I just couldn't get to sleep last night. I think it was because we'd done so little yesterday and I didn't get a chance to get tired. All night I listened to dogs barking all around me, and not just one at a time. Then there was the local donkey who brayed, or whatever it is they do at 03:00, and again at 06:30. Never mind, The Chef slept through it all.
This morning we tackled the bedding and other bits. It's a great climate right now for getting washing dry, and we wanted to take advantage of it.
Then it was showers and off in to the village. A place that's a little different from most Spanish communities. So a bit about El Rocia:
El Rocío is famous for its annual romería (pilgrimage), which sees almost a million people converge on the village. Many of the pilgrims travel from distant parts of Spain, some on gaudily decorated oxcarts, to visit the Inglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rocio. A statue of the Virgin in the church is believed to have performed miraculous healings since 1280.
Early on the Monday morning of the festival, men from Almonte fight to carry the statue in procession, and the crowd clambers onto the float to touch the image.
When I first saw the images of the village I felt it was somewhere worth a visit, somewhere a bit different. In fact this is where Clint Eastwood would come to direct a remake of his spaghetti western 'For a Few Euros More'.
We locked the motorhome up and left the washing to fry in the sun while we made our way in to the village to look for the local supermarket. We'd decided to have a barbecue tonight if we could get our hands on some chicken drumsticks to go with our sausages which at the time were still in the freezer.
The community seems to revolve heavily around horses, suggesting they' re probably Roma people as opposed to thieving pikey's. Be honest now, look at the pictures I've lifted from the internet. If one of them came and knocked on your door and offered to lay tarmac on your driveway you just wouldn't be able to say "No thank you" would you?
The roads as expected were very sandy and bumpy. If I were insane enough to live here I sure as hell wouldn't drive an expensive car.
We eventually came across the supermarket which had the bits we needed for today. The two chicken legs we bought were very good value, so good in fact that they could just as easily have been a couple of rat-dogs with their legs pulled off. Back 'home' we went to get the bits in the fridge.
After lunch we went for a sit by the pool. After getting rid of the Spanish weekenders last night we now have a very nice little community of French, Dutch and Germans, oh and the Swiss who are parked in the itch next to us. They are a young couple who we last saw on the Camperstop at Merida, and behind us, who left this morning, were two Dutch couples who The Chef reckons were sisters and their husband travelling in two vehicles with three dogs who we saw back at the campsite at Salamanca. What are the chances of that?
This afternoon saw the arrival of a very nice British couple who had just arrived from the Portuguese Algarve. They come to this campsite often, mainly for its wildlife, though apparently it's better to come in the spring for that sort of thing. They remarked on the lack of Brits in this part of the world this year. We told them they were the sixth motorhome we'd seen since the beginning of the month when we arrived, and only the second we'd spoken to.
So the bed got remade. I'm sure it will be lovely to get back between nice clean sheets again.
This evening's barbecue made a nice change. The only trouble is there's a lot of clearing up to do afterwards. In the past I have always cleaned a barbecue to within an inch of its life after each use, but now I'm not going to. It's saving an awful lot of work and mess. I just wipe all the fat off after each use and scrape over the grill before putting new food on, and it seems to work.
Tomorrow will consist of who knows what, but I have to say we are enjoying the rest and relaxation.