Valencia - Americas Cup

Trip Start Jun 02, 2007
Trip End Sep 14, 2007

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Hola from Valencia!!

Currently free camping in a parking lot just outside the Americas cup village, awesome spot as only 2 min walk to beach, have been here 3 days soaking up
the atmosphere, so many kiwis here supporting the black boat its awesome, apparently we have made it onto the tv1 news aswell!! Want to spend an extra day here but have to
push onto Barcelona.  Would love to be here when we won a race but oh well

So since the last update in Porto we have definately covered some miles....

We left a windy and drizzly Porto and headed towards Largos.  The poor roads and crazy speed traffice lights made travel slow so reassessed and decided to head to Sintra to
camp for the night.  Is faster to take the dual carriage toll roads but they are quite expensive.  Got to see alot of the small towns which was cool.

Was hard to find a place to free camp, eventually found a carpark by a cemetary which was a little eerie, only one night though.

Left early the next day and went into Sintra township to have a look around.  It is well known for it stunning palaces and a 8th century castle up on the hill (not open the
day we were there though).  Continued on to Lagos to find a camping ground. Success!! Found one only 200m from the centre of town and a 10min walk to the beach.

The next 3 days were spent in Lagos just relaxing and enjoying some sun (finally).  Lagos has a reputation for being a party town so being a tuesday night we decided to test it
out.  It was Suzies birthday so celebrated by going to a tapas restuarant for dinner.  A great way to try lots of different dishes!!  A few bottles of local wine with dinner and we
were ready to hit the pubs.  Lots of cheap shots and cocktails made for a great night, met lots of cool people from Aussie and Germany in all the little bars and somehow made it back
to the campsite just before the sun rose.

Next day relaxing on the beach and rehydrating from the night before.  Plan from here was to go back into Spain to Seville, stopping at a sand sculpture feista (amazing - glad we stopped).  I ended up
driving some of the way, spent a long time in traffic jams then was a nightmare trying to find a place to park in the city, they are so not made for vans, especially vans
without power steering (hayden is getting good arm workouts driving Frank around).  Found a safe place to park then went out to find a flamenco bar, which Seville is well knowns for,
walked around and couldnt find one so just went to a bar and had some crafts of Sangeria.  Walked around the city, Seville is very beautiful, has a nice river through the middle
with bars lined along it, very lively city!!  Back to the vans for well needed sleep which didnt evenutate due to all the noise of party goers, downfall of staying in city.

After lack of sleep we walked into town to look around Alcazar Fort, a muslim fortress from 913 and the cathedral which towers over the city with gargoyle out the side, similar to the
Notre Dame but nearly twice the size.  Left the city with Cyrus and Ants towards the coast in search of a swim.  What a mission getting out of the city, signage is terrible, took nearly
45 min to get out, doesnt help that my map is useless aswell!!  Finally a beach and a swim and a hot free shower, wahoo.  Very windy so moved down the coast to camp the night in Barbate a
small township by the beach in the Costa de la Luz region of Spain.  Found a little carpark by the beach to park, very hot afternoon so more swimming.  Went out for mojitos at a local beach bar which was a great way to finish
off the day.

Another terrible sleep with Spanish boyracers deciding to do laps of our carpark until the early hours with their 'doff doff' music...neat!! so with 2 nights of severe lack of sleep we headed to Gibraltor which
is a British coloney in the Costa del Sol region.  It is under British rule so had to show passports to enter.  There were the traditional red telephone boxes and British policmen wandering the st's, UK shops like Topshop and cheap duty
free booze so we all stocked up.  Didnt have much time to look around, very cool little point and hard to imagine 26,000 people live there, must go back for good look next time.

Next priority was to watch the All Blacks game, found an Irish pub in Malaga so parked up and ordered bar snacks. Always great to watch the ABs win against the Boks!! Continued on to find Lanjaron where there was a water festival. 
Hard place to find as out in the hills.  Wasnt sure what to expect, had bought water guns and balloons.  All the locals had buckets so opted to grab a bucket from the van which proved very handy to fill our guns.
Waterfight didnt start until midnight so we all sat around very anxious...Digger already had borken his watergun so was left with a bucket!  Just before 12 everyone started going crazy and then when midnight came they all started chanting,
in Spanish of course, and water started pouring down the streets, there were trucks filled with water, fire hoses and locals with hoses spraying out their windows into the street.  All of us girls got targeted, the boys were in their element
and were forming tactical assualt attacks on people to 'secure a key water dispensing site' (hayden words).  Basically it was mayhem and everyone got drenched, the streets of the town were like a river.  Very cold and wet we headed back to the vans
to dry off and warm up, great times!!

Next day we nearly had a heart attack when we went to leave...Frank wouldnt start, our mate Hamish who is also driving a Fiat suggest to hit the starter motor with a wrench, it started but think we need to look at getting a new motor
cant spend the next 2 months hitting it with a wrench.  Have left Scotty Evans with the task to find us one!! thanks buddy.
After spending the day on the beach we drove to Granada to a camp ground, which had a pool, well needed after another very hot day.

Up early the next morning to drive into Granada to the Alhambra which is a huge fortress from 11th century.  Had to wait inline for an hour to get in as such a popular tourist site.  Had a look around the amazing palace, very intricate woodwork and patios.
Left just after lunch after 4 hours and we slightly annoyed when realised it was a 25 euro fee for parking in high season, arrgh that blew that days budget.  Back on road to find a place to camp, headed towards coastline as another extremely warm day, mid 30s at least (water pistols
have come in handy to cool us down while driving, Franks lacks aircon) Eventually found a town called Aguilas. 
Camped in another beach carpark, no boyracers this time, yay, solid sleep.

Drove to Alicante next day and spent day by the beach, not much to do there, found out that they were having a fireworks display that night so found a great spot to free camp and watch fireworks and of course have a few wines!!

All is well with both of us, Hayden is very proud of his heard which is trying to convince me will be the only time in his life that he can grow a beard...yeah right.

Hope all is well back home, thanks for updates, make sure you look out for us on tv.


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