Travelled : 98 miles from Tarragona to Peniscola
Visited : Peniscola, The Old Town and Citadel, entry €6 a double
Stayed : Camping Cala d’Oques, L’Hospitalet de I’Infant €24, wildcamping at Vinaros, N43*30’48.6″ E000*30’33.0″, free no services. Peniscola municipal car park near Police Station, N40*22’04.5″ E000*30’05.0″, free no services.
Expenses : 48 days @ €81 per day
Having enjoyed our day in Tarragona, we head off looking for a campsite. The batteries on various things need charging and then the usual housekeeping things haven’t been completed today. We stumble upon this little campsite in L’Hospitalet de I’Infant and we grab a spot a few metres from the beachfront and settle in for a quiet night. Other than swapping chargers around on the power board it’s been a very quiet and relaxing evening. We go for the usual walk have a swim before giving the Hymer a thorough cleanup.
We head south west again on the N340. I should add the Spanish road network may be even better than the French. We drive 50 odd miles today without a set of lights or even a stop sign. We stick to the N (National) roads most of the time, only travelled on the A roads (Motorways) for short distances when they can’t be avoided. The N roads are mostly single lane, duel on the hills but wide and smooth. No traffic lights or stop signs, you enter and exit via ramps even in the smallest of villages or service stations. I have never seen so many service stations, I have no idea how they can make a profit. There is almost never a single service station, they sit opposite each other about every 15 kilometres or so. Not two different brands, identical so you don’t need to cross the line of traffic. They alternate Repsol then Cepsal, Repsol again. In Spain the supermarkets don’t sell petrol as a general rule, like they do in France.
We cruises into Vinaros around midday. From the GPS I can tell the beach starts from the first turn into town so we take it. There is a small carpark with another camper already parked in the corner so we pull up along side. This whole section of coastline sits about 6-8 metres above the water line. It’s eroded into odd formations as we look left and right. There are stairs down to the beach and showers too make it all that much better. We have enough experience now to now it’s always worth a drive around before you decide to stop, so we do following the coastal street to the centre of town. It’s 8 kilometres of continuous development, apartments, town houses and the odd large home. You cannot help but notice at least half are for sale, many are unfinished and some older places appear abandoned. It would appear to be an example of the Spanish property boom and GFC combined. Signs for water view apartments €120,000 ? We eventually head back to that first little car park and enjoy an afternoon swim and a good nights sleep.
We need to do a shop and we spotted a Carrefour sign yesterday so we head off to find it. By the time we do it’s 10 kilometres back to our little car park in Vinaros, so we continue south west along the coast. There is an old citadel on the headland in Penisola and it only another 20 kilometres further on. The Rough Guide gives a great description of the citadel and how it was used for various films including El Cid (Charlton Heston, before he became a spokesman for the right to shoot people party). Anyway a quick trip into the tourist information and Pam has a map and a free place for camper cars to park. I should add, thanks to the girl originally from Kogarah who works there. We drive in and pull up next to another Hymer (bigger than ours) with a couple sitting in chairs in the shade beside it. They are Dutch and the wife has particularly good English and we have a good old chat. Apparently there is a festival this weekend and the only campsite is full, in fact we find there is a queue of camper cars outside waiting for people to leave so they can get into the place. As we wander about it appears that everyone from the Scandinavian countries are here in Spain.
We visit the citadel, at one time or another home to the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans then the Moors everyone has had a part of it. The Pope was based here for 20 years and the Knights Templar having final say on the castle and churches that survive there today. It’s a most interesting place with wonderful views of the Mediterranean and the coastline, which is now apartment blocks for as far as the eye can see. Mostly vacant it would seem. The Dutch couple give us the good oil on a little takeaway paella place around the corner and a free beach side place to stay about 20 kilometres further south, so it’s seafood paella tonight.