Europe Roadie Part 5 – Spain & Portugal

Hi guys, so I am doing this from memory and from diaries as we were too rubbish to complete this whilst we were actually travelling. So now I am writing this from the comfort of a sofa in Littlehampton. Apologies that its not as detailed as others, I promise when we go to South America we will make a bigger effort (if they have easily accessible internet).

Spain

So first stop in Spain was Barcelona, we drove there from the French Riviera avoiding the expensive toll roads again as being us we were being cheap. We checked in to a nice campsite about 30minutes outside of Barcelona, that had a nice swimming pool which was good as we spent the next day just chilling out around it and relaxing. When we eventually got the bus into Barcelona the next day we did some major sight seeing including the Sagrada Familia which was amazing inside and out, Gaudi’s weird park thing plus did a walking tour seeing quite a few of Gaudi’s buildings, went to the waterfront, down La Rambla and saw some of the nice squares and churches.

We didn’t really plan where we were heading after this, started making our way to Salou, but changed our minds on the road and went a bit further down the coast to a small village called Benicarlo, stayed in a typically British run campsite, including British pub food, karaoke and pub quiz. Was pretty cool because whilst we were there the village was having its annual festival, so we got to go to the fun fair and also stuck around for the big fireworks display which was actually amazing!! After a few days chilling out in Benicarlo we headed to Valencia where we were going to TOMATO FEST, checked in to an awesome campsite Camp Coll Vert where we met up with the Aussie couple who we met in Venice and their kiwi mates they had met along the way. When we arrived at Camp Coll Vert there were HUNDREDS of Aussies there because there was a tour group called Fanatics staying there also, so the atmosphere was awesome and we pretty much spent the next few nights drinking and partying. We thought we had better be cultured and do some sight seeing whilst in Valencia, so decided to go to the aquarium and Science museum (despite bad hangovers) which was pretty fun. The main event though was obviously the Tomato Fest in Bunol, we got a coach there with the campsite, started drinking 1Euro Sangria at 8am and then when we got there it was just mayhem, it was SO busy.  We had to queue for an hour to get onto the main street, I couldn’t find anywhere to pee so had to use my bad Spanish to use an elderly Spanish ladies toilet! We obviously lost everyone so just had heaps of fun throwing tomatoes, then went and got hosed off by locals before getting into the river fully clothed to have a rinse, after that had a beer dried off, went back on the coach and drank even more at the hostel. I think I fell asleep on the floor half in half out of the van that night.

 We said goodbye to the people we had met in Valencia and headed to Granada, it was over a 500km drive so took turns, literally got to the campsite in the evening and passed out. The next day we got up super early and caught a taxi to the Alhambra, we were told you had to get there very early if you wanted to get tickets, we spent the morning walking around the palaces, fortresses and gardens was very pretty. We then walked into the Old Town in Granada had some churros and wandered through all the narrow little alleys and white washed houses, pretty cool. We then needed to make our way towards Portugal as this is where we were meeting my parents, we originally were going to head to Seville but drove there and didn’t really like it and couldn’t find a campsite so decided to keep going. Found a little place called Isla Cristina on the coast quite close to Portugal so stayed here relaxing and beaching it for a couple of days.

 Portugal

 Again we avoided the toll roads and had a nice windy drive along the South coast of Portugal, stopped in Tavira and had lunch in Lagos along the way to Burgau, the coast was very beautiful. Went and checked into our hotel in Burgau which was SO nice, the guys at the hotel thought we were a bit weird when we brought in baskets of our stuff instead of suitcases. Spent a really nice few days with my parents and sister going to the beach including Amado Beach, Dona Ana Beach in Lagos and of course Burgau beach, also stopped in Praia de Luz and literally just relaxed and ate lots of nice food, I think I speak for both of us when I say how nice it was to have a 4nights not sleeping in the van, so thanks mum and dad!! After mum and dad left we stayed in the area because we loved it so much, Nick had hired a surf board and had gone surfing a few times and wanted to find more surf beaches. We went up and had a look round Sagres and walked out to the most South Westerley point of Portugal and then went up the coast a bit further, found Casteljo beach where we chilled out and Arripana beach and then went and camped at Amado beach, sat and watched the sun set with a cup of baileys…not too bad at all. We spent our last couple of days in Portugal going around the different beaches (so Nick could surf more). We then headed back into Spain….

Spain (revisited)

 First stop now back in Spain was Cordoba so we found a small campsite about 45minutes outside of Cordoba in the middle of millions of Olive trees, we only chose this campsite because of the free breakfast, however it turned out to be a really nice one. We got a local bus into Cordoba the next day and saw the Mezquita, walked around the city across the bridge and around the Old Town, Nick had a seafood Paella as he hadn’t had one yet so he was pretty happy.  After Cordoba we made tracks for Madrid, again we spent a day walking around the city taking in the sights, however we were a little bit sight seeinged out (new word) so probably didn’t do as much as we should have although we saw the palace and its gardens, went and sat inside the Retiro Gardens and saw of the cities nice plazas. After Madrid we were headed North, stopped one night in a campsite on top of a hill in a place called Mutrica which was very pretty, before making our way to San Sebastian which was our last destination in Spain. San Sebastian was very nice, we spent some time on the beach and walked around the town, Nick loved it here because everyone was so active, running, rollerblading, swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding even the old guys were out playing what seemed to me like a big squash game on the beach against the wall.

So that was Spain and Portugal…..sorry it was quite long we did quite a bit and I am recapping this! Next up and last of the Europe Roadie is France.

 Love Nat and Nick

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