After an action packed time in Ireland, we needed a little bit of a rest … yeah right do not think the Powell’s know how to sit still for long or the meaning of the word rest.
Our intention this trip was to spend 3 months travelling only in UK and Ireland. Alas after six weeks we made the decision to move to a warmer and drier climate!
So nine weeks later ….
After leaving Ireland, we caught up with family again, spent a few days on the edge of the Peak District on a lovely small farm,( maybe here we had a little rest between exploring the area on foot ha ha ) and a couple of other over night stops in the Yorkshire Dales and in the lovely city of Canterbury.Before heading to catch the Euro Chunnel (a 50.45 km tunnel under the sea ) through to France as the ferries were all fully booked into Spain.
We then had to drive down through France to reach Spain, of course we then had to extend our trip by another month to make the journey worthwhile. Naturally !
One of the French stop overs on an Aire in the sleepy village of Mennetou-Sur Cher.
Before spending a couple of days in Andorra which is a tiny independent country between France and Spain in the Pyrenees. Fabulous scenery, ski resorts, thermal springs, duty free shopping haven ( didn’t buy a thing.. oh whoops we did, some really lovely wines) and great hiking, glad we went through on our way into Spain.
Great choice of winter boots here too …pity I would never get to wear them at home in Brisbane.Arrived into Carles de la Ràpita . A nice enough town but would not rush back. A memorable birthday for Al in a charming little restaurant with a quirky chef whom I managed to offend. Lordy Lordy I mentioned to the waiter that I did not think the potato chips complemented my amazing pork, (Al had a fabulous seafood meal ) seconds later the chef and his assistant were at the table madly waving their arms and gesticulating they were freshly made that morning and snapping the said chips ( that looked like crisps ) In front of me with much gusto !! I really thought he had emptied them out of a packet . Of course Al was clearly embarrassed but we left with big smiles all around.
Over the next few weeks we stopped in Calpe .pretty, with the lake littered with pretty Flamingoes.Altea beautiful old town and gorgeous little restaurants to laze away the hours and people watch.Or be entertained by a professional musician …mmm while staying on this campsite a guy named Vincent came over and introduced himself. In the space of ten minutes we had heard his life story and how old he was (several times) he asked if we were interested in a concert that night on the vacant pitch next to us, he was the artist to whom we would be entertained by. There were 8 of us total strangers he had organised to come watch . It was lovely of him and a little bit awkward at first. He was in a Motorhome opposite us and he came over wearing a suit and then he changed half way into a leather jacket 🤣But credit to him he was in his element and we all thoroughly enjoyed the night.
Pinot had some running repairs here so we booked into a hotel for a couple of nights and then a few nights on the lovely El Quinto camp site near the Mojacar Pueblo. Nerja
Amongest the avocados and banana trees … oh and a couple of rescued Donkeys. Great seafood restaurants too nearby.Cabopino
A five minute walk away from our campsite was the lovely little Cabopino harbour village About 20 kms away from Marbella .. where we hired a Lille a car for the week and explored…by the way if you ever drive a little Fiat 500 and encounter any steep inclines, best leave the shopping or your passenger at the bottom. Alpal reckons they wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding.
Such a pretty place with a lovely vibe.
Gibraltar … We climbed the rock !
and boy did we feel the pain in our calves for the next few days. No cable car for us .. There are four routes to follow, we chose the thrill seekers one … no, Al chose the thrill seekers one that included a lot of steps up and a lot down ! But glad we did it.
Gibraltar itself was was very uninspiring, but a great day was spent back in the UK for just a day.
Posh Boats, fancy cars and posers ….another good spot to people watch .Marbella
Delightful village above Malaga much nicer than Marbella, well we thought so anyway.Caminito Del Rey was a walk on our list of things to do in the area , unfortunately booking was required well in advance and there were no tickets available so we took a drive and explored the area anyway.you can just make out the walkway on this amazing walk.Time to take the hire car back and move on.
After a fabulous drive we arrived at this awesome landscape El Torcal where we stopped overnight.love this photo below of Al taking a pic of the wild Ibex, looks like the Ibex is posing for him. There were heaps of them up here.Am I Happy? you bet !loved every minute around here.
A couple of hours in Antequera and for a peep at the Dolmen of Menga, a megalithic burial mind dating back to 3750 a 3650 bc.Rio Frio
Stayed overnight in this tiny dusty village famous for its caviar and trout fishing. The family run fish farm here offers tours at 75 euros a pop (including vodka, cava and the caviar tastings ) decided against that .. plus we don’t even like Caviar.
But did have a fun night trying out the few restaurants that were open, surrounded by Pinot that was parked in the tiny square. Did not want to offend one or the other ha ha ..
GranadaIt was very wet while we were here, but in between dodging the rain we still loved it. We visited the beautiful Alhambra on a previous visit years ago so this time we explored places we had not been to before. Parked overnight up on the University Campus grounds which was very handy.
Los Carrahos, Monachil
A lot of limbo inspired skills needed on this walk …at times full on scrambling !another great day.Through the Las Alpujarras through fabulous but winding roads up up up to the highest village in mainland Spain, at an altitude of 1476 m, Trevélez. Famous for its cured Jamon, the clear mountain air is perfect for the curing process. Needless to say Jamon was everywhere. And we tried and bought quite a few but Dani’s was our favourite and where we bought a few tasty treats from his lovely Deli. Stayed overnight here in the middle of the village.
The village of Bérchules was one of the must see villages on one web site in the Alpujarras surrounded by chestnut trees. We thought it would be lovely. We found it less than inspiring and the locals not very friendly. The cow tied up in the square was the most exciting part of it. ( the cow outside was a little more friendly than the cow who served us in the bar ).. Just repeating what Al Pal said !!😳
The surrounding scenery was gorgeous.
So glad we came back to Spain even if it was not planned this trip. Of course we have eaten so many different tapas, drank so many different wines and in general are having a ball.
After these full on few weeks exploring and Al doing a lot of driving we came back toSopalmo where we spent Christmas 2017.
We came here to chill, just a couple of vans on the site when we arrived, but as we were about to leave a few days later old friends started to arrive… fast forward and we ended up spending nearly three weeks there! De ja Vu!
More great hikes …A touch of golf … well hit and a giggle … we tried , thank you AJ, Keith, Sue and Jen for your tuition and patience. Great fun.A special 85th Birthday BBQ party for Ray and a boogie of course.lots of fun had by all on his special day .which carried on a lot a longer for some of us in Pinot !Used our bikes a lot …which is good as we had quite a few happy hours with nibbles involved. All in all another wonderful stay inSopalmo.
But the time it had come to say goodbye and with a tea towel farewell ( a tradition for some when someone leaves the site) from AJ and Keith we were back on the road .Denia
Found some great cycling routes including this one ‘The Via Verde ( Green Way) which runs along the old train tracks between Denia and Vergel. Collected quite a few along the way to help with our vitamin C intake.
great walks too …
We are currently here enjoying our final few days before flying home to Australia.We love it around here. It has turned a little chilly during the day but clear skies above ..great weather for more of the above.
So our 2019 road trip is coming to an end and once again it has been brilliant !! …
Pinot will go into storage until we return next time.
Thank you Al Pal tour guide extraordinaire for yet another heck of an adventure. I am a very lucky lady and I appreciate every day ❤️
Love A & A xx