European Escapades

What We Like In Spain So Far




The small cafe bar at sierra espuna
The small cafe bar at Sierra Espuna.

The advice to our next campsite in the mountains called ‘Sierra Espuna’ did not convey any confidence for us. With helpful advice such as, ‘Follow signs at the beginning of the village, not through the village. Help is available at the last incline. Just call!’ from their advert in the camping book, you wonder what you are getting yourself into. Sure enough, once we had managed to navigate the usual mountain terrain to a fork in the road, we spot the sign advising us one way for cars and another for caravans. The caravan route is another four kilometres, but at their suggestion we take the longer route. Not that this gives you an easy ride of it, as this seems just as bad as many ‘OH NO!! Not up that road’ situations we have been in already. Is it worth it, well yes as the views are stunning and take in some beautiful scenery on the way up and as you enter the village from the other side you are greeted with a long curving upward slope that’s just about accommodates the campervan or a treacherous and narrow incline into the village that even a car would balk at.

We arrive safely at the site and book in and find a pitch and as campsites go, this is in a similar position to our previous site, with the views and such. However there are caveats, in that the onsite restaurant is just a cafe for drinks and snacks really and the pitches are rather small in comparison to the previous site. Looking at the swimming pool, I’m not sure if I could guess that last time it was operational. Apart from this the site is worth a visit, if only for the scenery and the local amenities available just a short walk away in the village of El Berro. They have a few shops and a bakers and also two bars and restaurants that we found. Unfortunately one was under renovation, so we only had the option of the other when we visited. But with ‘Bar De La Parra’ being a restaurant and bar that was used by the locals it was far from being the poorer option. In fact you can check out the review of the place under restaurant reviews.

The drive down and back to the coast was as much of an enjoyment as the trip up had been a few days before. I think that I was eager to get onto a place where I would hopefully have something pleasant to say and feel some excitement for. It seems all the blogs in Spain so far have been ones of disappointments and catastrophes and I am eager to get away from them. You may find them funny and interesting but for me I am trying hard at the moment to find something that says this is the Spain I expected and have come to see. Maybe I will never find it, but I want to say I tried before giving up Spain as a soulless country full of beautiful scenery. As we progress, our Spanish is improving, so much so that I can almost Roll my R’s now. Not to the extent that I can get them in as part of a Spanish word, but enough that it doesn’t sound like I’m choking on my own spit as I incorrectly ended up with a gurgle at the back of the throat instead of a projecting a light trill at the front. The sheer joy that this gives me is not measurable, as I am transported back to my days at school when the hit single ‘Reet Petite’ by Jackie Wilson was in the charts and I was the only one who couldn’t reet with the best of them. Small triumphs I know, but I am happy about it.

Our next campsite is not even worth mentioning apart from the fact they would not accept a credit card for anything less that €45. That in my opinion is a real joke and the dilapidated state of this site and bare amenities was laughable for the €20 they wanted a night. The only saving grace was it was near a new costal development and a shopping area, where I purchased an absolutely beautiful rotisserie chicken for lunch. Missy Moo enjoyed it too and I also found out our interpretation of Salsa was only small definition of one style of salsa. Salsa to us in the UK means a hot chilli and tomato sauce. Salsa to Spaniards means just a sauce and that can be anything from our chilli and tomato variety to the luscious chicken juices the rotisserie man poured over my chicken when I said yes to salsa. Whist on this post I want to mention the things that we have enjoyed on our travels through Spain so far.

    • The fresh varied seafood we find in almost any supermarket is superb and always on our shopping list.

    • The hams and chorizo, the way they are hanging fresh in the smallest of shops and are a steal at the prices they charge.

    • The abundant and cheap red wine that makes our stay here so affordable.

    • If you want meat stick to the great value chicken, rabbit or pork as everything else is just so expensive in comparison.

    • Both Frances and Missy Moo are enjoying the cheeses of Spain and it funny to watch as Missy Moo sit on the chair with us at lunchtime waiting for her cheese fix.

    • Having a laugh watching the campervans with the big yellow levelling ramps. It seems compulsory to use them no matter how level they are to start with and they usually end up at a worse slant than they started with.

    • Playing the campervan waving game, where it seems we are all in big friendly club and wave at every campervan going in the opposite direction to us. Although technically this started in France.

As we leave the uninteresting campsite on our way to Almaría and our next chosen campsite of ‘La Garoffa’ we start to see the scenery changing from green and rocky reds to dusty oranges and yellows as the Tabernas desert which we have come to see, starts making its mark on the landscape around us. I’m really looking forward now to exploring this region of Spain….

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 25th, 2010 at 11:22 am and is filed under 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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