Showing posts with label scoobie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label scoobie. Show all posts

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Beautiful beaches in Tarifa and the Costa de la Luz

Drove to Camping Paloma via toll motorway, much better than using the free one. Tarifa is a great place to go if you are into Kite or Wind surfing. In Tarifa, we went for a walk on Playa de Valdevaqueros with Scoobie where the were hundreds of kite surfers and some windsurfers in the sea and on the beach. As we were walking along a kite suddenly dive bombed us and I let go of Scoobie and fended off the kite, good job it didn't have a heavy frame or I would have had a broken arm. Scoobie was very frightened and had her tail between our legs and was desperately trying to pull me off the beach, not happy at all. We walked along the beach in the dunes and Scoobie calmed down a bit.

Playa de Valdevaqueros on Sunday

Scoobie terrified after almost being killed by a kite

Went for a 30 km bike ride from the campsite around Tarifa and back. On the way back we called in at Mercadona for something for dinner as the restaurants nearby were closed on Mondays, we bought cheese pies and they just happened to be the last two, which is always the case in every Mercadona that we shop in. Walked for an hour along the beach, no dive bombing today as it was Monday and the surfers were all back at work, so Scoobie enjoyed it.

Where have all the surfers gone

Moved to Zahora where we found a wonderful campsite called Camping Pinar San Jose that had first class facilities and was only one kilometre from the beach. Walked to the beach at Canos de Meca to find lovely sand and very few people. There was no wind so we walked towards the lighthouse at Cap de Trafalgar, it is such a beautiful beach that it is hard to imagine the loss of life that took place during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, then we cut across the dunes back to the campsite.

Canos de Meca beach with Cap Trafalgar in the background

Had a meal across the road from the campsite at Hostal Restaurante Los Pinos. We were disappointed with the meal, it looked nice but the portions were small and nothing special.
The wind got up during the night but we still went for a bike ride which was not easy, but it was fairly flat. Had a meal in the campsite restaurant, which was very nice.

Look what we saw on our bike ride

Went to Camping Rosaleda in Conil de la Frontera, which was the best campsite on the trip, with spacious plots and very modern services. In the evening we had a choice of entertainment, line dancing or whist, both of which we declined.
Walked into town and onto another fabulous beach of Conil de la Frontera where one person actually braved the sea, too cold for us.

Conil de la Frontera beach

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

First adventure in 2017

I had not been on a long walk for over a week, so I was ready for a nice long walk today. We set off with four people and four dogs. At first, we were walking along a road so we had to be on our leads but soon we were let off to do our own thing. I had been on this walk before and remembered that there were a lot of rabbits to chase in this beautiful countryside, so off I went trying to pick up a scent or two, my other doggy friends were quite happy to walk with the people, so I was on my own. I kept an eye on the people and occasionally walked past them when the scent crossed the track that they were on, and when I saw them stop I ran back to them just in case they were eating food and I was prepared to look sweet so that they might give me some. After a while, we stopped at a hotel for a coffee and water for us dogs were we all had a rest. When we started the return journey I picked up a scent straight away and went off on one. Taking no notice that the people had taken a different route back. Eventually, I realized, that they had gone, so I followed their scent the way we had come as arrived back at the car and found the Deeming's having coffee and tostada, so they must have been waiting for me. Alls well that ends well, that's what I say.

Please give me some Scoobie snacks

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Atrekinthesun's Instagram Top 10 Photos of 2016

We share a lot of our photos from our travels and hikes on Instagram. Here are some notable photos from our adventures during 2016.

Number 10

In April we travelled down to Torre del Mar in our Motorhome and stayed on at a very nice campsite there. It is a great base for some serious walking in the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama. In this photo, we were on our way up to Pico Cielo (1508 metres) and looking down on Nerja. Read more about our adventures on this trip here.

Number 9

We had a belated Valentine's trip to Cabo de Gata (late because the hotel that we stayed in didn't open until just after Valentine's day). The hotel was Cortijo El Paraiso and was very nice if you like being in the middle of nowhere, within walking distance of the mountains and superb beaches. In this shot we were walking on a track high in the mountains and for some reason, someone had built this structure either side of the track and if you look closely you will see what looks like a golf ball waiting to be hit, but in fact, it is an observatory far away in the distance. More adventures here

Number 8

In September the weather where we live in Southern Spain was starting to cool down so we decided to make a trip to the coast to walk up Rio Chillar (you literally do have to walk in the river itself). So our walking group plus two dogs (one who hates water) made the journey and had a great time. In the photo, we are having a cooling dip in one of the pools along the river. More here.

Number 7

In April we took our walking group to the beautiful area of Dehesa de Hondonero just outside the village of Villanueva del Rosario. This is a beautiful area for walking with some fantastic views and high mountains with Pico Chamizo being the highest at 1640 metres. Today we were only walking up the valley to the cave of Toma y Bebe and back. In the photo, we are looking towards Pico Chamizo from the valley floor. More here.

Number 6

At the beginning of April, we went to Malaga and found some great street art very close to the Port of Malaga. This is well worth a visit if you ever make a trip to Malaga. In the photo is one of the many examples of Urban Street Art in Malaga. More photos here.

Number 5

In mid-September, we visited the Caminito del Rey for the second time with friends. This is a fantastic experience where you walk along a spectacular walkway high above the river at the bottom of the gorge. This used to be one of the most dangerous walkways in the world but has been refurbished recently and is now very safe. It is a must to visit if you are holidaying in this part of Southern Spain. In the photo is one of the many spectacular views on the walk. Full story here.

Number 4

In June we made our first trip to Northern Portugal in our Motorhome and had a wonderful time. The campsites were really good and the people so friendly. We did not get to Porto as the weather was not too good. So we will have to go again sometime. More here.

Number 3

October saw our first adventure to Lanzarote. We were not sure what to expect but had a great time exploring the island. The island is not too big and if you hire a car you can take in all the spectacular sites in one week. In the photo is part of the home once owned by Omar Sharif, who lost it in a card game. See our experiences here.

Number 2

In February we finally got it together to visit Madrid. We flew from Malaga to Madrid and spent 4 days touring the city. It is a beautiful city with many things to see and lots of great restaurants to eat. In the photo, this was guarding the entrance to one of the many magnificent buildings in the city. Madrid.

Number 1

The highlight of our year was our trip to Croatia. It nearly didn't happen as the day before we were due to fly out there I had an accident on my bike, but the hospital patched me up (not a pretty sight) and off we went. We flew into Venice and picked up a hire car from where we drove into Croatia via Slovenia. During the two weeks we spent there we had some really great experiences travelling from the North down South almost to Split. The people and accommodation were fantastic. Two weeks was not long enough to see everything so we are planning to return, this time in the motorhome starting in the South and driving North. In the photo, is one of the many lakes we saw on our journey. Croatia by car.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Tales of the river(bank) by Scoobie

Today my worst nightmare came true. I and my best friend Max did a walk with the Wednesday Walkers. They were doing a special walk for Ian's birthday, what I didn't know was that they were walking up Rio Chillar (yes and I was to spend the next 4 hours walking in water). It was okay for the people who were all over 5 feet tall but as I am only about 10 inches tall I even had to swim in parts, and as I hate water this was not good.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Midsummer madness home and away

What shall we do Friday night? I know let's do a 6k race at 10pm in Villanueva del Trabuco. So that's what I did and I ran so fast that I ended up getting Achilles tendinitis.

The next day we were off the Sierra Nevada in the motorhome for some high-level walking. Because of my injury, I had to have a couple of days rest, swimming, and lounging by the pool on the campsite, stretching and icing the tendon as well. Chris did a little walk on her own the second day. By the third day it had improved so that I could do a 2-hour walk through the forest near the campsite, then back to the pool as the temperature got up to 39c. The fourth day we drove up to the skiing area, having breakfast on the way up to the 2250 metres ski resort,
Breakfast on the way to the ski resort

and did an 8-kilometre walk which was 90% in a forest and much cooler only getting up to about 25c. We started the walk at Fuente Alta instead of the usual starting point at a car park because it was closed. This turned out to be better for us as Fuente Alta is a museum of an old farm (which we have never seen open) and had picnic tables some of which were in the shade. So when we finished we had a nice picnic lunch at 2150 metres.

Shady picnic spot at the museum
Strange way of bailing hay, maybe it is for the thatch on the farm?
View of Trevenque from the forest path

After lunch, we drove up above the ski station to an auberge where we had a nice cup of coffee then took a new route back to the campsite. Soon after the start of this route, we came to a mirador called Monte Ahi de Cara, which had some magnificent views of the Sierra Nevada.

One of the views from the mirador

The next day we had a leisurely breakfast, too leisurely, then went for a walk at 10 am, far too hot. Managed to do 2.5 hours which was enough. As we were walking passed mirador Los Alayos Scoobie picked up a scent and almost pulled me over we soon found out why when we spotted two Ibex.

Ibex posing for us

Good job that we had her on the lead or she would have been gone. It was so hot we must have looked bad as we had two offers of lifts when we were walking back to the car. Had to go for a dip in the pool when we got back to the campsite to cool down.

The last day we skipped breakfast today so that we would get out walking before it got too hot. Started walking a 8:50 am and did a new walk for us to Toma del Canal in the Sierra Nevada mountains. It was a beautiful walk and took us abut an hour and a quarter to get to the end which was an old water pumping station on the banks of the river Dilar and was a great place for a picnic and a dip in the river to cool down.

Great views on the way to Toma del Canal

Rio Dilar
Old pumping station at Toma del Canal

Unfortunately, the sun had risen above the huge mountain of Trevenque for the return journey but it was not as hot as we thought it would be and we will definitely be returning to do a bigger loop when the weather cools a bit . On the way back to the campsite we called into restaurant El Hervidero for a well-earned coffee and tostada aceite con tomate before making our trip back home.

Do good Feel great

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Summer breeze makes me feel fine

Do good Feel great

Decided to go out in the - summer breeze makes me feel fine blowin' through the jasmine in my mind (Seals and Crofts 1972).
Walked for just over 1.5 hours with some nice shade and a nice breeze to keep us cool, on tracks around Villanueva del Trabuco.

Eventually, we ended up at the 100 Canos via the picnic tables where the trees are growing nicely so in a few years the tables will be in a bit of shade. The 100 canos  still had a lot of running water, it is usually dry this time of year.

Scoobie had to be kept on a lead as the hunters have put up signs. 

Poor Scoobie

On the way back we passed a pen full of sheep and goats in the forest, who seemed to be more interested in us than we were in them.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Sunday Saunter

As we have a weekend of cleaning and washing between family and friends visiting we thought we would get up early on Sunday morning a do a little walk.
Started walking from home before breakfast at 8:30 am on one of our walks up a track through the olive groves to a farm, all uphill but not too hot yet.
Nice uphill start still in some shade

Following the track below the forest, we noticed that they had made a new track up into the forest, so we decided to follow it, maybe a new route, after walking uphill for about 20 minutes the track stopped, they are obviously still working on it. Rather than walking back down the track we just continued downhill through the forest until we got back to the track that we knew.

Where to now even Scoobie didn't know the way?
Oh dear!!!
Made it down to the original track
A nice little excursion but not yet ready for a Wednesday walk. About a mile from home we called into a local bar for breakfast. We were out for just under 3 hours and it was getting hot by the time we got back home.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Tour de Northern Portugal

Sightseeing tour of Caceres today after an uneventful start to our tour of Portugal. It is a very nice city and we walked into the old part where there were some lovely old buildings, we got there early and avoided the busloads of sightseers.
Big Issue

We then drove to Valencia de Alcantara which is only 7 k from the Portuguese border. When we arrived in the village we found free parking on the edge but there were no other cars there. Walking into the centre we thought it was a bit strange that all the bars were closed at 2:30 pm. We only saw 4 people who looked like tourists. Went to look at the castle which was next to a massive church with storks nesting on top, closed like most churches after 2pm. Went up to the castle which wasn't bad and from the battlements, we saw some tables and chairs and went down to find a very nice modern bar where we had a lovely coffee for only a euro.

Nice bar for a coffee

Stork City

Drove into Portugal, without a map on our Satnav. Managed to find the campsite Camping Lake Portugal at Alverangel combining small and toll roads, could not find out how to pay the tolls. The campsite was nice but did not seem ready for the season as the restaurant was not open and one of the toilet blocks was closed. Could be really nice but a lot of work to do. Went to Tomar today and visited the castle which was really fabulous and well worth a visit.

Afterwards called in at a bar for coffee and a sandwich and finally managed to download the map of Portugal after about 5 attempts, so had no trouble finding our next campsite in Nazare at Vale Paraiso Natur Park. It was quite big and we chose a plot but the electric hookup did not work, fortunately, a nice Swiss man on the next plot let us plug into his electricity. The leisure battery felt very hot so we turned everything off.
The next day after breakfast, we walked into the centre of Nazare which was about 2 kilometres from the campsite. It was an old town with streets that looked very Spanish. We arrived at the beach which was beautiful and had a coffee then walked to the marina and back before going up the funicular to Sitio and Scoobie had to go in a cage.
Museum of fishing boats at Praia do Norte,Nazare
Scoobie on the Funicular
View from the Funicular
We thought this was a joke see this

It was nice when we got there but we could not find the monastery that we were hoping to visit. So we made our way back to the campsite and reconnected the electric and eventually the leisure battery got hot again. We disconnected it and decided to leave it and get it fixed when we got home. We had a takeaway of salad and chips for dinner that night from the site restaurant and it was really good value.
Drove to Sierra da Estrela to do a bit of walking we could not find the first campsite after driving down narrow roads into a river valley near Oliveira do Hospital. We tried to find another one the other side of Oliveira eventually found it after following a signpost to an abandoned campsite along a dirt track. The campsite Toca da Raposa, was really nice even though the track to the pitches was very narrow. We did a walk to the nearest village to the site, Meruge, where we had a coffee then made up a route back along the valley to the campsite. Had some lunch then went for a dip in the pool which was a little cold for us. Had a meal in the campsite restaurant which was really nice  they made their own veggie burgers and it cost next to nothing.
Great campsite
Bar on the campsite
Campsites dog Scooby about 5 times bigger than our Scoobie

The next day we drove further into the mountains of Serra de Estrela trying to find a campsite in the town of Manteigas, eventually found a municipal one just outside the town next to a dry ski slope, which was not as good as the ones we had been staying on but it only cost 11 euros instead of 17, so can't complain. It was a lovely base for walking and we went for a small 5k walk to the nearest hamlet.
Nice little walk for a coffee

The next day we went for a lovely 10k walk along forest tracks.
Broom in full bloom
Scoobie enjoying the new surroundings

Drove to Guarda to another municipal campsite which had a 4.1  rating out of 5 so we thought that it should be ok, but it was even worse than the one the night before. Walked a little way from the site to buy some provisions and found a bread shop that did pizzas as well so that was tonight's dinner.
Walked into town to see the sights. Some nice sculptures and worth a visit.
Should have stopped the diet ages ago
Bad hair day
Portuguese street art

We decided to have a day driving, we went towards Braga and stopped at Arco de Baulhe looking for Campismo Arco Unipessoal, LDA. We could not find the campsite but asked in a bar and they kindly drove their car and we followed. The street down to the campsite was very narrow and we only just managed to get down. On the way, we meet a couple who said that the campsite was full but we decided to continue anyway as there was no room to turn around. When we arrived the owner said that he was full but we could stay in a position for people that arrived late and if someone left the next day we could go in their plot or we would have to leave. Later in the day the owner told us that there was a pitch available for one day so in the morning we moved down to it. After setting up we tied Scoobie to a tree and put our table and chairs out. A few minutes later we noticed a dead rat which wasn't there before we think that Scoobie must have killed it. We went for a lovely walk from the campsite into the countryside then back into the village, then had a swim in the pool to cool down.
Water everywhere

We left the campsite the next day and the owner went up ahead of us to stop any traffic coming down the narrow road from the village.
Got on our way to our next campsite Parque de Campismo de Entre Ambos-os-Rios, Lugar de Igreja. Took the motorway which was a lot faster and arrived safely at a nice campsite on a lake settled in then went for a walk which they told us was 7 kilometres. We took enough water for the duration, but it ended up 13 kilometres luckily we found a font when the water ran out. The campsite had a really nice restaurant Adega do Artur where we tried out the local fair of cod and vegetables and the local wine which we drank in pots like soup dishes, both the food and wine were different but nice.
Official Portuguese wine taster
Just across the road from the campsite ideal for Canoes

We left the next morning just as loads of children arrived with canoes, think the site would have been very busy. Made our way to the coast and our next campsite at Parque de Campismo do Paco in Vila Praia de Ancora. It was a very nice campsite that had everything that we needed and was only 11 euros a night. Went for a little walk to the beach which was only about a mile away. Lovely beach, good for surfing. Had a nice walk over the dunes along a boardwalk to a bar where we treated ourselves to ice creams. Next day we walked to the beach again but turned right and ended up in the town of Ancora where we walked along the promenade then had a coffee at a beachside bar.

Went back to the site had dinner then watched the England football team underperform against Russia in the European championship.
Left the site the next day and drove towards Porto stopping at campsite Parque de Campismo Sol de Vila Char in Vila do Conde. The site was on the coast and only had a few pitches left. After we had set up we walked the few hundred metres to the beach which had lovely sand but was quite rocky. Walked along the boardwalk again through some really nice bits and some rough bits and had a beer at a beachfront bar. Got ready to go out for a meal tonight. The wine was good but we didn't like the fish dish, not fresh but salted cod and too much oil.

Nice garden wall

Drizzling when we got up so after we checked the weather forecast for the next few days we went to plan c. Skipped the visit to Porto and a trip along the river Duero and drove to Evora to do some sightseeing. The campsite Orbitur Evora was ok and it had stopped raining but WiFi on the site was not working. The site had nice facilities including a swimming pool which we used a couple of times.
When we left the previous campsite we should have handed in a card that identified our registration, but we could not find it. When we were getting some salad out of the fridge for our meal we found the cards in the fridge!!!!
Walked into the centre of Evora today and spent a few hours taking in the sights. Which included the Cathedral, the Roman Temple, Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones).

Capela dos Ossos (Chapel of Bones)

It then started raining so we decided to make our way home. It was too far to drive in one trip so when we got back into Spain we were looking for a small village where we could have a meal and stay the night. We eventually decided on El Garrobo on the N-433 just before Sevilla. We found a nice place to park up for the night opposite a bar where we had a very nice meal, then went to another bar for a beer before retiring for the night.

Drove home early the next day without a satnav, not a good idea when you have to go around a big city like Sevilla, got stuck in a traffic jam for a bit but eventually got around the city and no problems after that.