Not such a pane – the trip to Arcos

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

Alcalá

Entering the reservoir zone with trees growing in water

Crossing one of the reservoirs

Advertisements

Desguaces (scrapyards) in Andalucia

It’s always good to waste time, I mean travel around usefully, looking for scrapyards in Andalucía.

So here, for anyone who wants to visit them, is a list of some of the ones we have visited in the search for Land Rover spares in the provincias of Málaga and Cadiz.

So, first up Málaga province.

A quick google and some queries on a very helpful Spanish forum – 4x4malaga revealed the main contenders to be at:

Valle Niza
Malaga Industrial Estate (Poligono Guadalhorce)
Estepona

There a couple of others at Cartama/Coin but we haven’t visited those.

At Valle Niza you can find Discos and Freelanders but no Defenders/Series/Santanas.

‘Possible en Málaga’ we were told.

So, off to Málaga.

The industrial estate is well-signed and easily found. For anyone who doesn’t know, it is basically east of the airport, off the ringroad/autovia. If you don’t do Spanish look for Poligono Industrial, or sometimes PI with a factory type image.

There are loads of addreses for scrapyards on Carretera Azucarera- Guadalhorce. This is one of the main arterial roads of the estate, it runs south to north on the far west of it. Easy eh?

Well yes, if there hadn’t been road works. I gazed at every single plot we passed on our side of the road and not a single one was a scrapyard. Got to the end of the estate and found ourselves at an oil refinery. Nope. Not what we wanted.

Argument ensued between navigator and pilot about inadequacy of navigator. Navigator insisted she was correct and threw maps, directions, addresses and anything near to hand at pilot.

Plan B. Ask someone. In fact Plan B in Spain should always be Plan A.

Navigator well sulky by now so refused to ask.

Reluctantly agreed to drop window so pilot could ask a worky wandering up.

‘Where’s the scrapyard?’ or ‘Donde esta el desguace?’

‘Just down there on the right mate, where the trees are.’ or ‘Muy circa a la derecha amigo, donde estan los arboles.’

Or words to that effect.

So just for the record, the navigator was correct. Anyway, we parked up and decided to go through the scrapyards systematically from top to bottom. Actually the navigator decided that, as she was feeling very smug and assertive.

What neither of us thought of, was marking down which scrapyard had what vehicle, which, when there are 12 or so scrapyards all looking the same, is not good. At all. By the time we had got to the end we had seen four Land Rovers, and could only remember two of the places where we had seen them, and one of those only had a basket case.

Moving on swiftly down the coast to – Estepona. El Padron del Rio. Note – google has one listed on the poligono. It does not exist. The one at Estepona is best approached from the east, and is just after KM 160 on the N340, take a right when you see some bath store or something like that. No Land Rovers when we went though.

Cadiz province

Next up, scrapyard in Jimena. Hmm, what scrapyard in Jimena? Couldn’t find it on the internet search so asked at our local garage in Gib. Found a mechanic who lived there. No scrapyard in Jimena – but – there was a good one at Arcos. Quick change of plan and shot off up to Arcos to Desguace San Miguel.

First one, incidentally, that we have found here that allegedly opens on Sat morning – or so it says on their website. I would advise ringing before turning up on Sabado. It was huge. And it did have four Land Rovers, in various states of dismantling. There was no vehicle newer than early 80s.

Arcos is very pretty though and so is the surrounding countryside. And the venta at the bottom of the road does tapas with excellent olives and drinks for a very fair price.

So:

Lesson numero uno. Take pen and paper and definitely write down the name of the scrapyard and what you have seen at that one. And what parts it has that are useful.

Lesson numero dos. People say that in Spanish scrapyards you can not take off your own bits. Oh yes you can, so take your tools so that you are prepared if you are allowed to do so. Ask nicely, tell them you have your llaves and all your herramientos. If you are really lucky, someone might help you – although they might ask for a tip.

Lesson numero tres. Ask to look at the vehicle you are interested in. In some places you can wander off if they like the look of you. In others you have to join a queue. So far, experience says, queuing to see a basket case isn’t worth the time. Whatever, do not wait thinking people will ask you what you want. Join the queue if there is one, but otherwise, approach people and ask. You will always, in the end, need to speak to the yard supervisor. S/he is god and will tell you if they have the vehicle and, if you like the bits, they will give you a price.

Lesson numero cuatro. If you like what you have seen and you can afford it, accept the price you are given. We saw a most entertaining argument – in Arabic – between a Moroccan wanting a tyre cheaper than the given price, and the Moroccan scrapyard worker telling him he couldn’t have it for any less. Just pay, we all have to live.

Lesson numero cinco. They shut between 2pm and 4pm. Arrive in time to do what you want. Or for them to do what you want – which will take even longer. Come back at 4pm or – come back next week.

Lesson numero seis. When someone tells you there is a scrapyard some miles away, do not assume it is correct unless you get exact details or co-ords. But on the other hand, if you are looking for a desguace, always ask a) someone who appears to live locally b) a road worker c) any garage mechanic d) at a petrol station e) a truck driver.

Lesson numero siete. Make sure you know all the relevant words. There are three words for scrapyards – to my knowledge – in Spanish. Desgauce, chatarra, and cementario de coches. You may need to try all those out before they understand your accent.

Suerte!!

List of scrapyards and addresses here:

Valle Niza

Auto Desguace Valle Niza
Ctra. Cádiz, Km.3, Vélez-Málaga Málaga
952115853

Malaga

Auto-Desguace Hnos. Gonzalez S.L.
Ctra. Azucarera-Intelhorce, 13-B 29004 Malaga
952173704

Autodesguace García, S.L.
Ctra. Azucarera-Intelhorce, nº 13 A 29004 Málaga
952171753

Autodesguace Inter S.L.
Carretera Azucarera-Intelhorce Nave 11 B 29004 Málaga
952173593

Auto Despiece del Automóvil Hermanos Martín
Ctra. Azucarera-Intelhorce, P.I. Guadalorce Málaga
952173875

Auto Desguace Hermanos Vargas
Ctra. Azucarera-Intelhorce, P.I. Guadalorce Málaga
952173452

Auto Desguace La Alberca
Ctra. Azucarera-Intelhorce, P.I. Guadalorce Málaga
952173160

Scrap Yard – Auto Desguace El Inglés
Ctra. Azucarera-Intelhorce, Nave 7 Málaga
952241551

Auto Desguace Avilés
Ctra. Azucarera-Intelhorce Málaga
952173423

Estepona

Desguace Rio del Padrón
Ctra. Cádiz-Málaga, Km. 159 Estepona
952804096

Arcos de la Frontera

Ctra.Arcos-San José del Valle, Km 2
956 70 20 71 – 856 02 31 21 – 956 23 16 61

Thanks again to everyone on 4×4 Málaga for all their help in finding desguaces. Much appreciated.