A Sense of Place:  Travel, Photography, and Photo-art
by David E. Moon
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved

March 17-22 Olot--> Sitges--> Puerto Mazaronn

After an uncomfortable night, we drove back into town to buy a proper sling. I was a little apprehensive about driving in the city with Sheila shifting but we seemed to manage pretty well. In addition to a sling, we managed to buy a Spanish SIM card and contract for our cell phone, get and pay a parking ticket, fill my prescription for pain killers, and fill Brunhilde with diesel, all with our virtually non-existent Spanish. With my sightseeing and my photography seriously curtailed, we decided to move up our visit with an old travel friend who was wintering at the small seaside resort of Puerto de Mazarron (near Cartegena). The most direct route would be about 8 hours non-stop driving and since it was already past noon, we decided to break the trip at Sitges, west of Barcelona. The C-17, a modern divided highway through rugged terrain, was an engineering marvel and on much of the first leg we seemed to spend more time in massive tunnels than above ground. Rugged terrain gave way to rolling farmland and scattered woodlots, and finally to  the outskirts of Barcelona. Even with pain killers by the end of the 2 hour drive I was in pain and the campground at Sitges provided a welcome respite. Heading south from Sitges, we stayed on the Autopista (toll highway) most of the way. The Autopistas were fast, well maintained, and had frequent rest/service areas. Aside from the discomfort of my shoulder, driving was easy and my main concern was being stopped by the police and challenged about driving with my right arm immobilized. The autopistas and highways remove you from the landscape but occasional distant views of a ruined fortified hill village or castle broke the monotony. It was difficult to imagine what their original builders would have thought looking down on multi-lane highways, light industry, urban sprawl, and extensive irrigated citrus orchards. Even so it was a very long day through largely uninteresting landscapes and we only gradually became aware of it shifting from the relatively lush valleys to a dry, semiarid coast. Our cooperative driving mode worked well but after 8.5 hours my shoulder was pretty painful and I was glad to get into camp. There is always a bright side though, having Sheila actually take instruction (even only if what gear I wanted and when) was a rare and empowering experience. The campground was our first of its kind for the trip. Most of the residents were long term, escaping the cold winter of the north. Row upon row of caravans and motorhomes, most with an attached canvas vestibule ,often as large as the caravan or motor home, and a small car for local exploration squeezed onto their camping pad. Unlike many North American campgrounds, there was no sewer or water hook-up but the on-site store, bar/restaurant, swimming pool, laundry facility, dish washing, and full toilet and shower facilities met all basic needs. The 19th was spent doing chores: laundry, catching up on photo and journal work, emails etc. I had forgotten how frustrating having my left arm immobilized had been but it was nothing compared to having a mostly useless right arm. I had not realized how “right- handed” cameras are, my main cameras were too heavy to handle one handed, and my smaller camera impossible to operate with my left hand. Even simple things like working with my computer or getting dressed became an awkward production. Still, I was able to walk, to drive, and to sightsee, so I could not really complain. That night, our friend Monika used the restaurant bar for a presentation of her recent trip through the outer islands of western Scotland after which she prepared us an excellent meal of pasta and salad for us and two of her friends Robert and Birgit. The slide show, the meal, and the company were delightful. Robert and Birgit, also from Bavaria, are serious bicyclists travelling in a customized van designed to hold their Honda 650 motorcycle, 4 bicycles, and short term camping shelter. They also towed a caravan larger than our van for longer stays. Monika was an generous hostess and guide. We spent the morning exploring the modern fort on Cabo Tiňoso built in the 1930s to defend Cartegena. Its massive 56 foot long guns able to hurl a 1 Ton projectile over 35 miles. The guns were used only once, against the nationalists during the Spanish civil war.  The guns were incongruous against the ornate old style castle architecture with its crenulated walls, courtyards, and small enclosed stone sentry posts. Fortunately, the smaller camera that I use to shoot through the front windshield has a remote release and I was able to compose, however awkwardly, with my left hand and operate the remote shutter release with my right. We lunched at the seaside village of La Azohía The daily menu of fresh tuna salad, paella, pan fried white fish and chips, with coffee and flan was very tasty if not haute gourmet. Than night Monika had Robert, Birgit, and us over for a lovely chicken schnitzel. I was finding that my chores and computer work do not go nearly so fast with only one arm and the next day was spent catching up on chores, including grocery shopping in Cartegena. For our last evening Birgit, Robert, and we took Monika into Puerto de Mazaronn for a thank you and farewell dinner.
Slideshow Very awkward, but at least I could take photos. Route Map Route Map
On the C-17 towards Barcelona Sitges to Puerto de Mazaronn Long term winter campers at Puerto de Mazarron Castillo, Cabo Tiňoso
A Sense of Place:  Travel, Photography, and Photo-art
by David E. Moon
© David E. Moon, 2014  All rights reserved

March 17-22 Olot--> Sitges--> Puerto

Mazaronn

After an uncomfortable night, we drove back into town to buy a proper sling. I was a little apprehensive about driving in the city with Sheila shifting but we seemed to manage pretty well. In addition to a sling, we managed to buy a Spanish SIM card and contract for our cell phone, get and pay a parking ticket, fill my prescription for pain killers, and fill Brunhilde with diesel, all with our virtually non-existent Spanish. With my sightseeing and my photography seriously curtailed, we decided to move up our visit with an old travel friend who was wintering at the small seaside resort of Puerto de Mazarron (near Cartegena). The most direct route would be about 8 hours non-stop driving and since it was already past noon, we decided to break the trip at Sitges, west of Barcelona. The C-17, a modern divided highway through rugged terrain, was an engineering marvel and on much of the first leg we seemed to spend more time in massive tunnels than above ground. Rugged terrain gave way to rolling farmland and scattered woodlots, and finally to  the outskirts of Barcelona. Even with pain killers by the end of the 2 hour drive I was in pain and the campground at Sitges provided a welcome respite. Heading south from Sitges, we stayed on the Autopista (toll highway) most of the way. The Autopistas were fast, well maintained, and had frequent rest/service areas. Aside from the discomfort of my shoulder, driving was easy and my main concern was being stopped by the police and challenged about driving with my right arm immobilized. The autopistas and highways remove you from the landscape but occasional distant views of a ruined fortified hill village or castle broke the monotony. It was difficult to imagine what their original builders would have thought looking down on multi-lane highways, light industry, urban sprawl, and extensive irrigated citrus orchards. Even so it was a very long day through largely uninteresting landscapes and we only gradually became aware of it shifting from the relatively lush valleys to a dry, semiarid coast. Our cooperative driving mode worked well but after 8.5 hours my shoulder was pretty painful and I was glad to get into camp. There is always a bright side though, having Sheila actually take instruction (even only if what gear I wanted and when) was a rare and empowering experience. The campground was our first of its kind for the trip. Most of the residents were long term, escaping the cold winter of the north. Row upon row of caravans and motorhomes, most with an attached canvas vestibule ,often as large as the caravan or motor home, and a small car for local exploration squeezed onto their camping pad. Unlike many North American campgrounds, there was no sewer or water hook-up but the on-site store, bar/restaurant, swimming pool, laundry facility, dish washing, and full toilet and shower facilities met all basic needs. The 19th was spent doing chores: laundry, catching up on photo and journal work, emails etc. I had forgotten how frustrating having my left arm immobilized had been but it was nothing compared to having a mostly useless right arm. I had not realized how “right- handed” cameras are, my main cameras were too heavy to handle one handed, and my smaller camera impossible to operate with my left hand. Even simple things like working with my computer or getting dressed became an awkward production. Still, I was able to walk, to drive, and to sightsee, so I could not really complain. That night, our friend Monika used the restaurant bar for a presentation of her recent trip through the outer islands of western Scotland after which she prepared us an excellent meal of pasta and salad for us and two of her friends Robert and Birgit. The slide show, the meal, and the company were delightful. Robert and Birgit, also from Bavaria, are serious bicyclists travelling in a customized van designed to hold their Honda 650 motorcycle, 4 bicycles, and short term camping shelter. They also towed a caravan larger than our van for longer stays. Monika was an generous hostess and guide. We spent the morning exploring the modern fort on Cabo Tiňoso built in the 1930s to defend Cartegena. Its massive 56 foot long guns able to hurl a 1 Ton projectile over 35 miles. The guns were used only once, against the nationalists during the Spanish civil war.  The guns were incongruous against the ornate old style castle architecture with its crenulated walls, courtyards, and small enclosed stone sentry posts. Fortunately, the smaller camera that I use to shoot through the front windshield has a remote release and I was able to compose, however awkwardly, with my left hand and operate the remote shutter release with my right. We lunched at the seaside village of La Azohía The daily menu of fresh tuna salad, paella, pan fried white fish and chips, with coffee and flan was very tasty if not haute gourmet. Than night Monika had Robert, Birgit, and us over for a lovely chicken schnitzel. I was finding that my chores and computer work do not go nearly so fast with only one arm and the next day was spent catching up on chores, including grocery shopping in Cartegena. For our last evening Birgit, Robert, and we took Monika into Puerto de Mazaronn for a thank you and farewell dinner.
Slideshow Slideshow Route Map Route Map
On the C-17 towards Barcelona Sitges to Puerto de Mazaronn Long term winter campers at Puerto de Mazarron Castillo, Cabo Tiňoso Very awkward, but at least I could take photos.