On the 7th of December we were up quite early and got ourselves ready for our move after our 30 day stay at Camping del Mar. Before we left we went round to say goodbye to the people we had met on the site. We will miss Harry…….a lovely Yorkshire widower who we had got to know quite well. His yarns and his northern humour kept us entertained during our stay however we will not miss his love of biscuits which somehow we were expected to supply in vast quantities.
We drove 190 miles and as you can see from the map our journey took us within view of the Rock of Gibraltar and of course we have left the Mediterranean and are now camped right on the Atlantic coast and we are stopping at Camping Las Dumas, just on the outskirts of El Puerto de Santa Maria which is the nearest camp site we could find to Cadiz. We have a huge sandy pitch and as we had arrived during a Bank Holiday then it was very busy with all the Spanish families all taking the opportunity to enjoy this well placed site.
Despite the fact that it has turned quite cloudy, it has remained mild so we relaxed and then took a bicycle ride for a quick view of the town and despite the fiesta we did manage to find a small shop open so we could buy a bottle of the local wine to go with our evening meal.
Yesterday saw us venturing out again on our bikes and we left the campsite and turned right and followed the superb bicycle track along the beach edge to the small, pretty village of Puerto Sherry and saw the harbour there.
We cycled back past the campsite entrance and headed into the town. Just as we came to where we would turn away from the coastline we came across a very large street market so we locked the bikes and joined the throng enjoying the Bank Holiday Market. Whilst in Spain we have seen lots of street markets and a common type of stall which are always packed with customers are the ones where clothing or shoes are just piled on tables, similarly displayed to an old fashioned jumble sale. The sign will say “3 euros” or the like and people just rummage. This stall, selling one size fits all jeggings, certainly made me smile and I am sure you can see why I thought it was worth getting my camera out.
We carried on into town and first came across the bullring- Plaza de Toros with these magnificent statues.
We then went on to find the cathedral and we were delighted to see the storks nesting on top of the old building. Two of these large birds stood in the same nest and each began to clap their beaks together making a loud, deep clacking sound. They would not be described as song birds but the the sound is impressive, all the same.
We continued our sight seeing and came across the castle before heading down to find where we would catch the catamaran ferry to take us to Cadiz for our day out tomorrow.
We cycled down to the ferry dock and decided against taking our bikes on the ferry over to Cadiz. The fare was 2.60 euros each, one way and the crossing took 1/2 an hour. We were dropped off just opposite the old city and it certainly wasn’t going to be difficult to find the cathedral and the other interesting buildings because we could see them as we came into the ferry port. The city of Cadiz is situated on a peninsula with sea to three sides so we rejected the hop-on, hop-off bus and we decided to walk all around the the sea walls before going into the old centre to see the sights there
On our way round we followed the spit out to one of the two castles that were built to protect Cadiz from the Anglo Dutch raiders.
We followed the sea walls round and saw lots of parks and statues and busts of important Cadiz residents from the past. Elaine decided to get into argument with one such statue but I definitely think she was given a cold shoulder.
We enjoyed the atmosphere of the narrow streets of the old city and saw lots of magnificent buildings and sights on the way round.
When we got to the cathedral we paid 4 euros each for an audio guided tour of this magnificent building which included a visit to the top of the left hand bell tower.
We both decided that it was worth paying to support this poor religious building. There were beggars outside the door desperately clutching paper cups hoping that visitors would donate a cent or two and meanwhile inside………the audio guide says this one item alone was made from silver but it did not give an estimate of its value.
We then climbed the 171 feet up the bell tower and the view from there took your breath away. However we didn’t stay up there very long because the notices up there warned you that the bells tolled on the quarter of an hour and by the time we got to the top it was already 25 minutes past the hour.