3 weeks between Malaga and Marbella in a motorhome

A short summary of 3 weeks on the south coast. It gets more interesting once we leave this area (but we have been before, so see previous posts for more detail)

Cabopino Beach

We already knew that we were heading for Cabopino when we got south, the only question was for how long. It started out as 7-10 days but ended up as 3 weeks – I’m not quite sure how this happened, but it did mean that we were able to have a night out with Steve and Denise’s friends for Steve’s birthday before we left. Apart from that 7-10 days would have been more than enough.

We really didn’t get out and about much as we don’t have the car with us and it’s not cycle friendly unfortunately.

So, where did we go?

Well we went, on the bus of course, to Marbella old town, La Cala market (Calv and I walked the 5 miles back) and Fuengirola. Other than that we just had walks and trips to the beach and, of course Happy Hour down at Jorge’s on a Friday 🙂

Buses are really cheap over here. It cost us just over 6 Euros per couple to get to Marbella and back, less than 3 euros to get to La Cala de Mijas and just over 3 euros to get to Fuengirola. Very good value 🙂

Marbella old town is definitely worth a visit with a number of lovely squares. La Cala de Mijas has numerous bars and eateries together with a lovely beach. Fuengirola is surprisingly nice as well with a long promenade along the beach.

We also got back to ‘running’ (both of us) and I did a fair bit of swimming.

I’m sorry it’s a bit boring, but it does get better once we left Cabopino and started seeing new sites. I will try to update much quicker now!!

Santander to the Costa del Sol in a motorhome – how to enjoy this journey :)

Parked up at Area de Autocarvannas in La Guardia de Jaen

Last time we took the ferry to Spain in January 2017 we went into Bilbao and had to then spend 5 nights at our 1st site in Zaurutz whilst waiting to get my tablet back (I’d left it in our cabin…) This wasn’t a major issue though as we were taking our time to reach the coast, via Pamplona.

This time however (January 2022) we docked in Santander (after a nightmare journey – read about it here), and the intention was to travel in the most direct manner south. Together with our travelling companions, Steve and Denise, we decided on the next night’s stop each evening. Actually, let’s be honest here, Steve and I found each evening’s park up between us!

We decided on 3 overnight stops before reaching the coast – it can, of course, be achieved quicker, but we wanted to enjoy the journey and see some new sites on our way.

So the 1st leg was Santander to Aranda de Duero just south of Burgos, roughly 150 miles in total. We stopped in an approved area with services, by the river and had a wander into the lovely little old town across the river. I also met a lady who had the misfortune to have had the same horrendous crossing as I experienced – only this poor lady hadn’t benefitted from the comfort of a cabin 😦

The following day we made it a further 125 miles south to the beautiful town of Aranjuez just south of Madrid. We had been somewhat concerned about negotiating our way around or through Madrid, but it was Sunday and we decided to head straight through (on the motorway of course!) You just need to keep your wits about you and make sure you follow the signs for Cordoba/Granada. I think I was more stressed than Calv trying to ensure I got the navigation right!

This time our stop off was by the side of a river, and just before a campsite (Camping Internationale). We parked up and headed straight across the bridge to the Palace Gardens to follow the river into town. Sadly the Royal Palace was closed, but plenty of bars were open, and we took full advantage. This is a lovely place and we would happily return for another visit.

We had a slightly longer journey the next day (about 175 miles) heading to an Area de Autocaravannas that I’d found in La Guardia de Jaen– it looked wonderful but some of the reviews suggested that we might struggle to reach it in our van. We decided to give it a go anyway as we were coming from the north. Absolutely no issues were experienced and this spot is an absolute gem 🙂 We stayed 2 nights in the end. The only problem was that it took us 3 attempts to find the little supermarket open, and the only bar open at all while we were there was a very local one – Calv poked his head through the door and said it looked like someone’s front room filled with men (exclusively) smoking and drinking.

We saw a red squirrel in the trees in the valley by the area, and Calv and I walked up to viewing point high above us – a very steep climb; one of those that was as bad coming down as going up! We also walked around the town and up to the castle (sadly closed), around the back of the castle to the church (similarly closed) where there were additions tacked on where families were living, down to the garage to get drinking water – there was another bar here that was actually open – entailing another steep climb back up to the van.

The guy in the van beside us also stayed a few days and he used to go off cycling for miles while his wife sat in the sun relaxing 🙂

Click on the link above for advice on how to arrive at this area (i.e. we would recommend that you don’t try and come through the town itself, you need to approach from the north, which might entail going past and then coming back on yourselves). This is probably the best free stopover we have ever stopped on (although Algodanales in the hills north of Ronda comes a very close second 🙂 )

After La Guardia de Jaen we headed for the coast and 1 last free night (in Cala de Mijas) before arriving at Camping Cabopino for a few weeks. We had to go via Granada having found a Caravan Dealership where we could buy ACSI cards (we had ordered ours before christmas but they hadn’t arrived before we left home).

This final stint we did in 1 hit (apart from the stop to buy ACSI). We know the free area in La Cala (de Mijas) well from previous stays, but on arrival we were shocked at how many motorhomes were there! It’s normally very well policed, but they were spilling over outside the accepted area – there must have been 3 times as many vans as would normally be allowed 😦 We decided to stay for 1 night however (it’s very handy for a night out)). We were now able to head out to do a proper shop – we tried the Aldi (not too keen tbh), and then headed back out to Lidl in the morning for the bits we couldn’t get in Aldi!

A meal in El Gusto (because Biddy Mulligan’s shut the kitchen at 5pm – their loss, we discovered El Gusto next door and will return!) was most welcome and very, very good.

We did see last week that the car park has now been cleared of the excess motorhomes and there is just the corner now available (as per usual – there’s still about 30-40 vans in there though)

We’re now settled at Cabopino for a few weeks and in my next post I’ll tell you about trips to Marbella Old Town and La Cala de Mijas (on the bus!)

A short trip around Oswestry and Shrewsbury

A short stop at the delightful CL Marton House Campsite. Unfortunately not too much to say about the area. It was pleasant enough, and maybe the delights of Shrewsbury would have been more obvious had it been a normal year.

On leaving Symonds Yat we headed a short way north towards Shrewsbury. Chosen as we have never really visited this area, not really coast or country it seems to be a little neglected by us campers…

We had already had to change our plans slightly; with the lockdown being reimposed further north we decided against visited Ingleton (it didn’t help that the weather forecast would also have meant pretty much being stuck in the van rather than out walking and enjoying the scenery). We’ll have to save that delight for another time.

We were able to stay an extra night at Greenacres and Felicity at Marton House was very, very helpful. The friends that we had been due to meet up with in Yorkshire were able to book in as well, so all was good.

We arrived the day before Steve and Denise, finding the wonderful (if expensive) farm shop a couple of miles down the road (Moor Farm Shop – located next to a polo club if my memory serves me well). It was empty on our first visit, and we gave into several edible temptations! On our 2nd visit, with Steve and Denise, it was very busy, which, as you all know by now, was exacerbated by all the Covid measures in place.

On our first day, and before Steve and Denise arrived, we decided to take a trip to Oswestry. We actually liked the town located just 5 miles from the Welsh border. It’s impossible to ignore that it’s rather run-down, but there was a nice atmosphere there and some interesting buildings. We also liked the individual decoration hanging outside the town centre buildings, including the many pubs (Oswestry is know for the number of pubs it has!)

We found the remains of the castle (just a mound now really) and also the park on the edge of town featuring lovely flower displays and a statue of Wilfrid Owen, who was born in the town, as well as mini-golf, bowling, a bandstand and many other leisure activities.

Once back at the campsite and with Steve and Denise also settled we set about trying to book a table in 1 of the local pubs. The trouble was this was just as the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme had started and there were literally no tables to be had 😦 So we headed to Baschurch Chippie which Calv and I had driven past on our travels, after having visited one of the local pubs of course (The Red Lion in Myddle) and managing to book an early table for the following day (a day not included in the scheme!) It was well worth it though – the fish and chips were good and so was the meal the following day in the pub 🙂

The following day had been reserved for a day trip to Shrewsbury. I’d heard great things about Shrewsbury so was really looking forward to this. Unfortunately I was left a little underwhelmed, although I genuinely believe this was in part due to covid restrictions, which left me feeling as though the town had little soul, there was very little open and I felt that there could have been more information available to help bring the history alive. eg. Walking back to the car parked near the Abbey, we discovered Wyle Cop. This hill leading back down to the river is full of history and, now, independant shops. But the only reason I know anything about the history is because one of the, closed, shops had put up a display in their window detailing it.

Some of the detail about Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury shown in a shop window display

We seemed to do alot of walking for little reward, but maybe we just took the wrong paths… We did find the castle (closed) and from there the magnificent railway station. We then took a rather long route back to the car, by mistake! We failed to find The Quarry which was probably another mistake. All in all I do think we should visit in happier times to give Shrewsbury a 2nd chance…

On our final day we drove out to Ellesmere, which was lovely, and busy. Definitely worth a visit and helped by the warm weather breaking through 🙂

Whilst I say we would give Shrewsbury another chance, we would only do so if we were passing on our way somewhere else, maybe on our way to Snowdonia..?

Our next stop on this mini roadtrip was to be the highlight (yes, even after Lymouth & Lynton and then Symonds Yat!!) when we headed up to Derbyshire to stay near Buxton.

We stayed at: Marton House Campsite (CL)

Previous post: Symonds Yat

Next post: Derbyshire Dales (staying at Beechcroft Farm)

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

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

 

 

Delights on our Doorstep – Days out from Cabopino

Staying at Cabopino Camping? Here are some ideas for days out and what to find in the surrounding area.

This is my last post from our time at Cabopino and I’m aiming to mop up all the places that didn’t merit individual posts.  So this post is just a bit of a mash up 🙂

I have dealt with the following days out already (click to go directly to the relevant post):-

Malaga

Banos de la Hedionda

Embalse de la Concepcion

Ronda

Camino del Rey  (also our 1st visit was covered back in 2017)

Gibraltar (from our visit in 2017)

Many people also visit Antequera and El Torcal from here, but we actually stayed near there instead so this will be recorded in a later post.

But this wasn’t all we did (of course not – we were at Cabopino for over 6 weeks this time!)  There follows a short summary of all other days out during our time there.

Benalmadena

I visited Benalmadena years ago with my boys (staying in the Flatotel which was perfect for us at the time).  Whilst we were there that time we visited the theme park, Tivoli World (I was never going to get away with not going was I with 2 young boys in tow!)

This time though we were determined to go up the mountain in the cable car.  We tried twice….  The 1st time we got to Benalmadena before realising that the weather wasn’t as warm there as back at Cabopino, and would, of course, be cooler still at the top of the mountain – plus neither of us had bought any sort of warm top with us.  So we had to abort.  The trip wasn’t a complete wash-out though – we sat and had a drink in a cafe and found a cheap perfume shop where Calv managed to buy me a birthday present 🙂

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A month later we finally found the time to return to head up the cable car.  This time it was much warmer but we went fully ready for all eventualities – except for the fact that the day before we arrived it had closed for a month (as, apparently, it does every year…)  We are completely useless and really must be better prepared. Continue reading “Delights on our Doorstep – Days out from Cabopino”

Christmas and New Year in a Motorhome in the sun (sort of…!)

Apart from a visit to family in Spain almost 25 years ago I have never spent Christmas outside of the UK.
Now I have not only spent christmas abroad, but also New Year AND whilst staying in the van no less 🙂
Plus a New Years Day dip in the mediterranean

It took a while for me to be persuaded to head out to Spain before Christmas and therefore to spend Christmas away from home, but once persuaded I did my best to throw myself into the preparations!

We knew where we were going to be – it’s necessary to make sure you book somewhere if you’re intending to spend christmas/new year touring in Spain; just to make sure.  So we had booked our pitch at Cabopino (as seen on Channel 5’s Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun – and yes we are friends with one of the couples featured, Roger and Jill).  This meant paying a deposit of 60Euros and losing it if (or rather when) we didn’t stay for the full 3 months.  However, we still averaged only 15.98Euros per night so we were perfectly happy.

We arrived on site on 6th December, caught up with friends who were already there (Steve & Denise and Jill & Roger), and quickly set about meeting new friends at the various events that you just can’t help joining in – such as Friday Happy Hour in Jorges Bar and live music in Andy’s Beach Bar on a Sunday afternoon.

Some of these new friends featured in our christmas and new year plans (Jim & his dog, Corrie; Alan & Tracy and Joe & Gayle).

We already knew that we were spending christmas with Steve and Denise (who we met at Cabopino back in 2017) together with Denise’s daughter Marie and her boyfriend (also Steve) and their other friends Sue & Pete (and Pete’s brother, John).  So we were already catering for 9 between 3 of us (me, Denise and Sue)!  But when we met Alan & Tracy who had just arrived and were on their 1st trip abroad with their caravan, we couldn’t leave them to be on their own on Christmas Day.  Then when we found out that Jim didn’t have anything arranged for Christmas Day we couldn’t allow that either – so now we were 12…!

We all put some money in the kitty and, even if I do say so myself, we produced quite the feast between us 🙂 We had the works!  Turkey, beef, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and christmas pudding (provided by Denise & Steve), ham, yorkshire puds, pigs in blankets, carrots, peas, sprouts, roasted parsnips (& carrots) & 2 homemade cheesecakes (provided by me) and red cabbage, cauliflower cheese & roast potatoes (provided by Sue).  And we even had crackers (courtesy of Denise 🙂 )

We set up a couple of tables and requisitioned several chairs in addition to our own and all fitted nicely onto Steve & Denise’s pitch (which was immediately behind ours.  Calv had ‘made’ a gate between the pitches so it was fairly easy to make our way from the van to the table (we had steps beside the 2 foot wall that we had to negotiate).

All cramming ourselves around the tables it wasn’t that much different to having a houseful at home tbh!  Unfortunately the sun didn’t really shine, but it wasn’t cold and we had a lovely time – it was, almost, like christmas at home!

When it got too cold we were down to 9 of us, so we were able to spend the evening in our van (we even all managed to sit down).  We got out the Chase card game and managed to get through it – taking it all a little more seriously after, young, Steve the Quizmaster, told us that ‘We could either play it properly, or not at all!!’  We gave in as he had a bad hip and was on crutches 🙂

So we then had a week to get over our christmas excesses (or rather add to them…) and prepare for New Year’s Eve.  We eventually decided that we would host at our van, but outside if possible.  Although the days are warm at this time of year in Spain the evenings really aren’t!

We set up with a couple of windbreakers, the table, some chairs, lights and lanterns.  We were joined by Steve, Denise, Marie & Steve, Alan (Tracy wasn’t feeling well) and Jim.  As it got colder I brought out all our woolly hats and gloves (which for some reason we have in abundance in the van – they came in very useful) and we just basically drank (6 bottles of champagne were lying on the floor in the morning – the boys weren’t drinking champagne….), sang, quizzed (with the same quizmaster..) and danced (my fitbit recorded me having 19 minutes of aerobic activity at 2am on New Year’s Day!) the night and the early hours away 🙂  We even managed to get in ‘the game’, which we play as a family every year (we managed this on Christmas Day as well 🙂 )

Before midnight we were joined by Joe & Gayle who had been over to Alberts to celebrate, but left early as their friends wanted to.  I do remember the alarm on everybody’s faces when it looked like I might try to do the ‘Dirty Dancing’ lift – to be fair Calv didn’t look scared even though I was running full tilt at him 🙂

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The end of the ‘evening’ NYE 2018 (3.20am 1.1.2019)

We turned the music off at the same time as the camp bar (2am) but the night eventually ended at 3.20am..  I must admit that I thought we were quiet after 2am, but apparently not.. Sorry (but it’s 1 night a year tbf)

In the morning whilst Calv remained comatose I started the clean-up, accompanied by ‘mornings’ and massive grins from our fellow campers.  It was definitely a night to remember!!

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The morning after the night before – 1.1.2019

But our new experiences weren’t yet over.  There is a tradition at Cabopino beach of a mass swim on New Year’s Day.  Now you might think that this is a bit of a cop out being in Spain, but I promise you the water is not warm.  In fact it’s pretty cold!!

Down on the beach for the off at midday, we found cooking stations set up providing bacon butties and sausage sandwiches together with drinks etc.  This is all done by a group of residents and they won’t take any money for it – all they ask is that once you know about it you bring some supplies down so that the food will go further.  Wonderful.

There were hundreds of people thronged on the beach, most of them there to watch but probably about 60-70 of us went in.  You had to just keep running and get in as soon as possible or it would never happen – but once in it was really lovely 🙂  I was in treading water with a group of ladies (including Hannah from Cornwall) when someone notified us quite calmly that there was a jellyfish within feet of us – that was my cue to get out!

 

I’m a little disappointed that I won’t be there to do this again next year 😦  Maybe in a few year’s time though?!

Related Posts & Pages:-

Review for Cabopino

Spain Campsite reviews

 

Ronda – a little Gem high up in the Mountains

A visit to a renowned white town high in the mountains above Marbella. Steeped in history and with unbelievable views.

On arriving at Cabopino we knew that one of the first things we wanted to do was visit Ronda, as we had run out of time with the hire car during our trip in 2017.

This time, of course, we have the little car with us, so a few days after arriving we set off in the sunshine on our daytrip up into the mountains.

Our climb started behind Marbella so we passed some lovely looking complexes on the way, as well as a good number of villas hidden away behind high gates.

It’s quite a long way to Ronda, winding up and up and up, and round and round and round the various mountains!  There are several viewpoints but we left those for the way back.  It’s a very good road all the way, though that doesn’t mean I enjoyed the mountain road anymore than I usually do!

We parked up on the road just before the gates of the old town, completely by accident! So we chose to head in this way – leaving the area of town opposite the gates for another time.

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Our first discovery was the Iglesia del Espiritu Santo (Church of the Holy Spirit).  Fairly unassuming from the outside it’s a different story inside Continue reading “Ronda – a little Gem high up in the Mountains”

A few days of relaxation, exercise and thermal pools – Banos de Fortuna

A spa town in the hills north of Murcia. Amazing thermal pool – well worth paying a little extra for 🙂

On leaving Oliva we were going to head to Isla Plana to stay at Los Modriles (1 of our favourite Spanish sites in 2017), but instead decided to head a little inland to try a new area and different site.

We found ourselves slightly north of Murcia in a little town called Banos de Fortuna, just a few kilometres past the town of Fortuna, but otherwise pretty much in the middle of nowhere up in the mountains.

The clue is in the name ‘Banos’ meaning ‘thermal’.  We didn’t immediately realise this or that this was a proper spa town.  Not until we took a different turn on coming home from the mountains one day and found lots of people wandering around in their dressing gowns!

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We did struggle to find the original spring, although there were a couple of contenders.  There were also 2 campsites; we were staying on La Fuente – not an amazing site but it was home to the, simply amazing, thermal pools 🙂   I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we revisited on our return journey!

The area is very special with the underground water providing a particular environment for rare grasses.  The main picture was taken from our van as the sun went down – and this was our view every morning and evening.

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View from our window at La Fuente – it never got old 🙂

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Our view at Banos De Fortuna

The area was settled originally by the Romans and we rode up into the mountains to find the Cuevas de Negra.  Amazing views but steep inclines on the way – Calv rode his bike all the way up to the caves and then had to come back for mine, as I’d resorted to pushing and was really struggling…

At the bottom of the final incline we found a large abandoned building which was completely open – so we had a look.  This answered some questions about why there are so many ruined buildings around.  There were massive cracks running down the walls.  Calv says that these buildings have no foundations and that is another explanation.  (Also, we’re now convinced that all Spanish buildings are rendered to cover up the diabolical brickwork – we have now seen the backs of many many walls – it’s a shocker!)

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We took a wrong turn on the way back and ended up in the traffic in the, fairly busy, town of Fortuna.  We discussed going further this way, but didn’t really like the feel of the town so headed back up the main road to the site.

On the way we found an English bar, Tina’s Bar, so stopped for a quick drink.  It turns out that there is a large ex-pat community in the area.

The next day we headed out again in search of the original spring and evidence of any roman settlement.  We still have no idea if we found anything, although we did manage to convince ourselves that we might have done!  It was a mini-adventure though coming back down the ‘mountain’ that we had gone up, as the way we went was marked as private land and we ended up clambering down the terraces (which wasn’t as easy as it might sound), and then making our way to the road via an unofficial rubbish tip (that’s what it felt like anyway!!)

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Banos de Fortuna – had we found Roman remains??!!

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Banos de Fortuna

Our final day was spent by the pool.  It cost 6 Euros (which is the normal price for non-campers, but we didn’t purchase ahead of time so got no discount).

It was worth every penny.  Not only was there a constant temperature of 38degrees, there where jacuzzis and massage jets that were every bit as good as having a real massage 🙂

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The pool at Banos de Fortuna

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The pool cover at Banos de Fortuna

All in all a fitting end to our time here.  Our next stop was back on the coast at a site we’d previously stayed at, Mar Azul – we weren’t initially heading there but more of that in my next post 🙂

Related Content:

Campsite used:- La Fuente (click for our review)

Next Campsite:- Mar Azul, Balerma (click for our review)

 

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 🙂