A slow meander to the South
After a lovely few days in San Sebastian, a place we will definitely return to and would recommend to anyone who is looking for a long weekend away. (flights seem to come in at just under £100 and spotted quite a few hotels) it was time to put in some more miles. Our resting place today was a spot at the top of a hill (or maybe a mountain) with a stunning view over Bardenas Reales, a semi-desert natural region, or badlands, of some 42,000 hectares in southeast Navarre. What an idyllic spot, parked near the mirador with stunning views in all directions. We were the only motorhome there that night and saw nobody, save for a local foraging for mushrooms. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy night so no stargazing.
After a lazy morning, we decided to head off making a quick stop to have a look at some cave dwellings carved into the side of the hills near Argueda. The dwellings emerged towards the end of the 19th century as places that could serve as homes for local people who could not afford to buy somewhere to live. Totally around 50, they were inhabited until the 1960s when social housing became more available.
Next stop was Arnedillo to find the thermal pools I had come across on the internet. The only parking available for vehicles over 2m high is an aire right up the top of very steep hill! After a very late lunch/very early dinner we headed down the hill to for a dip. The thermal baths contain hot water filtered from deep down in the earth. This water is used by the spa, but there are three small pools that are free to use. There are three pools varying slightly in temperature from hot, to hotter to very, very hot (around 52c), those who are brave take a plunge in the icy cold water of the adjacent river. I mentioned to dip my toes in which immediately went numb! The pools were a lovely treat and are the perfect fix for travellers missing the luxury of a hot bath.
Up and out reasonably early (well for us!) we headed to the town of Enciso, the location for a series of dinosaur prints – a pretty impressive sight all for free. After a spot of lunch at Fontellas beside the river we decided to head towards the in search of some warmth – we were running out of cold weather clothing! We made it as far as Fraga when we were losing the light so decided to call it a day.
After not a great deal of sleep thanks to some noisy cars and music to the early hours we hit the road again. En route we decided to visit the abandoned village of La Mussara (north of Reus). Now little more than a ghost town, La Mussara contains the ruins of a small village perched in the mountains, inhabited until some point between 1950 and 1960. The official reason for its decay has been associated with phylloxera, an endemic insect invasion that decimated local vineyards, which locals depended upon to make a living. It felt weird to think that up to as late as the 60s the village was still inhabited. We were also were blessed with stunning views right down to the coast – our next stop.
After heading back down the mountain (praying that we had enough diesel not to get us to the bottom), we sought out a fuel station (not many are open on a Sunday). We made our chosen spot for a the next few days just in time to enjoy a fabulous sunset. It was our 3rd visit to this little spot just south of Cambrils on the way to Mont-Roig del Camp, it’s at the end of a very bumpy track and looks like the starting of a resort that wasn’t ever finished. There’s absolutely nothing there save for a small beach, we love the remoteness.
Well that’s us sorted for the next 2 or 3 days 🙂
What a diverse week? Moutains, dessert, dinasours, cave house, thermal pools and beaches – I wonder what next will bring?
Arguedas, Navarre (Parque Senda Viva) N42 12′ 12 W 1 34′ 52″ – no services
Arguedas – nr cave houses N42 10′ 23″ W 1 35′ 25″ – free aire emptying and water
Arnedillo – N42 12′ 50″ E 2 14′ 22″ – €10 pn – all services (EHU extra)
Enciso – N42 8′ 15 E2 15′ 19″ – free parking no facilities
Fontellas – N42 1′ 0″ E1 33′ 17″ – free parking (next to train track so probably not suitable overnight)
Fraga – N41 31’40” E0 20′ 32″ – free parking next to river, nice spot, but noisy on Saturday night cars, music
La Mussara – N41 15′ 8″ E1 1′ 42″ – small parking area – busy on the weekend
Mont-Roig del Camp – N41 3′ 5″ E1 0′ 57″