• Kim

Test trip Spain, Week 3 & 4

Having had a nice evening at the Campground in Marbella, I didn’t even think to secure the Tent further with guylines. That was a mistake because in the night at around 3 AM there suddenly was a horrible wind waking us up. I had to get up in the middle of the night to secure the tent further with guylines. After that it was hard to fall asleep again, since the wind was shaking the whole tent terribly. But in the end the tent just held up fine. We went grocery shopping & roaming around the area for the day. Back at the camping and decided that we need to use more space on our roof. With the setup we have now, we almost don’t have enough space. On our big expedition we will bring a little more things with us (like spare parts for the car). After some googling we find out that Bauhaus have the prefect boxes for us. In the evening we drove there and it took us a long time to decide. At the end we bought 3 boxes and some ratchet straps to secure them temporary on the roof for the rest of the test trip in Spain. We were both very tired because of the short night, and hopped right in to the sleeping bags after returning back to the campground.


After long and good night sleep I got up and started working on the roof boxes. They needed some waterproofing to do. I just bought some silicone and started to pull joints around the seams of the steel boxes. The rest of the day was pretty lazy and we went out eating at a Thai place.


The next day we went visit Sea Life in Benalmadena. We got some discount vouchers at the reception of the campground which saved us around 4 Euros per person, which was nice. It’s a very small aquarium. Within 30 minutes you’ve seen everything. It is very nicely decorated and cute. They have a schedule with feeding times. With the ticket you can go in and out as many times as you want. So if you want to see all the feedings you can just roam around the shopping area and come back whenever you want on that day.


The last couple of day were pretty lazy, with just chilling at the campground at the occasional grocery run. We also visited bigger and more famous beaches in the area, but the weather wasn’t as good and we often needed to find shelter in shopping centers and huge warehouses. After not washing for over a week our laundry bag was pretty full and we needed to wash. The campground had a washing machine and a dryer which was convenient. But the dryer didn’t dry our clothes enough so we had to hang them up outside, which was a risk, since the sky looked like it was gonna rain any minute. We were lucky and it never rained on us and the strong wind dried our clothes pretty fast even without sun. In the evening it started raining again, but luckily we can cook and live inside our tent to stay out of bad weather anytime.


A day before I went to a locksmith to get another key fitted for our car. I had to return three times because the first key he grinded to small down, the second time the key chip didn’t work and on the third day, the ordered key didn’t come. At this point I was getting a bit frustrated and said that I needed the key now, because we leave the next day back to Switzerland. The locksmith then got an idea to use a more expensive flip out key which he had in his drawer. Finally after endless trying and countless walks across the parking lot he could get the key right and we could finally start our journey home.


Time to say goodbye to the camping life. We are slowly making are way back home, which means it will get colder and we will be staying in hotels from now on. Today we want to visit Ronda. But first we wanted to check out a castle called Castillo de Colomares which was on the way. It’s super small but super beautiful. This was one of our highlights of sightseeing. After 15 min we have seen the whole castle, but it’s very impressive.


We made our routine stop by a bakery and then drove to Ronda. Ronda is full with people and we struggle to find a parking. We walked to the bridge, but standing on top of it is not impressive at all. You could barely see anything of the bridge. We decided to drive down to a road we saw from the bridge and there we could make some nice pictures in front of the bridge.


We had lunch by a beautiful lake on the side of the road and spent the night at a service station hotel, which was pretty good value and the food there was also pretty good.


We now headed to Guadix, a small town famous for its cave homes. Also many Movies were shot here in the area and even the Guadix train station itself was the train station of Indiana Jones the last crusade.


You can’t visit Guadix without experiencing the caves itself, that’s why we booked a night in a cave apartment. The benefit of living in a cave is the constant temperature of around 15° Celsius all year. Nice and cool for the hot summer months and warm during the freezing winter nights. We used our heater that night because it was getting pretty cold and they charged quite a lot for firewood to light up the fire place. It was a pleasant experience and we immediately booked the next cave for the next day.


I bought a off-road guide for Andalucía and we wanted to test Vy for her off-road capabilities fully loaded. So we did around 200km of dirt roads through beautiful forests on a super nice mountain. It was pretty cold high up and we even encountered snow and ice on the tracks. The off-road track ended by the Castillo De La Calahorra which was pretty impressive. To bad it was closed to enter when we arrived. After that we drove to another cave town called Benamaurel. We stayed for two nights at the Cueva El Murallon which was a super nice cave apartment. Our host even lit a fire before our arrival to keep the cave warm and cozy for us.


The next day we did some more off-roading. But the route started out with a bummer. My guide from 2015 said we could drive thru an old railway tunnel, which wasn’t the case because it got closed of for any motorized vehicle. A bit disappointed we skipped that part of the route and headed directly the Gorafe national park. It was stunning, absolutely amazing. I didn’t know that we such stunning landscapes in Europe. I felt like I was back in the USA looking at a mini Grand Canyon. And it’s even possible to drive thru that landscape which we did.

But at one point the nice smooth dirt road changed drastically into a washed out narrow and nerf wrecking trail. Do not attempt to drive there if you can’t handle scratches on your car! The road got so narrow that our Vy barley fittet thru. At some point, half of the road was so washed out, that the only grip our tires could get were the sidewall threads. It was so crazy that I don’t even know how to describe it any further.

Too bad we were so focused on not getting stranded or breaking the car, that we didn’t take any pictures… After a few hours into the trail we realized that we couldn’t get any further because the road from my guide has completely vanished.

There was a small single trail going further, probably used by dirt bike riders which could complete the trail. So we had to drive back around one hour of bad roads to get to a village which had a road that led to pavement. We were pretty done arriving at our nice cave and went to bed pretty early. Looking back it was a good experience and gave us confident on how capable our little Vy is. I would have never dreamed it would do so well fully loaded in those conditions. At the end it was worth it for the stunning views and the experience of dealing with horrible road conditions.


For those who just want a pleasant expierence of Gorafe national park we suggest to drive into the desert until you see a view point with a sign “Geologia Los Colorados”. It has enough space to turn around there and drive back where you came from: The Megalithic Park.


The next couple of days we headed directly back to Switzerland driving 5 hours a day.

Back in the Alps

Trip summary:

6500km driven

15 gas stops

10 nights in the tent

17 nights in the hotel

3500 pictures taken


Our route:


Costs:


We hope that you enjoyed our blog about our test trip in Spain! Stay tuned for more!


 

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