After our epic trip to another continent on Monday – ha! – we just did a short drive on Tuesday. We headed a bit further west to Cadiz, which is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in Europe, founded by the Phoenicians in around 1100BC. Cadiz sits right out on a piece of land that’s almost an island which is reached via a narrow sand spit from the east, and a huge impressive new suspension bridge on the western side. We drove to a big municipal carpark which seems to take up a very large area below street level, then parked and walked around the old, interesting part of town. We got to the Central Market just as they were closing up for the day at around 3pm, then headed to the cathedral and walked across the street to look at the bay east of the town, ie: where we’d come from. We spotted an official Camino de Santiago sign, which made sense to us … most Camino routes start at a church or cathedral. This one marked the start of the Augusta route, which is an add-on to the Via de la Plata route which starts at Seville. Only of any interest to Camino nerds like ourselves.
Our Lonely Planet Guide tells us that ‘the distinctive urban model of Cadiz provided a blueprint for fortified Spanish colonial cities in the Americas and the port with its crenellated sea walls and chunky forts is heavily reminiscent of Cuba’s Havana and Puerto Rico’s San Juan. ‘
We had called in to a big Carrefour supermarket on the way to Cadiz, to get some bread for lunch and a few other things, and I was horrified to see Disney branded non-alcoholic wine for kids in the alcohol section. Really a low point in marketing, I reckon.
And then another short drive to Rota, across the bay from Cadiz, to a campground. Not bad as far as facilities and campsites go, with each site screened by bushes and easy access to the beach. But I was extremely unimpressed when a gardener revved up his chainsaw the next morning and started chopping the bushes near us. No eye or ear protection, for him or us! When he got to the bushes about 2 metres away from where we were sitting, I asked him to stop and go somewhere else. He wanted to keep going, telling me it would only take 2 minutes. I told him that I hadn’t paid to stay there and have my hearing damaged. It went on like that for a while, but finally he went elsewhere, or maybe just stopped – Greg saw the chainsaw sitting outside the reception area when we were leaving. Spanish customer service shines again … not! And it’s also more proof that I’m just a grumpy old woman.
We’ve decided not to go to Portugal. We’re running out of time and during a conversation where we tried to figure out where in Portugal we wanted to go, we realised that we’ve already been to most of the interesting places anyway. So we’ll have a look at some of Spain’s interior, now that we’ve covered just about the entire Spanish coastline.