Where's Frankie?

Happy Birthday Mum

Monday 27th April

Happy Birthday Mum, hope you have a great day and won’t miss the flower pictures that aren’t in this blog. For everyone else, I did give her a call this morning and she’s doing fine. For her age, that is 🙂

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I told you last time about the grain stores and some of the bus stops are shaped as well. Lucy forgot to do all her preflight checks this morning and the fridge flew open as I was carefully negotiating the twisty roads and this was a convenient place to stop. Shame there was no one there, we could have earnt a couple of quid.

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We’ve moved on to A Corunna or as our guidebook insists on calling it Corunna just to make it harder to find in the alphabetical list of cities. We’ve got three sources to look in when trying to find somewhere to park overnight, there is Stella who will only tell you of a place when we are close to it, there is “All the Aires Spain and Portugal” which has 300 aires and we have the Camper Contact app which lists over 1000 aires in Spain and Portugal. We usually use Camper Contact but it took us to a car park in Corunna that wasn’t really attractive enough for us to want to stay so I looked in All the Aires and there was a top notch super duper aire just 2 miles away.

The aire entry in the book had a special heading to show us how wonderful it was and I’m not too impressed. We are near a very small harbour looking to to sea, the view is OK. Look at the surface though, cobbles with large bits missing but what you may not be able to see is that it slopes, left to right, front to back, every which way but the way we need it to slope. Frankie is a bit nose heavy and we like to park facing up a slope. We have blocks under three wheels and it is still well off.

We had planned to stay here for three nights over the weekend, we thought that there may be a lot of traffic about and having had to drive through Corunna twice on a Friday night I was ready for a rest but the rain continues and there was nothing there to hold our attention so Saturday morning we moved on.

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And parked opposite the lighthouse at Corunna. The romans built this lighthouse and whilst it hasn’t been used as a lighthouse continuously since that time it is now a working lighthouse and it had a visitors centre. Lucy didn’t want to climb to the top but I tricked her into going into the exhibition and then it was all one way up and then down again.

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This stone was originally at the top of the lighthouse. Imagine it sitting on top of a tank of oil with a wick dipping down through the hole in the middle. There would have been a large convex mirror at the back which was moved hydraulically side to side.

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Inside the lighthouse there are four large square chambers on each of the three floors. It is thought that these chambers were used for sleeping quarters for Roman soldiers. The hole in the middle of the ceiling was used for dripping a plumb line to check the building was going up square. Everything you see is original Roman construction, occasionally you’ll see lumps of black rock used to repair the walls. It is amazing to think that this is 2000 years old, the condition was remarkable.

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This was inside the round section at the top of the lighthouse and was added in 1788 and just above the centre is the new light added in 1804.

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The view from the top. Frankie is squatting in three parking bays, not the usual 4 he spreads out in when he is visiting Lidl’s.

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And slightly round to the right some more of Corunna. Over to the the left is a large port. Sir Francis Drake visited Corunna the year after the Spanish Armada sailed from here basically to tell them not to do it again. The lighthouse was in ruins by this time but trade with England and Holland started to pick up and the lighthouse was reinstated to a useable condition.

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All of the stone you can see here was added in 1788 by Eustaquio Giannini. It protects the inner Roman structure from any further damage. The sloping line around the outside is an indication of where a ramp, which spiralled around the lighthouse, right up to the top would have been. The ramp was used for getting the large quantities of lamp oil to the top.

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This stone was found at the foot of the lighthouse and tells you who the original architect was, Caio Sevio Lupo, born near Coimbra.

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€3 each to get to the top, well worth it. Corunna was again invaded by the English in 1800, not very successfully and eight years later the English helped the Spanish defend the city against Napoleons troops, again unsuccessfully. Trying to understand European history is unbelievably difficult, everyone kept changing sides!

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We moved on from Corunna expecting to see all of our aires full up but the rain was keeping everyone indoors. We had our lunch here at Ortigueria, the view was great but the noise of the traffic on the cobble stoned road was uninviting so we moved on to Ferrol.

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This dovecote in Ortigueria was very attractive but the pigeons have moved in and the doves have flown the nest.

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Two more views of Ortigueria, very nice in the sun but dreary in the rain. We did have a look around the town but being Sunday most of it was closed but we know know the difference between a village, a town and a city.

A village will have a bar. A town will also have a bank, a pharmacy, a ferrotaria and a China bazaar. A city will have a dozen each of the previous five shops and we complain that all our towns and cities are the same! A China bazaar contains every bit of plastic that China has ever produced, also tools, clothes, shoes, kitchenware, carpets, curtains, towels, etc. I think they all work to the same shopping list, they all carry the same stock. A ferrotaria is an ironmonger, like they used to be. If only I was single, I could spend hours in a ferrotaria but all I get to do is a quick window shop as I am rushed past them.

Our overnight stay at Ferrol was uneventful. It rained, we didn’t get out of Frankie and you’ve got no photos to look at. And then it rained some more… 

Since the 28th March we’ve spent €36 on site fees, about €1 per night.

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Sunday we moved on to Espasante overlooking the harbour, again free, again lots of rain but a very peaceful nights sleep due to us being so far from any habitation, i.e. dogs!

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Espasante is a tourist destination with a few lovely beaches and we did manage to get out for a walk up to the viewing point. Since it has rained everyday since we’ve been in Spain we’ve decided to move inland and retrace the Pilgrims path but going backwards. We’ve ended up in Vilalba and while I’m typing this Lucy is opening the windows to let some of the heat out – the sun is at last shining.

We went for a walk around the city (judging by our previous criteria) and found somewhere close to Frankie for a drink or two. When I placed my drinks order we were asked if we wanted any food and the waitress pointed to the board so instantly recognising filette as something possibly edible chose two of them. 

She bought up two small plates of cooked steak with chips, not a main course, more of a tapas and it was delicious so next round we went more adventurous and I managed to get calamari and Lucy had slow roast beef. Next round was Zorzas for me, a really spicy pork dish popular in this area and Lucy had the grilled pork. All three courses were very tasty but the beer was getting to Lucy so we had to call it a day. Lucy guessed at a bill of €16 for the lot. Imagine my surprise when it came in at €8 and we got their wifi code as well which we can use in Frankie with the iBoost aerial!

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