Thursday, 5 July 2012

Coastal run....or is that Castle run?

From Andalucia, I went back up the Mediterranean coast - cutting across country to Lorca and on to Murcia. My initial night stop was at Velez-Blanco ( not to be mixed up with Velez-Rojo) where I tried to find the local campsite. I've had a few interesting experiences in Spain with campsites - the Barcelona campsite which should be condemned, coz if it could be fucked up, it was; the mid country campsite which had closed down.......and sure enough this was another. Arriving fairly late - the Spanish dont stop play till gone midnight, I finally found the junction off down a steep hillside outside the village. It appeared to be in the middle of a nature reserve/park with very few buildings.....and those with doors creaking gently in the breeze and no signs of life. When I realised the camping sign led down a 1 in 4 dirt track downhill, in the dark, I decided that perhaps the lovely moon, and the fact that I had Creedence Clearwater Revival playing Bad Moon Rising was a subtle hint, and that this was not somewhere I wanted to stop!

Lorca - where I eventually overnighted  - is a lovely town with a huge castle on the hill above. It also has a very bemused Peugeot garage, where I turned up, a little concerned that the squeaking of my brakes might mean that I had worn out the brake pads. After some shuffling of vehicles to get the 'van into the garage, the chaps gathered around with torches and had a little discussion whilst looking closely at my wheels. The leader then decided it was probably best to do a test drive.....and after getting in the vehicle the wrong side at first, headed off down the road and tried his best emergency brake manoeuvre. He rapidly decided this was a *bad* idea as the contents of the cupboards came hurtling towards him, but also decided he knew what the issue was! Apparently, when it's hot and sticky the 'dust' from the pads collects up, and eventually creates an unpleasant squeal - something I'd not noticed in the rest of Europe, as it had rained pretty much everywhere else, and washed said dust away. Still, a few squirts of WD40 or some such equivalent and I was on my way to Murcia  - arriving just in time for a divine tapas lunch (with the most awesome mushroom and asparagus scramble dish) in a small bar.

More trucking up the coast .....Valencia and north. There are hundreds of castles in this area of Spain, and I couldnt stop at even a 10th of them - and since, after a while, pictures of castle walls all start to blend into one, I'll spare you the pain. I highly recommend it as a holiday trip though!

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