Somehow a Polish post landed here yesterday, strange. Thanks to Jason for letting me know promptly, It’s been erased.
Charlie’s got new boots on! I’d forgotten to mention, just before we left Portugal, we’ed had all four tyres renewed. The old rear tyres had been on since new, a full 38,000 miles now, the fronts I have previously replaced, just before our last trip (just cheap van tyres, 70 quid each) and have now done 20,800mi. I don’t think that’s too bad, but it was time to dig deep again and replace all four in one hit. The option was Continental Vanco Campers again, or try a set Michelin’s? In the end I decided to go with the Michelin M+S (Mud and Snow), as we do suffer from lack of front end traction in the wet, the M+S are a deeper tread (4.5mm at new), so may help. The sales guy at Europarts did us a good deal on all 4, €156.00 each/fitted, which I thought was reasonable. The old set worked out at just over 1.5p per mile, I’ll be happy if we get that again out of this set. Initial thoughts after 75 miles, the ride feels ‘harder’, possibly due to the higher tyre pressure (80psi) , but the road tyre noise is about the same, but they do feel ‘grippy’.
It’s a city we’ve seen many times now, at Easter and pre-Christmas. Loads of lights, Christmas trees littered with lights and oranges. We chose Seville city ‘Aire’ (just a guarded car park), just for one night ,so we could walk into the centre to see the lights at night. The ‘Aire’ is right next to a busy carriageway, so gets noisy at times, but its perfect for walking into Seville and for the ‘Plaza de Espana’, not to be missed on a sunny afternoon, full of meandering gravel paths, trees specimens from all over the world and the magnificently tiled tribute to the whole of Spain.
Not really wanting to spend Christmas in a noisy car park without EHU or free WiFi, we then moved down to another old favorite, Puerto Gelves, just to the south of Seville city. It’s just far enough away from busy roads to be classed as ‘a quiet Aire’. The complementary WiFi was good enough to support video calls, so we could keep up with family and top up the hard drives with more TV for the long Morocco nights ahead. At €14.90 per night inc. EHU, maybe a little on the expensive side, but for Christmas…just perfect.
Next up, 100km South West, dating back from 1100 BC, the oldest city in Europe…Cadiz. Although the Spanish don’t celebrate Christmas day like the Brits do, they do ‘go for it’ on the 6th of Jan, when it’s Epiphany or the ‘Los Reyes Magos’ … ‘The Three Kings’. Almost every town and city in Spain comes out to parade floats through the streets in celebration of the arrival of the Three Kings, bringing gifts for the baby Jesus. Tons of sweets are cast into the crowd from the floats for the waiting children, some using inverted umbrella’s for maximum catch yield, filling a carrier bag full of sweets for the year. In the major cities the procession can go on for hours consisting of up to 60 floats, dishing out 6 tons of sweets during the night, all paid for by the council and local fund-raising.
The 6th Jan is when Spanish kids get their presents and the folks of Cadiz were now out in force snapping them up, the central streets were fairly busy. It doesn’t help that the streets in Cadiz were laid out in the 17th Century and most of the the streets are only 3m wide. I could bleat on about the colourful history of this densely packed not-so-well-defended out-crop of rock, tales of the Moors, the Christians, the Moors again, Columbus, The Armada and our very own Sir Francis Drake have all scratched their name on the fortified walls and got drunk on local Osborne sherry, 20m high adverts of the famous black ‘Spanish Bull’, the symbol of Spain are dotted all over this bit of Andalucia. The history of this area is fascinating.
Last time were here near Cadiz, we stayed on a lovely campsite just around the corner, Camping Dunas, but this months budget is so top-heavy it fell over, Christmas, hotels & new tyres don’t help balance the books, so this time we opt for the ‘no-frills-car-park’ option. Fenced in, guarded during the day, barrier down at night, no services and comes in at €6 per 24hours. The catamaran ferry office around the corner inform us the ‘boats broke’ but they do lay on a replacement bus service to and from Cadiz, shame…we like a ferry.
Next up… a little trip up ‘the rock’ …Gibraltar.
But to be honest, we’ve other things on our minds…
Seville, city Aire. n37.37266 w5.99450. Grey waste dump. No other services. Noisy at times. Location perfect. €10 pn.
Seville, Gelves, Aire n37.34090 w6.02353. All services. Great WiFi. Use the dryer with caution, it may shrink half your wardrobe. Great staff. Quiet and secure. Bus to Seville at the gate €3.10 each return. Possible (but tricky) to cycle in 30 mins. €14.90 pn inc. EHU.
Puerto de Santa Maria, (just over the water from Cadiz.) n36.59880 w6.22110 Perfect for the ferry, quiet with a little road noise. €6. No services. Public access through the car park to the bridge, so it keep safe.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!!