Posts tagged freecamp
We stuck to the coast and reached Sete, a rather seedy looking fishing town with lots of permanent caravans slowly rusting in public car parks. We spent an hour in the local bricolage (DIY shop) trying to sort out some accessories for our new solar panel. When I returned to the van I discovered that our bike cover had been removed and the clips on my bike detached. Clearly someone was checking to see how easily our bikes could be stolen. Luckily our strong locks thwarted the would-be thief.
We camped for the night at Sete beach, a narrow stretch of land bordered by the sea on one side and wetlands on the other. The sea was rough with plenty of white horses and the wind howling like a gale – perfect for a very invigorating walk. We were greeted on our return to Karmann by a battered little white van, driven precariously by a somewhat more-than-tipsy Frenchman. He was in the process of selling boxes of wine to the couple in the neighbouring van and we decided to investigate. This involved David running into the middle of a roundabout to try and flag him down and he practically ran David over before realising that we were potential customers. The wine was delicious (as was the much reduced price) so we departed with a box of half a dozen to keep us “mutsh calmer in zhe shtorm”. Oh boy did I need it … the van rocked back and forth for most of the night in the strong winds and is now decorated with sand from top to bottom.
After the hustle and bustle of touristy towns, we escaped to Monti Sibillini and its eerie National Park, which straddles the Le Marche and Umbrian region of Italy. We stayed in a grassy (and free) area di sosta close to the town of Castleluccio, surrounded by mountains.
Handgliders and paragliders make good use of the flat basin, perfect for easy landings. Some of the more adventurous ones could even be seen disappearing in and out of clouds that tumble down the sides of the mountains.
The area is perfect for hiking and mountain biking; we did both whilst we were there. Apparently, there are numerous wild animals and plants to be spotted, but the wildest thing we saw was a bleary eyed shepherd and five sheepdogs who thought that Odie looked like a good appetiser.
A trip into an extraordinary mind was on the agenda. We were in Figueres to visit the Dali Teatre Muse, home to a large portion of the works of Salvador Dali. It’s well worth a visit; I particularly liked his large installations. He was a master of working in all different genres and clearly loved experimenting. It is amazing to see what one person’s imagination could come up with.
Nothing else in Figures looked vaguely enticing so we adjourned to Cadaques, a little fishing town along the coast. We were hoping to freecamp at a tolerated spot but after navigating along the winding road found motorhomes were no longer welcome in this particular car park. Additionally the only parking spot available to us was amongst piles of dirt and diggers. These facts, coupled with frequent motorhome-prohibited signs along the roads, discouraged us from spending more than an hour in the town walking its streets. We decamped up the road to a much quieter town called El Port De La Selva.
Tomorrow we will watch Spain play Holland in the World Cup Final, anticipating much liveliness and support for the home team.
The Alpujarra valleys have been home to some popular English writers, I had read ‘Driving over Lemons’ and wanted to visit the area that Chris Stewart calls home. The scenery in these hills is diverse. To the East there are wooded hills and rushing rivers, to the the West endless vistas of sky and rock. The weather was hot and as David was tired we ended up driving through most of the
valleys on a very scenic mountainous road. Numerous white villages stack themselves up on hillsides to provide a contrast to the roughly hewn, rocky terrain. We had a welcome break in Trevelez, the home of Serrano ham and had to buy some samples to try out. As usual
in Spain the shops are littered with pigs legs hanging from the ceiling by their the trotters’ for maximum visual effect.
That night we found the most magical free camping spot. After a dicey journey along a bumpy pass in the Sierra Nevada we came upon an old mountain road that was clearly not used. The large number of rocks littering the way indicated we wouldn’t be bothered by cars but we were sure to park away from anything that looked too precarious. The view overlooked rolling hills and down on to an almost 180 degree vista of grass covered plains. As night fell the stars came out above and below the huge wind farm started to twinkle in competition with the stars.