We are coming to the end of the European part of our adventure. Due to Brexit we no longer have the right to travel around as we please and the 90/180 day rule will apply going forward.
We are looking forward to discovering the gems that our home country, the UK, offers over the summer months.
Luckily for us, in the meantime, the lockdown here is much lighter than in the UK and we are taking advantage of the much-improved weather and finally being allowed to move around the province.
When we left you last week we had stopped at a lovely restaurant for two nights and had found some great walks. However, the weather turned on us again so we headed further inland to a tiny campsite that had rave reviews, lots of lovely walks, a nice restaurant and a bar, and it was in the middle of nowhere. It was, as described, truly beautiful but not really ready to receive guests as we were too early in the season. The owner, Jose, could not have been more helpful and gave us a drink and guided us to a spot. We had electricity but the water was broken, as were the showers, but as we have our own facilities in the motorhome this was not a problem.
Come on! It’s freezing here!
As the rain poured down we cooked dinner and relaxed. We had no signal on our mobile phones, so Karen was overjoyed to have some peace and quiet.
Cabra, Spain a really lovely spot to stop in a motorhome
We then headed to a town called Cabra. This was one of our favourite stops on our last trip in 2016, so off we went, and like magic the weather changed for the better. Inland Spain is magic, the people are more relaxed, prices are lower, stopping places are plentiful and, in many cases, free. We wandered the streets and enjoyed the very relaxed atmosphere, the bars and restaurants able to open until 9.00pm and the locals were carefully enjoying the extra freedom.
Coming up to Holy Communion time in Cabra.
Complete Breakfast for €3 in Cabra
We enjoyed the tapas, a couple of drinks and the feeling of wellbeing that this new-found freedom was giving us. Another benefit Cabra offered was a barber and I now sport a rather short haircut, I did ask for a George Clooney look. I think the poor man though it was impossible and gave me a more standard look. Karen decided to search Google for eyebrow threading in Cabra and found some establishments in Dublin, but none where we were.
Very close to the ‘George Clooney’ I asked for
Cabra is on the longest Via Verde (Cycleway) in Spain, running on the old Olive Oil railway line between Puente Genil and Jaen - a total of 174 km. This alone is a good reason to come here and we had two days: day one heading to Zuheros in the east, a 39 km round trip, and the next day we cycled to the start point of the Via Verde at Puente Genil and then back to Cabra – a whopping 82km round trip. As it is built on a railway track there are slight gradients, but I can assure you we did sleep well after the trip! The sun shone all day, the scenery was amazing - this is olive oil country and the trees stretch out for miles. Such a pretty place!
Glorious view on a viaduct on the Via Verde
Well, the place is called ‘Cabra’ after all. ‘Goat’ to you and me!
What’s that Karen? ‘Onward’ 39km journey, first day
The rope bridge at Zuheros
Via Verde from Zuheros
Second day on the Via Verde. 82km in total
Buster parked up at the old Aire at Cabra. Only 2 spaces, but the new one behind has over 24
We have decided to stick closely to Cadiz as it has been our home for the past few months and after a couple of days we had to move on. We chose a small town called Algodonales.
The view on the walk into the village of Algodonales
Tapas in Algodonales - such great value
Washing fountain in Algodonales
Buster in the sunshine at CIVA campsite at Algodonales
The pizza oven available for guests to use at our campsite
We had heard of a tiny campsite near the village and it primarily caters for paragliding folk. We were able to stay here and it had that very similar feel to where we stayed in Turkey, this time last year. It is a community with extremely helpful, friendly people in an idyllic location. Except this time, we are at the end of a lockdown rather than at the start, so there is a bit more flexibility and we can go for long walks to the stunning villages nearby. We had visited Zahara de Atunes on the coast but Zahara de la Sierra is extraordinarily beautiful and a good solid 18km round trip walk from the campsite.
On the road to Zahara de la Sierra
A babbling brook, and there are fish in the river
Big sky on the road to Zahara de la Sierra
The main street at Zahara de la Sierra. Bar central.
Such a pretty town - well worth the 18km walk.
The view down to the lake - we will be back to cycle around it
Zahara de la Sierra
We will stick around here for a while as if possible and perhaps I’ll tick off a longstanding item on my bucket list… It seems that even someone as large as me can do a tandem paraglider flight, so I am working out if I really have the courage to do it. You will have to wait until next week to see!