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Report 2007: Rambling through Southern Andalucia

By kathyk from Michigan, Spring 2012

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Page 5 of 11: On Leaving Arcos

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Cork tree with signs of harvest

From Arcos, our next destination was Medina Sidonia but Carmen wanted to go to Urbique, famous for its products in leather, to get gifts for her daughters.

We departed from the Arcos public parking garage via an exit that the parking garage attendant said would be an easy route out of town and in our desired direction - it was. We avoided a lot of city streets using his advice. On the outskirts of Arcos, we stopped to check out a place in which another ST poster had made a reservation, Hotel Cortijo Barranco. Earlier in time it was a working finca, growing olives etc. Now it has transformed itself more into a resort for tourists, and nicely done. I already covered it in a posting so will not repeat here.

From the A372, we took the A373, direction Urbique. Maybe Urbique was a little village at one time, but now it is a large town, lots of traffic and parking is difficult. There are many stores selling leather goods, beautiful apparel and objects but overwhelming in the quantity of merchandise for me. While Carmen shopped, the other three of us wiled away the time in a bar with excellent choices of prepared small plates.

On our way back to the parked car, we watched a convoy of British cars on a group tour. All the cars were made of wood. One of my companions identified them as Morgan + 4, some of you car enthusiasts may know them.

We left Urbique on the A 2304. It is a paved road that goes to Alcala de los Gazulas, passing through the Parque Natural de los Alcornocales. There are no towns along the way, not even ventas or bares, maybe a 50 mile (?) stretch. The road is good, but it is mountainous and there are many curves. This is a road where the driver has to pay attention and - drive- no lollygagging, the person behind the wheel is constantly shifting the car from second to third, to fourth, back down to third - and on and on. One must like to drive on a road like this. The route has typical scenery, no superb vistas but rather continuous oak and cork forests.

After Alcala de los Gazules, we got on the main highway the A 381 direction heading West. Now we were back on the flat plains, seeing hilltop villages in the distance, one of which was our destination, Medina Sidonia.

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