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Paella and flamingoes

We left Coll Vert Camping, Pinedo, Valencia at noon, heading for El Palmar to find the best paella restaurant for lunch and calling at the Albufera Visitor Centre en route. The 90 minutes spent at the visitor centre were well worth it, with flamingoes up close and a tall observation tower to look out across the lake.

Arriving in El Palmar just after 1400 we chose Arrocería Maribel, tucked away in a street beside one of the canals, and were lucky to find a table available. It’s recommended in the Michelin Red Guide for Valencia and certainly deserves its reputation. After a most enjoyable, if a little expensive, lunch we went in search of more traditional fishing boats at Port de Silla Quay.

Driving around the area is quite challenging in terms of navigation, as there’s no maps showing the criss-cross of tarmac and dirt roads dividing the paddy fields. Most seem to be OK for the van but TomTom doesn’t recognise most of the area and Google Maps often loses you . . . As the evening drew in, we hadn’t found anywhere to park overnight and headed for Bodega 2020, just inland. This place promised tapas and wine tasting for motorhomers (but was closed on Thursdays), and we hoped they would at least have somewhere we could park. Arriving after dark, we called the number on the gate and the owners let us in, charging €10.50 for a well-serviced pitch.

Sadly, the wine-tasting is booked up for the next few days, so we’ll move on again in the morning.