Road-trip to Andalusia part 5
Costa del Sol
After spending a relaxed morning driving through the mountain towns of Andalusia we made it to the coast and the seaside village of Estepona.
(If you are just now joining us you may want to begin your journey at part 1 here) This would have been our nearest beach had we moved to the small town of Montejaque I wrote about in Road-trip to Andalusia part 4. This is a very picturesque town. Each street is lined with planter boxes and they are all color coordinated, one street might be green, another might be blue while another red or pink.
We explored the small town and since we only had one cana and a tapa in Casares we were still hungry for a small bite. Plus, these towns are just too cute not to sit and have a drink while taking in the atmosphere.
It was time to journey up the coast and find our campground for the night. So far the camping options have turned out really well. That was about to change.
This trip has made us really appreciate where we chose to live in Spain. Torrevieja is perfect in many ways, culturally diverse and a year around town. It also has a small city feel to it and it is architecturally pleasing to the eye. It is also very Spanish. The Costa del Sol, where we are now has the feel of one long resort development with the main street lined with strip malls. It is actually not very attractive at all. We considered stopping off in Marbella which I have heard is a very upscale yacht harbor type of a place but gave it a pass so we could find our spot for the night.
The first two campgrounds did not work out. One had been converted into a full time trailer park and the other located in a gas station parking lot did not take dogs. Bisque Kitt was of course very offended. So we were running out of choices and settled on one that was located behind a strip mall, the Camping Los Jarales.
This campground too has mostly been converted into full time and vacation rental homes. It seemed to have it’s own little community with a bar and a restaurant. They did have a few spots available for overnight guests.
But the best part is that we were basically in the parking lot of the Mercadona, which is a large shopping store in Spain. So we had the pleasure of full daylight from their parking lot lights for the entire night. Add to that we were directly off the main highway so the traffic noise was also non stop all night. The next morning we had an early start.
The drive up the coast was filled with greenhouses, hundreds of them for kilometers. Very interesting.
We got off the main Highway (A-7) on N-341 to follow the coastal road for a more scenic drive and plus we were on the lookout for tonight’s campground. We came to the small coastal town of Carboneras. When looking for properties we encountered many of these part time towns. They are literally that, entire towns built for and consisting of vacation rentals. As you can see it is very nice but in the winter the entire towns will close. Most restaurants and bars shut down and everyone moves away. Another big reason we love Torrevieja as even though it too is a vacation destination it is also a real year around town.
It was lunch time and there were a few restaurants that were open on the promenade to choose from, and the location was wonderful. We decided on pasta, again.
After lunch we decided to abandon the idea of slowly making our way up the coast so we could get a bit closer to home. We had to have the rental car back the next day by noon so if we are going to spend one more night on the road it would be good to get a bit further along.
We decided anything around Cartegena would be good as that would put us about 45 minutes from home. We found Camping La Manga that was on a beach of a lagoon. This place was pretty nice but much like the night before spaces have been sold and converted in to full / part time homes. Very interesting observing these expat communities. They have their own restaurant, bar, small grocery store, swimming pool and security. We still had a bright light in our eyes all night long and the people that had been there before us decided to leave mounds of dog shit in the camp site so we had the pleasure of camping in a litter box.
And that is it! The next morning we drove back to our cute little town on the Mediterranian and our bright happy flat in Torrevieja.
We unpacked our car tent, put the back seats back in and drove the 45 minutes back to the Alicante airport to return the car. It was a great road-trip through the Andalusia region of Spain. Bisque Kitt continues to remind us that this was a very good idea, moving to Spain. We are already thinking about where we should go next!