8th – 12th December 2016
Another 190km journey took us from Merida into Seville (aire 12 Euro per night GPS 37.361988 – 5.994442) – the sunshine City and true to its reputation the sun was high in the sky upon on arrival with the temperature in the late teens – that’ll do nicely! After a couple of trips back and forth over the same bridge we finally managed to locate the aire which was tucked in the corner of an industrial estate, with a rather dodgy looking approach. At 12 euros a night though for secure city parking including all services and on site showers and walkable to the city sites we were certainly not complaining after all we can’t always expect a room with a view. Although the afternoon sun was beckoning us to get out exploring we knew we really needed to try and buy some silicone to try and re-seal our leaking shower. So with that in mind rather that setting of to see the city we went on the hunt for a local ferreterria (or hardware store to you and I), on route though we spotted a Chinese bazaar and as anyone who has visited Spain and made a trip in to such a store will know that they literally do sell everything you may need and a bit more, so armed with 2 tubes of silicone we tracked back to Boris. With Paul busy working on the bathroom I took full advantage of the good weather and parked myself outside with my book. Strictly speaking the aire does have rules which include not getting any tables and chairs out, but after some French turned up and parked next to us and promptly emptied almost the full contents of their garage outside their vans, with flooring, sunshades, tables chairs, dog pens etc we didn’t feel too guilty breaking the rules with just 2 chairs! Paul did join me after apply a liberal dose of silicone everywhere in the bathroom whether it needed it or not!
After a relaxing afternoon and evening the next day we were ready to hit the sights of Seville, with the sun yet to warm the day up we opted for lots of layers and a backpack each so that when by mid afternoon it reached the expected 18 degrees we could slowly peel them off. A slow 40 minute stroll found us at the heart of City and we were grateful that not only did we have a beautiful day, but we were viewing it at such a wonderful time of the year, with Christmas now just a couple of weeks away (although that seems strange even to say that with the kind of temperatures we are getting at the moment) Seville is certainly ready. The streets are decorated with a stunning array of Christmas lights taking full advantage of the famous orange trees with each one also being lit up, the city was buzzing with life (being a Saturday) and on almost every corner there was buskers just adding to a magical atmosphere. We viewed the cathedral and Alcazar from outside as the queues for both were snaking whey down the street (plus it just felt a shame to be inside on a beautiful sunny day). Having walked for what felt like miles we re-fueled at a traditional little tapas bar (Arco) tucked down a side street right in the centre. Within 10 minutes of us being seated the place was packed full of Spanish and there was not a single seat to spare. After taking our drinks order we studied the menu which was all in Spanish trying to work out what everything was – the waiter had asked if we would like the menu in English, but we’d refused on the grounds of trying to at least familiarise ourselves a little with the language. So almost completely blindly (other than the odd word) we chose 5 dishes from the menu and crossed our fingers. We were more than pleasantly surprised once it arrived (and we knew what we’d ordered) how well we’d chosen. A mixed array of fish dishes, meat, jamon, and cheese we polished it all off and were rather pleased with ourselves. The whole lunch including drinks and coffees came to less than 22 euros (around £19) not bad for a lunch for two in a major city! With full bellies we were ready to tackle the sights again and headed to Parque Maria Luisa and the Plaza De Espana a lovely relaxing place away from the hussle and bussle of the city. By the time we got back to Boris around 5.30pm we’d walked 22,000 steps and covered over 10 miles. We certainly are no need to have any guilt over that lunch!
Having seen what we wanted to of Saville we were on the move again the next day to El Rocio – although slightly off track everyone we’d spoken to had told us it was a must see so we thought we’d find out why. Having had an early night following all our walking we were up bright and early as we wanted to test the re-sealed shower before moving on and I’m pleased to report that Paul’s magic siliconing (if that’s such a word) seems to have worked and so far so good as the ground the motorhome was dry! Yay.
After topping up with fuel we hit the road and arrived at El Rocio mid morning. We opted to stay on the ACSI campsite (La Aldea Camping GPS 37.14154 – 6.49062) as the ground in the car park was looking rather soft and churned up after the recent heavy downpours of rain and we didn’t fancy getting stuck. We found our pitch and as electric was included in the price Paul plugged us in only to experience a loud buzzing as soon as he did which promptly sent the heating control panel haywire. After flicking switches & taking out fuses none of which worked we unplugged from the mains again. We’d had a similar issue on our last trip which was caused we were told by an incompatibility with the solar control panel( that we’d had installed by our dealer) and the Bailey wiring. We thought this had been rectified on our recent trip home when this was changed for a new panel and in fact when we’d plugged in back home when on our test run the problem hadn’t occurred. Being a Sunday we would have to wait until the following day to make some phone calls. After a spot of lunch we walked down into the town to see what this bizarre and intriguing place was all about. The town’s roads are all sand and the place is like a wild west cowboy town with horses and church’s almost on every street all it was missing was the saloon bars. Despite having asked several people nobody seemed to know how the town came about or why it’s the way it is. Each Sunday there is a mass influx of Spanish mainly on horseback and the church’s hold services followed by a parade through the town. Unfortunately we’d missed most of this but just caught the tail end of the parade and were still able to take in the atmosphere of this fascinating place. Having explored on foot we took advantage of the afternoon sunshine and sat outside one of the many bars and sunk a nice cold beer.
Having bought some new games for this trip our evening was spent cosied up in Boris challenging each other at Skip-Bo a card game some Germans introduced us to in the summer. So far I’m one game ahead but that’s certainly not enough of a lead to be smug!
With Monday upon us (although we do have to think which day of the week we are on),we had a few admin tasks to do making phone calls etc (one of them to the moho dealer re the electrical issue). After a lengthy phone call it was established that the problem we are having is now known to Bailey and that it is being caused by a faulty control panel. Short term we can resolve it by switching off the solar when on EHU, but it really needs a new control panel so they have offered to post one out to us so that Paul can fit it. We just need to sort out where we can get it sent to! Although originally we were only going to stay at El Rocio for one night by the time we’d faffed around with phone calls it was almost lunch time so we decided to stay put for another night which would give us time to decide where we are going to head next. With Christmas now only a couple of weeks away we want to be by the coast so that as long as the weather is kind we can have a Christmas day walk on the beach.
See you all soon
Andi & Paul xxx