Our first trip to Pinar San Jose was in March 2017, and we loved it so much then that we stayed a week longer than we had planned.
That time we met up with a group of campers who regularly came back to this site year after year. We were hoping to meet up with them again this year but I guess Brexit and Covid have played their part in keeping people away.
I contacted a friend of mine who I bumped into by chance here on our last visit, and who has a house down here, and he thought that most of the gang would be down after Christmas………well there is another thought!
This is the first place that we pitched for a few days……………
And this is the second and final pitch. We had to change from our original site because we couldn’t get a satellite signal, and Jane (not me) wanted to watch TV and the recordings we’d made before we came away, so we moved. It took us longer to move 500 yards than it normally takes us to move 200 miles!
It doesn’t get light here until about 8.30am and that has thrown us a bit, my early morning walks don’t start until about 9am so our whole day starts a little bit later…….which is no real hardship, just a little longer in bed reading my book!
This is Cape Trafalgar on my first morning walk.
At that time of the day the beaches are deserted, you might happen upon a lone fisherman or a dog walker or as on one occasion 20 horses running by you at full gallup!
This is our occasional neighbour. Jane had heard a grunting noise from outside and thought I had fallen asleep on my lounger and was snoring, only to find it was a friendly pot-bellied pig…….not too much unlike me then!
We met up with another English couple, Simon and Caroline, with their dog and cat. Apparently the cat had caused a few problems by disappearing for a few nights on the tiles before finally coming back home for some food!!
Simon and Caroline’s lovely VW van was a subtle red colour with a union jack roof. You couldn’t miss it even if you tried! Simon and I liked G&Ts and Jane and Caroline liked wine so that sounded like a good recipe for an evening together under the stars putting the world to rights, and so it turned out….mind you we did come to some earth shattering solutions but none of us can remember them now!
This is Barbate Beach which is some 10 miles away from our campsite up and down a very steep, long hill about half way. Jane didn’t mind that too much as she has an electric bike, and the hill wasn’t too much of a struggle for her and also has the added bonus that it keeps me quiet as I don’t have an electric bike and I need all my puff to get up the hill!
We arrived in Barbate at lunchtime and settled down to a leisurely meal (local tuna) with a great view.
The cycle home was a bit of a disaster as Jane got a puncture half way up the hill! Those of you who know me know that I would struggle to fix one at home with all the tools I need around me, let alone at the side of a dusty road in the heat after a meal and a glass of wine!
My plan was to cycle back and get the car and put the bike in the back but Jane was worried about all the recent murders of lone women on this road on bikes with punctures so we had to come up with another plan! This was to push our bikes two miles uphill until we found a cafe where Jane could wait in safety whilst I got the car………my god, when we ordered those drinks and finally got them down our necks they tasted like nectar!
The nearest bike repair shop was in Vejer de la Frontera, and as I said I’m not particularly good at mending punctures, I thought we could kill two birds with one stone……. have a visit and also get the bike fixed at the same time.
Vejer is one of the 10 most famous of the Pueblos Blancos of Andalusia (White Villages) We had already visited here on the previous trip along with Ronda which is closer to Marbella.
These whitewashed Moorish towns have a certain laid back charm, windy lanes lead you to stunning views or to little bars where you can sit and while away a few hours people-watching whilst sipping a chilled drink and sampling the local tapas and waiting for your bike to get fixed!
That evening after all the walking around Vejer and getting the bike fixed, we decided to eat at the restaurant over the road from the campsite. Jane had pizza and I had squid and chips and they were both lovely, and as I wasn’t driving we had a couple of glasses of wine!
We can hook up our T.V to the campsite’s satellite network, which allows you to tune in to about 20 or so pre-selected channels, the only one we can find in English being ITV, and that is the Granada region, I wonder if this was a mistake by the person who selected the channels……maybe they were hoping for the major Spanish city 200 miles away to the east!
Russell and Jane were our neighbours on our first pitch. They had been staying on site for about a month and one evening they popped over to our caravan for a long boozy evening of G&Ts and wine.
Russell invited us over to their place a few nights later for a curry. Well let me tell you that this curry was fantastic! Russell even made his own curry paste by blending in his own special mix of herbs and spices, I definitely think he has missed his vocation in life, and that he should have moved to cheffing years ago!
It’s a shame that they have moved on to Denia as I could have eaten another one of those!