Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Wednesday 17 February – Sanlúcar de Barrameda

Where’s Colin? He’s at a free Municipal Aire in Sanlúcar, at N36°47.037’, W6°21.563’. There’s a service point here with one of those underground water taps, so I hope that a) one of our hose connectors fits it (as we will need more water any time now); and b) our short length of hose is long enough to fill bottles from it, or it’s going to be a faff carrying our long length over there, or to have to drive Colin round.

I’ll start today with an electrical update. The cab fan, which mysteriously burst into life again about a week ago, after four weeks of not working, ceased to function again a day and a half later (after rain, but that may be a red-herring). Yesterday morning it started working again and that has persisted into today. So, it was time for something else to break and that something was our only remaining 12v cigarette-lighter plug, used for charging phones from the leisure battery (or indeed the vehicle battery if we’re moving). Having had the spare break a few months back, I knew I should have bought another before we set off, and even gave passing thought to the subject when I saw all of the electrical goods shops in Gibraltar. Happily, Sanlúcar turned out to be an easy place in which to buy a new one and we even splashed out on one which looks to be of a decent quality.

After looking at Google Maps this morning and establishing that we were a 45 minute walk from Rota’s town centre, and not knowing that there was anything there worth seeing, we didn’t hang around. We’d visited the beach yesterday, so the first thing we did this morning (after finally dragging ourselves out of bed; we can be awfully lazy some days!) was to head 19km up the road to Sanlucar de Barrameda. Following the SatNav directions up a long cobbled street (Colin has endured many such shake-rattle-and-roll tests on this trip) a pit-stop was had at Lidl before we redirected ourselves to the Aire.

With a stated capacity of 100, we knew it was going to be a big place, but that hadn’t prepared me for quite what a motorhome-city it is. At a glance it looked full…

That’s a lot of motorhomes!

…but once we’d driven three sides of it to find the entrance, there were a few spaces. The one we selected gives us a bit of a sea view (albeit the length of the car park and the width of a road and a prom away), but at the expense of being backed onto the busiest of the adjacent roads. We plan to be here for two nights, so if it turns out to be too noisy overnight, we’ll move further towards the middle tomorrow, at the expense of the view.

With baked goodies and cups of tea consumed, off we went to take a look around the town, soon realising that the startling blue sky was deceptive as to the outside temperature – that wind had a distinct chill to it (it had only been 5 degrees inside Colin when we woke up this morning):

Aside from aimless wandering (and perusing a couple of phone shops until we found a suitable 12v plug), we didn’t do much on this tour of the town, aside from sticking our heads into one of the churches, which boasted some incredible wood-carved alterpieces, of which this was the principal:

Now armed with a map from the Tourist Office, we’ll head back into the town tomorrow with a little more purpose. We should probably make an effort to visit one of the sherry producers for which this area is famed … but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we will.

Of more interest to me about this location is that we’re just across the estuary from the Parque Nacional Coto de Doñana, which sounds a fascinating place of marshlands brimming with wildlife. Unfortunately, it seems only possible to visit via an organised boat and/or Jeep tour, neither of which sound like my cup of tea, but during an afternoon stroll along the promenade, we did take a look around the Visitor Centre, which sits on this side of the estuary. It was a sorry place, which was part-funded by the EU and, it seems, has had not a penny put into it since.

It’s now Boules-o’clock amongst the French representatives in this very multi-national gathering of motorhomes, which means for Mick & myself, it must be approaching tea time.


  1. I have no idea how I got so behind and I've just had a "Where's Colin"catch up fest.

    1. Glad you didn't read yesterday's post before I edited it this morning. There was one particular clanger on which you would have picked me up.

  2. Nooo, I wouldn't do that...😁