Sunday 8th February
It certainly feels much chillier across here on the Western Coast, the sun was shining and the sky was blue but there was quite a stiff wind blowing, it had quite a bite to it which required us wrapping up warm for our exploration of ‘Puerto de Santa Maria‘. Straight across from the site entrance is a nice wide promenade with a cycle track, although today we had opted to walk, it stretched down to the mouth of the Estuary, passing a lovely sandy beach, then followed the mouth of the river into the town. It was only a Twenty minute walk to the ferry where we would catch the Catamaran across to ‘Cadiz’ tomorrow, subject to the weather. Crossing the road from the ferry terminal led into the narrow streets that made up the ‘old town’. This town is like a lot of Portuguese and Spanish towns we have visited, they have kept the ‘old’ part of their towns and built the modern bits around the periphery, and this town had a very large modern area with its ‘Retail Parks’, but today we were only interested in the ‘old town’.
Monday 9th February
Fortunately the rain clouds had stayed away, the sun was shining but flipping heck if we thought it was windy yesterday that was just the ‘warm up‘ act for today, it would certainly make the crossing on the Catamaran ‘interesting’ !! The cost for two adult return tickets was only €10.60 (£8.63) for the half hour crossing to Cadiz, I was amazed that the crossing was relatively smooth in the windy conditions, I am not bad on boats but Shazza doesn’t have ‘Sea Legs’, probably why we are Fulltiming in a Motorhome and not Fulltime Liveaboards in a Yacht, the fact that I cannot sail may also have a little bit to do with it as well !!
It had taken us a good couple of hours to ‘stroll’ around the outer walls of the City, we were now ready for a spot of lunch and some exploration of the inner parts of this fantastic place. Although the photographs show nice turquoise sky and water, they cannot show the winds that had been battering us, we needed to try and get some shelter and hoped the narrow streets would provide us with some respite, unfortunately they didn’t, in fact they made it worse with the narrow walled streets just acting as a funnel for this almighty force of nature. We found a nice looking ‘Tapas’ Bar and the pavement tables looked inviting swathed in sunshine, however, after ordering our drinks and assorted ‘Tapas’ we couldn’t put up with constantly holding down the tablecloth to prevent it from flying off like a kite, our drinks and cutlery with it !! so we moved inside, as did a German couple who had been sat next to us. Immediately opposite the ‘Tapas Bar’ was the main ‘Market’, however it was closed for the ‘Siesta’ period, we keep forgetting about this bloody ‘Siesta’ !! A few doors down, amongst all these old buildings was a very large ‘Carrefour‘ supermarket, Shazza went inside to see if she could get some ‘fresh’ milk, we were getting fed up of the ‘UHT’ stuff and we had been unable to find any in ‘Puerto de Santa Maria‘, she exited triumphant with two large plastic bottles of the stuff !! Then it was time to explore some more and what we found utterly charming about Cadiz was that there was no main shopping street, all of the shops were tucked away down little narrow streets which occasionally opened up into small ‘Plaza’s‘.
Although there was no rush to get back, the Catamaran ran every half hour except over the ‘Siesta’ period, the last one wasn’t until 10pm. However, the strong wind was growing ever stronger and with it came a bit of a cold bite, on a hot summers day we could have spent several more hours here, but for today we had had enough, so we made our way back to the ferry terminal. Cadiz Island is not very long, there is a ‘tourist bus’ but to be honest it is far better to walk, you get to see so much more, but I would say that you could see it all in one day but it is well worth the visit. Our return crossing was the first after the ‘Siesta’ period at 4:30pm, we still had a good half an hour to wait but the terminal provide a very good (fast connection) WiFi ‘Hot Spot’, the girl at the ticket desk gave us the p assword so we were able to check our Emails, and other bits and pieces, which passed the time quite quickly. Now the outward journey was totally different to the return one, the waves and the ‘white horses’ were out in force, racing to see which could smash into the sides of our boat the hardest, I quite enjoyed it, Shazza didn’t voice an opinion, in fact her sun tan had gone from a nice Olive Brown colour to a pale shade of green !! I don’t think she was enjoying it as much as me for some reason ?
By the time we had walked back to the Campsite the wind was raging, I knew that I should have gone easy on those ‘Shrimp Tortillas’. The ‘Caravan Awning’ brigade were out in force, hammering pegs into the ground as if their lives depended on it, in truth, their lives probably did as this was no light evening breeze, even the large thick trunked trees were creaking, I was praying that none decided to uproot and fall in ‘Big Mommas’ direction, water in a tank of Diesel I can live with, just, but a ‘Cabriolet Motorhome’ I could live without than you very much !!
It had not been a very pleasant night, we were kept awake most of it wondering whether five tonnes of Motorhome could withstand the battering it was taking, this was not just a strong gust every now and then, this was a relentless non-stop assault !! I don’t know exactly when we had actually managed to fall asleep but we did, when we awoke the wind had abated considerably but now came the pitter patter noises on the roof, these were not scheduled until Wednesday, but then again, that’s the ‘Works of Fiction’ for you !!
There were things we had planned to do, a bicycle ride along to the Marina and perhaps a visit to one of the ‘Sherry‘ houses but it was not going to be, not today at least and with no foreseeable let up in the declining conditions we made another one of our ‘flexible’ decisions, it was time to move to a much milder, a much more settled climate again……..