Sunday 10th February 2019, we left El Rocío and pointed Jemima north again towards Seville, as there are no roads through the eastern side of “Parque Nacional de Doñana”. Jerez de la Frontera (pronounced Herez), is where all the Sherry is made and we wanted to go there. It is just the other side of the park where we were but can only be reached by going north then south again via Seville, about five times the distance. We had been to Seville before but as we had to go there to get to Jerez, thought it well worth another visit, so we looked up a likely overnight spot on Park4Night, an app which we use all the time, it has a database of motorhome stopping places throughout Europe and beyond. When we arrived, yes it was ok for parking a car but we were not happy to leave Jemima there while we went sightseeing so headed to Gelves about 9km outside Seville where we knew of a Camper Park which was secure. It was at the Port of Seville which is a marina on the river Guadalquivir which flows through Seville to the sea at Jerez. It is a busy working boat yard basically who have found that using some of their space to park motorhomes out of season was quite profitable. There were some nice places but they were all taken by the long termers who just park up at one spot for the whole season. We were just pointed to a bit of tarmac between the boats which had been lifted out for repairs or painting. But it was secure for us to go off and see the city but comparatively expensive at €12 per night without electricity.
After a cuppa Steve pulled Suzie out of the “Garage” set our position in TomTom so we could find our way back and headed into Seville. We had been in the enormous Cathedral when we did a walking tour last time we visited, so this time we just wandered the tiny streets of course remembering to mark where we had parked Suzie on TomTom, Steve had also downloaded a new app to his phone called “Find-my-Car” so to give it a try marked our position in that as well. Apart from not having to catch buses, the big advantage of Suzie is that there are hundreds of places to park “Motos” for free everywhere in Europe an beyond so here we parked just a stones throw from the centre of the tourist area of Seville. Our helmets and gloves all pack away under the seat and in the locked box on the carrier so we can walk about freely. We had a great few hours just wandering the tiny lanes and stumbled upon this gigantic futuristic structure called the Metropol Parasol but locally known as the Incarnation of Mushrooms, which had been built over Roman foundations and mosaic floors which had been discovered during it’s construction. It’s a viewing platform which stands high above all the buildings. We descended stairs to the ticket office but seeing the que of about 500 people who obviously as it was just getting dusk wanted to see the city at night, we decided not to bother. We hadn’t actually noticed that it was getting so dark so headed back to Suzie scooter wherever she might be! So out comes the phone with the Find-my-Car app. We don’t have data on our phones so the app didn’t show a google map but it did show an arrow and a distance of 1,649 mtr so we blindly walked in the direction of the arrow through the tiny lanes and apart from getting caught in some walled gardens once and having to back-track, we more or less walked straight back to Suzie, so that app is a “goodun”. We had never been on the scooter in the dark but TomTom talks to Steve’s helmet by Blue-Tooth so finding our way back to Jemima shouldn’t be too difficult, should it?
TomTom decided that motorways were the quickest way back which is not good on a tiny scooter, in the dark at rush hour. Steve had not had the chance to mount the TomTom on the handlebars before we left so he couldn’t see the screen and had to rely on voice directions only, when it said “Take the next exit on the left” which meant crossing four lanes of high speed traffic. Steve chickened out and took a small exit which appeared on the right so as to get off the motorway ASAP. After ignoring his instructions a few times TomTom finally sorted it out and got us on the right road back home to the Marina and Jemima. Over a nice glass of wine Steve immediately sat and worked through the TomTom settings to exclude motorways and set the shortest route rather than the quickest. The quickest may be best for a car but for a small scooter which can go through alleyways the shortest must be the best and motorways especially at night are far too scary on a tiny scooter with a comfortable top speed of about 70kph!
The next day we set off again to continue our wanderings through Seville particularly the Student and Jewish quarters of the city. This time TomTom behaved and took us straight there without using motorways, phew, much safer and less stressful.
The Student quarter was wide open spaces with many restaurants and shops, while the Jewish quarter was a maze of tiny streets and alleyways but we did find there a tiny key cutting shop who cut a new key for the TopBox on Suzie as we only had one which was a bit dodgy. It cost a fraction of the UK or France and worked perfectly when we tried it later.
We had a great day, a lot of walking, but got a good feel for the city, so a little tired we made our way back to Suzie, then the boat yard via the supermarket for a few provisions.
I was still early when we arrived back at Jemima so took the opportunity to fill up with water and do some washing in the site machines so we could get an early start tomorrow.
You are probably wondering why I am posting this over a month late. Unfortunately in a few days time we get some really bad news which basically takes over our holiday but I will mention that in context in the next blog.
But today, we point Jemima south again towards Jerez and a Motorhome dealer who also has an air where we think we may be able to get some parts we need for some modifications we are planning.
So till next time, which will not be too long……..