A return to Banos de Fortuna (we finally found the Roman ruins :)

On leaving the desert plains of the Cabo de Gata we decided to head back to the Banos de Fortuna with a view to finding the ruins of the Roman baths – which we summarily failed at on our last visit!

This time we had a couple of days at the back of the site (Camping La Fuente) with no electric before moving back to the access road with electric for a few nights.  We would have been really happy to stay where we were, but couldn’t as there was someone booked in.  (Note: If you have a non-electric spot the swimming pool is included in your 15Euro nightly charge – bonus!)

Anyway we were very happy to be back – and it was very much hotter this time!  Our first mission was to find the roman ruins, which turned out to be much easier than we thought.  It helps if you talk to the right people of course!  Straight up through the village past the church, slight left and hop over the ‘chain’, follow the track – the ruins are on the right, but it’s worth looking to the left as well 🙂

We were really surprised at how much there was left and also at the fact that nothing is being made of them at all since an earthquake (I would have loved to have seen them before the earthquake).  Apparently this is actually only a tiny proportion of the original site, much of which is now buried beneath the ‘modern’ buildings (built in the 18th century).  See here for more information on the area.

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Having finally succeeded in our mission we tured our attention elsewhere.  On searching for a new gas bottle (we should have just bought it on the site) we drove past, for the 2nd or 3rd time, a reservoir that looked to be worth a visit.  So we headed back out there and followed signs to try to find somewhere to park up and explore.

We found somewhere and were able to walk across the top of the dam, from where we found the water didn’t appear quite so enticing 😦  We chatted to a couple of other Brits who had attempted to walk around the reservoir – they told us that it was very uneven and you never really get close to the water, and having walked for a couple of hours they didn’t really seem to have got very far!  So we decided against it 🙂

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Instead we had a little wander finding a couple of abandoned old buildings, and also plenty of evidence of drug taking and, seemingly, someone taking potshots at bottles (lots and lots of glass).  So not the best of expeditions, but at least we know now!

The other thing that we did that we hadn’t managed on our last visit, was to visit Tina’s bar properly and eat there (we had fish and chips – very good).

The only other activities that we engaged in whilst staying here was taking advantage of having free entry to the pool for a few days, finding new running routes and basically lounging around doing very little 🙂

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Another day, another sunset
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Our 2nd pitch at Banos de Fortuna

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We would highly recommend a visit to this area.  We thoroughly enjoyed our time here (on both occasions).

Next stop, Valencia 🙂

We stayed:  Camping La Fuente, Banos de Fortuna

Previous Post and site:  Cabo de Gata         Camping Park Olivares

Next Post and site:                                           Camping Valencia, Pucol

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Tarifa and Bolonia (Roman ruins – Baelo Claudia)

A few days on the south west tip of Spain with it’s stunning beaches 🙂

From Casares we headed back to Castillo Duquesa to pick up the little car, and from there it was off towards Tarifa for a few days.

We had decided on Camping Valdevequeros from the ACSI book, which wasn’t our favourite site!  However, it was opposite the most beautiful beach – Valdevequeros – which reminded us very much of Portugese beaches.

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So we spent a very pleasant afternoon on this beach – I even went in paddling (the water was cold but I got in up to my belly!)  We found an area where many campers were parked up – unfortunately we couldn’t take advantage as we had a problem with the gas that Calv didn’t fix until we got to our next site).

We also found out about Baelo Claudia, an extensive site of Roman remains just a few miles away that is free to visit and has lots to see – we spent a good couple of hours here.

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Along the road where Baelo Claudia is  there are several areas where campers are parked up – we didn’t really fancy any of these areas though.  But we did drive on up past the roman remains until we couldn’t go any further on the rutted road (we were heading into a military area…)

We also went into Tarifa on the Saturday.  Once we had parked just past the port we took a footpath down towards the beach (this isn’t such a nice beach!) where we explored a few abandoned houses – there were many that looked abandoned but on closer inspection they were several that were clearly lived in, as well as a couple that seemed to house several dogs – that liked barking!

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Once back up on the road we headed into the old town.  The town was very busy on a Saturday afternoon, with the tapas bars full and lively.  When we wound our way round to the castle we found that we had just missed the chance to visit as it was closing to new visitors.  It was all pleasant enough, but certainly didn’t grab us as several other places have.  Still, worth a visit.

We stayed:       Camping Valdevequeros

Previous Post: Casares

Next Stop:       Cadiz

We stayed:       Camping Playa las Dunas, Puerto de Santa Maria

 

 

Discovering new places in Spain

The day that we came across the border from France into Spain was, it’s fair to say, a bit stressful…

Firstly we were affected, twice, by the fuel protests happening all over France.  First as we tried to leave Narbonne, and then as we tried to get onto the motorway at Perpignan.  I simply cannot imagine anyone getting away with protests like these at home – making a point and then letting people through, fair enough; burning tyres at the side of the road and not letting anyone through (as happened to us on Saturday) would not be tolerated.  On Sunday they were holding everything up for about 15 minutes and then letting a few vehicles through – I guess thereby keeping the police off their backs.  We were probably held up for a total of about 1 1/2 hours.

Then, once in Spain, we had heavy rain (yay, welcome to Spain!!) and started noticing increasingly bad floods in the fields alongside the road.  As we neared our chosen site we suddenly came across a road closed sign (no diversion or anything…), so we stopped to find a new route, only to have the same thing happen again.  It was due to flooded roads and this time we were sent off on a diversion by the police manning the closure.  A very interesting diversion it has to be said (it was a road, but not really if you see what I mean!) – anyway we made it through and stayed 1 night at a different site (which was actually very nice – Mas Patoxes, Pals) before heading to L’Estartit and our chosen site, les Medes, in the morning.

Approacing l’Estartit via Toerella de Montgris we could see a castle sitting high atop the mountain – every time we passed it over the next couple of days we would look at each other and say – ‘We’re going up there!’ (and we did 🙂 )

But before we did we visited Empuries at L’Escala, a little way up the coast, cycled around l’Estartit – through the floods and getting waylaid by a little bar open outside the marina (oops) and also took in Dali’s castle in Pubol.

Empuries, l’Escala

This is a really interesting site – it is, in fact, 2 ancient cities that have been unearthed (this is actually on-going) – 1 Greek (this came 1st) and the other Roman (bigger, but only 20% so far unearthed).

For just 5.50 Euros each we spent a couple of hours wandering the 2 cities and learning of their history, via the audio guide included in the price; visiting the museum and also having a quick drink in the cafe (2 drinks and 2 cakes for about 6 Euros).  We would probably have stayed longer but our feet were aching!

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The ruins at Empuries
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The ruins at Empuries

This had been a particularly busy day of exercise for me as I had been out for my 1st run in over 3 weeks that morning, surprising myself with how much I enjoyed it!  I had also taken advantage of the indoor pool at the campsite the afternoon before – so I was feeling very smug with myself.

I don’t want to go on too long in 1 post so will write about our cycle ride, visit to Pubol and climb up Montgris to see the castle in a separate post. (See Castello Dali and a climb to see Castello Montgris)

Keep travelling 🙂