European Escapades

La Garrofa




Could Clint Eastwood have stayed here in the Sixties?
Could Clint Eastwood have stayed here in the Sixties?

Reputed to be one of the oldest campsites in Spain and this is where we headed after our trip out to the Tabernas desert. I think I said in one of the blogs before when we spoke about campsites and what constituted a good campsite was sometimes just the feel of the place. The one I am currently on as I write this blog is a good example. The site is open, although the pool is still closed. The bar and restaurant is good and cooks traditional style food for the area. The WiFi is great and we also have a cash machine and fresh bread and sundries if we need them. It is around half a kilometre from the most perfect of desolate beaches with some of the best sand I have seen in a long while. The campervan pitches have electric and water on each pitch and is the best we have come across in a long while. Is the campsite perfect, well no as it lacks one important ingredient, the feel of the place, sure it’s growing on me and I would recommend it straight away, but the feel of the place was not like La Garrofa, this site we fell in love with despite all its faults.

the la garrofa of today
The La Garrofa of Today.

It’s not near a shop although there is one on site, but is currently closed. It does not have WiFi or a swimming pool. It looks a little worse for wear as some of the decoration and walkways are in need of repair. The chemical toilet was just a hole in the ground at the top of the campsite and we never found the grey water disposal point. The restaurant and bar was open however and there was a bus stop directly outside of the site, allowing you to catch a bus directly into Almería just a few kilometres away. The other plus for us was it was in a small private cove and we were so close to the sea, I could have casually tossed a stone and it would have hit water. But most of all, the feel of the place was just right and usually this is all a place needs to keep people coming back time and again. A German gentleman had obviously fallen in love with the place so much, he seemed to have a permanent spot right next to the beach from which he could both watch and listen to the waves on the sea shore. I quite envied his perfect view even though ours was almost as good. If I had been further up the campsite, situated before the small viaduct style bride that bore a private roadway atop, I may not have been as happy. But we were not, we were on an end pitch with only a small wire fence, partially overgrown with small shrubs and a large olive tree to give us some privacy and shade, between us and the beach and the Mediterranean Sea beyond.

a plain and simple meal for two
A Plain and Simple Meal For Two.

The bar staff in the onsite bar and restaurant was also helpful and friendly and with the ‘menu del día’ on offer at only €8 a head, we decided to to eat there as well. The food whilst I would call it easy cooking was tasty and filling. We started with macaroni and spinach in a creamy cheese sauce. The main courses were the obvious Spanish pork chops with French fries followed a desert of a Spanish style set custard. All in all great value for money as it also came with a glass of red wine each. OK we ended up being given a whole bottle, but we like our red wine and were happy to pay a little more for the privilege. I guess by the time we had chosen to eat in the restaurant, we had been at La Garrofa a few days already and the waitress knew us well enough to just leave a whole bottle, knowing we would end up finishing it. Fully sated, we then continued to sit and relax on the restaurant terrace overlooking the campsite. So in the warm evening air, we watched the sun slowly set over the cliff tops above us. It was in our minds a perfect end to another perfect day at La Garoffa. Tired, but in good spirits, we headed back to the van, using the moonlight to guide us. We decided it was time to turn in and so went to bed, having the pleasure of being able to listen to the sound of the nearby waves lapping against the shoreline, as we slowly drifted off to sleep…

The next morning the weather had started to turn a little and now that we had explored Almería, we knew it was probably time to move on further west and start heading to our next port of call which was to be Granada. So with a heavy heart, we started to pack and say good bye to one of our favourite campsites we had found in Spain so far.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 at 5:04 pm and is filed under Campsite Review, Restaurant Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>