Where's Frankie?

Travel Plans hit a brick wall

Saturday 21st November

Making travel plans for today has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve made. Do we go south and get to an aire that gets a poor rating? Do we go west and reach a town with two iffy aires and a quite unspectacular write up in our guide book? The aires around here seem to be rather more spread out due it seems to mountains being in the way and other than every village, town and city managing to be on the Way of St James (The Way of St James is more like a spider web, any road going towards Santiago de Compostela is a pilgrim route), there is little to attract tourists.

In addition it started raining early this morning and is freezing cold. 

In the end we went west. There were two stops on our way, we’d have a look and see what’s what. If they are good we can stop, if not then move along.

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Our first stop, Puente la Reina and what a stunner. There’s no aire and we just parked by the side of the road and had a walk into the town. During the Carlist wars this area became a transit point for troops marching on Pamplona, and numerous battles took place here. The bridge was built in the 11th century by royal command and is a major stop on the Camino de Santiago.

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The town was bustling, the butchers shop had three men behind the counter, all working, a queue at the counter and a long bench for more customers. It was one of three butchers shops we saw in the town. The church is the Iglesia del Crucifija supposedly built in the 12th century by the Knights Templar and is named after the Y shaped crucifix inside.

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After leaving Puente le Reina we made our way to Estelle and found the aire. The aire was lovely, the pitches were laid with concrete blocks with grass growing through, no idea what it is called but it looked great. Only problem was it was miles out of town, it was raining, windy and after dumping our waste water we decided to press on to Logrono.stopping at the local Lidls for our first Spanish food shop.

I bet you thought all Lidl’s were the same. Compared to the French Lidls this one was overflowing with excellent quality fresh fruit and veg. The beer and Gin were far far cheaper and the meat looked so good. We’d only gone in for  some cereal but the bill came to €54

I put my card in and the terminal had a little wobbly moment, someone before us had a credit card problem so it wasn’t just us so experts were called and we were shifted off onto another till. I had €50.50 in my pocket and another €1 in the trolley, not enough to cover it all. Would you believe it, they made me take out my beer so the bill came to less than €51.50

We travelled on to Logrono and found the aire and we weren’t impressed. On the edge of a huge car park, next to a busy roundabout, in the middle of nowhere. There was another aire round the corner but it had a similarly dismal rating so I started looking further afield eventually finding something suitable and after lunch we set off but giving the second aire a look see to see how bad it could be.

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Look at it, how awful is that?? Relieved that I could stop driving for the day we left Frankie chatting away to his Spanish neighbours and walked into the “dismal” town of Logrono.

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First thing we find is lots of streets packed with tapas bars and crowds of people moving from one bar to the next, bit like a pub crawl through Brentwood without the drunks and the vomit.

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Lidls had had my last cent so first things first, find a cash machine and then come back and try some more red wine, Lucy’s idea, not mine. Yesterday we were drinking Navarres, today we are drinking Rioja and she seems to have a taste for it being able to distinguish the different types, she’s my very own little Jilly Goulden. The tapas were good as well.

We did go for a walk so Lucy could sober up a bit and found the main shopping area, most of the shops were closed and weren’t going to be opening in the afternoon so back to Frankie for a motorhomers nap.

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