We’re well into our second week of travelling and it’s time to catch you up on where we are. We spent two nights (Wednesday and Thursday) in Vitoria Gasteiz. The city is a very handy stop for campers as there are two supermarkets nearby, water and waste disposal and plenty of walking available among the tree lined streets. Both of us started daily walking during the first lockdown and we have kept it going so we are always on the look out for walking routes. One thing we’ve noticed here in Spain is the level of mask wearing is much higher than we noticed in France. Most people wear masks inside here but at least 50% also wear them outside. Not sure why but it’s very reassuring.
This route we are taking through Vitoria Gasteiz was the one I was hoping we would take. On our way to Portugal we generally take the northern coastal route and leave this diagonal route until we are coming home in May or June. That is because there can be snow at this time of year. But as luck would have it while we were in Bordeaux we noticed the temperature was forecast to rise later in the week so we stayed an extra night. And it worked, there has been no snow and the temperatures have been rising steadily.
After Vitoria Gasteiz we moved onto Palentia and as the van badly needed a wash we were very excited to see they had added a motorhome wash right in the parking area. This park-up also has toilets and showers and a restaurant nearby. I went for a walk to the town and took some photos of the huge cathedral and it’s ginormous door. It was the day before Palm Sunday and I passed a gateway nearby where there was a statue of Christ carrying his cross on a wooden plinth preparing to be carried by 6 men. All around was the smell of burning incense while the men chatted and smiled (behind their masks) and encouraged each other. It seemed to me I was witnessing a moment of sincere bonding and it was too private to photograph.
On Saturday morning we woke to heavy fog. Great day for doing the bookkeeping we’d been postponing followed by the van washing. A few hours later the sun was shining and we were on the road again, this time to the city of Valladolid. We parked at motorhome parking near supermarkets, cafes and restaurants and took a walk to get lunch supplies. We must have passed at least 30 benches in the shade. I was very tempted to sit and watch people go by but I was hungry.
Next morning was cold but sunny and we got up early to walk to the city and get a coffee. Valladolid is famous for its Holy Week and Easter Processions and we saw lots of extended family groups making their way towards the centre. The children were carrying what looked like sheafs of corn. Later that morning we moved to a campsite outside Salamanca. It was so warm we were able to sit outside (in the shade) for the afternoon.
Next morning almost all of the campers had gone, probably on their way to Portugal like us. We spoke to a couple from the UK who told us rain was due and they had decided to change direction and move an hour back northwards towards France to escape it and make full use of the mobile nature of their motorhome. We didn’t follow, Denis’ new coat is rainproof and since we started the daily walking habit the quote from Alfred Wainwright, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” makes perfect sense.
As I write we are parked at a petrol station, the wind is blowing fiercely, rain is pelting the roof windows, the sky is dark grey and we haven’t had a walk… maybe we will head north after all.