We stayed on the glorious Costa de la Luz for a week at a great verdant campsite run by a really friendly and lovely Spanish family, the site surrounded by farms (and countryside sounds of cows, cockerels, donkeys and dogs!) but only a couple of kilometres from the wonderful beach at Conil de la Frontera, a fantastic Spanish town with some beautiful historical buildings.
This is where we saw in the New Year, parking up with the other motorhomes by the beach, walking through the town on New Year’s Eve past the lively bars and then driving even closer to the beach to gaze in awe at one of the most stunning sunsets we’ve ever seen.
The first day of the New Year we were lucky enough to visit the chilled-out seaside at El Palmar, full of cool Spanish kite-surfers, surf dudes and skaters drinking in beachside shacks.
Then we went to the wonderful hillside town of Vejer de la Frontera with its narrow streets, Moorish buildings and absolutely amazing views. It was one of our favourite places in the whole 6,500 miles of this trip so far.
We loved this area, breezy though it was on a few days due to its Atlantic coast. It felt generally much more undiscovered by tourism than the other Costas we’ve visited.
Then we headed back Marbella way, via Tarifa, and past more of the wind turbines that are common in Spain, and back to good old Cabopino campsite – where the other campers are probably the friendliest of all the sites we’ve stayed at (and we must have met 1,000 campers and they are friendly everywhere!).
After a day or two here chilling again at Andy’s beach bar after another long drive, we took a trip to Gibraltar. It’s an interesting place, one we can’t quite figure out, but we were all very happy to be back in Spain after a few hours there in its shopping crowds.
The boys ran across the runway that you have to cross to get in and out of Gibraltar, but they were doing plane impressions rather than eagerly fleeing Gib. 😉
A couple of days later we went to Algeciras to get a boat to Morocco for an afternoon. These are some of the shady characters you might be greeted by as you enter the port area, trying to flog you boat tickets.
Despite being streetwise we got ripped off for 50 Euros by one conman (I hesitate to use the word “man” in this such were his flurry of atrocious lies over 45 minutes) who said his name was Jose. It was a lesson for us and for our boys as one of our aims with the trip is to show them how the world is full of mostly kindhearted and fantastic people, but we had to explain to them how this man was a “baddie”, yet it was he who would have to look at himself in the mirror.
“He won’t like himself will he?” said Daniel: so our five-year-old gets what this sad thief doesn’t.
We scrapped the Morocco idea and returned to the lovely beach and marina at Cabopino, the sand warm on our bare feet, where we watched another brilliant sunset.
Then back at our motorhome one of the other campers knocked on our door and gave the boys some toys. If we were still a little out of kilter from our Algeciras port experience this perfectly timed act of kindness put us firmly back on track.
The evening after it was the Three Kings celebration in Spain, when fiestas take place in most towns involving grandly decorated floats and sweets being thrown from them to the children lining the streets. It was fantastic and our boys could not believe their luck!
The morning after we we’re due to see our last two friends in Spain for our project, but they couldn’t make it, so we said farewell to the campers we’d made friends with at Cabopino and headed back to Nerja, our spiritual Spanish home from this journey of ours.
We found some other roamers parked up by the beach and away we went to soak up some of our last rays before heading north, Madrid way, and then back towards the UK (where we understand it’s not quite T-shirt weather yet…).