A bit more mountain air ….

Having left the snowy mountains behind us, we headed back down to the coast to thaw out stopping in what you could call a summer coastal resort called Almayate for a night at an Aire (AMR – 4 euros a night excl. electricity). I describe it as a summer coastal resort as there is a long coastal road which has a number of ‘secure parking areas’ for motorhomes, a handful of bars/restaurants, several campsites and a lot of beach but not much else. To be fair, the little towns along the road all seemed fairly nice, it was just the concept of the secure car parks dotted between the towns on the main road with no pathway to walk along which bothered me – if you are inviting tourists to the area, at least invest a little in their safety 🙂

Anyway, getting off my high horse …..although the people running the Aire were lovely and full of suggestions of where we could go in the area, we only stayed one night before heading back up into the mountains to explore Granada!

Like Ronda, we weren’t sure if we would make it this year as there has been a huge amount of snow in the Sierra Nevada but we struck it lucky with a couple of clear days and a bit of rain. We parked up at a campsite (Camping Maria Eugenia, 17 euros excl. electricity) which was roughly 5km from the center and headed into town for to have a look around and try out some of their tapas. The camping was nothing to write home about, but it was a safe place to park in the city, the owner was friendly and it had a bus stop outside the entrance if you wanted to use it (naturally we walked everywhere :)). As we don’t use the campsites for much more than emptying and filling up the 17 euros was more attractive than 27 euros which was the other alternative.

Granada is obviously famous for the Alhambra, the Sierra Nevada … and if you are foodies like us, for its tapas 🙂  Every drink that you buy comes with a ‘free’ tapa, but instead of the usual nuts and crisps that you get in other parts of the country, you can choose from a menu of delicacies. Obviously the quality/ingredients vary hugely depending on the type of establishment you are in but we were lucky in all but one bar where they over-did the grease a little. (Note: Some bars do charge a bit extra for the tapa with a drink, rather than a drink on its own).

We spent three days in Granada, one (more late afternoon/evening) exploring the bars and cafes, one walking the Alhambra and the last (rainy) day wandering the streets of the old city – all of which were hugely interesting.

Despite having visited many a Chateau in France, the Alhambra is a class of its own. It isn’t as refined or regal as some of the Chateaux we have visited, but the setting and views are amazing

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and the detail in the carving of the ceilings and walls is incredible and some of the courtyards quite beautiful.

Although the skies had clouded over and the sun had disappeared the views from the Alhambra out to the Sierra Nevada were still pretty spectacular

Granada36_20150211

I am sure we will be back, if nothing else to get a baked potato (oddly also served as a Tapas in some bars) as there are some things you just can’t do in a motorhome 🙂

After leaving Granada we unintentionally climbed further into the mountains (1300+m) to get back down to the coast, thankfully although there was still a bit of snow by the side of the road the real white stuff was still a couple of hundred meters above us ….. looking very beautiful, and very thick!

Over the last couple of months we have predominantly been in ‘Orange’ and ‘Olive’ country – where at points we could buy 5kg of the most enormous, succulent Oranges for 2 euros….. what a treat, we have now moved to ‘Tomato’ land…. Almeria is apparently the largest tomato producer in the world…. and very tasty they are too.

We parked in a car park next to the beach roughly 4km from the center of Almeria as the service area we had planned to stay at apparently shut last year. The location however was stunning and it was half way along a cycle path/promenade – perfect for us for a couple of nights enabling us to visit the market on Saturday (where they had the most enormous variety of tomatoes ranging from 1 euro a kilo up to 13 euros a kilo), have a good walk exploring the town and soak up a bit of sunshine and sea air.

When we left Almeria this afternoon and headed to Aguas Amargas (Bitter Waters) the temperature was 19 degrees …. A proper summers day for us Brits… we almost dug out the shorts!

Aguas Amargas is a little town in a national park just along the coast from Almeria. We parked up in the river mouth and walked up into the hills above the town to take in the views…. Tranquil.

We have now been on the road in the motorhome for 6 months …. strange as it doesn’t seem that long ago when we left Bagnoles De L’Orne – not sure if that is a good sign or a bad one!

Distance Walked / Cycled 2915km

Distance Driven just under 6000 miles

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