On the day we left Morocco and came back into Spain I think we were all fairly glad. This slight feeling of relief was helped by having had the most expensive and disgusting omelette ever served to us the night before we left, at a ‘campsite’ where crazed dogs seemed to be allowed to just run free. It was also raining and cold. All of which helped us leave Morocco without too much sorrow. Additionally, we hadn’t had an alcoholic drink for around three weeks, which is a bit too long by anyone’s standards…isn’t it?
For all of us too, the excitement of meeting up with my mum and stepdad that very day spurred us on. We’d arranged to stay with them at a campsite near the beach in southern Spain and were looking forward to more of a week-long holiday experience than our somewhat rather more gritty general travelling life. A week of relaxing in Costa del Sol-style ease. Foolishly mum had entrusted Rob and I with suggesting a suitable campsite. We didn’t have a clue about the area and we were distracted by our travelling life in Morocco. We were not best placed to be making the decisions…
If you know Motril you will know that it is not a usual holiday destination. We were staying in Carchuna, about 10 kilometres down the coast. Admittedly there is a beach, if you can call a small, cement coloured slice of sand between the land and the sea a beach that is; but generally Motril and the surrounding area is, not to put too fine a point on it, an eyesore.
Miles and miles of polytunnel/greenhouse type things were arranged over the top of the almost invisible land. I have never seen anything quite like it before and I can report that it’s a bit depressing. The miles of plastic covering that they’d used to completely hide the actual ground and the things growing in it, was dirty and torn and it surrounded the campsite on every side. You couldn’t even really see in to get a look at what crops were being smothered under all that grey.
Poor Howie (my stepdad) had hired a fancy car for their week at the coast hoping. I think, to be able to drive along the coastline with the top down, the sea by his side and the wind in his remaining hair, but the polytunnels went on for miles; there was no escape. This was their holiday, their chance to take a break from the pressures and drudgery of home and work, the cold greyness of an English spring, and they’d come to possibly the ugliest place in Spain.
To make matters worse, it rained. I mean it chucked it down. The dark skies barely let up for the entire time they were there. Thunder, lightning and flooding occurred on at least two days and it was cold. Apparently that region had only had two days of rain the previous year and here we were sitting in their little holiday bungalow watching the puddles rise to an alarming level outside their firmly closed patio doors.
Fortunately, we decamped to Granada after four days as mum had always wanted to visit the Alhambra. It was more sumptuously stunning than I could have believed possible and Granada itself is thankfully a very lovely and interesting city.
I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologise to my mum and stepdad for not being more careful when choosing our destination. I feel like we failed in our traveller’s responsibility to find a good spot. I’m so grateful that we ended our week on a more positive note, due in no small part to the amazingly comprehensive breakfasts offered at the Hotel Carmen and the large quantities of gin consumed. Please come and see us again. We might not be able to promise good weather but we do promise we’ll find somewhere more uplifting for you to spend your precious time away. I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive us.
Your Mum and stepdad had a lovely week with you, yes it rained – hailstones even, and magnificent thunderstorms but we hugged you and cuddled in bed with Eli & Monty, what more could we want? And the Alhambra was so much more than I ever imagined, it took my breath away. And that funny little campsite will never be forgotten, but won’t be going back to that part of Spain anytime soon x
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