Palos – El Rocio – Cordoba. The understated, the surreal and the magnificent.


We are slightly out of sequence here as a few little mishaps we had to get through. Lets get them out of the way, David dropped his phone down the toilet, (beyond repair L) so had to be replaced, or our logo would have to go. Then as we left Cordoba, our travel wallet disappeared. So calls to bank to cancel cards etc. At least we did plan for this very eventuality but a pain all the same.

As you will know the weather has not been very Spanish for the past few weeks, with lots of rain, wind and it has been cold, down to below 5◦C at night. Within 40 Km’s of where we are now they had the equivalent of 6” of snow. David even has managed to get a cold / man flu.

All this said we have again had a fascinating week, when we were in Seville we met the loveliest couple who recommended that we head west to visit Palos, where Columbus set off on his first voyage to the Americas and visit a town called El Rocio before we switched around to head for Cordoba.

Palos has exact replicas of the three ships that he took, you can really appreciate just how small they are and how cramped it must have been on them as you can board them. We were very impressed with the understated museum, well worth the visit.


Then it is on to El Rocio, this has to be one of the most surreal places we have ever been to, it is a horse town the streets are unpaved and outside all the houses, bars, shops etc. are hitching posts. Rather than try and explain here is a link to the Wikipedia Page.

For us it was just quite weird in a lovely way, there is a festival here at Pentecost that as many as 2 million people attend, but it is the national park around it that excites and is a revelation, with flamingos, glossy ibis and many more birds to see, a twitchers paradise. There are Iberian Lynx there too, but we were not lucky enough to spot one. So letting the pictures paint a thousand words here is El Rocio

After a pleasant few days we set off for Cordoba, making our long awaited visit to Carmona, a bit disappointing to be honest, we had intended to stay at an Aire there listed by España Discovery, A book that lists wineries and olive producers etc. where you can pitch up for a night. It was not there unless we were supposed to park on the side of a cliff. So quick look in our reliable All the Aires Spain and Portugal, and off to Palma Del Rio, a nice enough spot beside an adventure playground and river. I took some pictures but suddenly my phone’s visit to water took its toll and it stopped working! The next day we headed for a campsite we had been recommended, miles from anywhere with great cycling. Our aim here was to go to Cordoba, as it was Karen’s birthday and the campsite would store the van for a nominal fee. We treated ourselves to a 55th birthday present of probably the only thing you can’t have in a motorhome, a bath! So we got an amazing deal on

So onto the bus and off to Cordoba for a few days. We had one good day weather wise but it is the La Mezquita that takes your breath away, it has to be one of the most sublime beautiful buildings we have ever seen. So below is a selection of pictures from Cordoba for you.

As we headed back to the bus station to pick up NiKi the heavens opened and we had to grab a taxi to get there a little dry! Bought the ticket back to camp and sat down to wait for the bus. Well don’t be carless about security ever. Bye bye wallet L, luckily we do have backup cards but a pain to phone back to the UK and cancel cards etc. So all in all not a good run, new phone and loss of wallet. That said we got back home to our lovely campsite and the next day it was sunny time for another run on the bicycles. Yes ‘Cycle Hell’ Hopefully we have used up all the cock ups, and minor disasters for the time being!

Here is a video of the surroundings of this campsite truly lovely.

Anyway ‘Hasta Luego’ for how.


  1. I’ve been experimenting with Italian recipes, since we’ve been touring here. We plan Spain and Portugal from this Autumn. It would be great if you would start a tried and tested selection of Spanish and Portuguese recipes that are ‘cookable’ in a ‘van.

    • Katherine, we have found the getting local food cooked for is is nearly as cheap as cooking in. So when we cook it is the things we miss from we make. Such as curries and some pasta dishes. We have found Spanish food is not very spicy. So we do our spice in the van!

  2. Glad you enjoyed Cordoba – I was so bowled over by the Mezquita that I find it hard to discribe, apart from ‘the most amazing religious building I have ever been in’ & it has such a depth of architectural and cultural history.
    Bad luck on the losses & bike rides – hope all goes well from here in -where next?

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