Day 38 Seville to Corboda

Today was the day Howard ate his body weight in garlic. I will explain later.
We left our campsite just south of Seville, and headed east towards Cordoba. Our guide book suggested stop offs at two other Andalucian towns – Carmona and Ecija. The first, Carmona was only just over half an hours drive from Seville. It sits on a ridge overlooking farmland, and is touted as a mini-Seville, with a Roman remains, stately palaces and a substantial church. It is indeed a very good looking town, and as we drove towards it in the sunshine our spirits lifted. That was until ‘Natasha’, our posh sounding female Garmin satnav (named after Natasha Kaplinsky, the newsreader, because they sound similar), started to misbehave. Usually, she is the sensible one of the pair. ‘Boris’, our VW satnav that came with the van (posh sounding, useless and a bit of a baffoon – you know who he’s named after), is usually the one who takes us on a wild goose chase, but this morning it was Natasha who decided to have fun. So as we climbed up the tiny winding lanes towards the ‘Centro Historico’, the cobbled streets got narrower and narrower, and then hit a ninety degree turn which frankly looked impossible. Somehow, Howard kept his cool and managed to negotiate Oscar round the bend, and we found ourselves right in the middle of the central square, with all the locals looking at us. Undeterred, we parked up, slightly overhanging a doorway, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible, and went and had a coffee in the sunshine. Our nerves only held out so long, however, before we dashed back to the van to check that it hadn’t  been clamped.
Moving on, we headed towards Ecija (pronounced E-th-y-ha), a town which the Lonely Planet told us is a hard-working Andalucian town which tourism has overlooked. What a gem this place turned out to be! The architecture of the town stunning, with several churches with spectacular towers, narrow cobbled passageways, tiled exteriors, orange trees in fruit at every turn and pretty geranium-filled pots on window-ledges – a real picture. The piece de resistance was a gorgeous central plaza, filled with cafes, playing children and a general meeting place for the town. Being a Sunday, the churches had just emptied, and families seemed to step out of church into the open air cafes for their Sunday lunches of tapas. Not wanting to feel left out, we sat down at one cafe in the corner of the square and asked for the menu. The only problem being, was that our waiter didn’t speak English, and the menu was obviously in Spanish. Having exhausted the data allowances on our phones, and unable to access WiFI, we then proceeded to order ‘pot-luck’ tapas. We randomly pointed to things on the menu, and awaited with interest. The first thing that came was garlic soaked artichokes – quite pleasant. The next Calamari, which Howard ate. Then a large plate appeared with an entire roasted garlic bulb and more, interspersed with a few bones, possibly chicken. The whole dish was swimming in garlic butter. The smell of garlic was so pungent that I smelt it coming. Heroically, Howard started eating. Only a third of the way through, and two more dishes appeared, some sort of garlic chicken kebabs, again dripping in garlic oil. Deciding that I may as well join in this garlic fest I ate some of the kebabs. The entire bill for the lunch, including drinks, was 11 euros. A bargain, even if I did have to tolerate the pungent stench of Howard all the way to Cordoba. Was are now sat in a hotel lounge drinking, wait for it – Caorrun and Hendricks! I may never leave, but Howard wants to explore the old town and go for supper, so I may have to be dragged from my seat. Tomorrow we explore Cordoba. Before then, we may need to swot up on Spanish tapas translations!

4 thoughts on “Day 38 Seville to Corboda

  1. 1. We actually did wedge a hire car accross a corner in Basque country! Fortunately it already had a huge scratch when we picked it up so a few more didn’t shoe up. Nightmares for some time and to this day when roads get like yours!!
    2. I think that google translate enables you to download Spanish and a few other languages onto the phone for just such situations?
    Anyway, a good story!!

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  2. We had a similar sat av malfunction in Italy, which lead to us trying to take a hire car up an alleyway that progressively became narrower and narrower until it would have been tight for a bike.

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