On leaving the coast behind in El Puerto de Santa Maria and heading back into the mountains, we were going to head to a site in Olvera, but at the last minute I spotted a free motorhome service area shortly before Olvera in a little town called Algodonales, about 20 miles north of Ronda. Not only free but with electricity included – seemed too good to be true? It wasn’t! We ended up staying 4 nights 🙂
Once parked up we became aware of lots of music that seemed to emanate from the town itself, which was about a 10 minute walk away. We also spotted a number of walkers heading that way; so we decided that we should head into town ourselves. It’s quite a steep climb past chickens, building yards, lemon & orange groves and numerous streams.
The noise escalated as we neared the main square, where we found a finishing tunnel and an announcer with a microphone welcoming runners (and walkers) back on finishing the Viboras Trail (a run/hike up into the mountains and back – see below).
- The route of the Algodonales Víboras Trail (which translates literally as “Cotton Snakes Trail) is a homage by us to one of the most testing routes in Andalusia. At 16 km in length and 916 meters of accumulated ascent, this route is a level three, and is a speciality trip that can only be accessed by club members. https://xcmag.com/travel-guide/guide-to-algodonales-spain/
We sat at a bar (very busy but we still managed to sit after a few minutes) and enjoyed a drink while watching these amazing people returning from their latest challenge 🙂
On the way back to the van we could see a white town in the distance. We thought we might cycle there in the morning, but then we looked on Google maps and saw how far it actually was! Back at the motorhome area the paragliders, that we’d spotted jumping off the mountain when we first arrived, Continue reading “Algodonales – a paragliders dream”
A lovely stop not too far from the ferry at St Malo. Lovely site near to an interesting town. Also within striking distance of St Malo, where the Old Town is a must see
We’re staying just down the road from Combourg – the nearest town to La Chapelle aux Filtzmeens. In keeping with most towns in this area it is mainly medieval in style with so many ancient buildings. We kept forgetting to look up though, and probably missed loads of it.
We cycled there! Into a headwind and uphill most of the way (very grateful for the extra power!) The next challenge was to make the bikes safe – which we managed to do outside the tourist office – unlike any tourist office we might see at home! If you look carefully at the picture below you can see our bikes chained up under the tree 🙂
There’s a beautiful chateau here, but we tried to visit at 12.30pm, just after they’d closed for an hour and a half. Then whilst staring through the bars that were keeping us out we noticed the long list of things that weren’t allowed in the chateau – including backpacks. That was us excluded then!
We went off to cycle round the lake and have our packed lunch by it’s shores, before heading back to the site. 11 1/2 miles complete we were done in and needed to sit with a nice cuppa before even thinking about anymore activity!
At this point Calv announced that he was craving fat chips – yes already! I said he’d have to make do with a curry, and decided to get on with making it ready for later.
Having finally agreed to go to St Malo old town rather than Dinan we set off (we also gave the SatNav another chance, even though we knew the way, to see if it actually does work – it does!)
We parked outside of the old town because the bridge was closed when we got there, and walked in (by which time the bridge was, of course, open). When leaving we watched it open to let a few yachts into harbour. So we wandered in and spend a good couple of hours walking around the ramparts and the old lanes and alleyways. I’ve got to be honest, the cathedral with no lighting bar a couple of small electric lamps, is quite possibly one of the loveliest I’ve been in, very tranquil.
Another 3 1/2 miles walked and we really are jiggered now, and hungry. That’s why we ate a whole French stick with (and before) our curry (as well as rice). Oops….
- Found the camera charger (which we thought was lost)
- Found Calv’s wet jacket (I’d put it in the inside pocket of mine for ‘safe’ keeping – we’ve spent the last 2 days thinking it was lost…)
- 11 1/2 miles cycled
- Didn’t get lost once all day….
- Found the right satellite 1st time – so could get English news
- Leaving my FitBit behind on charge when we went to St Malo – Calv refused to come back for it!
Weather – overcast (I think we saw the sun for about 5 minutes all day), and cold. Never mind we trek further south tomorrow when we set off for Talmont St Hilaire which is just south of Les Sables d’Olonne.