Saturday, 13 February 2016

Saturday 13 February – Casares and Estepona

Where’s Colin? He’s at an ACSI campsite just to the east of Estepona, at N36º27’15”, W5º4’51”.

Yesterday afternoon, as the rain drummed down, I planned for this morning. After downloading the Tourist Office’s booklet of walks in the area, I loaded the local map tile onto ViewRanger and then added to that the GPX files of three walks I’d selected. Those three files gave us options for a 1-hour, a 2-hour or a 3-hour circular walk, with the decision as to which to take to be based on the reality of the weather when we arose.

The reality of the weather was such that we took none of those options. Instead we walked a whole 100 yards to the nearby viewpoint, looked across at the village…

vaguely thought of walking over to it, got put off by the next shower coming in, had a brief chat with a gaggle of Brits who had met up in our car park (a walk had been their intention, but they too ditched that plan in favour of the indoor activity of coffee drinking) and made haste towards the coast.

It did feel a bit like all of those miles of sub-quality road* had been a waste, just to spend the night being battered by the wind and lashed with rain in a car park in Casares!

It didn’t take long to drop back below the cloud and what should we then see ahead of us, but a sunny coastline. Sunshine! Finally!

It was debatable whether we needed a campsite today (all of this driving around, combined with a low demand on Colin’s leisure battery, means that we’re not needing a campsite to plug into the mains as often as we would in the UK), but to maintain flexibility for the next few days we decided to divert to the nearest ACSI site, even though it was a 19km detour from our route to Gibraltar (where we’re heading next). Thirteen kilometres into that detour, a failure of navigation occurred (“Ignore the SatNav” I said “that’s not right at all!”) which not only put us on a toll road, but also sent us straight past our destination before we reached the next junction. Another 24km ensued.

The site, when we eventually got here, isn’t one at which I would want to spend more than an afternoon (and then I’d only want to be here in order to make use of the facilities, as we are). It seems a bit cut off and the pitches are very slender. Still, we’ve charged all the gadgets, got some laundry done, had long, hot showers and have had a haircut apiece (sorry, very dodgy photo – the camera focussed on the tail-light of the caravan next door and I couldn’t be doing with running back and forth to set up multiple attempts mid haircut):

We don’t have any outside chairs with us, but Mick rummaged in the skip on the pitch next to ours and found an old set of caravan steps which proved to be a perfect substitute for a barber’s chair.

Our afternoon stroll was brief indeed. As I said, this site is rather cut off, and having walked down to the beach (via a very small ‘public prohibited’ tunnel under the motorway) we couldn’t see anywhere else to go, so we came back. In the morning, we’ll head off somewhere more interesting.

that's a very big, droopy flower!

(*All those brand new motorways, with barely a car between them, are quite a contrast to the little roads which have suffered extensively from episodes of subsidence, giving an ‘interesting’ driving surface. This little road was the worst yet.)

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