Saturday 25th November
We needed to do some chores today, food shopping and the cupboards are bare and the Gin is all but drunk, washing as we haven’t done any since leaving the U.K and our supply of clean clothes is running low, fill up Sunny with some petrol ready for tomorrow and then top up the Motorhome with diesel (but that can wait till we are on our way). So we planned a lazy but working type of day. I went for a 9k run to kick off the day and in the hope that I could find a laundry en route – I failed but the run was good, and resorted to google which came trumps again finding a local Lidl, Mercadona supermarket and laundry. The one way roads in this town are horrendous and without a sat nav you are totally unable to find your way back to the road that you have just come down and spotted the supermarket you wanted. There is no right,right and right again. Oh no! Here you have to keep going neither turning right or left and when you finally are allowed to turn you …. oh well I’m sure you get the picture. I was starting to loose my rag in not being able to self navigate to the adjacent block and resorted to my iPhone with google maps on it. Anyway shopping purchased car filled I now sit in the laundry using their free WiFi whilst Angie is back at the van preparing a curry for tea.
Sunday 26th November 2017
It was only just over an hour drive to our next stopover and although Gijòn was ok it was unpronounceable and just like a Benidorm of the north, with high rise hotels and apartments on the beach front, so it was time to go but grabbed a couple of shots first, including one of a smart split screen VDub opposite.
The drive was truly stunning in many parts, once again the A8 was dominated by viaducts spanning 2k wide valleys and tunnels with no mountain too big to drill a massive hole through. They call this the green coast and rightly so. It has an amazing coastline with lush green ravines cutting through from the mountainous interior to emerge onto stunning sandy beaches squeezed between craggy rocky headlands, a surfers heaven with waves to die for and it seems to be a regional past time as every cove had surfers by the truckload bobbing about in the sea waiting for the perfect wave. The guide books rave about pretty fishing villages and we decided to visit a few in the car a bit later. We found the Aire (another free night for us, that’s only 6 nights out of 18 that have cost us anything) with water waste and W.C. and what a Aire, right on the headland next to the lighthouse with 180 degree views and we are all on our own.
After filling the water emptying the waste and two W.C’s we embedded ourselves on the Aire and jumped in the smart car to explore the area and the fishing villages. Castropol, Figueras, and Tapia de Casariego, all deserved a look. Well they are ok but do not match those of North Devon and looked better from the other side than when you were in them as they were typically Spanish with narrow streets lined by nondescript three story and often shabby white flat fronted houses.
The coastline however outdoes Devon magnificently, and taking another read of the book when we got back I don’t thing that they are the best of the best however we had already driven past the likes of Luarca and Ribadesella and we were not heading back.
We ended up back at the van and we settled in for a comfortable night.
The sun was setting and the sky was filled with crimson red and rusty orange. Despite the Gin calling I had to pop back out and grab a few shots.
The evening was cold and became very cold as the heating and hot water had decided to have a holiday too (so much for a comfy evening) so extra blankets were added to the bed I wore PJ’s for the first time in a long time and socks. We will need to try to sort our heating and hot water out tomorrow.
Monday 27th November 2017
We woke to a russet red sunrise and blimey was it cold in the van. I was up and turning all the gas rings on to heat it up a bit and then out of the van with the camera again.
Despite prodding and poking and changing all the fuses that I thought may be the problem the heating & hot water refused to work. I sent an e-mail to our motorhome dealer in the uk and await a reply and have found a dealer about half way on the way to Santiago de Compostela. Not the much more we can do so a trip up the mountains today to hopefully catch some views and then another chilly evening. Hey we can always watch telly in bed.
It was a long drive up the mountains and there were some stunning views to be had however the amount of places to pull over meant that we only got a glimpse of the amazing vista through the trees. At the halfway point we decided to have a go at a locals bar (one of only two open in a small village that was closed for the season) walking in and feeling like one of those in a western where everything goes quiet for a moment as the strangers enter the bar, we made our way to a small table and I went to the bar and ordered two coffees and two tapas. The coffees were great and the tapas were – rustic! The afternoon drive was stunning and went up and up over the highest peak with views to die for and an empty road allowing us to stop on a straight bit to grab some shots.
What goes up must come down and the last stretch back to the van was tiresome with bend after bend and a never ending succession of twists and turns that made me urge for some straight road. Perhaps this explains the Spanish desire for speed. They are so fed up with mountain roads that when they get to a main road they really boot it to play catch up. We certainly did.
The van was ready and waiting albeit still not fully charged and we had another cold night ahead.
Tuesday 28th November 2017
We had decided to head to Lugo where we had found a motorhome dealer on the net who may be able to sort out the lack of heating and arrived at 1.30. We explained our issue via the iPhone translator app and they said that they could have a look at it after 4pm when they returned from lunch. No issue we had a town to go see so left the keys and headed off to Lugo to explore.
It’s claim to fame is the totally intact Roman wall that surrounds the old city and the best example of such in Europe. Standing at 10 meters high and 8 meters wide It was impressive and fully enclosed the old town. we walked most of the ramparts but the ancient city in the walls was disappointing and nothing to rave about.
We had lunch in town and then headed back to the dealer to find that they were not able to resolve the problem but suggested going to an Aire 20 miles away with free electric hook up and they hoped that by charging the battery our issue may resolve itself. Hey presto It did and we have heating hot water and everything seems to work. We were chuffed that we had been able to spend 8 days with no electric but it is apparent that this is 2 days too long. Tomorrow we will have a leisurely day making sure everything is charged and working at 100%, two long hot showers and then make our way to Santiago de Compostela the last point in Northern Spain before heading due south to Portugal and some warmer weather (we hope).