27. Apr, 2017

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THURSDAY 27-4-17

My word that was a cold night, during which I heard what sounded like rain on the roof from time to time.

I was up at a good time motivated by the fact that we were back on the road today heading towards home having seen the best of the weather. As I walked around to the front of the vehicle in my dressing gown (covered with my mac, zipped up - it was cold) I noticed that the bonnet had a light covering of snow all over it, so perhaps it wasn't rain I heard during the night after all.

Having finished my shower over at the block near the entrance I looked out of the window to see The Chef making her way up there. The sun was shining beautifully, yet it was still very cold (let's face it, if you're going to walk around with just a dressing gown on, you're going to feel just a tad cool).

After breakfast we got the vehicle ready for the road and then we were away. The dashboard kept warning me of low outside temperatures, down to about 4˚C as I recall. Who cares? We were on our way. Again today we were able to enjoy wonderful scenery for the first part of the trip. I have been most impressed by the scenery of both Castilla Y Leon and Castilla la Mancha. Huge, huge, wide open spaces, and when viewed from a mountain road, scenery below which goes on for mile after mile. This has been the most picturesque part of Spain to date. The things that enhanced the landscape were the numerous castles, and walled towns and cities, built long before the lazy Spaniards came up with the idea of the siesta. Can you imagine the Romans and Moors saying "I'm sorry darlings, but it's just too, too hot to work. I really must go for a lie down".

Many of the places we've visited through central Spain have been very nice, (even nicer if you like looking round cathedrals) but tourist crowds aside, the most annoying thing has been what I would term 'Four-Wheel Tourists'. These people surpass the fat, lazy sods back in Benidorm, in that they will use their cars to visit each and every 'sight' in a town or city. No matter that the streets are very narrow or crowded with tourists, these people have no intension of getting out of their cars and walking anywhere, they're going to do it all by car, pulling up at the appropriate time to wind the window down and take a picture before slowly moving off again.

Sometimes technology can be a wonderful thing. Back in Seville a very nice family gave me a bottle of wine as a 'Thank you' for moving our vehicle over a couple of feet so that their friends could squeeze their motorhome in beside them. Well that night I decided to try it and it was lovely, very red, very full bodied and very smooth, with no hint of acidity. I liked it so  much I decided I would like to buy some if I could. I couldn't ask our neighbours where they bought it from, as, by the time we returned from our day out the following day, they were gone.

The bottle for some strange reason didn't have a label on it. All I had to work on was the metallic cork cover with the name of 'Bodegas Santa Rufina' on it (Bodegas being the vineyard processing establishment). So I Google'd it, tracked them down, got an address, which our satnav would never have understood, and thanks to Google Maps, established that they were just off the route we were taking today. So guess what? We paid them a visit and came away with 4 x 5ltr boxes of the wine, until that was,The Chef worked it out that we'd only paid about one pound twentyfive pence a litre for it, and so we went back in and bought four more. We often do this at the end of such trips, buying bulk wine to replace the weight of the water onboard.

We had a problem reaching today's campsite as the satnav on-screen map was slower than the actual road layout causing us to miss a very important turn on the outskirts of Burgos, but we got here eventually. Camping Fuentes Blancas, a municipal site on the edge of town. I was expecting The Chef to be keen to go in to town to look at the cathedral which was founded in 1221 and is Spain's third largest, but she wasn't bothered. Perhaps even she's getting fed up with them.

We first came across this campsite two years ago when we stayed here for just one night having come ashore from the Portsmouth - Santander ferry. It was pretty basic then, and I think there were only two other motorhomes on the site, mind you it was early December. The grass pitches were so wet we insisted on parking on the roadway and hooking up to the mains from there, fearful we would get stuck in the soft grass by the following morning. Now two years later the toilet blocks have all been replaced with brick-built buildings. They've been up long enough to look a bit skanky as far as the general cleanliness is concerned.

Today, when booking in, The Chef was informed that there was a rally here tomorrow and there would be lots of people about, so much so they had cordoned off the bottom end of the site for the rally folk. The area was all but empty when we parked up, but it has become quite busy with members of the 'Spanish Fuckwit Caravan Club', who are here to try and win either the 'Ugliest Wife' or 'Noisiest Dog' competitions. Having observed many of the caravans and motorhomes arriving I would say the competitions are going to be closely faught this year.

Thankfully we are only here for the one night before setting off tomorrow for Pamplona, which will be nothing more than a springboard in to France and Bordeaux, which at the moment, is a bit warmer than here.

The time this afternoon was not wasted, having been spent retrieving the winter duvet from the back of the vehicle and slipped in to the duvet cover along with the simmer weight, as I can't be bothered to find storage space for the summer one. This evenings offering from The Chef was a chicken curry with naan bread washed down with a free bottle of white wine kindly supplied by Bodegas Santa Rufina.

I can enjoy the rest of this evening listening to all the Fuckwits dogs squaring up to each other, and maybe, if we choose, we can watch a DVD with the sound turned up so that we don't hear them.