Well it's been a hard day at the office today. We were up in good time this morning so that we could have a lovely hot shower and dump everything and refill with water before we left. Unfortunately, due to the thoughtless parking of others either side of the dump station back at Ponferrada I couldn't get close enough to the drain for the grey water, leaving me no option to leave them with a nice big puddle of water which slowly made its way under a parked coach and then downhill.
First we popped back in to the Lidl supermarket up the road a mile or so, and then we were off to Bodegas Santa Rufina (GPS: N41.830456° W4.609565°) between Valladolid and Palencia, where I once bought some nice wine at a really good price. Our route there took us through very rural Spain with some great views in places. The main crops seemed to be corn, as the stubble still sat in the ground, and sunflowers of all things.
I was keen to top up our LPG tanks as we had swapped on to the second tank a couple of days ago. The first one did well considering that apart from the one night spent hooked up on a campsite, and the hours we have driven when it runs off 12v, the fridge with a freezer compartment has been powered by gas every hour of the day, plus there is the hot water to be produced as well as the cooking hob. The frustrating thing was the garages which sold LPG, or Autogas, didn't have the fact clearly displayed before their slip-road, resulting in us spotting it after it was too late. We did try picking random filling stations and coming off to see if they sold it on the off chance, but without success. Never mind, we'll have to give the matter some priority once we're back on the road.
After picking up six boxes of five litres of red wine for sixty Euros we were back on the road doubling back a bit before picking up the road to Salamanca. I was worried that by the time we got there the Camperstop would be full as it only holds ten vehicles. We needn't have worried there were no other motorhomes there. While The Chef prepared our evening meal I took a wander only to spot signage which banned motorhomes on that car park. Oh dear, I'd got it wrong so off I went to find just where we should be. After a fair bit of walking and without success I made my way back only to spot the roof of a motorhome about two hundred yards from us on the other side of the main road and down an incline. After checking it out I was keen that after our meal we should move from what turned out to be a car park for University personnel and get ourselves settled on the Camperstop for the night.
So here we are, wedged between the sports fanatics parking to attend the sports facilities to our right, and no doubt the drug dealers who later will, no doubt be dealing at the road underpass to our left. Still it's free and very conveniently located.
We are now starting to pick up a few German and French motorhomers. At the start of the trip we were dealing exclusively with the Spaniards. Since being over here we've seen about six UK motorhomes and only one couple to speak to, and that was back at the unpleasant Camperstop at Santiago de Compostella. They were on the dump station and we got chatting. It seems they had travelled through France and visited the northern Spanish coastline, but they felt it just didn't do it for them, so instead of heading south they were going home about three weeks early. I think we've travelled about 250 miles today and it feels like it. Tomorrow we will walk in to Salamanca. I don't know if we'll get it all done in one day, but if not then we'll be here for two. After this we are going to a nearby campsite for probably three nights, just so that we can relax, get some washing done and attempt the repairs. This will be our 13th night in Spain and of those we've only had one night on a campsite, the rest of the time we've been on glorified car parks and fended for ourselves.