Three week trip Totana (Spain) to Penamacor (Portugal)

Discussion in 'Spain' started by jumartoo, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    Over one year ago we promised our Portuguese friends that we would help them with an international orienteering event they were organising. It fitted in well with our first national league event in Spain, so although we were having a good time in Totana with interesting visitors to the camperstop, we reluctantly had to leave to begin three weeks away.

    We left last Thursday afternoon, after seeing off @Jenben . Our first night's stop was at a camperstop at Puerto Lapice, south east of Toledo.

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    This is very well situated just off the A4 autovia and we had a very quiet night there. The next door van were two French couples sharing.

    Must go now to start our evening meal. More to follow.
     
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  2. mickyc

    mickyc Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for posting, watching the thread with great interest as will be carrying out a similar trip in a months time. Just arrived in Beni for 3 weeks, then heading South.
     
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  3. Chockswahay

    Chockswahay Funster

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    Well its been a bit nippy in Totana today, however it made the cycle to Aledo a bit easier :)
     
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  4. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    Enjoy your trip!
     
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  5. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    Sorry we're not there to meet you. The bit nippy weather is probably warmer than here! BUT as long as it stays dry we are happy.
     
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  6. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    Meal cooked and eaten but its a bit out of sync with this thread so piccy will be seen later.

    We left the camperstop to travel onwards to our orienteering event, based around Ciudad Rodrigo, near Salamanca. We actually arrived at the first days parking on the way so stopped there. Now this part will probably be boring for everyone, but its part of our trip! We parked in an oak forest, near the assembly area for the competition. We were a mix of Spanish and Portuguese and one other Brit van. Ours is the silver van centre left.

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  7. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    The second day of the competition was a race in the streets of Ciudad Rodrigo. This is a pleasant city and especially interesting to run because of the different levels of the town walls. Some of us lost more time than others trying to work out or routes!

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    Views of some of the buildings in the main plaza where we had the prize giving ceremony.
     
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  8. Armytwowheels

    Armytwowheels Funster Life Member

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    Hope you have a lovely trip and good luck in the competition.
     
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  9. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    Hi, hope you're you're enjoying Morocco.
     
  10. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    Before we left Totana I asked if anyone had visited La Alberca. A village in the Sierra Francis. Only one response from @Jenben but we still wanted to see for ourselves. We needed to stay in this vicinity to travel over the border for next weekend for a planning meeting. Because La Alberca has a full service camperstop we found it useful after parking in the forest and town.

    We left Ciudad Rodrigo after the prize giving ceremony and drove the 45km to La Alberca. The town was full (Sunday afternoon) and we thought the parking area for motorhomes would be also. It's too far from the town (must be 400 metres or so!) so it was empty.

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    We parked, ate, relaxed and slept!

    The next morning we decided to take the mountain bikes out. We used Wikiloc and found an "easy" route that we could ride directly from the parking area. This took us uphill for about 1.5 hours.

    The route was to go to the top of Peña Francia.

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    We continued to climb to a crossroads of tracks with a small shelter.

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    Which would be very useful for anyone to use in bad weather. By this time the sun had disappeared and the wind had got up. We continued to the road access to the summit and then decided to cut the route short by taking a GR (long distance) path downhill back to La Alberca. This was not intended for bikes so we had to dismount on some of the sections and also negotiate a stream crossing. We eventually arrived back at the Motorhome just in time to go out for lunch.
     
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  11. Jenben

    Jenben Funster

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    Looks lovely @jumartoo, glad you enjoyed staying at la Alberca, we didn't get a chance to take the bikes but will go back again.
     
  12. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    We arrived back from our ride early enough to clean up and change to go to eat in the village. We had a stroll round for 40 minutes or so and then found La Taverna to go to eat.

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    Interesting decorations on a house in the backstreets of the village.

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    Many narrow streets.

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    La Taverna.

    We decided to have a €15 menu instead of the €10 menu del dia. We had scrambled eggs with prawns and mushrooms (me) and lasagne for Martin. We then experimented and we had oxtail and (we think) testicles cooked in red wine! We weren't expecting them but ate them anyway. We finished with a flan and a home made cheese cake that was a bit like acurd tart.

    I took some photos but only after we had started eating our meals so not going to post them here.

    We then had a short uphill stroll back to the van to relax for the evenings and plan a walk for the next day.
     
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  13. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    Using Wikiloc we found a 14km route directly from the parking area. We started walking uphill through a forest. We were walking in the sun but the mist was in the valley. We crossed and recrossed a road before taking a footpath to a col.

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    There is a road somewhere down in that mist!

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  14. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    Just before the col we came to a rocky area with a cage for catching something. Hate to think what is big enough to need this!

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    A few more photos of the route. The first taken from the col..

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    We then started the descent on a very narrow path down to a bulldozed track. All along the track were signs of wild pig. Martin kept a rock in his hand just in case we disturbed any!

    We thought the walk would continue on small tracks but then it took an old walled route through chestnut trees.

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    The track between the walls in places was more like a small stream and we came upon this little chap.

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    We eventually emerged into a part built housing complex and took a track from there to bring us back to the parking.
     
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  15. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    Just a quick update to finish off our trip into Portugal, mainly to tell of the places we stayed.

    We left La Alberca on the invisible road and drove through the mist to stay at an official Motorhome parking area at Torre de Don Miguel, north east of Moraleja. This is a small village and we don't know why they have put in this facility unless it's used by the Spanish in the summer. It is in the Sierra de Gata.

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    The parking area above the village

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    Emptying point.

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    The church in the village plaza.

    We stayed one night then left to stay at Moraleja and eat at the restaurant there. We shopped in the town and then pulled onto the aire but the restaurant has now closed down and although you can park there still we didn't stay.

    We found somewhere to eat at the last village before the Portuguese border at a place called Valverde del Fresno and stayed overnight there.

    The next morning we drove to Penamacor to get our bearings for the next week or so and then went to the parking area at Benquerenca.

    There isn't a dedicated Motorhome parking area in Penamacor but it is possible, and tolerated, to park off season at least, in the large car park in the village.

    The area at Benquerenca is an official area and has services.

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    Benquerenca parking area.

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    The parking area from across the river.

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    Sunrise at Benquerenca parking.
     
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  16. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    Glad you enjoying your trip!
     
  17. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    It's over now, first night back in Totana.
     
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  18. Jenben

    Jenben Funster

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    We stayed there as well @jumartoo and also couldn't work out why the camperstop was there. Lovely drive over from la Alberca.

    Looks like a great trip away but welcome back.
     
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  19. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    Penamacor's Mayor is trying to publicise his dying village. It's overshadowed by neighbouring Monsanto, but Penamacor also has a walled castle area and is worth a visit.

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    The bell tower in the walled castle.

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    And the clock mechanism!

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    Penamacor village from the castle. It's possible to park in the big parking area with the orange van.
     
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  20. campa cola

    campa cola Funster

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    I spy a ring of steel...not good for tourism, but good for some landowners pocket. I noticed 3/4 of the turbines in some of the the big windfarms in the north were out of commission.
     
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