As this blog is about travels and trips as well as mending Landies, I thought I would finish the series of glass-hunting posts with some – ‘phone – photos of the trip taken on the return journey from Arcos.
We’ve travelled up the beautiful Cadiz coastline before, up through Jerez, via Sevilla, and into the Cota Doñana, and we’d travelled inland around the Medina Sidonia area, but we’d never been through the centre and the Alcornocales Natural Park.
So when we had to change our travel plans – due to lack of scrapyard at Jimena – I took a quick look at the map and off we set to Los Barrios to pick up the A381, which is the main route to Jerez.
I was most put out that we weren’t going to Jimena. It looked a good route, I had planned a couple of geocaches into the trip and all in all it should have taken about half a day.
One look at the map, and the trip to Arcos was a full day’s trip. Nearly three hours to get there, another three to get back, goodness knows how long to find the scrappy, and then if we were lucky, faffing around to get the relevant bits off.
And I hadn’t packed any sandwiches for our picnic. I would be STARVING!!
But once we started on the road, my bad humour disappeared. The scenery was stunning. The natural park is full of what seem to be huge lakes, but which according to the map, are apparently reservoirs.
The road cuts through the south-western part of the park across two reservoirs that seem to stretch for miles. Despite the main road dual carriageway status of the A381 it was incredibly quiet. It was like being on a toll road at the weekend, except there was no toll to pay and this was Friday, usually a busy day on the roads.
We came off at the Medina Sidonia junction, as I couldn’t face the idea of traipsing off towards Jerez, and then back on ourselves towards Arcos.
The road would probably have been good but it was full of hellish roadworks, and a huge wind had picked up, presumably the usual Poniente from the Atlantic.
Once past Paterna de Rivera, and the roadworks though, it was another lovely route, and eventually we hit Arcos with plenty of time to find the scrappy before lunch and the inevitable three hour siesta, or so we thought.
Finding the scrappy was the nightmare we envisaged. We had been told it was on the main road in from Jerez (it wasn’t), so we ended up having to ask directions every couple of kms as it was quite complicated to find. We took it in turns to get out of the vehicle and ask in our brilliant Spanish ‘Dónde está el desguace?’
It is, incidentally, on the road out of Arcos towards Algar – the CA5221. There is a sign next to the venta. (Pic on post from last year in May).
Post scrappy visit, we stopped at the venta and I asked where the road went. I figured we were heading in the right direction and shouldn’t need to traipse back through town. We didn’t. So we followed the road down through Algar, over the most vertiginous dam that reminded me of the famous Land Rover ad,
and back down through, towards Alcalá de los Gazules and to rejoin the A381. Well, admittedly we made the odd wrong turn in Alcalá and ending going back towards Medina Sidonia. But we got back on track in the end. Thank goodness for the GPS on my iPhone! *Blush*
If the first trip had been pretty quiet (roadworks excepted), this one was unbelievably tranquil. We had hit siesta time by now so the whole of Spain seemed to have gone to sleep and we had the road virtually to ourselves.
It was, in the end a good day out, a successful mission, and a lovely round trip. But damn! I wish we had thought about the striker plates.
And we still haven’t been to Jimena, so maybe that should be the next photo-trip post.
Arcos de la Frontera – stunning place and worth a visit
Spring flowers – reminded me of English countryside which doesn’t happen often in Andalucía
The winding road to ourselves
Entering the reservoir zone with trees growing in water
Crossing one of the reservoirs