Guardamar del Segura, Orihuela, La Manga, Bolnuevo, Canada de Gallego, Ramonete
222 days away
164 miles / 264 km since last post
9,854 miles / 15,858 km total
On Sunday we decided to stay another day at our site in Guardamar del Segura. Stu spent the time playing on his guitar, while I got some knitting done. A day well spent. There were quite a few other Brits at this site, and even a couple with the same motorhome as us. They were friendly enough, and it seems like we are not the only ones with the bright idea of spending the winter in southern Spain!
We left Guardamar del Segura on Monday and drove to Orihuela. Described in our guide book as one of the highlights of the region, we decided it was worth the stop. We parked up and then took a walk into the town, stopping at the tourist information for a bit more local knowledge about what to see and do. The advice was essentially, check out the churches, some nice buildings, then head to an area at the end of town which has some painted murals on the houses. Whilst the churches were OK, they were nothing special. By the time we had reached the painted houses, with all the kids and dodgy looking teenagers wandering around, we were beginning to feel like perhaps we were in the wrong part of town. Some of the paintings were quite good, but we were pleased to get out of this area and back into the main part of town.
We drove onto Murcia, but whilst trying to reach the ONLY camperstop there, we found the route blocked by some road works. We managed to navigate another route, only to find it was full. The woman who worked there advised us that they had plenty of room for the next day - not that that helped us now - but she did give us a bag of free lemons as consolation!
We decided to head out of Murcia, stopping along the way at a camper shop so we could by a new ACSI camping card for 2014 (giving us discounts at many campsites).
We arrived at La Manga late in the afternoon. We opted to stay at a campsite for the night, to make use of our new camping card. On reflection, we wish we hadn't. It didn't start off well when Stu was in reception and a man walked in fuming because someone had stolen the bikes off the back of his motorhome! Not that it was really the fault of the people working there, but not a great first impression. The site was absolutely huge. It basically consisted of a car park in the centre, with the main access road going around that, then smaller roads leading off at various points down to the different pitches. As we drove down one side we saw that there were loads of little huts and permanent caravan spots. This would be fine, but some of them really weren't looking their best. Then we drove up the other side, and spotted the side road we needed to take to out pitch. As we drove along, I already wasn't feeling too happy as this road was a lot narrower than the main road. It didn't help that someone had parked their car along it too! When we reached the turning for our pitch, we knew we weren't going to make it. Not only did the road become even narrower, there was a tree overhanging the corner - making the turn impossible for a vehicle our size. Why on earth they gave us this pitch, I really don't know. They had said we could find an alternative if we wanted, so, after making the unpleasant reverse journey back down the narrow road onto the main road, we drove further up until we found a spot. There were plenty of spots of the main road, so couldn't understand why they hadn't given us one of these in the first place. While Stu walked back to reception to advise them of our change of spot, I got us settled on the pitch, plugged in the electric, wound down the stabilisers etc. Annoyingly, it turned out we couldn't have this pitch because it was booked out by a caravan club - even though they hadn't showed up, so we had to unplug, unwind everything, and drive another 50 metres up the road to another pitch. It might have been nice if they had marked the pitch as booked out. By the time we were finally settled it had just got dark. We were not impressed with this campsite so far.
The next day (Tuesday) we were up a little late, but in the afternoon decided to take a bike ride up the spit - seemingly the only thing to do here really. The weather was sunny but with a cool breeze - perfect cycling weather. It's a mainly flat route all the way to the top - good for me - and is 18km each way. Including our route from the site to the start of the spit, we probably rode about 40km in total - a very good effort. We actually spotted a few wild camping opportunities along the spit and wished we had found these before the campsite. My legs were feeling it at the end of the day, but it was a great ride. We made it back to the motorhome just as the sun had set - perfect timing.
At first we headed to Cartegena on Wednesday, but when the camper stop we were looking for didn't seem to exist, we weren't too fussed and headed a little further to Bolnuevo. We found a huge area by the sea which appeared to be a good free stop, and we spotted another British motorhome there already. Stu spoke to guy in the motothome - Paul, from Devon - and it turned out that this was no longer a tolerated free stop, and the police will move you on. We stayed briefly for a chat with Paul, and also to check out the strange rock formations along the cliff, before getting back on the road and heading to another free stop in Canada de Gallego. As we were heading towards it we didn't have good feelings, as the road became narrower and it felt like we were driving in the middle of nowhere. Suddenly, we spotted a whole load of motorhomes and drove towards them. This ended up being a fantastic spot, as we got a spot right opposite the sea, with views back across to Bolnuevo. Despite there being many motorhomes here it was really peaceful, with just the sound of the waves crashing against the rock below. We had a lovely afternoon nap after arriving, then relaxed the rest of the day.
This seemed like such a nice spot, and the weather was warm and sunny too, so we opted to stay for another day. We sat out in the sun for a while, with it feeling like a lovely summer day. We both watched a great sunset in the evening.
We left our lovely free stop today and drove not too far to a camper stop in Ramonete. The lady who runs the place is a friendly German woman who loves to travel around the site on her electric scooter. Most of the guests seem to be German too, so you could almost forget you're in Spain with all the German being spoken - if it wasn't for the clear blue sky and sunshine! Unusually, this site does not have a toilet, but does have showers. The lady's reasoning is that people always have a toilet on board their motorhome, and if she installed a toilet it would mean having to clean it, and she doesn't fancy that idea! There are also no free standing electric points, so when we wanted to plug the motorhome into the electric, she had to take the plug over her fence and plug it in. I don't think she wants people using too much electric as she informed us that she'll unplug it at 9am tomorrow. The site does have good wifi though, and seems to be in a quiet enough spot so should be fine for tonight.