Packed we head for the car via the bar which is already filled with local caballeros enjoying coffee and bullshit. The conversations are loud, the players gregarious and laughter a plenty. We head out in the rain, heavy skies our companion. We decide on a rural drive. Passing through Penarroya we sidetrack through Belmez, navigating the labytrinth of narrow streets with Dee tugging at side mirrors. Pics of a castillo on the craggy hill and we go round in circles eventually finding the “road” that will take us past Sevilla to the coastal town of Cadiz.
We encounter a drive signposted as 900m of winding road. Over 60kms later we emerge from Parque Nord in Andalucia. On the way we pass abandoned coal mines, salubrious haciendas, wild deer and kilometres of open space and hills as far as the eye can see. We also pass 5 cars in 2 hours, finally stopping at Cazalla de la Sierra for lunch. This town represents our first contact with Moorish influenced design and architecture.
We have 2 days car remaining and decide to skirt around Sevilla and head for the port of Cadiz. I am expecting to see history and the Atlantic but when we finally arrive it is disappointingly overdeveloped (Surfers Paradise x 1000), decaying and very difficult to navigate. Perhaps we have been in rural areas too long. We head out towards Tarifa, the closest point to Africa / Morocco but our destination is Conil de la Frontera, about which we know nothing. Heading out of Cadiz is a nightmare but a combination of Dee’s navigational skills and luck see us on the right track. We arrive in Conil late, book a hotel and walk on the long flat beach. Dee dips a toe in the Atlantic. The moon rises to our right and the sun sets over the ocean to our left. One of those moments to remember, a calm and romantic ending to a long day of driving. Dinner is fantastic, our first really good salad, vegies and Sole to die for. Cocktails, red wine and balmy warmth complete the night.
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