From Granada we drove back to the Costa del sol. We found a giant campsite near Roquetas del Mar, few miles west of Almeria.
Driving along the coastal highway we saw on both sides, thousands, tens of thousands of massive plastic green houses. If you buy peppers, tomatoes or cucumbers etc… they probably come from this region of Spain. They feed most of Europe! From Google Earth, the area looks all white, like a giant salt flat!
We found a very large campsite. Once again it was full of mainly wealthy Germans on massive buses worth more than our house. Despite the size of the camping, it was almost full. We had a small plot near some caravans. We spent a week there. The place was well located to walk into both Aguadulce town, and Roquetas and had good facilities.
On the 23rd, the campsite staff drove around, giving everyone ( Well every pitch!) a gift box. The box contained a bottle of Cava and two bottles of red wine! cheers!
People next to us us in the caravans were locals and seemed to live there permanently. On the other side, a guy seemed to also live in his tent. Going out to work everyday and coming back in the afternoon. He had a big beautiful black Labrador cross dog. We went to pet the dog occasionally and give it some of our Xmas dinner left overs ( chicken). The dog was there all day on its own. To be fair we felt sorry for both dog and man. He seemed middle aged. Something must have gone really wrong in your life if you have to live in a tent at that stage in your life.
Life can be tough is Spain. It is not all sun, siestas and wine. Salaries are minuscule and unemployment massive. Workers beyond 50 or younger get often pushed out in favour of young workers.
We took long walks along the beach. The Promenade went both ways for miles and miles. Walking toward Roquetas there were hundreds of campervans camping wild along the beach all the way to Roquetas.
On the 27th we secured a flat for a week rental in Roquetas. The flat was about 30 euros a day, just a bit more that a campsite. The weather had not been that warm and we wanted a comfortable ( and warm) place to spend few days. We were able to park the van just in front of the flat and across from the beach. The location was amazing.
Th town was lovely and once again we had lots of long walks and few stops along the way for drinks and tapas! We also had one day a fairly good paella.
We were sorry to leave Roquetas, it was a pleasant little town. From there we drove along the coast, always east and north.
It was time to go through the big tourist places. We drove first to Mojacar Pueblo, about 10 miles inland, the village is perched on a small steep rock. We abandoned the van in the empty sport centre carpark and, bravely ignoring the lift, we took the millions of stairs up. The village was certainly geared for tourists, with its many shops selling the usual tourist tats and bars and restaurants. After a nice walk we drove back to the seaside. Mojacar seaside resort is just for tourists. Lots of small flats and houses, all empty as it is low season.
We found a giant hotel, just in front of the beach, with a large empty carpark in front . The hotel was obviously closed. So we parked the van there, facing the sea. Our friends J and A were nearby for few days so we arranged to meet them in a bar.
The bar in question was not great but next to it was a Brazilian bar! So we started with the Caipirinhas! Oh dear! They were as good and as strong as I remembered them from Rio! We then proceeded to continue enjoying our evening and talking rubbish to our friends in another bar, tasting the local red wine. Eventually our friends went back to their flat and we (somehow! ) managed to make it back to the van. I had a bit of a headache the next day!
The next morning we drove to a campervan park not far from Cartagena. We had finally left my beloved Andalusia. The city of Cartagena has a lots of history with a Roman theatre and castle. The campervan park was near a bus stop to go into town. It was too far to walk this time.
So the next morning we took and early bus and spent the day visiting the town. It’s as well worth it. And this time the weather was sunny and warm.
Then it was time to continue. During our time in the flat we also decided to treat ourselves to stay few days in a nice full inclusive hotel in Benidorm during our trip! It has to be done ! Especially as this one is normally quite pricey and fully booked a year in advance. Not now! Thanks COVID! So we booked the place and we will get there on the 18th! Really looking forward to it! That’s all for now!