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Monday, 2 April 2012

Andalucia and beyond...

On the road again, we have travelled from La Manga via Cartagena and Mazarron today to try and fill the LPG tank (very hard to find in Spain). Found the garage we had tracked down via the internet quite easily, manouvered into the bay ok but didn't have the right connector (every country uses different connectors), bugger! A caravan rolled up and even his connector didn't fit! We were informed that they had just left Portugal as the good weather was about to change, just great but it was an 'interesting' drive through mountains, in between episodes of not being able to look down and some controlled breathing techniqes the views were stunning. As usuall I had my travelling essentials with me and emergency home-made egg mayo sandwiches at the ready.

We have found that you never know what awaits you around the corner and these goats were in no hurry to move, Mr H called it avoiding the kids on the road.

We joined the motorway after Mazarron and headed for a campsite at Roquetas de Mar;
Tight access, tricky water connection (never did manage it even after a trip to the ferreteria) and a dark spooky supermarket, no lights on and rows of empty shelves! On the positive side; flat pitch, good quality loo roll and wonderful showers. 100 yards to the empty beach and a great cycle route along the sea front and promenade to Roquetas for beer and tapas.

Stayed 2 nights then packed up in record time and travelled along the coast road with spectaclear scenery all the way. We have given up on trying to find a radio station we can bear so we played the i-pod and sang loudly and badly most of the way.

Our next stop was near Malaga
This lovely site is high in the hills with glorious sweeping views and mountains in the distance.

The staff and residents were very welcoming and we shared a few tales over refreshments, excellent coffee and draught beer! Our terraced pitch was level and had decking, electricity, city water, waste disposal and internet!

However, surrounded by mountains so the cycle ride to Alhaurin de la Torre and back is more challenging than we're used to. Cycling tourettes time again for me but so glad we made it there and back on Palm Sunday.  In the old village we witnessed the beginning of the spectacular Easter celebrations. We parked ourselves outdoors at a cafe near to the television camera tower thinking this was where it was at!  We grabbed two seats smartly and enjoyed the sun and atmosphere. All were dressed  in their Sunday best and many people carried olive branches. As the procession neared I found a spot at the roadside to see what was happening and admire the elaborate costumes. I watched as a booming military brass band passed with soldiers performing complicated acrobatics with rifles to the applause of the growing crowds. Next came hundreds of children waving olive branches and carrying large straw arrangements in time to the solemn but moving music. The paraded shrine's arrival was announced by a single trumpet player as it was carried into view on the shoulders of many men. A carpet of fresh red flowers surrounded a model of a donkey with Jesus upon it and the Madonna stood behind him, so intricate and very beautiful . I watched as this heavy float rocked from side to side as they carried it and was amazed to see it lifted up to full arm height at regular intervals, very impressive. So pleased to have witnessed this special day and the celebrations enjoyed by the villagers.

Portugal next, hasta pronto!!

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