Lenny's Winter Treck to Portugal

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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Last Tuesday moved on to Miraflores east of Marbella to visit an old friend, ended up parking for the night on the road outside his apartments due to a couple of bottles wine lunch time followed by a few beers in the beach bars.

For the last few days we have been on a nice Aire 17km east of Malaga at Los Rubios, one of the best & fastest wifi we have ever had on our travels.
Good cycle path along the beach to Malaga and a regular bus service.

Malaga was a surprise went there expecting package holiday town only to discover a lovely city well worth a visit.

Moving on tomorrow we were going up to granda to see Alambra but weather looking very iffy inland.



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Robert Clark

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Did you drive into Malaga and park up or go on the bikes?

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Jun 22, 2008
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Been there done that its such a relieve when you see the main road again .

Well done
 

irnbru

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Enjoying reading your blog. Some nice photos. Did you get up real close to the monkeys or just zoomed in on camera?

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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Monday we started heading north to the "Parque El Torcal de Antequera". Interesting drive, one village the roads were wet and I had trouble getting out of a T-junction on a 1 in 6, had to use Traction Plus and juddered out with L/H wheel spinning and the other one struggling for grip, also had the traction control cutting in on what I would describe as fairly normal mountain roads. I think the problem is Spanish tarmac is made to cope with the heat and doesn't do very well in the wet very well, also the Exsis is very light at the front end. I have Hankook all-season tyres.
It was a nerve wrecking drive in low cloud with only about 20 yrd visibility especially the last few k's on a narrow mountain road.

Spent the night 4000 ft up with howling gale force winds with the van rocking all night, temperature in the morning was 3 deg didn't move above 3 until midday and with the wind chill factor felt like well below zero.

Surprised at how well the new solar reg (as recommended by @Techno ) is performing in these conditions, in heavy cloud raining 20 yrd visibility and getting 25 watts, sky brightened slightly but still parked in clouds output up to 75 watts, amazing only getting 95 watts in wall to wall sunshine.

25 watts from solar in this!P1060375.JPG

This is what the view should have been.

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Actual view.

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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Enjoying reading your blog. Some nice photos. Did you get up real close to the monkeys or just zoomed in on camera?
Stayed at least two feet away otherwise they jump on your shoulders.:)

I'm blue in the face now - held my breath for 2 mins 6 secs.
That was quite tame compared to some of our adventurers, must admit it is a lot easier in an A Class.:)
 

jumartoo

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Been to El Torcal twice. Both times the previous day was full sun and when we arrived we had the same conditions as you!

Maybe our third time we'll be lucky!

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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Thursday morning set off heading north a couple of days later than intended as we waited for a couple of days of not so good weather to clear befoe going to Granada. Spent the night at Alcazar de San Juan, nice free Aire by the bull ring with full services, nice park opposite for an evening stroll. Met a couple of Hymerits there from "The Dark Side", they said despite the large road that runs past the Aire you will get a very quiet night here, yer right, about 6 am woken by what sounded like a lorry unloading a skip, then at 7:45am woken again by local council gardener pruning trees with a chain saw.:)

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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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The boss decided on Friday morning she wanted to visit Avila and Segovia on the way home.

So on to Avila, famous for the most complete and best restored city walls in Europe and the coldest town in Spain - I can vouch for both.

You can walk around about 3/4's of the walls so after a very nice afternoon returned to the van to find a post-it note on the screen if was from @Scattycat who we had met in the south, so we went and said hello and spent a very pleasant evening with Mike and Lin.

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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Saturday on to Segovia to see the famous Roman Aqueduct, it is really amazing a huge aqueduct right in the centre of town also interesting Cathedral and Alcazar only had time for an external look on this trip. Parked for few hours at the nice new free Aire with services by the bull ring.

More photos of old rocks for @Judge Mental

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jumartoo

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Not visited the Alhambra myself. Most people enthuse about it but one or two we have spoken to thought the same as yourself.

We were in Avila last autumn. Arrived during the mediaeval festival so it was packed but enjoyed it. Must say it wasn't cold then! We also visited Segovia on the same trip and enjoyed that also. We are not usually city people, normally prefer the natural world so not a lot to compare them to!

P.s.

Stayed on the Motorhome parking at the bullring in Segovia. We were a bit dubious whether it would be noisy, but apart from two Spanish pensioner couples who were leaning on our van for a loooong chat and who we chased off promptly, we found it was very quiet.

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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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On to Arguecas for the night, another free Aire right beneath the Troglodyte caves a very interesting stop. Now well behind schedule what was going to be a relaxing drive back through Spain & France now turning into a fast dash as we are still over a 100 miles from the border. Some amazing rock formations across this part of northern Spain like driving through a scene from a western.

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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Went into France via the Somport tunnel weather not too good through the mountains but cleared up when got down off them and a pleasant drive through France, spent Sunday night at another free Aire (liking this) at Chasseneuil-sur-Bonnieure. After setting out on Monday the weather changed from light drizzle to horrendous downpours horrible drive back, decided it wasn't worth stopping so on to Dieppe arrived at 8pm. Woke to a nice sunny Tuesday morning.
I mentioned the illegals when we arrived in February they have now fenced off the area where they were making camp but they are now walking through the Aire begging at the vans and using the borne for washing. When we left around 6pm the do-gooders were handing out food and a medical trailer set up right opposite the entrance to the Aire. Another shock when we arrived in Feb the Aire was €7 for 24 hours it is now €12 a whopping increase, perhaps they are trying to recover some of the money spent on the illegals.:)

Sorry Dieppe probably won't both stopping there again, plenty of nice places less than an hours drive away.

A quick summary:
Didn't see much of Portugal only the south eastern corner of the Algarve, quite pleasant but if we visit again most likely it will be touring rather than sitting in a prison camp for a month, would like to see more of the interior and the west coast.

Spain has opened our eyes, previously only been to a couple of the Costa's and didn't rate it. We have now discovered the interior some amazing sights we will be back next year and lets not forget Malaga an overlooked gem of a city.
 
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Bobby22

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Thanks for the blog & photos Lenny good reading. I suspect your run in with the stone seat would have put a big dampener on things for a couple of days and a big bill for the repair coming soon.

But great you continued and shared your experiences with us.......thanks again.

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OP
Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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Funny for once the damage didn't bother me, normally worry about things like that for days, this time looked at it and thought GRP easy repair. Well I hope it is as the front end is all one piece.:)
 
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Thanks for your post on Spain and Portugal very interesting and very helpful for us and hopefully to others
 
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Lenny HB

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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Thanks for your post on Spain and Portugal very interesting and very helpful for us and hopefully to others
Done a few more trips since then, links in my signature.

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