alistair and Sheila (still touring with Alistair turning 78 this week..) and set off on 1 of our longest trips yet.
However, we’d decided to use the motorway all the way (including the toll sections) and Calv said the drive was really easy, he barely noticed that he’d done it! I would like to say how much it cost but I couldn’t see the cost before we had to pull away 😦 I think it might have been 7.50.
We were heading for Balermo, the Mar Azul to be precise. The drive here showed a sea of plastic, which just got more and more pronounced the further we went. Even the campsite is surrounded by plastic greenhouses – it’s really not very attractive..
We had a choice of spots on arrival and were very happy with the site. It’s apparently been here for about 3 years and they seem to have actually looked at what campers want! The bar’s a bit expensive though – compared to what we’ve been used to anyway! But sitting in the bar chatting with another couple meant we didn’t manage to go to the supermarket. Which meant that we had to wait until Monday to go shopping as there was nothing (except a couple strange shops…) open on Sunday when we cycled into town.
We did go in search of an open Spar though in Balermo. Whilst we love the campsite we hated the town. Not a nice feel about it, narrow, scruffy streets, impatient drivers. Just not nice. In the afternoon we decided to cycle to the marina at Almerimar, 10km down the coast. This was a fairly easy ride, apart from the headwind, half of it on a fairly straight, but fast, road and the rest on a cycle path. We then found a pub, the Stumble Inn, that was showing the rugby! I’d had to watch England v Wales on my tablet, which kept freezing while it caught up. But I did see England beat Wales 🙂
As we’ll be in Marbella by the time of the next match so I don’t think we’ll have any trouble finding somewhere to watch.
There was also a cycle race past the campsite, Clasica de Almeria : I cannot believe the entourage involved in these races!!
Sunday night was characterized by a storm, giving us high winds and rain. The high winds, whilst somewhat muted continued through today (Monday). We didn’t sleep too well (in fact Calv has just gone to bed (at 8pm) as he can’t stay awake any longer!)
There is a Consum on the outskirts of town which is actually ok. We managed to get 50Euros worth of shopping home on our bikes! We always forget that we don’t have a car with us 🙂
We walked over to look at the beach before lunch. The beaches on this stretch of coast are not brilliant. They are deemed to be ‘recommended’ but this refers to the water quality not the actually sand quality.
In the afternoon we decided, despite the wind, to head to the castle that we’d seen on the way to Almerimar yesterday, Castello del Guardia Viaje. So, off we went. The wind was brutal – I was hanging on to my handlebars for dearlife just to keep my wheels pointed in the right direction. Every now and then there was a gust of wind that pushed me slightly off the straight and narrow for a second. Whatever direction we were cycling in the wind seemed to be against us! Cycling up the hill to the castle was brutal, not helped when Calv rode past me with a stupid smirk on his face – he thinks he’s so funny (he’s not – don’t side with him…)
After all that effort we found out that the castle was closed on Mondays!!
I had made a stew in the morning and this was bubbling away in the slow cooker. It was pretty good, even if I do say so myself 🙂
We’re moving on again tomorrow, towards Granada, saying goodbye to some more special neighbours who have been doing this for 57 years and are still touring, and still with their bikes on the back of their van 🙂
On Wednesday we’ll be visiting the Alhambra Palace 🙂