Back into the hills.

One night of dust and wind was enough for us so we almost retraced our steps as we headed north east and away from the coast.

Many years ago we had a couple of holidays on the Costa Del Sol and it was very built up then so what would it be like now? Looking at the map of Spain we could see a route that cut off a large corner and would take us through the hills and back to the coast at Valencia.

Our route took us past Jerez, over country roads north east to pick up the motorway to Cordoba then east to the town of Úbeda where we stopped the night.

Having heard how good the Spanish roads were and found them to be well surfaced and maintained so far on this trip, we were surprised to find them anything but on the long drive that day. Poor Celine crashed and rattled over the patched up carriageways and on some parts of the motorway I stayed in lane 2 when I could, to get away from the damage done by the trucks.

Again we found our aire easily, Camper Contact 46417 (GPS 38.00638º -3.37925º), but the entrance up little more than an alleyway didn’t look too appealing. However the aire was very smart, very new and well laid out in a small car park. To one side was a huge and very secure building which was a training centre for the Guardia Civil, to the other an olive pressing plant while behind was a park and swimming pool. The aire had water and dump facilities and everything was free.

The following day, Saturday 2nd April, we continued east. My intention had been to take the N322 across country towards Valencia but after the battering we had taken from the bumpy roads the previous day we elected to take the longer motorway route in the hope that the surface would be better maintained. It was a good move as the roads were excellent again. Not only smooth and well surfaced but, being Saturday, there were very few trucks on the road.

After leaving Úbeda with its hills covered in olive trees we backtracked a few km to join the A4 north and onto the high plateau at around 750m high. Mile after mile (or should that be Km?) of flat agricultural land then miles of vines interspersed with steep hills and tunnels as the road wound across the landscape before finally dropping down to the coastal plain close to Valencia.

We covered almost 300 miles and still arrived at our next stop by just after 2pm.

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