No thunder and lightning but monsoon rains drummed on the roof all night long. Opening the blinds in the morning I was greeted with a dull. damp, grey, chilly day. I really do believe our global weather is changing and that it’s the cause of so many problems. Whether it’s because of natural changes in the earths cycles over thousands or millions of years or as a result of human kind destroying the planet with pollution and creating global warming I don’t know, but for the first fifty years of my life I cannot remember anything to compare with the disasters than we have seen over the past decade and a half. Summers seem be warmer, winters colder, there are far more storms and hurricanes, rain that seems to go on for days crating landslides and flooding. The damage caused is horrific with huge looses of life, entire regions flooded and destroyed resulting in famine and widespread disease, and the costs in financial terms do not bare thinking about. Maybe it has always been as bad in the past and that it’s just the fact that with modern technology and globalisation we get to hear about everything these days.
Leaving La Marina I passed through the Elche, a province of Alicante famous for the Palm trees that are found there. It is the largest palm plantation in Europe and said to be one of the largest in the world. The palm groves date back to the 5C BC and is thought to have been created by the Carthaginians. The plantation survived under the Romans and was extended by the Moors, who built an irrigation system that still survives today. I passed kilometre after kilometre of Palms and a huge number of growers who were growing what looked like huge Bonsai trees in all sorts of weird shapes and sizes. The area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Back on the A7 auto via I continued south to Benahadux, a small town about 25 kilometres from Almeria. I wanted to buy some wine to take with me to Morocco. A couple of years ago some friends had told me of this small wine cellar which sell it’s wine in 15 litre cartons. Being stored in airtight bags within the boxes it travels well and there are no bottles to break. The wine is very good as well as being very cheap so a good buy all round. Unfortunately I arrived shortly after they had closed for their lunchtime siesta, they close between 13:30 and 16:30. I decided to wait. The wine cellar reopened on time and after tasting a couple of reds I bought 3 cartons of 15 litres each, 60 bottles worth! it should last me three or four months though, which will be good. With the wine safely onboard I continued towards Malaga. According to one of my guidebooks there was a free camperstop in Motril, the second largest city in the provence of Granada. Motril is synonymous with sugar, transforming sugar cane into various types of sugar and sprits like rum. Motril’s economy is based around it’s sugar factories. I punched the coordinates into the GPS and set off. The camperstop no longer existed, there was a large new sign saying no campers, maybe the locals weren’t happy with motorhomes parked on the beach. Being late and with little choice I found a parking spot nearby. There were two trucks parked up in the road so I pulled in between them, not ideal, but okay for one night hopefully. Thats one of the things when you live full time in a motorhome, you never know where you’ll end up or where you’ll sleep each day. Makes life interesting as well as stressful though.
The A7 took me south towards Malaga where I was hoping to meet up with a friend. I arrived on the outskirts of Malaga and tried to call him but there was no answer, I then looked for a McDonalds or the like to get a WiFi signal to send an email. Amazingly all the McDonalds and Burger King restaurants didn’t open until 12:30, everywhere else they would be full at that time of the day and have been quite busy all morning. Just after a McDonalds open I popped in and bought a coffee and sent my email. Unsure what to do I topped the GPL tank up and put enough diesel in to get me into Morocco, diesel being half the price there. In the end I checked into Camping Torremolinos about six kilometres from Malaga itself. If my friend Rudi calls then I’ll be close enough to meet up somewhere tomorrow
Unfortunately Rudi was inland from the coast and wouldn’t be back for a couple of days, we arranged to meet up another time and I headed to Algeciras to wait for some other friends, Gillian & Godfredo to arrive. They arrived on Friday evening, having met up we bought tickets for the ferry to Morocco on Saturday morning departing at 8 am.
It seems I've been travelling all my life. For the past eight years I've been following a simple, nomadic lifestyle full time touring in a camper van and meeting with other like minded travellers.
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