Monday, 15 February 2010
Remember how we laughed away the hours
When it rains and in the dark evenings you might think we would get bored in our small blue bus. This never seems to be the case, as there is always something to do; we write the blog, mend things, read guide books, use the internet, watch DVDs friends sent for Carol’s birthday, read books, do puzzles, write the journal, play games, cook, eat, learn a language, sort out our photographs, listen to music and still after ten months together, talk.
If the campsite has a bar, it can be nice to have a drink there and be in a bigger space than the van; and if there is someone we are on friendly terms with also there, even better. A lot of campers never make it to the bar, but in Tarifa it was always a cosy and convivial place to go and in El Rocio we sat in the bar with a bottle of red and sorted the world out for hours with our lovely Italian neighbour, Karin. The connections we made with other campers will be very strong memories from our trip.
We wanted to spend a few days walking in the Natural Park of the Sierra de Aracena y Los Picos de Aroche, near the Portuguese border. However, at 700 m above sea level it is still cool and the campsites are shut until later in the year. We decided to treat ourselves to a house for three nights and found the perfect rural retreat near Aracena ( From the Owners Direct website, property number Spain 8263).
From the coast we drove through fields of orange trees and strawberries under plastic, passed copper mines, including the massive and infamous Rio Tinto mine and over rivers that flow orange from the local soil.
With central heating and a log burning stove in the house we were soon snug and cosy. We both had our first colds for ten months; that is what comes of being friendly with people, so the luxury of a warm bathroom (with a bath!) and a large double bed, were even more appreciated. The house is in a tranquil setting on the hillside with a view across the olive trees, see the photograph.