Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Do You Know the Way to San José?

Well, we do! In fact we walked to this lovely coastal town from our campsite in Los Escullos at Cabo de Gata. We did a brilliant 10km coastal walk to San Jose for our last Sunday lunch in Spain. The walk home was a bit slower.

More coast

San Jose in the distance

I digress as usual. As you may remember we had a second date in Sevilla with our Texan friends which was of course great fun, and yes we showed them our favourite eating and drinking spots. Lawrence first met John in Tibet in 1987.
Bulls and Texans

At Plaza de Espana

From there we drove back up to Las Alpujarras for some mountain walking and general exploration. We’d done the western end with the Bimobil gang late last year but I really wanted to see the rest of the region and do some decent hill walking. The weather had different ideas. It was so cold outside that after about 5 minutes I was starting to lose my general good humour. So, we spent 2 nights up there and saw the area but couldn’t see us doing any serious walking. So, after leaving the highest campsite in Spain (allegedly) at 1,560m, we whizzed back to coast and that is how we found ourselves at Cabo de Gata.
Snow in the Alpujarra

Trevelez - apparently the highest town in Spain (from the campsite)

This region has been recommended to us by many people along the way and fitted into our plans. Sadly we had to drive through ‘poly tunnel land’ to get there. However the weather was great and we did some fantastic walks. This was really our last place hanging out in Spain before heading north for Barcelona.

Last night was spent in a dreary resort type place, a ghost town in winter. There was a ‘rally group’ there and we wondered why – what would they do? The bar was set up for Karaoke, so we fled.

I really think someone needs to come up with a way of combing Line Dancing with Bingo or Karaoke. It could be a spectator sport – with enough gin.

So tonight we are back in our first ever campsite in Spain! That was November 2011, a mere 3 years and 3 months ago. Blimey, we never thought we’d be back here. It’s just south of Barcelona, and we’ll head in tomorrow. We’ll have a final late lunch in the city and then head to the ferry.

Next stop, Italy (after 20 long hours on a ferry).

PS: I‘ve just looked back over the last few posts and there does seem to be maybe a few too many photos of us eating and drinking! We do cook - honest guv. Anyway, once we hit ‘the trail’ there’ll be no more highlife. Will be good thing for the purse and pants.

Sorry - one more food photo of last Sunday lunch in San Jose.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

We’re on the Move, Baby.

We’ve finally left El P! All our new chums had left and we managed to catch up briefly with friends from previous years, so we felt it was time to move on, after our planned 6 weeks of 'no travel'.

We had a real blast in Sevilla last weekend, showing Andy and Susan from Glasgow all our favourite haunts and of course finding some new ones. We were blessed with good weather and took advantage by drinking vino in the sun whenever possible.

Favourite new tapas bar cum market.

To celebrate Andy’s birthday, we went to my fave eatery. We all loved our meals and I managed to avoid having the Ostrich this time! My duck liver terrine was sublime, and I think the hit of the day.

Birthday Lunch - yes, we had the same table.

Our planned stay in Grazalema has been thwarted by the damned weather. It’s snowing up in them hills and we just couldn’t face it. So, instead we are checking out some local towns of Rota, Chipiona and Sanlucar de Barrameda (another sherry town).

Sadly we left our bikes in El P. We had always planned on disposing of them before we started our mad trek home and this worked out well. The maintenance engineer on site helped us out with some stuff on Boris (spare wheel fitting) and he was glad to take them for his kids. I was happy they went to a good home. Lawrence is happy they are no longer hanging off the spare wheel. I’ll miss my bicicleta, but once we really get going, we won’t need them.
Pintxo Party Chez Boris

And about 4 hours later

We’ll be back in fabulous Sevilla this weekend to meet mates from Texas. John and Travis are having a ‘father and son trip’ to Europe. Fortunately we never tire of this characterful city. Once we leave there we’ll be making our way to Barcelona to catch our ferry on Feb 19 to Civitavecchia. This will feel like the beginning of the end – or is that the end of the beginning? Anyways, it will be the start of the homeward journey.

To refresh your memory, as I doubt you have the details etched on your brain, the plan is:

Split on March 1st by ferry, then south to Dubrovnik, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, NE Greece, Northern Turkey, Georgia (by April), across the Caucasus, Chechnya, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan (please try to keep up), back into Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia – to Vladivostok by mid September – or something like that.

Lawrence is working on setting up a GPS tracker thingy so you can see where we are at any given moment. That way you can let us know!

Paul and Carol (new chums) gave us a bottle of emergency gin in exchange for one of our ground mats. I think we’re gonna need it!

Men At Work - the United Nations step in to help with spare wheel problem.  Spanish, Dutch, German, Scots, Aussie - (I had to supply in some much needed input)