It was one of those days that didn’t quite go right. I left Segovia and put the co-ordinates for Avila in the sat-nag. Garmina, bless her independent thinking, decided what I really wanted was to go back to Salamanca. Unfortunately Garmina never tells me where she’s headed, she just accepts the co-ordinates and heads for them. I became suspicious when I saw the kilometerage, and then realised by the position of the sun that we were headed north – no way José, too cold back that way. Off the autovia I came, re-entered the co-ordinates and we were finally on our way to the correct destination.
I’m sorry to report that Avila was a bit of a disappointment for me. It took forever to park, they don’t mention height restrictions until you actually get to the car park and then when you do find a car park that accepts vehicles up to 3 meters, the bloody thing’s closed. After going round and round for 20 minutes or so I was just beginning to think of going, then I found a recently vacated large spot on the street. The walls of the walled city were lovely, and there were some interesting buildings inside but there was also a lot of mediocre turn of the 19th century stuff and no real atmosphere inside those walls; I’ve been spoilt by Aigues-Mortes in the Carmargue, France which has oodles of atmosphere and is much more discreetly commercialised. Add to that, the staff at the cafe that I tried to have lunch at decided I was the invisible woman; I gave them 15 minutes to take my order and then left in disgust.
The walled city of Avila
There being no aire, thankfully I hadn’t planned to overnight in Avila so continued on my way to the planned night stop. I was bit low on diesel and stopped at a fuel station on the side of the rather lovely road that took me over the high Castillian plains; reminded me a lot of Dartmoor tho’ at over 1,400 meters in places, somewhat higher.
Dartmoor but with fences = no livestock on road!
The Spanish are very fond of having attendants at their fuel stations and this one was no exception; my tank was filled for me. I gave the chap my card and it was declined 3 times. I knew I had sufficient funds, and the card had worked earlier when I got out some cash – unfortunately not enough to cover the fuel bill. The cashier phoned his bank who informed him my card must be at fault. I said no way and phoned my bank in England. The customer service advisor was very helpful and reassured me there were sufficient funds and there was nothing wrong with my card. I remarked on her rather familiar accent and asked if she was Spanish. Would you Adam and Eve it – she was, and it turned out that her home is in the province of Castille y Leon; guess where I was? Anyway she spoke to the garage attendant for me and assured him I wasn’t attempting a con. I gave him all the cash that I had, left my phone with him and drove a few k’s to the nearest town, withdrew cash and returned to pay the balance. He returned my phone apologising profusely for the inconvenience caused to me and refused to let me pay for an ice cream. Dear of him!
🙂 🙂 🙂