I had an excellent sleep and was feeling great when I woke up at 7.40. I took my time to have a good breakfast then checked my mails and sorted spent time on data management (videos, pics, uploads, …).
I sped off at around 11.00 and headed for Almeria where I googled the BMW dealership to get a new hand guard. No luck though as they can only order the part and it will only arrive by Tuesday but I didn’t want to hang around as the city is not particularly attractive.
I sat in for a coffee and I decided to check for a good itinerary in the GPS and found Alto de Velefique. When I googled it I immediately knew I have to go there so I had my plan for the day. It climbs and twists upwards through 13 km with a total ascent of 1040 meters (maximum ascent is 11%). And then you still have to come down 🙂 Wow!
The whole day was a real flow. and on top no one on the road. Throughout the whole journey I met two cars and one guy on a bike. I really started to wonder where are the bikers in this country? Cities are full with riders on various scooters and different bikes but no one on the small roads even though they have some fantastic roads down there.
From there I headed back towards Almeria and then Malaga on the coastal road in search for a campsite. People might see it differently but I did not like this part of Spain (i.e. around Almeria). The city is not particularly nice and the whole surrounding area – except Alto Velefique and further north – is a huge tomato plantation. You see covered growing areas everywhere you look which makes you feel you are travelling in a futuristic movie. Besides I am sure that the they supply the whole planet with tomato from Spain judging from the waste areas used to grow them. It’s just everywhere.
The road is twisty and nice but a lot of construction and forced detour makes it a bit of pain to travel on. At one point I ended up at the entrance of a plantation after entering an unmarked cul de sac…
Once on the main road I encountered a traffic jam. It was odd at first but then I quickly realised what is causing the enormous line of vehicles. There was a car burning in the middle of the road which stopped traffic in both directions. I didn’t want to wait so I forced forward beside the line of cars until I arrived at the end of the queue…and got stopped by a policeman. 🙁 Lucky for me he was in good mood and just recommended that I stop and wait for the firemen to put out the fire and clear the road. Seemingly I was not the only one to take the shortcut as there were already a couple of bikers standing there and chatting happily. I joined them and we talked and smoked a couple of cigarettes until the firemen arrived. There was big cheering from the crowd that by then grew quite strong. They were laughing and making jokes referring to the time it took for them to come here while some showed their watches to the poor guys. It was a bit of a pain standing in the heat waiting for them but that is just part of a trip and it was worth the show.
I continued my trip to Torre del mar where I googled up a campsite that looked just perfect. Camping Laguna Playa. It was easy to find and was only 12 EUR for the night and they had free spots. I did not have any issues with the place as it was clean and quiet but the reality has nothing to do with the pictures on the web which show beautiful yacht harbours, romantic sunsets and sandy beached. The site is not far from a couple of block buildings and camping spots are gravel instead of grass. From the restaurant the sight you see is huge grass and gravel with a herd of goats wandering around. Due to the high concrete walls you easily think you are locked in a ghetto save for the trees.
The guy at reception is not really friendly and he seemed upset when I asked for electricity and it turned out that I want to use 3! plugs.
– How come? – he asked – Why three?
– Because I have a phone, a laptop and i want to charge my helmet cam batteries.
– Well then it will be an additional 3 EUR!
I plugged in my devices in the electric cupboard that had around 20 empty plug holes then he locked it and walked away.
After setting up and having a shower I headed for the restaurant (the only one) for my usual dinner of pizza (the local Cruji Coques) and beer 🙂
After dinner it is time for the usual documentation and data management stuff before going to bed. Tonight I will sleep to the sound of cicadas (or crickets if you prefer). Nice dreams 🙂