The above beach is at Porto Covo, south of Lisbon and at the north end of the Alentejano national park. The sand was fine and the bay deserted. Bar for a few villages, and the odd ugly power station, the coastline is untouched. Houses here are either pretty blue and white, traditional style or abandoned concrete shells. It was well worth the drive following a couple of nights in the Algarve.
Singing in a cave after a picnic…
Before reaching Portugal we stopped off in Humilladero, Spain. A sleepy interior town where sheep dodged boy racers and dogs barked (a lot). It was a great place to stay for a few days. The local barman had to be persuaded to let me in but after a jolly night he was chasing us down the street to give us stickers. Yes stickers….. randomly friendly.
Seville, after Humilladero, was a fabulous, and unplanned, stopover. We realised there was a city centre car park for vans. For 10 euros a safe overnighter walkable to the sites. The buildings are impressive and it’s all quite compact for a mooch in the sun. Tapas and a few beers always help!
And so to Portugal and a drive up the Atlantic coast….
Dogs on site – me, yep just me. Just me on the beach too.
There’s only one thing more fun than chasing a tennis ball,
and that’s snowballing!
Before the heady giddiness of the Sierra Nevada, we visited Gibraltar for the day. We’d expected Monaco like glamour with yachts, but you couldn’t see the sea for building work. The town was a town centre similar to most back home and dogs weren’t allowed up the rock (fair enough as it is a nature reserve). Glad we went though, as the view as you drive up is iconic..
And, so to the stunning heights of the Sierra Nevada. Pradollano and the parking was above 2000m, the slopes over 3000m. Not particularly great for Elaine, who’s vertigo spiralled into a meltdown on the drive up, but thankfully calmed at the ski station. Needless to say she doesn’t ski!
I mostly did this all day….
What a wonderful spot to park up for a few days, even when -11° ….
Dog on slopes – Huskies (of course) and labs, including a gorgeous black puppy with a family. If you look closely you can see her happily sledging on the girl’s knee….
Well, not quite Marbella yet but just north along the coast. Maybe we’ll make it but sitting in the sunshine outside nice bars and curry houses is hampering the diet!
Dragging ourselves away from the heady sunshine of Benidorm we meandered south in search of our next call. Spanish sites are relatively tricky to access as usually tightly designed with lots of trees. Many, it appears, are also naturalistic. Not wanting to upset anyone by going ‘textile free’ we drove from packed site to rammed site until settling in Mojacar (thankfully fully clothed).
In the summer the strip is obviously full of disco beach bars but in quiet January it’s rather pleasant. A nice prom, bars and a tunnel to the beach…
Moving further south towards the Sierra Nevada we found another nice site in Castello de Baños. A review had mentioned the cycling which took you into Vuelta climbing territory. Stunning roads (although not for Elaine thanks to an annoying torn ligament).
After 3 nights it was time to move on again and head towards Malaga. The campsites were increasingly full or uninviting so a night wild camping in Torre del Mar beckoned. I say wild but hardly, you’re in a huge dusty car park with other vans next to some dog friendly beach bars. The wildest element was the wind….
And so forever southwards we go…..
Dogs on site – forget dogs, too many CATS! Cats in vans, cats on sites, cats on beaches, cats in bars (thankfully I no longer buckaroo when I see one).