We heard the rain on the roof Wednesday night, and when we woke up Thursday morning there was snow in the hills behind us!
Glen and Steve had been listening to the English language Malaga based radio station, and they said that many of the roads inland from Malaga were closed due to snow and ice conditions. This is most certainly not normal for this area.
Now, they didn't have any actual snow in the city of Malaga which is right on the coast. But I did some research and the last time they had snow in Malaga was in 1954! And this was the coldest it has been since then.
Snow in the hills behind Fuengirola.
There's Louis, parked at the left side.
We had a discussion with Glen and Steve and decided to change our plans. We originally had reservations to do the famous Caminito del Rey trail today (Friday) and we were going to drive up to the area yesterday. But this cold and snow meant we couldn't get up there yesterday. I think I've made arrangements to change the reservation to later in February. Just waiting for an email back on that.
Also, we still needed to sort out our battery situation for Louis. So Glen and Steve took off to go to a campground a little further southwest along the coast, while Ruth and I went to look for a battery.
I had found two different places to go for a battery. First, we went into the nearby town of Fuengirola to an auto parts store. I call it a "town", but this entire coastline now runs from one built up area into the next. You never know when your leaving one and entering another because it's just so built up. It's not at all our style.
And when we found the auto parts store, we couldn't find any parking! Cars were double parked everywhere and it was so congested. Terrible area, and we'll avoid this part of Spain when at all possible. Drove around for about a half an hour trying to find parking. Finally ended up a half a kilometer away. Now, even if I found a battery, how was I going to get it back to the van??
Then, the auto parts store was quite busy. And, the guys working the counter were neither friendly or helpful. Long story short, this was a complete waste of time.
On to the second option, a battery specialty store in Marbella. This was an entirely different experience. The guy was helpful and cheerful. And, I was the only one there except for a girl doing paperwork and answering the phone. They mostly do online sales, but we were lucky to be near their actual physical store. The place is called baterias.com and based on my experience, I highly recommend them if you need an RV battery in southern Spain.
He sent me back to the van with a tape measure to make sure the replacement would fit. Only one problem...the battery I needed, he didn't have in stock. But, he said their warehouse was in Malaga and they would have it the very next day. Then, he asked where we were staying. I said we were headed to the Parque Tropical campground in Estepona, and he said they have a truck going by there every day and they would deliver it to us at no extra cost! Great service!
But...I've done my research and RV deep cycle batteries are quite a lot more expensive here than in North America. We're getting Louis a better battery than what he had before... an AGM deep cycle...at a cost of €222 ($321 CAD, $240 USD). Ouch. Fortunately, Louis's owners had left us €150 to cover a replacement battery, so hopefully they'll see the wisdom in getting a better quality battery. If not, we'll eat the extra expense.
Then, we met up with Glen and Steve who were already parked up at the Parque Tropical campground. Nice place, and a cheerful helpful girl at the reception. She pointed out the available spots, and we went and chose one.
Decent sized sites here.
Glen had a spare camping card (like Passport America in the U.S.) and we got our site for €17 ($24.30 CAD, $18 USD) per night. We've decided to stay for two nights in order to make sure Louis's new battery is installed and all charged up before we leave.
This is the first time we've paid for an overnight stay since we set out in Louis on Monday the 9th.
Kind of nice to be plugged into electric for a change and using an electric heater to stay warm. Fortunately, the weather is changing to the warmer and after our two nights are up things are supposed to be back to normal.
Still snow in the hills.
Nice laundry facilities.
But holy highway robbery on the laundry prices, Batman! €5 to wash a load, and €5 to dry. That's $14.30 CAD ($11 USD) to do a load of laundry. But, we needed to get it done so we just did it and bit the bullet. It also felt good to have a nice hot shower and get everything back into shape.
Nice indoor heated swimming pool too.
So, we're enjoying a little campground holiday break right now with all the amenities.
Oh, remember when we went cave exploring the other day? We finally have a free supply of internet, so I've uploaded the video that I promised. You can view it in the blog post here...
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