I should have known that it would be a challenge to get any sleep as soon as we rolled into the campsite and saw how crowded it was. The entire campsite was full of campers, cars, kids on bicycles, and families enjoying the warm weather and wonderful Spanish sun.
The camp-host did her best to find us a small grassy section that was wedged between the mini-golf course and a camper-van. We barely had enough room to park the two motorcycles, and put up our rather large Moto Tent. Total cost for one night was 28 EUR ($34 USD).
Besides being expensive and crowded, it was also loud – especially in the evenings where Spaniards would laugh with friends and play games well past midnight. Ugh.
However, as bad as all this was, the campsite had a silver lining! It was located right next to the ocean, and oddly enough, all the campers seemed to avoid the rocky beach and forested area just behind the campsite.
Camping Punta Batuda
Just minutes from the commotion of a crowded campsite is this little piece of heaven. The bright orange lichen on the rocky shore looked beautiful against the blue waters of the Peninsula of Barbanza.
The coastal fog casted an eerie, but oddly beautiful, glow along the rocky shore.
We ended up spending most of the day, sitting in our camp chairs, end enjoying the calm sounds of the waves lapping against the rocky shore.
The evening was especially beautiful, as we watched the sun descend behind Monte e Lagoa de Louro to the west of the campsite.
We reluctantly returned to the campsite, full of people laughing and carrying on well past midnight. I put in my earplugs, and tried my best to fall asleep in preparation for tomorrows day of riding and sites.
A New Day
We were up at 7 AM. The campsite was now quiet. We casually ate breakfast, carefully packed up our campsite and tent, and loaded all the bags onto our pack mules. At exactly 8 AM, we started the mules, and rolled away from the campsite. Although we enjoyed the day on the rocky shores, the noisy evenings made me glad to put Punto Batuda Campsite into our side-view mirrors.
That morning we enjoyed riding through some nice forests regions on our way to the seaside town of Camelle. Before long we were near the place know as the Casa do Alemán or the “House of the German”.
Casa do Alemán (House of the German)
When Mangred Gnädinger, a German, moved to Camelle, Spain, he was clean-shaven and attended church every Sunday. But in the 1960s, something changed in him. He rented a small portion of land next to the coast, built a 7×10 foot cabin, and planted a garden.
By the mid 1960s, he had grown out his hair and had a long beard. He also wore just a loincloth in all kinds of weather. The locals began to just call him “man”.
Man lived in harmony with nature and creating strange sculptures on the beach. As his work progressed, people took notice and visitors would pay a small fee to see his work.
In 2002, an oil tanker had ran aground and the oil contaminated Man’s beach. He was devastated and ended up dying a month later. Some say it was the sadness that killed him.
Just down the road from the House of the German is a museum dedicated to Mangred Gnädinger. Since it was Monday, the museum was closed but we enjoyed taking pictures with the statue of The Man.
A little further from the museum we noticed this small school where kids were using the plastic they found from the ocean shores to make art. We liked the masks made from foam and plastic parts used by fisherman…
…and this brightly colored fish made from plastic soda bottle twist tops.
It was really enjoyable to take some time to learn about a unique individual who clearly was remembered by the seaside community of Camelle. How will we be remembered when we have died? I hope it’s for our kindness, friendship, and love.
Just a little further to the northeast was our next destination.
Playa de los Cristales (Crystal Beach)
Normally, Chantil and I plan the sites and our route together. However, sometimes I like to surprise her. I knew she would love this place, so I kept it a secret from her until just before we arrived. When she asked “What is our next destination?”, I just told her “A beach that you will love.”
I knew Chantil would be excited about this place because she is always looking for sea-glass when we walk along the beach. It turns out that this small beach area is completely full of sea-glass!
How is it possible that there is this much sea glass in one area? This particular beach was near an old glass landfill that had long been cleaned up, but all the glass shards have spend years being massaged by the waves and the rocky bottom, and then washed back onto the shore among the rocky sand. There are also many signs reminding visitors to not remove any sea-glass so that future generations can continue to enjoy this unique beach.
We enjoyed sifting through the sea-glass and picking out colors to make a small flower mosaic out of the clear, brown, and green colored pieces.
The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying more twisty forested roads on our way to the seaside city of A Coruña.
Next Blog Post
The north coast of A Coruña provided us a full day of discovery to include a space age lift to Monte de San Pedro, an octopus made from colorful tiles, the ancient Tower of Hercules, and a modern Stone Henge type memorial.
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10 Aug 2020