PARKING ON THE EDGE, I.E. SEE YOU AT THE LA JONQUERA PARKING

24 January 2019

“What is Jonquera”? – is one of the questions often asked by novice drivers. La Jonquera is a parking area in Catalonia, full of legends and not necessarily good fame, which still attracts crowds of drivers every day. What is waiting for people in La Jonquera?

It is not the largest parking lot in the world – the American Iowa 80 wins in this respect – but the number of associations and stories related to La Jonquera makes this town probably the most cult place in the trucker community. La Jonquera is a small town on the Spanish-French border near the AP-7 motorway. The large number of parking spaces, convenient exits and strategic location make the whole population of drivers passing through La Jonquera decide to pause here. Although parking on the edge of La Jonquera is not only because of its location at the border…

WELCOME TO THE ALTERNATIVE WORLD

La Jonquera has everything truck drivers need: petrol stations, restaurants, shopping centres, supermarkets and shops. Unfortunately, this is also a cluster of situations that many truckers would rather avoid. La Jonquera is said to be the capital of street prostitution. Half-naked women stand on the streets, under bridges and parking lots, and there are numerous public houses around the town, such as Club Paradise, which is one of the largest places of its kind in Europe. Interestingly, most of the clients of prostitutes from La Jonquera are not professional drivers, but men coming from neighbouring countries. There are two main reasons for this cross-border sex tourism: there are no laws that regulate Spanish prostitution (i.e. it is not illegal) and the services themselves are much cheaper than in other countries. Although prostitution in Spain is not prohibited, over the last few decades prostitution has taken on a much darker face: many women in this profession come from abroad and are under the strict control of gangs. Pimps closely watch the girls looking for customers from behind the windows of bars, where they play on machines all day long. Women are often blackmailed and intimidated. Some clients say that prostitutes work there of their own free will. Unfortunately, it is often only appearances. Theft of loads and fuel in unguarded parking lots is also commonplace. Trucks are closely observed by criminals. Drivers who leave their vehicle unattended can expect to be stripped of everything that can be stolen. In unguarded areas, you should be vigilant practically all the time, because thieves can attack drivers when they sleep.

SAFE PARKING IN LA JONQUERA, IS IT POSSIBLE?

With a little effort, you can park safely in La Jonquera. The basis is a good understanding of the specificity of individual parking lots. As you can easily guess, the best parking lots are the ones you have to pay for. Some are available for the customers of the facility, others are equally paid for everyone. One of the safest parking lots is Redtortuga, which is available only for Redtortuga’s customers. The 25,000 m2 car park can accommodate 75 trucks and has a cooler area only. 32 cameras, anti-burglary fence and controlled access system make it possible for drivers staying there to sleep peacefully. Andamur’s car park is just as safe and even larger: 110 vehicles can be parked there, and access control, high fences and limited pedestrian access make it a good place for a safe break.

A PAUSE IN LA JONQUERA, YES OR NO?

On one hand, the extreme conditions in La Jonquera attract those thirsty for a strong experience, and on the other hand, they scare away the truckers who are looking for a place for a quiet stop. However, due to its strategic location and the multitude of services offered, La Jonquera is a great base for drivers travelling on the AP-7 motorway. Is a safe pause in La Jonquera an oxymoron? No, if you choose the right place to stop. First of all, there is no point in saving money – paid parking lots provide a much higher level of security. It is worth checking the opinions about the parking lot and the facilities available there. You will find this information together with the occupancy of places in individual parking lots in the TransParking application for drivers. Download it today and park safely.

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