2. Sep, 2021


THURSDAY 02-09-21

The rain that was due yesterday evening arrived at 05:45 last night and lasted all morning. This gave us the ideal excuse to have a lie-in as we had both been feeling tired.

So before describing how the day eventually started, let me take you back to our disembarkation from the ferry 'Galicia' yesterday. Our plan was to empty the freezer and much of the fridge contents in to a cool bag and hide it in the rear garage locker, just in case the vehicle was searched for meat and dairy produce. This is produce which until Brexit was perfectly safe and acceptable, but now, overnight became a risk to every living Spaniard. Unfortunately The Chef, emptying the freezer perched at an awkward angle managed to break the left hand hinge on the drop down freezer compartment door. Oh how I laughed. Luckily I managed to piece it together without breaking the right hand side and I now face  the challenge of gluing two pieces of plastic together, both of which have been chilled down to freezing. A challenge indeed.  I'll tackle it in the near future but not for a few days. When we get home I'll have to replaced the broken parts, though heaven knows how much it will cost given that the tiny plastic and metal lock on the top of the fridge door to stop it opening in transit costs twenty-five pounds.

So back to this morning when The Chef went to the bathroom first for a wash as we didn't have enough water for showers, my having chosen to travel a little bit lighter for the crossing, to be followed by myself who was very much looking forward to a lovely wash and wet shave. Minutes later out she came holding the sink plug which wouldn't move up and down in the drainer to which it was still attached basically she's pulled off the whole top section of the plug and drain assembly. The bathroom sink had now been put out of action with no top half and the trap and drain pipe hanging limply below it in the cupboard. This meant I had to get dressed and go out to the rear garage locker in the hope that I had a new spare in the 'repair' box. If I hadn't we were stuffed. Thank The Lord, I had one, though it was the larger size which fits the kitchen sink, but by utilising the top half of the old one and the bottom half of the replacement we were back in business. I confess I did lift my eyes to the heavens in thanks.

By the time we were up and finally sorted it was almost time for an early lunch before strolling in to the village of Santilla del Mar. So a bit about where we are:

Santillana del Mar is a town in the Cantabria region of northern Spain. It’s known for its medieval towers, Renaissance palaces and the Romanesque Santa Juliana Collegiate Church. Southwest of town, the National Museum and Research Centre of Altamira focuses on prehistoric life and art discovered in the nearby Cave of Altamira. To the east, Santillana del Mar Zoo has ring-tailed lemurs, snow leopards and tigers.

It is said to be one of the prettiest town’s in Spain and grew up around a monastery, which was an important pilgrimage centre, the Romanseque La Colegiate.

On the town’s two main cobbled streets there are houses built by local noblemen. These have either fine wooden galleries or iron balconies, and coats of arms inlaid into their stone facades. In the past, farmers used the open ground floors as byres for stabling their cattle.

It was still cloudy when we set off and it felt as if the weather could go either way, and so I took my backpack with our macs in as well as spare masks, wipes and sanitiser. To avoid the risk of it raining and the new compact camera getting damaged, I took the small compact which now sits in a storage compartment on the top of the dashboard which The Chef can easily reach should we want a picture taken of a  road sign, crash barrier or blurred tree.

We soon arrived and found the Tourist Information Centre from where The Chef picked up a map of the village and a recommended route to walk around it.

I don't know about one of the prettiest villages in Spain as that's rather subjective, but it was certainly very picturesque, though extremely touristy which is to be expected.

What did surprise and annoy us was that having been told the Spanish enforce covid restriction firmly we were surrounded by most people wearing their masks as chin warmers, loads not wearing one at all, nor seeming to have one available to use. And as for social distancing - forget it. It was especially annoying given the hoops we had to jump through to get in to the country.

Here in Spain there has been widespread flooding in the Cantabria region which may affect many fellow motorhomers who left the ferry at the same time as us and dashed to the Mediterranean coast.

Having Googled 'Spain school holiday dates' we've established that kids here go back to school on Monday. Hopefully that will take a bit of pressure off campsites and parking spaces because tomorrow we move along the coast to Comillas.

In the meantime back home butchers in Somerset eagerly await their first delivery of Alpaca Pukka Pies.