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Sunday, 10 January 2010

... how to bend not break the rules

The long-term campers we meet are generally courteous and friendly and will share their experiences of different camp sites in Spain. If they have chosen a site for 6 months, they are, not surprisingly, most enthusiastic about that site; the atmosphere of these sites is like that of a small village, with lots of activities and social occasions to take part in. Arriving for just a couple of nights we can feel like incomers who don’t know the rules. Fortunately, there is usually someone that wants to help you feel at home, explaining how things work on a particular site; where you take your rubbish, which shower is the best, where to swop books, how to get hot water for washing up and all the other necessary parts of camp site life.

At the site near Marbella a friendly couple from Nuneaton took on this role; they have been staying on the site every winter for seven years and certainly know the ropes; we first met them when Anthony was plugging in our electric cable and they wandered over to tell us that no one locks the box where all the cables are plugged in to the mains, as this makes re-setting the power easier when it trips, and it always does.

We drove out to the Parque Natural Sierra de las Nieves, just inland from Marbella. This is a beautiful mountainous and tranquil area, where it is difficult to believe only a few kilometres away cars are jammed in a long queue for the Centro Comercial parking, now the January sales have started. We walked around the picturesque village of Ojen whose central square was lively with a small market, pretty fountains and bustling cafes and along paths through various pines, juniper and gorse up to a spectacular viewpoint for a colourful view of the green hills, the white village and the blue sea.

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