Conil de la Frontera on The Coast of Light

It has been a long time since we updated our blog. A change of circumstances had us hurrying back to the UK in early May 2017. But we had a few more places to visit before that and the next number of posts relate to the end of our first tour of 2017.

After we catch up on our final visits, we will be writing about what brought us back to the UK and our plans for our second tour later this year. In the meantime enjoy catching up on the final few weeks of our 2017 tour.

Feeling decidedly unwell we decided to drive from Gibraltar to a campsite at Conil de la Frontera to recover. Conil is on the Costa de la Luz, the Atlantic coast of Spain which stretches from Tarifa to Cadiz. We located a campsite a few miles outside the town in the countryside, to rest up for a few days.

Camping Roche is large with over 200 cabins plus caravan and motorhome pitches. It’s all grass standing but the pitches are well spaced out and have electricity and drinking water either at the pitch or very close by. Although the site is not a part of the ACSI scheme, they will give a 5% discount if you show your ACSI card.

Shower and toilet block are modern and clean and the water is hot all day. The washing machines are token operated (available from reception) and cost €€4.

While we were at reception we heard the dulcet tones of a Northern Ireland accent – we got talking to a lovely lady (Moira) who came originally from Ballycastle and who had been staying on the site for almost a month as part of a Camping and Caravanning Club winter rally. It’s always lovely to hear a voice from home though we’ve found them few and far between on this trip.

Alan and I were both feeling rough so something to eat and an early night was called for. Next day another motorhomer who was also on the rally approached us and said a group from the rally were heading off to the local pizzeria and would we like to join them. Silly question – pizza you say?? Where, when and how much? We arranged to meet the group and walk to the restaurant around 7pm.

As we gathered we noticed the rest of the group were carrying small backpacks, the reason for which we discovered on the way home. Eating out in a group is something we haven’t done since we left home and the chat and laughs were a welcome change. Again we discovered people who have travelled extensively for many years, who have so many stories and experiences to share. We were reminded again why we love this life – different experiences, places and people every day.

On exiting the restaurant we realised what the backpacks were for. Everyone (except us) had the foresight to bring a reflective jacket, torch and/or headlamp with them as there wasn’t a street light for miles. Of course Alan and I are dressed like two tourists on a night out in Marbella, having given no thought whatsoever to the walk home in the dark. As I’ve said to Alan on numerous occasions “I’m pretty sure we’re not doing this motorhome thing right”. Anyway the rest of the group obviously noticed our lack of preparation and made us walk in the centre of the group led by David with his headlamp and reflective jacket and backed up at the rear by Andy with his red rear headlamp on the back of his head so any traffic could see us from behind – up there for thinking ……………

Over the next week we spent some happy nights in the company of the group – even taking part in a sing-song with Jacques (not JACK as he pointed out) and his guitar. Jacques was a wonderful guitarist and beautiful singer.

Jacques entertaining and watering the troops in the late evening Spring sunshine!

Being in the sherry triangle, Jacques had visited a vineyard near Jerez and came to the meet up complete with 2 plastic 3-litre containers, one filled with sweet dark moscatel and the other with white dry fino. Being a fan of moscatel, Alan gladly partook of a glass as the container was passed around. Next it was the turn of the fino which we passed on. Andy also tried a glass of the fino and then pronounced that “the dark stuff was lovely, but the white stuff was f…ng honking!

Soon after Jacques and his wife retired to bed leaving the sherries in our care! Meanwhile Andy, Moira and us retired to their awning where the music was put on and the drink flowed until the early hours of the morning, by which point there was a large depletion in the moscatel whilst the fino remained untouched!

Most of our time was spent with Moira and Andy from Northern Ireland, who had extended their stay for a further week after the rest of the rally goers had left. They very kindly took us shopping and sightseeing a couple of days. It turned out that before living in Scotland for 30 years, Andy had grown up in the same town, just a couple of miles down the road from where Alan lived. It sure is a small world.

Sculpture in Conil of grandfather reading to grandson
Marina created by dumping huge pre-cast concrete cubes into the sea
Moira pointing out the sites
The Atlantic bombards this coast in a similar way to Portugal

We even had dinner al fresco which is almost unheard of for me. Once again we had met a lovely couple who we just clicked with, we had such a laugh those few days and have promised to stay in touch and maybe meet up again next winter at the same campsite.

Tapas and salad al fresco with Moira and Andy

Next it is off to one of the most anticipated visits of our tour, the beautiful city of Seville.