A very happy new year to you all. We hope!


Palomares to Nerja

Miles travelled so far: 1649 miles

Toll costs: NONE this week

Fuel costs: NONE this week

28th December. Day 3 Palomares

It’s another bright, sunny day and warm. Today we shall have our breakfast outside. Yes outside, at the end of December!

We thought that we might take a walk into the town of Palomares, which is only 10 to 15 minutes away. As expected we arrive in the main square which is dominated by a large terrace belonging to a tapas bar.

While we are here we need to find a ‘ferreteria’ or hardware shop. Spanish hardware shops are brilliant, they are an Aladdin’s cave of everything you can think of. We buy a pair of hosepipe adapters, always useful. Some PTFE tape to bind up our leaking sink, amalgamating tape because it’s useful and finally a set of small Tupperware containers because Hayley likes them.

Fiduea for lunch

Satisfied with our purchases we make for the terrace in the square and have an excellent coffee before the walk back to the van. We drop off the hardware goodies and take a walk to the beach that has a beach bar where we thought we would enjoy a small cold beer in the sun.

After spending two hours and 50 euros on lunch we take a nice long stroll along the beach and discuss our future life plan. Yes very deep.

The walk along the beach and back to the van was very pleasant, once back we drank lots of water and just relaxed in the late afternoon sun.

No dinner tonight after the long heavy lunch, but we ended the day with a movie night and watched “The Boy in the striped pyjamas“. A great movie if a little depressing.

29th December. Day 4 Palomares

What a beautiful morning, slightly cooler than yesterday but that doesn’t stop us from having breakfast outside. It’s a lovely morning, perfect for a piece of tortilla and tomato bread. Delicious.

Today we intend to get some more exercise. We made a pledge to try and either get a good long walk in or a good few miles of cycling every day, weather permitting of course. Today we will get on our bikes and cycle to the next town of Villaricos. It’s a great cycle, the sun is shining and the sea on our right looks amazing. A perfect day.

Villaricos is a tiny fishing town of over 600 people with some spectacular views from the front. The town itself is quite charming so we stop in the town square and have a lovely Spanish coffee.

We love Spanish coffee. It’s the right amount, tasty and cheap unlike the overpriced soup bowl size cup of hot water with burnt grit that most coffee shop chains serve up. In most Spanish cities you can find a famous coffee chain, they never look full and we can understand why with so many cafes selling good local coffee – why you would go in?

The cycle ride back was just as pleasant as it was going to Villaricos. Except we take a few detours to see more of the local area. Back at the van, we take it easy before taking a good walk to the beach bar for a refreshing drink, maybe a cocktail in the afternoon sun.

After 3 large plates consisting of patatas bravas, calamari and ‘puntillas’ (baby squids), helped along with a glass of wine and a cold beer, we decided that the afternoon cocktail went well!

A perfect day today. Breakfast in the sun, plenty of exercise followed by a big feed instead of a cocktail and back to the van for another movie night. Tonight the film “Life” which is all about an intelligent life form from Mars that looks like a squid and kills everyone. It was actually better than it sounds.

Tomorrow we are moving on after a very nice four day stay here at Palomares.

30th December. Palomares to Castell de Ferro – 124 miles

Another bright but cool morning. No breakfast on the van today. We packed up outside last night and we are off by 9.30 am. First stop, a supermarket to stock up, it’s the penultimate day of 2021. Let’s get this year out of the way!

There is quite a fog here today and it’s chilling the air. Once the shop is done we get a move on.

We are heading for a small town called Garrucha where we will park in the marina car park for breakfast. This marina was a welcome sight years ago when we sailed up and down the Spanish coast. It’s the first big marina for miles after the Cabo de Gata (the bottom right corner of Spain) and they always squeezed us in after a punishing sail so we are very fond of the place. Nothing much had changed over the 12 years since we were last here except maybe a little fresh paint here and there. The fog is following us south as it soon thickens up here too, and it’s getting chilly. We get going and soon we are at higher altitudes and bright sunlight. The temperature peaks at 23 degrees which is perfect. The passing scenery is quite spectacular.

Our next stop is Almerimar. A town on the south coast of Spain, 90 or so miles east of Malaga.

There is a marina here where we used to keep our boat when we lived down here some years ago. The place has come on with new buildings going up and it’s quite a bustling place. We park up on the outer harbour which gives us a spectacular view east and west, and looking north a breathtaking view of the snow-covered tops of the Sierra Nevada mountains north of Granada.

Snow on the Sierra Nevada

On the move again to our final destination of Camping Huerta Romero. The site is located in the middle of a small town called Castell de Ferro. It’s a bit… well… a bit like a commune. There are campers who look like they have been here for years, a lot of unshaven men with buns in their hair and tie-dyed trousers. The site itself is charming though with lots of trees and shade, not that we need it right now. Each plot is like a private garden.

Jess tucked in for a few days

Lovely. We set off for a walk to the stony beach. Guess what? The fog is rolling in again. What’s going on?

A short walk back to the van through the town, which, not to be unkind, doesn’t really offer much. Tomorrow we will give it another go. It might look and feel different in sunlight. If we ever get it that is.

31st December – Day 2 Castell de Ferro

Last day of 2021…

No sun this morning. It’s 100% grey and still with a slight chill. Guess the town won’t look any different from yesterday after all.

A foggy day in Castell de Ferro

Two people living, eating and sleeping on a van that is just shy of 6m means that you have to clean more often, so, despite the poor weather and the lack of town, (you can’t even cycle here) we get on with some cleaning jobs and do some more laundry.

Del sets off for a walk along the local beach for an hour, H stays with Jess and attempts a repair to the leaky sink which has eluded us for some days. Numerous attempts have not stopped the leak. Despite her efforts, it is still leaking. Del has a go next, once back from his walk. This time lashings of PTFE tape and amalgamating tape. That’ll fix it…?

The rest of the afternoon is taken up discussing the future, where shall we go, how do we do it and for how long.

Can’t get enough of these paellas!

Hayley does one of her excellent paellas for dinner which was later than usual. Tonight we have a rose cava on standby to bring in the new year.

After dinner, we take a stroll into town which is… dead! We are the only ones in town apart from a group of five youth on mobile phones. We head back to the van, a little disappointed and take in a quick movie. Tonight it’s a French film called “Oxygen” about a woman who is woken up from a cryogenic state to find (spoiler alert) she’s a clone in outer space. It was better than it sounds. Very good in fact.

With midnight approaching we grab a couple of glasses and bring in 2022 with a cold glass of fizz and a packet of crisps. Excellent. We dab a bit of fizz on Jess and thank her for getting us here. We love her very much.

Happy 2022 to you all. Here’s to a successful and healthy new year.

Happy New Year

1st January Day 3 – Castell de Ferro

The leak under the sink is fixed. Bound up in many yards of PTFE tape and amalgamating tape. Nothing will get through now. The morning starts off more or less the same as yesterday, cloudy and foggy. Del does a bit more deep cleaning of the van and by the afternoon the sun is shining and the fog has finally gone. At last. We head for the beach and sit by the water’s edge watching and listening to the gentle waves breaking. We sit for a while in silence. It’s the start of a new year.

H gets caught out paddling. Whoops!

Dinner tonight is a fridge clear out. We waste nothing, so on occasion we go through the fridge and check dates on things, if it’s getting close then we eat it. These dinners can be a thrown together hotch pitch of almost anything. It’s always good though, even if it’s all a bit of a miss-match.

Tonight’s movie, called “The Silence“. It’s about some blind birds that get released from a deep cave. They can’t see and attack humans by noise. Yeah, not the best we know. It was as bad as it sounds.

2nd January. Castell de Ferro to Nerja – 41 miles

We move on today. Hayley is not mad on it here and she is probably right when she says we won’t come back here again. Sad to say it but there’s not much here and the weather hasn’t really helped. Shame really but there you go. It was our home for 3 nights but we are glad to be moving on.

After a short van service, we are off. It’s good to be moving again. Today we are off to Nerja to a popular campsite called Camping Cortijo San Miguel. First, though we need to do a shop. You can always depend on a Spanish Aldi on a Sunday.

A short drive today and soon we are in our pitch which is quite charming, surrounded by avocado trees on either side of us, a much more open feeling compared to our last stop. The usual morning fog has lifted and it’s a lovely day.

We decide to just stay put for the rest of the day. We are here for 3 days and may extend, it’s nice, warm and peaceful here.

3rd January. Day 2 Nerja

Same old story weather-wise. It’s cold with low clouds or fog, can’t really tell anymore. No matter, today we are walking along the beach to the town of Nerja and we are going to check out the Cuevas de Nerja (the Caves of Nerja).

Wow! This is quite a place, not what we expected at all. The caves are huge with amazing rock formations all around. They hold the Guinness world record for the biggest stalactite column in the world, the hall was created by an earthquake that hit the region more than 800,000 years ago. It’s quite a sight to see.

To get there we took one of those little sightseeing trains that do a return trip to the caves and entry to the museum for just 16 euros each, well worth it.

After the caves, we get back to the town of Nerja to look for a place for a “light” lunch. As is the usual form at the moment, the fog has cleared and it’s a beautiful day.

So a little lunch by the sea would be fitting justice for a lovely day. We don’t find much in the town, there is plenty there for sure, but it’s quite busy and a little touristy. We walk back in the direction of home and find a perfect place right on the beach. It’s not long before we have an excellent Wagyu beef burger with some homemade fries which went well worth a bottle of rose wine and finished with a dessert to share. Yes very light!

The walk back home is perfect, just in time for the sun setting and the air turning chilly again.

What a lovely day. Laundry day tomorrow. Again.