I had a strange night in Cordoba. We were the only people on the campsite! It was a city site with small pitches and I’m sure in the height of the tourist season it must be heaving, but there we were in our little pitch at the far end of the campsite like Piffy on a Rock cake. All alone! I was very aware of every noise, and there were a lot of noises, in particular fireworks being let off randomly. I didn’t feel particularly comfortable with the situation but fell asleep eventually and woke up at 6 in the morning.
There are many people that we have met along the way, who love the ‘wild camping’ aspect of motorhoming, I’m afraid we’re not like that. OK it may be free but honestly you only need one bad experience and it really could cause untold amount of damage. We met one guy who had been free camping and he and his wife woke up and found two men in their van, they beat seven bells of S**T out of him. Great holiday memories eh? For the sake of a couple of Euros, we’d rather go with the safety of a campsite. Which brings me nicely to the fact that tonight we are sleeping in a deserted car park!!! Honestly what am I like? Let me tell you what happened….
We drove from Cordoba to Granada, the motorway was fabulous, (the road system here really is something to marvel) the fog decided to play games with us again and as we drove through the pea soup, I was checking up on the SAT NAV lady who is still determined to get us lost. And yes, she did it again, she took us up into the Sierra Mountain Range, ok not to the top, but we did see snow! Then she brought us down into Granada and decided that we must be driving a bus, every single turn she wanted us to take, was Buses Only! The hubster was becoming more and more prickly, this wasn’t a good introduction to Granada.
Can you believe this? The Alhambra is the most visited site in Spain, they release 8000 tickets every morning for the day ahead, when they are gone, they’re gone, end of. Well! Could we find a signpost for the Alhambra? You would think they would be everywhere, But no! We had a bit of a nightmare coming through Granada, last Saturday before Christmas, great fun! As we came approached the Alhambra, a man in a hi-vis jacket ran out into the road and indicated for us to pull over which we dutifully did, into a smallish lay-by. He explained that the car parks at the Alhambra were totally full and we could park here for the night, we both instantly felt that we were being duped and immediately said we weren’t staying, I can only let you imagine the debacle, him trying to get us to stay, shouting very loudly in Spanish, me jumping out of the van and helping the hubster reverse out on to a main road into all the traffic, what a complete and utter fiasco!
We arrived at the Car Parks and as we thought they were far from full, in fact by the time some other motorhomes had left we were parked up in a massive car park with just one campervan next to us. This van was the temporary home of Johannes and Burkhart, two brothers from Germany. We all walked down to the Alhambra, (still no signposts) the boys ended up in a cemetery!! We wanted to buy tickets for the afternoon, but they have a system where the tickets are timed and they wanted to sell me tickets for 2pm, it was now just quarter to, and we had Charlie with us, he needed a walk and to be fed and no dogs are allowed in the grounds. The brothers went in and we returned to the van, we would stay the night and visit first thing in the morning.
On returning to the car park, we were very aware of how isolated it was, neither of us felt very comfortable about it, when the two guys came back from their visit, we persuaded them to stay the night, safety in numbers eh? We had a lovely evening, they came to see us in Harry and we swapped travel stories and addresses and maps of good campsites. It was an excellent evening. At one stage we were joined by a Spanish motorhome with no less than 9 people in it!!! Honestly, I counted them this morning.
This morning we got up and it was freezing outside, frost on the Olive trees and ice on the pavements! We managed to use up the remains of the gas in one of our bottles but kept warm and toasty! We left Charlie wrapped up in blankets in Harry and set off for the ticket office, it was now 8:15 a,m. and there was already a queue! We purchased the tickets and off we went. I won’t go into massive details about the history of the place but WOW, a photographers dream! It was beautiful and worth all the fuss and palaver to get there.
I took so many photos and I had such a dilemma working out which ones to include in this post, I hope you enjoy them and they give you an idea of the place.
After returning to the van (three hours later) we went to pay the car park, a whopping 29 Euros!!! It didn’t seem fair that the brothers would have to pay that amount as it was us who’d asked them to stay, so as we left we scuttled out under the barrier and they nipped out behind us, I know, I know totally dishonest – sue me!!! I mean 29 Euros to stay in a Car Park, with no loos, no water, no electricity, it was a total rip off!
We drove back to the motorway in convoy and tooted and waved as we went our different ways, the weather was fantastic and the countryside beautiful, this is where all the olives are grown. As we approached our destination the cloud came down but gave us some fantastic views over the mountains.
We are now back on the campsite in Cabopino, Charlie instantly recognised the site and rushed back to our old pitch!! Bless him! Our neighbours Kevin and Jan came to meet us, Ooh it’s good to be home, think we’ll stay here for Christmas! On top of that it is now nearly 8pm and we are sat here with the windows wide open!!!