Monday, 18 January 2016

Monday 18 January - Orihuela

Where is Colin? He’s at the end of a dead-end road by La Aparecida which I think is at N38 5.199’ W0 59.970’.

I’ve really not been starring in the navigation stakes since we entered Spain, as I demonstrated again this morning when I sent Mick in the wrong direction out of the campsite. I suppose that, technically, it wasn’t the wrong direction – it was a good direction in terms of our destination – but it wasn’t the coastal scenic route I had intended to take. The bonus of it was that the error took us past a remarkably cheap fuel station, where Colin was filled up (by an attendant!) for 86.5c/litre, which equates to about 64.5p/litre.

The town of Orihuela was our first aiming point of the day and having parked just a short distance from its centre, off we wandered to find the old town. There it is, on the other side of the river:

Whilst we did find, and wander around, the old town, we were thwarted in all touristy activities by the fact that they’re all closed on a Monday. So, we just wandered instead, including venturing up some steps to get a bird’s eye view of the town, and a good look at the rather attractive hills nearby:

By luck the Tourist Info Office was stumbled across and it was clutching a map of those hills that we headed back to Colin, via the Post Office. Well! Who would have thought that requesting stamps in a Post Office would prove to be such a difficult request? I’m not sure what the problem was (because my Spanish language skills are such that they probably wouldn’t have understood what I was after if I hadn’t waved a letter in front of them, pointing to the top right hand corner, at the same time as fluffing my lines) but much discussion between staff was involved and rooting around in a filing cabinet before eventually some stamps were found. I’m glad I asked for 10, so hopefully I won’t have to go through that ordeal again!

Heading for the hills (the Sierra de Orihuela), lunch was had in a nicely flat car park which boasted this view in front of us…

…and this view behind Colin (a nearby information sign detailed all of the climbing routes up that face behind us)…

…but being adjacent to a rather busy road, it wasn’t the most peaceful spot, so after lunch we opted to move on to try one of the other car parks.

Our first choice proved to be too difficult (there are no sign posts to these car parks, nor indeed anything to say that the tiny track-like roads really are roads and after three goes past where we knew our turn to be, when we eventually found it we decided it didn’t look like the best choice in a Colin-sized vehicle) and the second choice involved the need to breathe in to squeeze Colin through a tight spot, but we did finally find the sort of car park we were seeking. Hopefully we’ll have a nice quiet evening here, in which case we’ll stay the night. We might even be a bit naughty* after dark and deploy the levelling ramps, but even if we don’t, we can put up with a bit of wonkiness for views like these:

(*In Spanish law if you have nothing but your wheels on the ground, and nothing protruding from your vehicle (like having our side windows open), then you’re parking, not camping, and that is legal. I’ve a feeling that putting out our levelling ramps shifts us into the definition of camping, which is not legal.)

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