Week 46

Day 316 – Friday 18th January 2019

A cold start to the day in Seville. Once we’d packed up and Cfor had had a run about we set off for El Rocío.

One last roll in the lovely Andalusian dirt

The campsite at El Rocío is great; the toilet block is good and you can watch Netflix on the free wifi.

El Rocío is a strange town. There is no tarmac in the town the roads are all sand & dust and people ride horses and drive buggies about.

The bars will even serve you food & drink while you sit on your horse

They have a huge festival here every year, the Festival of the Virgin, and the town is mobbed as hermandades, brotherhoods, from all over Spain descend on the town on horseback and in costume for 3 days of religion and partying. They reckon around a million people attend the festival every year.

Santuario de Nuestra Senora del Rocio where the statue of the Virgin of El Rocío is kept

At festival time the Virgin of El Rocío is paraded through the crowded streets of the town. I think they do something very similar with the town virgin in Cardiff.

The nearly 100 hermandades all have their own hostels, topped with a bell, to stay in. These are empty most of the year so the town feels a little abandoned.

Day 317 – Saturday 19th January 2019

It rained a little during the night and it’s overcast this morning. The campsite roads being compacted dirt have a half inch of sludge on them.

a street in El Rocío after 10 minutes rain

A lazy day.

Day 318 – Sunday 20th January 2019

It hammered down last night and it’s overcast this morning. Packed up and set off for the campsite at El Puerto de Santa María near Cádiz.

On arrival, a few seconds after I stepped out of the van to weigh up the pitch, a German who I’d played petange with back in Luz stepped up to greet me. Small world.

By the time we arrived at the site it was a beautiful day.

Before I’d finished getting the table and chairs out a Swiss woman who recognised Cfor from Luz said hello. Later in reception a British woman I’d met on the site in Seville asked me about Cfor.

He’s getting an international fan club

Day 319 – Monday 21st January 2019

A beautiful morning. Here in Cádiz we are further west than Land’s End and because Spain is on Central European Standard Time it doesn’t get light till gone 8am. Even Madrid is further west than London so why they are not on GMT is a mystery.

 

To Cádiz on the ferry.

San Juan de Dios square

The town of Cádiz is not that large at all. We had a wander around the historic part, visited the Roman amphitheatre.

Cádiz Cathedral is a bargain at only €6 in!

Cathedrals seem to be big business in Spain. I gave Cádiz Cathedral a miss and would like to say I spent the money I saved on some top tapas but the bars and cafes in Cadiz don’t really cater for tourists, there are no menus in English. Everything is in Spanish on chalkboards which makes it next to impossible to translate. I had to settle for a couple of pastries which I shared with some pigeons.

It was hot today. The BBC weather app said it was 14°C but it felt like a summer’s day in the sun and I was bitten by a bloody mosquito. When I Googled mosquito season it said the little bastards are active when the temp is consistently 10°C or above.

Day 320 – Tuesday 22nd January 2019

A beautiful morning.

Cfor isn’t spending too long outside at this campsite, too many barky dogs!

They sell these baby aubergines stuffed with red pepper at the local market. Delicious.

Had another lazy day.

Day 321 – Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Beautiful if windy morning in El Puerto de Santa María. packed up and off about an hour further east along the coast checking out a campsite for next winter.

Pinar San Jose is a great campsite; the toilet block is good, there’s plenty of hot water & the site has fairly fast free wifi

I had a blast on Zippy to suss out the area. Apart from some good beaches there isn’t a tremendous amount to do round here.

Playa Zahora with the Faro de Trafalgar in the distance

The only town near here is a port called Barbate.

What a load of anchors

The campsite is fairly empty and after being largely confined to the van for the past few days Cfor took the opportunity to go out in the dark and explore the site. God knows what he gets up to.

Day 322 – Thursday 24th January 2019

Lovely morning and we headed to the Faro de Trafalgar.

Pity it’s not open to the public.

The beach at Faro de Trafalgar

With the great campsite and the peaceful beaches we are definitely going to put this place on the list of places to stay next winter.

Tomorrow we head to a campsite near the most southern point in Spain.

As always a big thank you to Julie for all her pictures.

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