I couldn’t send posts from the campsite wifi so that plan didn’t work!
TO DO *get a phone contract with internet access.
Now there is too much to say but I’m going to say it anyway – sorry, you have been warned, it is long!
We stopped off for our first night camping near Xativa. The romantic fantasy of sleeping beside the hill top castle was scored out when we arrived to find it regulated and fenced off. After a long twilight drive looking for somewhere to park we asked some people about nearby campsites.
They were Belgian and said we could use their land. We followed them to a field in the middle of a plain. There was a shed with two horses and nothing much else.
We closed the gate and parked under a star lit sky, feeling safe enough to sleep well without worrying about intruders or irate landowners waking us up.
We left around 6am and drove the rest of the way to a beach called Genoveses near San Jose in Almeria. Parking beside many other camper vans, we began to make ourselves at home but around sunset the park guards arrived and moved everyone on. It is common in this area to sleep in the beach car parks but sometimes they do a massive clear out and send you to the municipal car park in town. We drove that way but it was now dark and hard to find so we stopped on an empty road on the outskirts of town. Slept well although my body stayed semi-alert for patrol cars and early morning runners and dog walkers made it hard to have a pee.
The countryside was full of wild flowers
Breakfast in San Jose. Three dogs are an extra challenge when it comes to eating out. Especially when two of them fight and have to be kept out of biting distance. We managed this by using the terrace of a lovely pizzeria which served fresh fruit salad as well as toast and honey. Seated by the beach we could watch the stall owners setting up for the day with crystals and nicknacks for the tourists. One stand had rails of those baggy trousers which look like they are made to accommodate adult nappies. And sure enough there were lots of people walking by wearing them!
We moved to a new beach and found many of the other camper vans already there.
This was a lovely day, sunny and hot but with enough wind to keep Blue cool in her black thick coat.
I gave her a haircut – her first ever – with a pair of nail scissors and she ended up looking very chic with a short back and sides.
The sea was very calm. Blue went in almost immediately and swam for a long time.
Lovely to see her
That night we slept very well. No interruptions, all dogs now used to the van and the rhythms of camping. Duna sleeps in the front with her own blanket and the curtains separating her room from the back. Bonnie and Blue curl on the floor space at the end of the bed. In the mornings it’s so easy to open the door and slip out straight onto sandy open space.
Bonnie and I watched the sun rise over the sea.
But the lack of toilets and showers and electricity for recharging the phones/cameras does make a camp site a tempting proposition.
We went to Tau Camping in San Jose. I will write about that in a separate post – it deserves more than a few words. It was wonderful in every way.
There is a bakery in San Jose which sells fantastic cakes. Did I take any photos? No – I just seemed to eat them without even thinking of preserving the memory. He also has great bread and little pasties of spinach or vegetables.
Now installed in the camp site I began to feel more relaxed which meant a day of descans was needed. Here is where I lay and dozed and read and listened to the birds
Now all the days begin to melt into each other.
We explored the park, visited more beaches, ate more lovely Andalusian food.
There is a village which is famous for being used in the filming of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. It was very windy – Blue wasn’t keen to pose. A place called The Middle of Nowhere!
Lunch in a village square with the dogs safely sleeping in the shade in the van.
Duna has to be tied to the seat….just in case….you see, it isn’t straightforward camping with three dogs
The roads were quiet in the interior. Sometimes you are driving along rough tracks, like in the Westerns that were filmed in this area.
Here are rocks in the Mineral Trail, there was once a gold rush around here
We had a long and interesting breakfast with our camping neighbours. She was for many years a naturopath and he worked in theatre. The campsite has little corners strategically placed for morning and evening sunshine with tables and benches. The sparrows join you companionably, searching for crumbs, the main areas of camping entertainment are far away so there is little noise but the rustle of the wind through the trees
Then the drive back led us to stop again near Xativa. This time we took the inland road, the A7.
As it was Saturday afternoon all the lovely places selling pots were closed.
I drove along a straight and quiet highway with sculptures marking every crossroad
Then we found a hidden place in the hills to park and sleep. The moon was high and almost full. Noone bothered us. We woke early and set off again at 4am. Perfect driving on Easter Sunday.
Stopped for lunch in Altafulla. Tapas by the beach, dogs again peaceful under the table while being fed occasional peixet fregit (little fried fish) heads to keep them happy
Home to find the house unexpectedly dirty, messy and chaotic due to unprogrammed sleep overs by Resident Adolescent and his friends. But that is another story!