01-04-16, La Jara.
Heading towards the sherry triangle we stayed the night at Zahara de los Atunes and Canos de Meca. Zahara was a small Spanish holiday resort with a castle and small old town full of white buildings. As it was Saturday of the Semana Santa weekend, the town was full, and so were all the restaurants and bars. From the roads as we trudged by it looked like everybody was having fun, large tables in the street with vast Spanish families (often three generations worth) knawing their way through plates of fried sea food. Quite a few times we muttered to ourselves that ‘we wished we were on holiday’ where we would be eating out every day. We could have easily taken a table and ordered several ‘½ raciones’ washed down with the local wine, but, no, in this new life we can’t, so for us lunch was taken sitting on the beach and consisted of a large bag of Spanish crisps and a couple cans of beer (Cruzcampo, Seville). To be fair, we were not sure which would have been the nicer experience, restaurant (80 euros after a couple of daily menus and bottles) or beach (2.50 euros).
The highlight of the day was the fantastic sunset which enveloped the town and beach. We had the van parked up beach side for the night, so we quickly grabbed a bottle and joined fellow sun set seekers on the sand. I have taken some photographs, but typically the true redness of the sun set was not captured by my cheap camera. Note, the man bag is proving quite useful, I have added a cork screw to it’s contents.
View from the van at our over night place in Canos
The next stop over was Canos de Meca which has been a place I have wanted to visit for a few years as it supposed to have several hippy communes. Again, Canos proved easy to park in for free, as we found a strip of scrub land, just off an old bus stop, located right on the beach. The waves were full of ‘normal’ surfers this time and the beach expands out to right to the ‘Cabo de Trafalgar’. As the name suggests, this is where Nelson was victorious over the Spanish. I am not much of a historian, but I thought it was interesting that the one information board at the Cabo basically blamed a Frenchman for the defeat as he who was actually the fleet Commander and he was only assisted by the Spanish. Also, this trip has ignited an old pet hate. The 14th century fortification at the Cabo unfortunately had graffiti on it’s side, however it was of the type ‘XXXXX loves YYYYY’ and contained zero art. Tarifa however, had a good stencil type piece that was spotted throughout the town ‘Refugees Welcome, Nobody is Illegal ’complete with a simple picture of people holding hands which in my opinion is more tolerable/valuable than the adolescent love struck scrawl found at the Cabo.
Evening, Cabo de Trafalgar.
Well, did we find the hippy communes? I think we did possibly, but it seems they might have evolved into yoga retreats and vegan food outlets which really was not what I was looking for. In a small protest, we stuffed down a huge hamburger and fries in a chilled out bar on the main road through Canos. As a nod towards the other health food places, the burger bun was of the multiseeded type.
After a slightly unsettled night, we zoomed off early to Conil de la Fronteria for breakfast (great sea side town, again full of small white buildings) and then onto the Sherry triangle. After the off site Canos parking experience we went back to the ‘motorhome stopover’ book to search for more official parkings and that is how we have found this gem at La Jara (it has WIFI and hot showers). Coastal La Jarra sits between Chipiona and Sanluca de Barrameda and it was the plan to use Sanluca as a hub and use public transport to Cadiz and Jerez.
Well, it is our third night here already and we have adopted the ‘travel slow principle’. We explored Chipiona (6Km away) on our bikes and then Sanluca (5 km away) on foot. We also had our first BBQ which was a great experience even though a high proportion of the 32 chicken wings were badly burnt, can I blame a Frenchman too please?
The bikes parked up at Chipiona, spot the olives and empty Manzanilla cup.
The best thing about this spot though is La Jara itself. It is a small cross roads surrounded by numerous small holdings. It has a non-branded supermarket that sells everything you would need and several small simple bars. Here you can watch the ‘rural Spanish’ world go by (everything from the smallest tractors in the world to gangs of untethered goats), whilst sipping the local sherry (Manzanilla) which is a taste I am trying to acquire.
In the next few days we will move the van across to Sanluca, as we have found a free aire there in the centre of town, and from there we will pick off Cadiz and Jerez. Until then, travel slow……as there is still some more exploring to do around and about La Jara….
Sharon cooking with the sunset, Autocaravana Stopover, La Jara.