Travelled : 93 miles from Teruel, Provence of Aragon to Cuenca, Provence of La Mancha.
Visited : Cuenca
Stayed : Cuenca municipal car park, $12 no services (other than toilets) but a great location, N40*04’34.2″ W002*07’46.0″
Expenses : 52 days @ €80 per day
We depart Teruel, thinking we may stop at a supermarket on the way out of town, but find within 500 metres of our car park we are out of town heading south-west on the N330. No supermarket or service station for that matter for the next 40 kilometres. In fact it’s a very isolated and lonely piece of road. We follow the Rio Turia up into the hills. The landscape is harsh and arid, but the geographic formations in the hillside amazing. Small canyons to the left and right scared by some ancient waterway give a very eerie look as we drive. Then suddenly the banks on either side of the river are lined with poplars. The leaves have turned and they are bright yellow against the arid surrounding, strikingly beautiful.
We stop at the little village of Turrebaja as we have seen the now very familiar Aire sign and we do our housekeeping and refill with water. It’s on the junction with the N429 and we can see the ruins of some structure on the hill above us, so we drive up into the village to investigate and morning tea. As it eventuates there is something of a legend to this place. The spirit of The Virgin Mary was sighted in a bramble bush here and the church and village are all the result of that sighting.
We turn on the N420 and the road suddenly improves, the next 100 kilometres to Cuenca pass easily. The land is still very hash and dry, the soil at time very red, not unlike Broken Hill.
We drive into Cuenca along a wide boulevard that leads into the new town. We refuel the Hymer and find a Dia Supermarket before heading into the old town. Cuenca, the old town sits high above the confluence of the Huecar and Jucar Rivers. It’s famous for it hanging houses that somehow hang from the cliffs above the river. Built on ancient roman ruins the Cathedral dates back to the 12th century and for the €6 a double probably the best audio tour we have had in Spain.
Anyway we have the co-ordinates of a car park that proves to be dedicated for camper cars and buses. It’s well located with access to the old town close by (via a very steep path and lots of stairs) pathway. We cannot see a cost listed but the car park attendant eventually shows and we have to cough up €12. But it’s quiet, secure and it has a clean toilet, with seats and paper, a rarity in Spain.
Anyway along with the Cathedral the old town and it’s narrow lane ways and roman ruins is a very pleasant visit. From the top there are wonderful views of the surrounding canyons and the town below. There are some nice art galleries and a few shops but not the usual touristy crap that ruins many places in our opinion. We have a couple of drinks in a little bar nearby, 2 beers and 2 wines €4.60 with wifi. Then pasta in the camper before calling it a night.