The end is in sight, this is the last story of this chapter! Huelva is our end point of the Cross Europe Roadtrip and we are almost there. “Only” 2000 km to go!
After our time in Cinque Terre it was time to drive to southern Spain, we had broken this stretch into three long days of driving. The first stop we made was in the south of France, then around Valencia after which we drove the last part towards Sevilla/Huelva. It were long days of driving, we usually started driving around 8/9 am and arrived at our place to sleep around 5 pm. Unfortunately, the sleeping places were not always a success, or well, our sleep was not always a success. In France we had become a bit paranoid because of all the stories we read about burglaries, that with every passing car or strange noises we immediately sat up in bed and looked out the window to see where the noise was coming from and whether no weird things happened… not very relaxing… The next night in Spain we both woke up in the middle of the night, not really knowing what was keeping us awake. But we both had the idea that we were being stung…. And after a while we found out that this was not only something in our head, but that we were actually stung. They were probably some kind of midges that were almost transparent and very fast. This made them very difficult to see and kill. After more than an hour of searching the bus with flashlights and killing quite a few flies, we decided to continue sleeping. But we would still encounter many flies in the following days and we were both covered in bumps. The rest of the trip went very well and after 3 days we were finally near our final destination Huelva.
Annual Car Inspection (APK), Spain
But we still had to arrange something in Seville, the annual car inspection (APK). We had slept in a very nice place on a mountain overlooking Seville, but we had to get up in time to go to our APK appointment. We had already taken into account traffic jams, but it was a bit busier than we thought on the road. Fortunately, we arrived just in time at the place where the APK would be done or at least that’s what we thought. Jap had not entered the correct address in the navigation. As it happens more often, we started calling this a Jaspertje: knowing something for sure and having the feeling that everything is planned perfectly only to find out at the supreme moment that you have actually made a lot of assumptions and things are therefore going wrong. Jap has done this many times before and it’s starting to become a bit of an (annoying but somewhat funny) classic. Going to an exam on the wrong day, having the wrong time for a ferry in mind that makes you miss it or being on the wrong day, time or location for your appointment. It happens Jap more often…. So we quickly looked for the right address, but this was still a 20 minute drive and with this traffic probably more. So we would be late and we couldn’t reach anyone at the inspection location. Once we got there we also understood a little better why, because it was a huge location with a lot of inspection station. It was really busy and there was a big sign where your license plate appears on when it was your turn. Because we were so late and there was a very long queue at the counter, we decided to make a new appointment online for tomorrow morning… For attempt two for the APK we had taken even more time to avoid being late due to the traffic jam. But despite that we still got stress on the way whether we would be on time because it was so busy on the road and there were so many traffic jams. Fortunately, we arrived at the ITV 10 minutes in advance, so we were in time for the inspection. Now we had to wait for our license plate to appear on the screen. When we saw that another Dutch oldtimer was going through the inspection, we asked the person if we had understood it correctly and just had to wait for our license plate to appear which he confirmed. It was already his turn so it had gone well with him, it would probably work out well for us. But after an hour, our license plate had not yet appeared on the screen and in the meantime all the cars and vans that were there before us had already had their turn. So we really started to wonder if everything was going well. We had thought that it was Spain so maybe not all would go on time, but now it started to take a really long time. After another half hour of waiting and not having seen a license plate on the screen, we decided to go inside and ask. And guess what…..you first had to register and pay….nice…. Fortunately, the lady immediately helped us register and we were on the screen and in the inspection station 4 minutes later. Then the next challenge began, figuring out exactly what to do. The inspector couldn’t speak English, and we only un poco espanol. In the meantime, everything was checked, all lights, emissions, brakes and suspension, with hands and feet he was able to make clear what we had to do. Jap in particular was still a bit tense, would Bob make it…… But it was also really nice to experience this once, normally you don’t see much of your APK, but here we could really see where they actually pay attention to. And where not at all. Finally Lon could ask if Bob was bueno and the inspector could tell us that everything was muy bueno. We were also able to quickly collect all the papers and everything was already arranged for us at the RDW. We actually did not expect that once you know that you have to register, the inspection would go so smoothly. Relieved, we got back in Bob.
Between the two attempts to do the APK we also visited Seville, because we were both quite tired of towns, we didn’t look around for very long. We did look for a Lebara SIM card, but without success. We had a cup of coffee somewhere and had lunch in the afternoon. We both found that the city was very chaotic, dirty and noisy, but this could well have been related to our city fatigue.
Now that the APK was arranged, we still had 3 days to spend, or actually we could rest for three days from all the driving and enjoy the sun. Until now we have spent very little time on the beach and where we were at the moment, the only thing to do see was the beach. These days felt like a holiday within a holiday, we took it easy. We slept in, walked a bit on the boulevard, ran on the beach, ate tapas at a restaurant and especially spend time in the shade of our awning on the beach. We also had a lot of fun in the water with the inflatable band, since the water had the perfect termperature. You could cool off in it and there were nice waves that we had a lot of fun with. We also visited the village where we drank a cup of coffee and strolled through.
And now on to the next chapter, the Canary Islands.
Much love from us,
Jap and Lon
Menu of the week
|Wednesday||Udon Noodles with Vegetables|
|Saturday||Buffet Diner on Ferry|
Spendings of the Week
Budget per day €54 and per week €378 and per month €1700
Driven kilometers: 1118