Day 2, Family Camping in Spain After Coronavirus Lockdown: The White Donkey

Here’s our first family camping road trip after 3 months of strict coronavirus lockdown in Spain. When Spain effectively opened up its borders to the rest of the EU countries (and UK) on 23rd of June, about a week earlier than announced, we ended up scrambling to pack and head to Poland.

But then questions loom… Will the borders be open with actual “free movement”? Will there be CV-19 checks at the borders?

For camping purposes: Are campsites open?  If so, how is social distancing gonna work out with all those travellers? What about swi.ming pools and playgrounds?? What about the kids!?!?!?!!

We have plans to stay at small, rural camping sites, back up plans and back up to the back up plans… talk about overkill!

After 510 kilometers and over 7 hours on the road, we arrived at Camping El Burro Blanco (The White Donkey) and we could throw away all those social distancing queations.

Why? Apart from the warmly welcoming Dutch couple-owners, we were the only ones in this huge truly-greenspace-of-a-campground. Our only contact was with one of us during registration and payment, with masks on of course.

Camping at the White Donkey is exactly what we are looking for.

Here. It’s perfect. You hear the crickets sing, the cows moo as they move back home, and yes the mosquitos buzzing as they struggle through the not-so-gentle night breeze.

This camping is all about privacy and tranquility. It has its own little forest with mature trees. It’s shaded it’s wild camping with a hill and a nice view point of the medieval town about a kilometer away.

Being stuck in urban settings with hardly any patch of decent green space, it’s great to finally be in the middle of it all. It is exactly what the boys needed.

Mother nature. It’s a chance to be a little wild, or at least to be “in nature” and discover.

The boys and I were walking to the bathroom when they suddenly jumped up and screamed, “Tata, look!”

A tiny pinky-sized frog that blended with the stones and froze up when touched piqued their interest. And the boys spent half an hour observing it and asking questions.

Then there were lizards and all kinds of ants, big and small, with well-established ant paths. “Look, Tata, it doesn’t bite!,” my four-year old said, with wild eyes open!

The campsite even comes with some sort of free-roaming, impromptu, domestic animal park next door, with at least 300 goats and several dozen cows and a couple of farm dogs.

You can just stay here in the campsite all day, chillax and be entertained. That’s what we did, in keeping with the theme of unhurried family camping road trip.

The boys also played football in the forest with a wide enough clearing.

It’s quite interesting to notice the cooling effect of the little forest. For example when we were in the forest, it was quite cool, but when we walked towards our somewhat sunny pitch, the 30-plus degrees Celsius temperature made its effect known yo

The downside to this sort of semi wild camping is that there are bugs all over the place and, one time, a farm dog was barking right across from our tent on the othersidw of the tall wire fence. It was likely only saying hello to new people than protecting its cows.

What about the campsite itself?

Ok. Here’s some details for you happy family campers.

There’sno problem with social distancing here because we’re the only ones here. Even if other guests show up, the lovely Dutch couple were prepared for it.

Half of the WC, showers, toilets and sinks were closed off, following social distancing guidelines.

Bathrooms. We even have our own designated bathroom. Bathrooms are modernized and super clean.

The camping site has disinfectant spray, soap and all kinds of stuff to help guests stay clean and hopefully virus-free.

The pitch. We had was semi-hard pitch. It’s not a manicured lawn nor a dirtpitch like in southern Spain. It’s just normal “wild” earth and no problem with tent pegs going down going through the ground. The pitches are flat.

Plenty of separation between pitches/plots. Big area of separations. The pitch itself is about at least 70 square-meters big; big enough to fit our three-person tent and a car and twice that and then some.

Shade. Plenty of shade from mature trees in all directions.

Safety. The once-municipal campsite sits on a side of a mountain and enclosed by a 2-meter wire fence, including the forest and the viewpoint.

Plus+++. Another good thing about this campsite is that it has a great viewpoint of the medieval town of Mirador del Castanar.

With that and the forest and isolation, you’ll need nothing else for entertainment Just stay in the camp and do nothing. It’s chill time even watching the cows freely roam the grounds up and down the hill from the morning to the night with the goats bleeting, and their bells cling-clanging. They provided quite an entertainment for the kids, for all of us. Especially the ones that came near us, on the other side of the fence.

The camp has its own recyclables basket and pre-installed clothes line for laundry. These little conveniences that other camps don’t have.

Oh, no. No Wi-Fi? Don’t know if there’s Wi-Fi. We really didn’t need it because we had our own and we were busy doing other things.

Others? There’s a library with a lot of books. But it’s not available during this post- lockdown period.

There’s a bar near the reception though we didn’t get to stop by.

Areas of Improvement. The camp, while good for the wild-eyed, nature-loving children, is not necessarily made for children. The bathrooms are quite tall that our four-year-old could not wash his own hands without bumping into the sink. Tgis can be solved easily with a stand from IKEA.

There is no playground there. But who needs a playground when you have nature as your playground.

That’s it. Oh and the the last 300 hundred or so meters to the campsite is on dirt road.

Payment is by cash only. Total cost for the day is 33 euros for a family of two adults two children (4 and 8), a car, tent and electricity during “high” season in July and August.

That’s it. Please excuse the typos etc… doing this on my phone and using Google’s Live Transcribe.

Note: in case some of you are wondering…. NO, we are NOT getting paid by anyone from posting this camping sute review. 😊😷

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