Do you know the way to San Jose?

Trip Start Jan 01, 2008
Trip End Sep 29, 2009

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Andalusia,
Thursday, May 21, 2009

We haven't updated for a while as there has not been much to report since we last wrote. We headed into the mountains after the campsite in Orjiva and found where the new age hippies live, we didn't actually go to the site as the vibe from the hippy people we had seen around the area didn't quite feel right for us. While many of our friends and family may be surprised as they probably think were hippies already I don't think were quite at the juggling stage of hippiedom and I'm not quite ready to let go of my last few gadgets and Sharon is very reluctant to give up toilet paper! (Apparently frowned upon in hippy towns!)

So we spent another night in the hills anyway, even if were not ready for the lifestyle its not hard to see why they chose this place, the scenery is stunning and the towns built over a thousand meters on the hill sides are astounding. We found a spot in a little mountain side village with a stunning view and a nervy position on the edge of a ridge.

The next day we headed through the mountains and towards the far south east point of Spain. Once we had left the mountains behind us and the coast was in sight we came upon a region where they must grow tomatoes and such as there were literally thousands of grow houses for hundreds of miles along the coast, we thought this must supply the whole of Europe with veg but apparently since the Spanish joined the Euro and its been getting stronger they are no longer competitive on the open market, and Europe buys its veg from further afeild as its cheeper?! As a result the farmers and communities are really struggling, so much so they actually want to leave the Euro so they have more power to devalue there own currency!

In-between this plastic wilderness is a natural park area along the cost, just how you imagine Spain will be, lots of little jelly mold mountains surrounded by desert scrub, apparently they filmed allot of spaghetti westerns here, its not hard to see why the area is probably responsible for our perception of the wild west!

Next to the coast near San Jose was a little village where free camping was allowed right next to the beach, we had an brilliant sea view and a 30 second walk to the quite little cove, the spot was great the weather was hot and sunny and the sea for the first time was just about right for jumping right in. We stayed three days, it was like a holiday on holiday, on the east coast we swapped sunsets for beautiful sunrises, we really felt we had hit the jackpot.

But all things come to an end after three days we thought we best make a move, probably a bad idea in hindsight I'd been for a quick bike ride along the coast before we went and got a puncture, my walki-talki was just in reach and Sharon came to my rescue, she was nervous about driving on her own for the first time but the roads were nice and quite so it was fine. Then after navigating that mini crisis when we set off the van seemed to be overheating, having a quick look the fan belt had slipped and was twisted, I tried to adjust it after watching the last mechanic but after a hour or so on the road it snapped again! This time they took no chances and moved the van to a local dealer who would hopefully do the job properly. It was a bit of a worry why the van has been getting through fan-belts like dental floss, but it just seems the wrong size has been fitted the last couple of times, they sorted the van and we were on our way again!

By now we were near the Costa Blanca, now we knew we were approaching the tourist main artery, we knew there would be Brits a plenty, but the weather was still nice so we took a chance to try and find a quite beach where we could just lay low in the tigers cage!

We found a free spot at La Marina, not a bad place, we were 2 mins from the sea with a lovely sandy beach in quite a secluded spot surrounded by forests. It did seem to be a magnet for retired Brits around the beach, which a bike ride into the town confirmed, the further we go into town the more it felt like being in the UK, the housing estates were so much like home it was scary. I'm not quite sure whu anyone would buy a house in Spain to be in exactly the same environment as home with the only difference being the sun. Eventually we found a market which may as well have been in the east end of London on a summers afternoon, it was a bit depressing to say the least.

After a few days on the beach we couldn't hide from it any longer, we had to get back to Spain and away from the holiday camp, we'd had a great six nights by the beaches and we think were probably more suited to being beach bums than hippies! But now she was fixed the van was itching to go and we realised we should get going and get back on the tour and cover some miles.

So were heading well away from the package tour route now, were heading north to see what Valencia is like and maybe catch the european final in or around Barcelona, which if they beet Man United should be an amazing night! (Sorry Manchester)
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