On Saturday we knew we’d be crossing the border into Spain. We don’t speak more than four words of Spanish and “I’d like to buy a 185 R 14 tyre for a camper-van please.” aren’t any of them. Ann-Marie had a brainwave and from free wifi in McDonald’s car-park googled ‘tyre dealers’ in the town we were in. Less than an hour later we were on our way down the Cote Vermeille with a brand new spare. We followed the wiggly road round the coast, crossing the border at the Col de Belistres. We stopped for a few minutes at the top. The spot height on the map says it’s 165m above sea level; it felt an awful lot higher than that, especially with a gale force wind trying to chuck us off!
Click Here, but we didn’t realize its importance till we got here and we haven’t been able to find it in a shop yet. We have since found this site; its in Spanish but google translates the directions well enough.) There were only two other vans there and it had a lovely view of Morella’s fortified town and castle so we parked up for the night.
We wanted a slightly warmer night so set off for the coast once more, turning south at Vinaros, passing Castellon and parking at Platja de Xilxes in what is becoming our usual style, i.e. overlooking the sea, followed by a cycle along the prom, game of rummy and bed.
On Thursday we didn’t feel like going far and thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to go off for the day then come back to Mazarron for another night in the same spot. We happily bimbled off into Cartagena, without realizing quite how big it was. After taking a wrong turn and weaving the van through a very scary and very seedy bit of what is otherwise a grand and majestic university city, we parked and had a quick look round on foot. As you may have already noticed we’re not big city people; beautiful though Caragena is, it wasn’t long before we were out on the road again. We had a quick stop at a shopping mall to check emails then went off to have a look at La Manga del Mar Menor. On the map it’s a 20km spit of land poking out into the Med with a road on it; in reality it’s 20km of hotels and apartments with sea on either side.
On Friday, even though we were up to watch the sunrise, the day vanished before our eyes. We had a couple of coffees worth of on-line time in the mall at Cartagena, trying to find out why Tesco’s Finance has taken six days to clear a payment instead of three. Grrr! Then we did a bit of shopping, then we found the Area de Servicio and filled and emptied everything, then went back to the beach at Mazarron. Not much, and only 60km, but it was still half past four when we got in the sea!