Leaving Portugal

We had an offer to meet up with both the Hudson’s and Clark’s for Easter in Spain, Puntas de Calnegra to be precise even though it was a few weeks away it was on our plan to get to Croatia for May, so off we shot, through Seville into Andalusia to a place used as another “Game of Thrones” set, Osuna. Very medieval and unchanged apart from the Eroski car park we used as an overnight stop.

The mountains still had the chill factor and some snow so we dropped down into Malaga with stunning views of the river valley onto the coast road and 10 degrees warmer to Castell de Ferro to catch up on the laundry.

After a couple of days we moved on to another old favourite the port of Almerimar before our final push into Puntas de Calnegre to drink and eat away the Easter holiday.

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Seen in Portugal this old bus with a German plate, beautiful !
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Osuna
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All very narrow, steep and old
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Even the Eroski car park has facilities to dump, take on water and stop over for the night with great views for free.
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The ride out of the hills to the coast road, all very green after the winter rains.
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Almerimar again watching the harbour entrance with a glass of Vino tinto
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Snow on the hills near Osuna, it was chilly up there !
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Busy boats over wintering, the red one was an Australian pair who sailed from the Gold Coast picking up two cats and a Labrador on the way !
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The Aire at Puntas de Calnegre, €6 for everything but lekky, bargain with the solar panel in full swing.
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Meal on the beach before the Spanish rock up then the party and noise levels really do go up !
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Coastal walk to loose a few of those calories from last night
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Beautifully rugged and warm.
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Well fancy that a cafe bar on the beach
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Picnic time
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Other than a few German naturists we have the little coves to ourselves
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Planning meeting over coffee for this years Deathfest itineraries ?
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He sat most days weaving his baskets
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A proper old tradition
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Finish with an Easter flower shot across the bay from Chris. Happy Easter 🐣 

 

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Chipiona & Sanlucar De Barrameda

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Rock Oysters almost ready for the table
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The mouth of the Rio Guadelquivir on its way into Seville
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Another workhorse from the UK
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It was cold once the sun went down and the North wind kicked in, so we ordered Paella
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Beach transport, three mules and a friendly spaniard
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Cycle time, dedicated paths right across this area stretching for over 17km
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Man and machine come together
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“Chippy”
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A dangerous beach when the tide is in but you can retreat to the many little cafes
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Coffee, Brandy and sticky thing, cycling rewards!
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Spanish civil war bunker, protecting the way to Seville I think, or the rock Oysters ?
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The Paella’s arrived
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Chippy lighthouse again, ‘‘tis impressive though
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Carnival weekend brings out the hustle n bustle well into the night
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Tapas time again
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A shop full of masks, no idea of the going rate though ?
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Famous for its coralles, stone walls in a big loop, fish come in with the tide and are then trapped as it retreats, hundreds of years old but effective.

Almerimar, Gibraltar and El Puerto de Santa Maria

Late into Almerimar we bedded down in the golf car park before moving onto the harbour front the next morning, this is the place where every drink = tapa, we found the best in the Buccaneer, right price best tasty tapa, bargain. After a few days, rain was forecast, so we moved onto Gibraltar, then moved off from there as it was strong winds this time, so El Peurto de Santa Maria it was with a ferry trip into Cadiz.

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Almerimar and the harbour aire
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Boats n vans
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Sea wall for a table
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Woke up to snow on the hills of Andalusia
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The Buccaneer, worth the visit alone
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The harbour at night
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A quick walk over the runway from Espana to UK (Gibraltar actually)
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Show the passport and all things are duty and VAT free
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You wouldn’t think it on the beer prices though…
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…but fuel prices bring people in from all over the place
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Santa Maria bull ring, just as interesting as Cadiz so stay a while and take it all in
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A bodega near the bullring for tapas was a good stop

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Off to Cadiz on the catamaran
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A rubber tree probably planted when Lord Nelson roamed the harbour walls
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It wasn’t just a World Cup year you know !,
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Found this quirky boozer before the ferry back so tried a few, bargain,

Slowly Westwards

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Lemon groves of Murcia
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Rural churches dotted along the river
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Rest time
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Cycling into town
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You need to watch out for hazards along the way, this one was over a meter long !
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La Azohia sunset
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Beautiful set among the plastic
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So best have a cerveza or two then !
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The old look out fort seen from even higher up the mountain
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Loads of steps up and down keeps her fit and on her toes
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Views from the fort to the car par…..campsite !
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Spiral staicases to the top with a brill view
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Then off on a trek high into the hills that ended with a bit of rock climbing
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All that from our campsite next to Leon’s pizza place !
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Aguilas
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Birthday “menu de Dias” with a view of both Aguilas playas

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Bikes off again and a ride into Andalusia from Mucia as we are on an aire right on the border.

Jalon, Santa Pola and Torrevieja

We left the comfort of the campsite for a small aire (car park actually) for the pricey sum of €3/night and very good it turned out, in the centre of Jalon, bringing in the New Year with hill walking Hudson style. We parted company after a few days and headed of to Santa Pola then Torrevieja to meet up with Derrick and Rhian at their bar the “C Breeze”, Guinness and good food made for a great night catching up with old friends.

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Jalon aire.
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Corralled with the Hudson bus.
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It’s a great place for valley walking to the different villages for the menu of the day.
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Very quaint….
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….small villages.
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I know I’ve done street art before but this one has me puzzled ?
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Out of the villages and pubs and into the vast grape growing steps of the hills.
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I caught this Mantis off to church I think !
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Hard to believe it’s January
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Santa Pola bike ride, she’s a trusting sort !
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Salt protection
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And they have some.
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It’s all guess work really.
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So Jesus was born under a boat not a barn ?
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The 3 kings follow the star and bring presents on the 6th January so that’s the day the Spanish kids look forward to most.
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Then the party kicks off.
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Torrevieja for a bit of retail therapy !
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Coastal walks….
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….and a cycle ride into San Miguel (the village not the brewery)

 

Altea

As we settled into Cap Blanch campsite which happened to be 90% Dutch our friends the Hudson’s lay-in-wait for naive campers venturing into Benidorm (“beni” to the locals) unaware of the dangers ahead ! So with Christmas fast approaching and the arrival of Shaun almost imminent we set off for a recce.

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Early morning, which started with a coffee and a Brandy and ended up 15 hours later in a karaoke bar someplace in “beni” wrecked !
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It all started fairly innocuous
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All very civilised….
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…tapas, Cava, beer and selfies along the prom…

Having recovered from our over indulgence in ‘Beni’ it was time to meet up with Shaun.

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We find Shaun some digs high on a hill, far far away.
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His own church….
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…sea views…..
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Altea from above
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Sun cream and coffee
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Beers alround then…
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From here the cliff top walk was only fit for goats…
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You only fall once ! and it was a very windy morning.

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She’s hanging on for fear of being left behind

 

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To cap it off it’s only €1.50 on the bus.
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It wasn’t all mountain paths we did the local villages and cafes
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The lighthouse family, of partridge!

 

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That’s that then, both Shaun and santa have been and gone so next stop 2018 !

Ribadesella

With a week left before we leave for Blighty we decide to chill and relax on a campsite which turned out to be a good idea, loads of coastal walking again but found what turns out to be one of our best spots yet, La Vega, with a walk in to match any we had done previously. Again the weather helps but it was a fitting end.

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Our very own grass campsite
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Looking to the river and harbour
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A rich mans sea view
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The Engagement tree !
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Bananas….weirdly beautiful
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They love their gardens and pots
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A 3 mile walk away along the pilgrims way coastal path and you arrive via dirt track into La Vega and as you can see an artist lives along the route in !
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The Picos
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This is from the coast path
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Look at the stuff underneath ready as a dooer upera
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Grain store again well looked after
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Couldn’t resist his handy work
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Mr Edd

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You’re being watched…

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Put a smile on my face anyway !
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The view of the bay on the way in
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Apparently one of the top 100 places to eat in Europe !
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Best have a drink then
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Pouring the cider the traditional way to get a head on it
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A short walk off the beach and into a lead/copper mine ?
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Still pumping but signs warning you of death
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The pumped lagoon, it was all very cold and ominous looking.
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All good things come to an end, or so they say 😊