Andorra and Northern Spain (week 4)

Week 4
Mon 25th
We woke up this morning very close to the Naturlandia wildlife park. The park is at the top of a mountain so we had slept on a rather steep incline. The price to enter the wildlife park was 10 euros each so we got dressed and gave it a go. The park was very good, albeit quiet, there were pigs and piglets, sheep, bears, lynxes and wolves. While eating our lunch, we noticed a tiny mouse popping out of a hole and gathering up crumbs. The star attraction was definitely the bears. We stood and watched a momma bear with her cubs for a while and even saw them being fed some baguettes and melons.
After leaving Naturelandia we chilled out in our van (breathtaking views) to try our pot noodle lunch and to use free internet, later we drove down the mountain side to find somewhere to stay and came across a beautiful waterfall. There was a laybay there with a water fountain so we decided it would be a good place to stay. We were able to fill our water tanks and have showers for the first time in a while. We relaxed for the rest of the evening so the sound of the crashing water fall.

Tues 26th
Slow start to the day, organised the van a little before heading further down the mountain into the town. There we visited a supermarket and bought some basics and later went to the pizzeria next door where we had a couple of beers each and shared a four cheese pizza which was freshly cooked on a flat crispy base. It was very tasty and also cheap due to the lack of any VAT or equivilant in Andorra.
We were able to use free internet there for while before heading back upto our waterfall spot where we relaxed for the rest of the day.

Wed 27th
Today we decided to investigate the Andorra’s capital, Andorra La Vella, which apparently means Andorra the city. We had read that the town was full of shops and not much else to look at and that was exactly what we got. We wondered around for about two hours in search of something interesting and eventually gave up and retreated back to the van which we had mistakingly parked inside a bus park. We had a lot of trouble escaping as there was a barrier which only seemed to accept some sort of bus drivers card as method of payment. We watched another camper having the same trouble and eventually, after attempting to speak to a guy on the other end of the intercom system, we were able to leave. 

We did a last minute cheap shop at the duty free supermarket and then heading out of Andorra and back into the spain through many mountains and tunnels, we were heading to the coast having read about an unspoilt town which was also the birthplace of Salvador Dali, Cadques. It was a very long and tiring drive in the heat and several times we though about stopping for the night. 

We eventually arrive not long before sunset and found an idealic spot to stay next to a pretty little cove with a long jetty, fishermen bobbing around on their wooden boats, clear blue water and a cool enough sea breeze. It was only a 10min walk from our carpark down a pretty cobbled path to the town center.

We settled in, cooked and had a little wonder across the small beach and onto the jetty.

Thurs 28th
Today we decided to walk into the town, We passed the museum and home of darli on our way, there were French and Spanish school pupils thereshouting and screaming with excitement. The walk to the town was a little tough at first in the midday sun and up a steep hill but the remaining 3 quarters and other side of the hill was very pleasant, flowering cacti and olive tree groves surrounded us on both sides, pretty white houses with beautifully kept baloneys and terraces guided us in the dirction of the town.

Cadaques itself is very relaxed, Spaniards were sitting around on town benches and walls watching the day go by, two or three people were in the sea and couples sitting in the little beach bars that lined the shimmering blue waters. We decided to sit on the beach for a while backed by the town to take in the sites and dip our feet in the water. The town has an arty and relaxing vibe, we wondered on further and located any amenities we may need over the next few days, cheap beer, supermarkets, free wifi ect. All of which were minimal. We wondered over the south side of the town along the sea front which took us to another harbour/ cove where there were tiny restarants and bars on the cobbles, many people were enjoying ice cold drinks and sea food that smelt amazing. 

We slowly wondered back to the van where we cooked a delicious pasta dish and gave a go at fishing off the jetty, We finally got round to drinking our wine from bordeux and also enjoyed few cold beers while attempting to catch supper. 

We were not successful  but did find our selves amused by a couple of grouchy hermit crabs.
That night we were joined by another camper, a handmade box van conversion with wooden doors and stairs.

 We heard strange noises just as we were falling asleep, almost like a loud grunting snore and definite foot steps from more than one creature all around the van. We assumed it was the dogs from our neighbouring campervan and this was confimed when we heard them barking, however the barking quickly turned into violent growling and was instantly followed by a worrying yelp. We quickly sat up and stared out the windows in the dark open space around us and to our amazement saw a huge wild boar seemingly chasing the dogs away only 2 meters from our van. The boar was followed by three tiny piglets which closely followed its mother as she charged around circling the area defensively. We watched from our window and reached for a torch for a better look, she was a menacing looking creature. A few moments later and they had disappeared into the bush.

This morning we enjoyed our breakfast and coffees outside in the sunshine before heading into the town again equipped with the new weeks budget. First we stopped at an outdoor bar with a view of the town square and ocean, there we were able to use the internet for a while and assured family we were still alive. The weather back in England was, unsuprisingly, rainy.

We tottered on around the town and found ourselves in a large fishing/marine hobby shop where we were able to drop a lot of money on super duper snorkels, we also had a look for fishing tackle before being asked to leave intime for seaesta. We wonderd further to a little supermarket where we bought ample veg and chortizo, beers and jarred butter beans. 

We headed home to the van in our quite little cove and again attempted to fish, this time from a secret little beach which we had to slide down a almost vertical cliff face to access. It was worth it, although we didn’t catch any fish we had a very nice time trying; relaxing, reading, sun baving and cold beers to enjoy for the remainder of the day. Joe spent most of the time up to his knees in the sea and swearing at his rigs. 

As the sun set we wondered back to the van where Joe cooked his much anticipated chorizo and tomato bean dish. It was delicious. 

That night, in hope that the wild boar would return, we left some squid outside the van side door. It worked a treat, they returned in the dead of night, we could even hear there wet snouts sniffing through the door after apparently demolishing the squid. We saw again that it was the same sow and pigles we had seen last night. We felt very privileged indeed after having spent days searching for them in the forests around france. 

We decided to move on today, heading ever further south down the coast but first we stopped at a secluded cliff and made our way down a rocky path to an idealic paradice cove, hidden by pines and palms and surrounded on both sides by high rocky cliffs. An excellent opportunity to test our newly acquired snorkels.  
The sea was surprisingly cold, assumlingly because the high cliffs give way to limited sunshine within the cove and never heating the waters, the waters were crystal clear and rocks under nieths us were laces with spiny sea urchents. Heather having stood on one as a child and having a spine stuck in her foot recoiled in horror at the sight of so many. We swam further out where a few yachts had anchored to enjoy the serenity of the cove. After a few hours of swimming and relaxing we made our way back up the gruelling cliff to a roasting hot van and made haste with our windows down and water spray bottle to hand.

We drove a few hours before arriving in Lestertit. A very touristy town, we abandoned ship and followed the coast very closly down miles of sandy dirt tracks  with ridiculously dangerous potholes, eventually leading us to a clearing where we parked and walked a few meters over dunes to a ginormous flat sandy beach, we could see only 2-3 other people and decided to stay the night. We cooked a rather intensive meal for a two ring cooking hob. Spicy potato, onion and aubergine fritters, a garlic aubergine dip, soft poached eggs and fried sliced chorizo. Very yummy indeed.
It was late by time we had finished cooking and eating and so got straight nto bed.

31st May
After breakfast we decided to spend the morning on the beach, being flat and sandy it wasn’t ideal for snorkelling so we read and bathed in the sun instead. We watched a father and son fishing a few meters ahead of us until we could take the sun no more, packed up the van and moved on. Every day seems to get hotter and hotter. We dedicated most of the day to driving, we passed Barcelona but and ended up sleeping by a factory.

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