Diary   2017 - Sagres to Saint Girone. And back. A 3800 Km round trip.

 

 

 

 
From Sagres to Saint Girone May June 2017
Departure Friday 19-5-2017
Arrived at Camping EL Rocio same afternoon. I had a nice evening meal at the restaurant , and after a look at El Rocio village went to bed. I had purchased a Thermarest ultra light folding bed and had the thermarest  Neoair on top. Also a 4 season sleeping bag. So i should be nice and cozy - right.
Not at  all. Freezing cold. The sleeping bag was to narrow and could not close all the way . The ultra light bed collapsed. I could not find my warm sleeping hat. On top of this it was damp and noise from passing cars. So I developed a bad migraine. One that would not go away even after eating  strong medication.
Next morning I got the gear packed into the car and took off towards Granada.
Tent is up.
The town of El Rocio
Camping restaurant
Morning mist
 
Saturday 20/5/2017
I had planned to pass Seville on a Sunday.  At least there are no trucks. Still plenty traffic.
I passed the town Osuna along the motor way. A place where I have stay at a nice hotel before.
Just before Antequera I went to look at a camping called La Sirencilla in town Humiliado. I is quite new but It was still early and drove on. Passed Granada and 10 km after Granada turned right to camping Alto de Vinuela, Beas de Granada, where I stayed the night.
The view from the small restaurant terrace was magnificent. The mountains of Sierre Nevada with snow. The restaurant great. A camping where I would like to return, and a area to explore more.
Camping terazze
A nice salad
The nearby village. There is a market at Sunday. Sirra Nevada in background.
 
Alternative accomodation Seville / Granada
OSUNA
Hospederia del Monasterio.  On GPS. 75 E
Las Casa de Douque  ON GPS 45 E
Villa Ducal. Near  EL Molino  On GPS 75 E
Osuna   El Molino 48E. Was there before . Park OK.   Tel   0034 954 81 20 51
You can get off the motor way from right and left  side.

 
ESTEPA
Don Polvoron 25 -45 Only reserve from Booking.com. Just along the motorway.
Area de servicio A 92
Km 105
Good review Private park. Not needed to resserve. It is a big service stop for trucks.
Entry after 14. Single 39-55
Tel  955913456   www.donpolvoron.com.
In right lane heading towards Granada
 
GRANADA
El Torreon  Autovia A 92 Km 239  Albolte Granada ( Not same name anymore )
Tel 958490001
In right side coming from Seville.  Parking in front of hotel. Sort of private.
 
Sunday 21/05/2017
I was a day early, so took it easy along the stretch Granada Torrevieja.
First I drove through the small village near the camping. I managed to just squeeze through the narrow streets. Then I followed some small local roads in the back country at the foot of Sierra Nevada. I came to a reservoir and a big dam. There was a cafe that served me coffee con leche and a brownie with ice.

One place I saw a sign saying Parque Natural Sierre de Baza. So I had a look. Not too interesting. I also realized there is a difference between this and Parque National.

Next  I had a look at camping El Pinar del rey. Velez Blanco. I did not like it , so drove on to camping Fuente Banos de Fortuna. Known for it hot springs. And true enough. There is a large swimming pool with this water.
The camping was well kept. I had my own little shower block. There is no shadow though, but I was there late and moved on the next morning , so not a problem. The whole area is very dry, desert like
The dam
My pitch. Fuente Banos de Fortuna.
The pool
 
Alternative accomodation
ELCHE
Hotel Campanile Near Alicante  50 E
Ronda Voll Dro sn.
Tel965435760   elche@campanile.com
I was there Parking private. Boring industrial area.
 
VALENCIA
Tryp Valencia Almussafes  40 E  
Along A7 just South from Valencia in the area of Almussafes
Tel 961744300  Quiet area. Parking in front of hotel Sort of Private
I was there in 2013 when dropped off in Valencia harbour.
 
Monday 21 / 05 / 2017
I drove on and arrived in Torrevieja. La Rojales. There I was staying in a nice hotel for 3 days. For a Birthday celebration.
 
Thursday  25 / 05 / 2017
I left Torrevieja and drove on towards the North coast of Spain. First stop was  Kiko Rural Parl in Villagordo de Gabriel. Nice camping and an are that was worth studying some more, but I was eager to move on.
Getting there I first followed the motor way in the direction of Madrid. Then the N 330 between Almansa and Requena. Some parts with beautiful scenery. Well worth to have a look at Reserva National de Muela de Cortes. Also some hill top towns with castles on top.
From Kiko Rural
 
Friday 26/05/2017
Leaving Kiko 10.30. Should have taken a look at dam, but started towards Albarracin, some 200 km away. Following the good quality 2 lane local roads. Very little traffic and nice country site.
Higher up , until 1200 m, it was mountain with some pine trees and rocky landscape .
Great idea to use local roads instead of Motorway.
Arriving at destination, I realized there was a more scenic route the last 20 km. Over Bezas.
Albarracin , also called the most beautiful town in Spain, is a old Berber fort and settlement. I wanted to take my bike into the town, but streets are very narrow and steep, and as cars are prohibited, bikes may as well be banned Unless u walk it, I guess.
The camping was quite good actually, but pitch your tent between the RV s . The tent only area turned out to be very noisy. So I ended up with a nice migraine again.
 
Before entering the mountains. Endless agriculture, lots of wine fields. And empty roads.
I was passing many small villages.
The roads are good in the area and very little traffic. Here I med 3 cars in 50 KM.
Albarracin. The last Berber strong hold in this region to be conquered by the Aragon King
Albarracin
Albarracin
 
Saturday 27/05/2017
Departure barracin. Drove to Bronchales. The highest camping in Spain. 1500 m. Then Tordysillos and Setiles. Reaching the N211.
At Molina I stopped to look at the old Moorish Castle. El Cid lived there for a while. I may have stepped in his fot prints.
Past Soria onvards to reserva national de urbion. Next  to embalses de la Cuerda del Pozo. This is a good place and you can get a good swim in the lake. There is a bit of a restaurant as well.  The camping is very big. Except from nature expect little else.
The next day I read in the papers that Soria was hit by hail the size of golf balls. Good I moved on.
Very organized. Lots of routes. 30 km from Albarracin
The castle at Molina.  
The castle at Molina.
Embalses by the camping.
 
Sunday 20-05-2015  
Weather forcast was not to good and I booked a hotel near Embalses de Ebro. Tel 00  349427 73312
Hotel Rural rincon de Gadea. Gadea village is just South of Embalses de Ebro.
This is how I like to park. Right under my balcony.
Near Gadea Near Gadea Embalses
Embalses Naciomento rio Ebro Road to the coast
Monday 29/05/2017
Had a look at Embalsed de Ebro. They are enormous . Then I went across the motorway and took a hardly 2 lane road down to the coast. Took a photo af the , source of Ebro. Driving down was mainly inside a cloud, so not so much  to see.
Eventually ended up in San Vicente where I had booked 2 nights at Alohamento De Paramo. Just next  to the Gas station, at N road leading to Oviedo. Big Villa with annexes. Parking in the garden, and across the street a restaurant with private parking as well  Tel 0034 6762 16559 . Book in start at 15.30, a bit late. Room ok. No Air Con.
The view over San Vincente from hotel.
 
Wednsday 31/05/2017
I move onto camping at San Vicente beach. Weather still unstable. After 2 days in then I get a cabin for a night that is forecast with rain. Temperature only about 17 Deg during daytime. Nights are cool, but I am comfortable just using my sleeping bag as a blanket. And lying at my Neoair.
It is more the rain I am am worried about. I should have pitched near some trees so I could put up an awning over the entrance to the tent. I have done that before and it worked perfect.
There is a good restaurant at the camping and I get most of my meals there.
 
Friday 02/06/2016  
Raining , so I get a cabin for one night. The  cabins are rated at 45 Euro for one bedroom. Below is the view from cabin, and the small indoor sitting.
 
Saturday 03/06/2017
Pitching tent again. Prepare a tarp over the entrance. There are 2 small leaks at opposite end of tent. I book a hotel for the night. Hospederia las Calzados just outside San Vincente. Good private parking. Also a bit of parking outside. Country side. 30 Euro, breakfast 4 Euro. Room a bit chilly. Outside only 13 Deg C. I used my sleeping bag and was very comfortable.
 
 
Sunday 04/06/2017
Still quite a bit of rain. Tent is ok now. Quite comfortable, with the electric heater working, inside is dry and warm. Got sms that that friends have arrived St. Girons. Tomorrow I will go there as well.
 
Monday 5 th to Thursday 15 June St Girons Plage
During  the stay we had a heavy thunder rain storm. I found that water was entering in the tent from floor. Next day I got some impregnating spray, and that cured the problem. For some time only I am afraid. Because the fabric is stretched a lot when the tent is packed.
Else the trip driving there was the usual heavy traffic and several incompetent drivers along especial the Bilbao area of the motorway.
During the stay I forgot to switch off the GPS and the evening before departure the battery was flat. Luckely Phillip had a battery charger. That solved the problem
 
Thursday 15/06/2017
The departure was during the afternoon, so I had selected a camping in the Basque Pyranaes 120 km away. First motorway to Bayone then D918 towards Pamplona. The camping is along the road called Narbaitz  Vacances Pyrenees Basque. Lots of green grass and very well maintained.
 
Friday 16/06/2017
I thought it was time now for some local roads. The Basque Country is very hilly, and there is a lot to lok at. As it turned out that i was near St. Jean Pied de Port, I drove to St. Etienne along the D15.
I was glad that it was only a small car, as the road getting through town were pretty narrow. And worse was to come. The road NA 2600 to Erratzu was 1.5 lane into the hills. Interesting landscape here. i saw some pretty big birds, and then into the clouds. Busy to look out for cyclist.
Lost, maybe, in the hills.
I had crossed the border into Spain and soon reached the N 121 A towards Pamplona. 40 Km before I reach Pamplona I made a right into some local roads. Soon after there was a sign with Navarra. I passed through some smart small towns with old houses. Very well maintained and flowers everywhere.
Navarra small town.
I was now reaching the Autovia to Burgos, and decided to floor it for the day and get West. I the afternoon I was in Castrojeriz, a small town on the Camino de Santiago route. 40 Km after Burgos and turn left down BU 404. A note> Take same way back to Autovia. Some of the villages on the other roads has narrow bridges. No problem with normal car, but with caravan??
Castrojeriz is very interesting and camping quite good. Getting to camping takes a little planning with a wide unit. i went through the town ( thanks GPS ) not a good idea.
Castrojeriz. On the pilgrim route. The green sign top right photo is reading HOSPITAL.
 
Saturday 17/06/2017
I heat wave is now disturbing my plans, and I decide to take a more direct route to Sagres. As I had used the Silver route ( Oviedo Seville ) several times before i decided to drive via Portugal.
First direction Leon , then onwards A52 to exit 79 Puebla de Sanabria. Through the Montesino Natural park. This area was destroyed by forest fire some 25 years ago. I made a stop in one of the almost empty villages along the road. had a coffee and a chat with the shop owner, . He then said, that he never could go anywhere, his wife would not let him. They was apparently barely making a living from their small shop, and the village falling apart around them.
The Municipal camping just north of Braganca is great. A river is running through. i was sitting there for a while too cool off.
I was eating a few meals at the restaurant. They were happy to have a costumer. When I was leaving, the couple who is running the camping were saying ,,Come back Come back.. Not because they thought I was a great person, but desperate for clients so they can keep their jobs.
 
Sunday 18/06/2017
As i was leaving , my neighbor at the camping showed me that around 40 forest fires was raging in central Portugal. I was first giving it  little attention. You see them from far away, and the motorways are normally not affected. However one had trapped many people and the death toll was over 50.
I then changed my route towards Nazare at the coast. I drove Villa Real..Viseu..Coimbra ..Leiria.
next time I will go to Aveiro as the road Viseu..Coimbra is 2 lane only, and with quite a bit of traffic.
Northern Portugal and the Duero valley has many good sights to offer driving along.
Stayed overnight at Orbitur Camping Nazare
Nazare camping Nazare camping Praia Do Norte
 
 
Monday 19/06/2017
I left Nazare camping early to have a look at the North Shore beach where some big waves are found during the winter. Today swell was only about 1 meter, so does not even break. Still heat wave however, so I continued towards Sagres.
First towards Lisboa. That was the route the GPS selected. As traffic was building up, i changed course towards Santarem, inland. using the A 15. After Santarem the A 13 joining the A2 towards Algarve.
Very little traffic, apart getting through Santarem where the GPS tried to get me into town. But there are big signs to follow over this short stretch.
Driving through the Atlentejo region is impressive. The yellow color from the dry grass and thousands of cork oak. It is like drive 200 km then turn right to Sagres.

I encountered max day temperatures from 15 to 40 deg C during this trip. Heavy rain, lots of sun shine and narrowly escaped big hail storm in Soria Spain.
It is nice to be back in comfort, but the brain is already working on solutions how to improve things.

The biggest mistakes I did was not waterproofing the tent before i left and not bringing a car battery charger.
I did not use the bike cycle a lot, but  as I can drive 100 km Hr with bike on top, it is no big trouble to bring it along. it may even come in handy with a car break down. Also I learned to sleep with a scarf around my neck and a head something on cold damp nights. My sleeping bag with a comfort zone to minus 20 is about right. But it is to narrow. So I only use it as a duvet.

The Thermarest ultra light folding bed broke first night. The thermarest Neoair is great. It is only 5 cm thick. So if the ground is a bit uneven and you roll off, no big deal. You may not even notice. The pump with 2 AA batt, pumps it up quickly.

I am careful to do some stretching before i get up in the morning, and several times during the day. You want to stay with muscles a bit flexible when on a tent trip.

I start to pack tent and all other things before breakfast. Then I find a space in the shadow or sun, depending of the temperature and cook my porridge. Magbee a  bike trip afterwards. Especially if it is very hot I delay departure to enjoy the morning cool. Then the afternoon driving, trying to delay arrival at next camping till after 5 in the afternoon.

A bicycle shirt make wet is good for cooling. They are made in a way to soak moisture and wick it away from the body. You will be surprised how effective it is.

3850 km
 
Usefull info
Hotel El Tollo
Avenida de Madrid
46300 Uteil ( Valencia )
info@hoteltolo.com
+34 962 170 231
Along the NIII A 3
used by Marcel 2017 June. 60 E room and dinner and breakfast
entrasemana oferta 1 person
 
Hotel Rural rincon de Gadea.
Gadea village is just South of Embalses de Ebro
Tel 00  349427 73312
I stayed 1 night June 2017
 
 
Hospederia las Calzados just outside San Vincente.
 Good private parking. Also a bit of parking outside.
Country side. 30 Euro, breakfast 4 Euro.
Room a bit chilly. Outside only 13 Deg C. I used my sleeping bag and was very comfortable.
I stayed 1 night June 2017
 
Alohamento De Paramo San Vicente  . 40 E incl breakfast.
Just next  to the Gas station, at N road leading to Oviedo. Big Villa with annexes.
Parking in the garden, and across the street a restaurant with private parking as well 
Tel 0034 6762 16559
. Book in start at 15.30, a bit late. Room ok. No Air Con.
I stayed 2 night June 2017