4. Oct, 2021


MONDAY 04-10-21

That wasn't a bad night's sleep considering we were parked in a side road leading to the large public car park. The traders arrived fairly early, though not as early as we had expected. This is after all Spain.

The big treat this morning was that we were able to have a  lovely hot shower, as for some reason our gas boiler has come back to life, though for how long we've no idea. Once we get past Gibraltar we'll get it looked at.

We would have liked to have had a look around the market before leaving but the triple parking down the street was getting crazy and I was fearful we'd either get scraped or blocked in while we were away from the vehicle.

Treat number two was that I'd gone on to a website and found the GPS co-ordinates of a filling station about eight miles in the wrong direction (GPS: N36.710854° W6.120961°), so off we went to find it.

Praise be, it sold Autogas, and it was where it was supposed to be. The idea on the forecourt was that a member of staff would fill us up. I'd already screwed in the adaptor before he arrived. Once again the LPG tanks filled up so slowly I offered to take over from him as you have to keep the palm of your hand continually pressed on the button for the gas to discharged. There was no resistance from him and so I stood there for absolutely ages while we watched the litres counter go round very slowly. I think the speed of the gas, or lack of it may be due to the flexible pipes from the filling point to the tanks being quite narrow and perhaps slows the rate down, yet I'm sure we fill the tanks up much quicker on Morrisons forecourts back home.

In the end we gave up. We were happy to settle for a sufficient amount to take the pressure off us for a while. Then it was off to Jerez.

For some reason the satnav wouldn't accept the co-ordinates I'd given it, insisting it needed a road name. It's the second time it's done that to us on this trip. It worked to our advantage though because after we pulled in to a service area I checked my options and changed our destination to our advantage as it turned out. Instead of just having a free piece of concrete to stand on, we have a Camperstop with all facilities (GPS: N36.71298° W6.10965°), a Ford dealership next door and a Lidl and large Mercadona supermarket not far down the road, and to top it all across the road from the supermarkets are not one but two filling stations, both selling Autogas, so when we leave here we'll have another session of button pushing.

We were greeted by our host with a very nice glass of chilled sherry, then taken to our parking spot. Once we were hooked up I tested the boiler again and it is still functioning, so fingers crossed for a nice hot shower again tomorrow. There are two unisex toilet/shower cubicles here to use, but I seldom trust the hygiene standards and habits of my fellow man, and so I think we'll be using our own.

So tomorrow is to be a whole day in Jerez and include something The Chef wanted to do the last time we were here, and yes - we will be going there in a taxi.

So as this is Jerez, famous for its sherry production, I shall pass on some insight in to sherry, should it be of interest to you.

A Guide to Sherries:

FINO is dry, light and the colour of straw. Like most sherries, it is made from palomino grapes that grow in the chalky soil in Jerez. Aged in oak barrels under a layer of yeast known as flor, fino must be well chilled and goes well with a lot of foods, particularly almonds, Iberico ham and even spicy dishes.

MANZANILLA is produced in the same way as fino, but is made on the coast in Sanlucar de Barrameda, in the delta where the Guadalquivir river meets the Atlantic. The climate changes the flor yeast, giving the sherry a distinct flavour. Always drink it chilled and, if possible, with the freshest shellfish you can find.

AMONTILLADO starts being aged in the same way as fino, but the development of the flor yeast is halted. Contact with air means the sherry takes on an amber hue with a more complex, nutty flavour – although it is still dry. Try it with tuna or chicken, but it goes well with lots of things, so just experiment. Serve it slightly chilled.

PALO CORTADO also starts out as a fino, but in this case the flor yeast dies off naturally for some reason, so palo cortado sherries are a bit of a lucky accident. Another one to drink slightly chilled, maybe with some nuts and mature cheese or braised meats such as oxtail.

OLOROSO ages without a layer of yeast and is a deep bronze colour with a rich taste. Like amontillado and palo cortado, it pairs well with robust flavours and should also be served slightly chilled.

PEDRO XIMENEZ (PX) gets its name from the grapes used to make it, which are sun-dried to give a sweeter flavour. This mahogany, raisin-like sherry is delicious poured over vanilla ice cream or anything with dark chocolate – but you might be surprised at how well it goes with a pungent blue cheese, too.

CREAM sherries are usually a blend of oloroso with Pedro Ximenez or muscatel, creating a semi-sweet taste. Be warned that cheaper ones may use something else as a sweetener.

PALE CREAM is a blend of fino and Pedro Ximenez and goes well with pâté. Cream sherries should be slightly chilled and are good with blue cheese as well as desserts.