Friday, 2 May 2008

the road to Salamanca

We took our time leaving Miguel's place in Galkao this morning. Partly because of my usual habit of spending ages having a shower and coating my skin in unguents supposedly guaranteed to keep it young and beautiful. Partly because of a clutch of emails needing pressing and thoughtful replies. And partly because our genial host was keen to chat. About Sheena (he's very keen on getting a camper van himself); about where we should go next on our Spanish tour (he recommended spending the day in Segovia before heading for Salamanca - a rather optimistic suggestion given Sheena's stately pace on the road and our habit of taking long-drawn out lunch breaks and siestas); and his own desire to move to England and what his chances were of getting employment (pretty high given his abilities in renovation and driving - he's already been a building manager and train driver and after seeing his reversing and manouvering skills, I'd say he's the kind of potential bus-driver Bath is crying out for).

But after a stop in Bilbao old town to buy a Spanish dictionary and road atlas and a visit to the Eroski mega supermarket to stock up on supplies, we were on the road towards Burgos. Okay, it was gone one by then and Segovia looked like it was off the menu for the time being. But we had a beautiful drive through the sierra dividing Basque province of Bizkaia and Castilla and eventually made it to a brilliantly quirky campsite at the Paster monument, not far from Miranda.

There we chummed up with two friendly New Zealanders, also on a tour of Europe and currently hot-footing it to Madrid to meet relatives before driving on down to a villa the south of Spain. We spent a most convivial few hours chatting with Andy and Tracy, sharing wine, beer, cake and prunes in eau de vie (which had already caused something of a sensation with Miguel and Beatriz) - thanks in part to chairs and table loaned by a very friendly Spanish guy from the neighbouring chalet.

We've now resolved to get on the road by 0730 tomorrow so we can make it to Salamanca in time to sample some of its famed Saturday nightlife. The fact that the campsite showers can be best described as bracing will probably cut down on the ablutions and help hurry us on our way.

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