Windsday

(No, I’ve not become a Kiwi and it wasn’t really Wednesday, it was Monday, but that didn’t make for a catchy title …)

I decided I didn’t want to stay more than the weekend at La Manga, pretty tho’ the beach area was and great as the amenities were. The pitches were each surrounded on three sides by 7-8 ft high hedges, not good for catching the low autumn rays and rather claustrophobic. So I headed for the alternative destination first thing Monday morning – well what counts as first thing when one is retired!

Overnight a rather stiff northerly breeze had sprung up, tho’ not a cloud in a bright blue sky. The route demanded a straight westerly drive through flat countryside which I’m sure under normal circumstances offers  long distance views to the horizon; not, however when you have a stiff (I may be understating the case here) northerly breeze stirring up vast clouds of dust. Add to that the sudden appearance of whole bushes bowling along the carriageway of the autovia and R0X1’s rocking in the side swipes winds increased each time I had to swerve. My shoulders ached a bit when we arrived here and I’d only been driving (slowly) an hour and a bit.

Here is Bolnuevo, next door to  Mazarrón, a place I’ve visited, and liked, already but a new campsite. Not as pretty, pretty as the postcard place but it’s beachside, has great walks for the LWD and not a hedge in sight.

Oh, and it has these rather beautiful limestone natural “sculptures” …

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4 million windsdays for this to be created.

🙂 🙂 🙂

Tilting at windmills.

When I began this adventure one of the many must have photographic destinations was in Castille La Mancha. Consuegra and the windmills of Don Quixote fame. I didn’t make it on my first long trip to Spain – but I have now. It didn’t disappoint tho’ I did try to get other perspectives as well as “the ridge” cliché.

When I arrived there was a party of secondary school kids visiting. They were obviously having the “full monty” tour as there were two actors playing The Don and Sancho (no sign of the horse or donkey) and using, I presume, Cervantes’ words. Colour me amazed; they had the kids in the palms of their hands. Anyone who can do that to teenage kids on a school trip about a 400 year old novel, has my admiration.

I really must read the book …

🙂 🙂 🙂

Altitude and attitude.

The altitude at our current aire, the car park of the Bull Ring,  (I hasten to add that by parking here I’m not displaying any support for what I consider a barbaric form of entertainment)  is 3,377 ft. The early morning temperature was 0℃ but with the chill factor from a stiff easterly wind, it felt colder; at least the sun put in an appearance. I fancy it won’t be long before the mountains to the east are sprinkled with a drop of the white stuff. I layered up, donned hat and scarf and ventured out, but not until late morning.

Unsurprisingly, the shops in Segovia appeared to be doing a brisk trade in gloves, hats and scarves to the ill prepared grockles. Just to be different, this particular grockle bought slippers, – yes family, you heard it from my own computer; not only did I purchase slippers, they are currently being worn!

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Once more – from the top!

Having spent yesterday’s forced march mainly around the aqueduct and close environs, LWD was delighted that we walked further today, saw different sights and she even had a play off lead in a park. The views from this hilltop town are stunning.

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Sierra de Guadarrama

Segovia

The Alcazar (palace, bottom left) is undergoing restoration . For me, like Carcassonne, it’s a bit too Disneyfied and over-restored. I prefer old buildings to have less clean lines and “prettiness”, leave them their wonky walls, ragged roofs and faded beauty. Patch the roofs, deal with the leaks, prop ‘em up, make ‘em safe and let them tell their tales via their blemishes.

Just saying …

🙂 🙂 🙂

Freshly washed Salamanca

[I’m a couple of days late posting this blog as sometimes 5 gig of data per month is simply not enough – I’ve now upgraded my phone contract with loads of extra data allowance. Sorry for the delay.]

After a night of very heavy rain during which the quadruped did manage to convince the biped that both their night’s unrest due to RoR (Rain on Roof) would be improved  by snuggling, LWD got out of her usual forced march today as the bus company does not accept quadrupeds in their vehicles. LWD does not accept that she’s a quadruped but was unable to convince any biped to agree with her. I travelled, unaccompanied, in bright sunshine on the bus into a freshly washed Salamanca.

I don’t know about you regular reader, but I’m in danger of becoming historic centred out – after the next couple of towns I may have to slightly alter the running order of this trip to refresh my eyes with some rural visits. But here are some of todays historic centre buildings …

Salamanca

🙂 🙂 🙂

Welcome to Spain.

My regular reader may remember me musing on the likelihood of a post Brexit barrier for Brits to be stopped at. Well I’ve no idea where it would be placed on the western route from France to Spain because the D810 became the GI 636 with no sign of an Au revoir from France or Bienvenido from Spain. I just spotted a Repsol garage and became suspicious (my motorhomer reader, who may or may not be my regular reader, will know what I mean) and confirmation came from roadsigns now in Spanish. The weather rapidly went from bad to English; leaden grey, miserable skies and heavy drizzle alternating with lashing rain in a cold, gusting wind. The welcome did improve however, with the turnout of 5, yes 5, extremely exceptional convoys spread over many kilometers, to greet me and slow me on my way! One load looked like a part-built train carriage, another looked as if it might have had the train carriage’s wheels; the rest I just registered as very large, lumpy and heavy looking. It made life interesting going up to 2,000ft behind one of them when we came to the roadworks. Welcome to Spain – just like home!

Overnight at Burgos was very cold 3℃ – heating was used! But the next day dawned bright and sunny. Burgos is not an exceptional city, apart from the cathedral which is amongst the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

 

Burgos cathedral.

Driving to Valladolid (Bayadolid) this morning I turned on the elevation doohdah on the sat nag and I realised why I’ve been so cold – haven’t been below 2,700ft for the past 3 days …

🙂 🙂 🙂

I wasn’t expecting That.

As advertised the aire was between two windmills with a third one to the east, on top of an escarpment with fantastic views of both land and sky, very quiet, on the edge of a small town downhill, that couldn’t be seen through the trees.

Clockwise from top left; grindstones Windmill 2, Windmill 2. Windmill 3, Windmill 1

After the first night’s lightening display, last night’s starlight spectacular was also much appreciated, if it hadn’t been a tad chilly I’d’ve got the chair out and sat there for hours. I had the place all to myself both nights.

On taking LWD for her usual forced march yesterday morning,  guess what I discovered …

Castelnau-Montratier

the guide book was correct; there are rather a lot of Bastide towns in this area and this was another of them!

🙂 🙂 🙂