Friday, 30 March 2012

28th Mar VALVERDE DEL CAMINO - LOS ROMANES

Today we had planned quite a long journey, about 160 miles towards Malaga; our friends Pauline and Terry live to the West of Malaga and Claire’s gran lives to the East. Our plan was to head for an aire just above (about 30 miles) Pauline and Terry, so that we could visit them for lunch tomorrow. As the journey was going quite smoothly we decided to scrap the aire and try to find a campsite close to Pauline and Terry that we’d seen on the internet. We found the campsite – it was 18 plus 5 for electricity (I don’t think so!!).

The area where they live in is very beautiful, high craggy rocks and is very popular with walkers, climbers and mountain bikers; but the roads are very twisty, turny, single lane, sometimes with a barrier fencing off half the carriage way (outside edge) as the road is falling away. We drove past our friend’s house (they had only invited us for lunch) looking for a campsite – the road continued for 30 odd miles without any chance of turning around, not a campsite in sight; we got to the outskirts of Malaga – nightmare!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was horrible, just like spaghetti junction, but with everyone driving like maniacs, on the wrong side of the road, no one giving way to us, with me trying helplessly to navigate. By now Brett had decided that he couldn’t face the prospect of driving back to Pauline and Terry’s the next day, as by this time he had been driving for over five hours; so we decided to continue to Claire’s gran’s. At one point (with Sat Navs help) we were faced with a choice of three roads; I had to make a choice, I plumped for the middle one – WRONG! We ended up heading for Torremalinos (whoops), so we had to turn around (again). We ended up arriving at 9.15, it was dark – Henry had emphasised that we should arrive in daylight as the access to Claire’s gran’s property was rather steep.
We couldn’t get up the drive, we got half way and then the wheels started spinning; the track was not very wide, we couldn’t see to back down, we had no choice we had to leave the van where it was, half way up a very steep, narrow drive – Brett pulled the handbrake on as hard as possible, put it in gear and we put rocks under all four wheels ........................ I didn’t sleep well. I was convinced the van was going to roll down the hill overnight.

Claire’s gran’s house is lovely, right on the top of a hill, overlooking a lake, with absolutely fabulous viewsand we got to sleep in a real bed!
We feel really bad about cancelling Pauline and Terry but poor old Brett ended up driving 275 miles today (over a period of 9 hours), we've promised we'll visit them on our way back to Portugal in a few months time.

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