European Escapades

Wild About Meeting Victor

04

May

2010

the beautiful olive grove
The Beautiful Olive Grove.

Leaving Granada in a bit of an annoyed state, we decided that we had had enough of campsites again and rather than head back down the coast towards Malaga, for potentially some more of the same attitude. We would move cross country to a wild camping site near Antequera. We had a fallback position with a campsite shown just north of the town in a site called Saydo. The wild site we had found, was a part built campsite that was abandoned when they found out how much it would cost to get water connected to that area, or so we were told. We found it on a Spanish website called www.furgovw.org which seems to be a forum, allowing people to recommend site across Spain and Portugal for wild camping. At this time we did not know if it would prove useful but as we were in the mood we were, it was as good a place and time to find out.

Having obtained the longitude and latitude of the site, the Sat-Nav was programmed with the coordinates and we set off on a new adventure. The view along the route were nothing special, until we started getting back into mountainous country and the road which started flat turned into a nice gentle rollercoaster ride. As we went down one long bit of highway through a valley the Sat-Nav was telling me to turn off at the next junction and I noticed that our destination was in the hills to the left of us and we had to come off the main route and head back on ourselves, via a country road to get to our first port of call. The first part of the road was OK, but then we were told to go down a dirt track and head back under the main highway we had just left. This was fine for the main part, except when we came to the semicircular tin tunnel that took us under the new highway above us. Whilst we are new to Spanish as a language, we could recognise the ‘Private No Entry’ signs plastered around the tunnel entrance. So if we were to camp we would be violating someone’s private property to get to our destination. Wild camping is OK, but ignoring signs telling us not to enter is another matter. It seemed a no through road and the campsite was shown as only another 2kms ahead and so on this occasion we went for it. Through the tunnel and continuing on passed a large entranceway blocked by wrought iron gates, we ended up at the coordinates given by the website, only to be disappointed. Nothing was obvious and the area where we sat with our engine idling was nothing like the one I had looked up on Google Earth. We decided at that point to head back through the tunnel and onto the backup option. As we exited the tin tunnel, it occurred to us that the Private no entry signs were back the way we came and we had seen no signs saying we were not allowed down as far as the tunnel and ‘look over there’ a perfect spot to pull into for lunch. It was a small dirt track off of the main one, which had a number of metres ahead, a few large boulders blocking the path into an olive grove. It was a perfect place to park and discuss our next move over a few pieces of ham and some bread. Missy Moo had other ideas and as soon as we stopped she wanted out of the van. It seemed safe enough, as we were off the main dirt track and we had seen at that point only one car pass us. So door open for cat to roam and us sat down eating lunch and enjoying the views around the van. This was to be our second wild camp in Spain as we decided this was a perfect place to settle down with some wine and enjoy the balmy afternoon sun.

a stock view of the pool at Camping El Cortijo
A Stock View Of The Pool At Camping El Cortijo
Photo Provided Curtesy of ACSI.

Refreshed and happy we woke early the next morning to get on our way before anyone was about and headed to Ronda, where we had the option of three site sites on offer to us. It seems at this time the wild camping site let us down a little. It may have been due to our newly acquired Spanish language skills, but whatever it was, it does not mean we will not try the website again for future wild camping spots. As we approach Ronda we are on top of two sites that is not shown in our camping book, but do come up on the ACSI DVD, so we pull into our first one. It looked nice enough but we have the same old problem. The receptionist will not honour the ACSI card prices unless we stay for a minimum of five days. I ask about the facilities like pool and WiFi, only to find the usual situation of, pool closed and no WiFi. Seems we are moving onto the next site on our list which was only a few hundred yards further down the same stretch of road anyway. It was called ‘Camping El Cortijo’ and it shows the complete contrast of good and bad sites is not always in the price. A few hundred yards and we get free WiFi in the open bar restaurant area, an open swimming pool along with so many other facilities for the grand price of €15 a night. Not only was the relatively small campsite buzzing with weekend campers. The whole restaurant area was heaving too, as we had stumbled upon another Holy Communion celebration in progress. What a difference to the campsite just down the road where it looked tired and empty of life. Our chosen site had a crazy golf setup and a go-cart track which surrounded three sides of the swimming pool and seemed a great attraction for the children who could hire the small pedal carts and head off around the winding track. Even with the slightly dilapidated state of the communal toilet block, this has got to be one of our choice stop over points along our chosen route so far and is wholeheartedly recommended.

In pulling up we decide to pitch ourselves at the nearest point to the internet area to see if we could pick up WiFi access from the van which we can sometimes. It was also directly opposite the swimming pool and we had a view of the beautiful hilly countryside beyond. Next to us was one of the only British camping vans we had seen in Spain so far and as we got out to start putting up the table and chairs and connect to the electric we shouted ‘Hi’ to our new neighbours only to be greeted by a Victor Meldrew impersonator, mumbling that we had blocked their view. Ok, so we were on the wrong side of our new neighbours already and we had only just met…. Frances is more blasé about these things and pointed out that they had at least two pitches occupied with their table, chairs and large washing line full of washing, on the next pitch and suggested if they didn’t want their view to be interrupted then they should have parked on the end pitch we now occupied in the first place. I have some sympathy with this attitude as we do like to be on end pitches or pitches away from the hustle and bustle of the main camp. So we decide to ignore the comment and go on with our lives and enjoy what remained of the afternoon. Seems we are not the only ones annoying Victor today, as Frances notes him stomping back from the pool complaining about Spaniards this time. Whether it was the two playing racket ball on the pool edge or another issue we are not sure, but Frances thinks he was mumbling something about ‘they’re going to electrocute themselves if they’re not careful’. So maybe it not us as we see the wife hustled back towards the van, she was on her way to join him at the pool at the time. I think this was enough to tip the balance as the next thing we see, is Victor stomping off to reception. We had guess correctly as the very next day they were off onto pastures new and we now had the entire end of this site to ourselves. Swimming pool, pitches, uninterrupted access to our very own toilet block and of course the lovely view.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 at 8:46 am and is filed under Campsite Review, Travel Stories. 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.

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