Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Wednesday 3 February – Abla

Where’s Colin? He’s at a free municipal Aire, with services, just outside of the town of Abla at N37 909.247 W2 46.640.

I’m so glad that my error in planning the grocery shopping (i.e. needing to resupply on a Sunday when the vast majority of supermarkets are closed) caused us to take a diversion down to Berja yesterday, as otherwise we would not have visited the recreation area by Castala and would have missed out on the superb walk we took this morning (as described at

At just gone noon we were back in Colin, and by just after 1 we had coffeed and snacked, lifted a manhole cover outside of some closed public toilets to solve the ‘we need to empty the toilet today’ issue (unnecessary as it turned out, as we’ve found ourselves on an Aire with services tonight) and made our way back down to the town of Berja.  

I’d spotted on the website that it was the location of another town/village tour, and figured that as we were so close we may as well check it out.

Having now sussed that there’s always parking near the start point, that’s to where I set the SatNav, which demonstrated to us again that there is a good reason to park on the outskirts of Spanish towns and walk in: they have very little streets. Thank goodness there was one parking space left in the car park; Mick may not have been happy to have made that drive for nothing!

Following ‘This way to the town tour’ ceramic tiles in the roads, I couldn’t resist a play on this, the best playground toy:

Mini-digger playground toy. Mick nearly had to drag me away kicking and screaming.

Beyond the digger we duly found the map and information at the start of the route. Such a pity that the bars are necessary to prevent the information being obliterated by graffiti:

This route was longer than the others we’ve done (at 2.4km) with 22 points of interest being described on the webpage (some with ‘interesting’ English translations). Few of the points of interest were that interesting by themselves, but the information given about them did answer other questions we’d had over the last few days (such as what was being mined in the area and over what period, as well as giving some more information about the past grape-growing in the Ohanes area).

This building, held up by extensive bracing, was interesting, not for who it belonged to and from what period it dates, but by the fact that the tour notes gave details of the interior together with some pictures. There is now no interior- just the outer walls and much steelwork:

I know nothing about this building beause it wasn’t mentioned in the tour notes, but the decorated facade caught my eye:

Back at Colin we pointed his nose back north, to the hills, taking a detour on the way to search out some very cheap diesel we’d seen advertised (83.9c/litre for ordinary diesel; we splashed out on the extra quality stuff as a treat for Colin’s engine, at 88.9c/litre). Finding the fuel station was difficult enough (it seems the cheap places are hidden away in industrial estates); working out how to obtain fuel was more so, until we found the ‘pre-pay here’ machine (which thankfully spoke English). We came away without Colin full, because it’s always a bit difficult to guess an exact amount when you have to prepay.

Up was the direction we then needed to head, as I set our destination for the north side of the Sierra Nevada range. Shunning the options of going over the highest pass, or going all the way around, we’d opted for the lower pass, which turned out to be a pretty good road. It also turned out to have so much steep downhill that it wasn’t advisable to do it in a high gear. We got about seven eights of the way down before a nasty smell of burning invaded Colin’s cab (conveniently just moments before we got to a place we could pull of the road). We paused for drinks whilst Colin’s poor smoking brakes cooled down, whereafter we tackled the rest of the road in first and second gears.

Five minutes later we were pulling into one of the two Aires in the town (village?) of Abla, finding (to our surprise) another van here. We’ve certainly not been on the popular tourist trail over the last few days, having gone from seeing a dozens of motorhomes a day at the coast to seeing almost none since we came inland. We also get the impression that we’re a rare breed by the amount of staring that’s coming in our direction.

No comments:

Post a Comment