Where's Frankie?

You know nothing Mark Walland – Winter is coming

Sunday 22nd November

Either title is apt, they are both true and I really couldn’t decide which I prefered!

It was cold last night and it rained and rained. My father, ex scout master, had always taught me never to camp under a tree because you get great big drips and they continue long after the rain stops. And since the heating had been on all night the batteries gave up and cut everything off. Luckily this morning they had recovered enough to get the electric bed up and use the water.

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We do have a new destination in mind and should reach it tomorrow, in the mean time I had found three aires yesterday that were in the general direction and off we went on our merry way. ‘Are they mountains with snow on, I hope we’re not going that way’, says Lucy, ‘Of course not’ say I with fingers crossed. Stella really didn’t want us to take this road either, the LR113 running south from Najera but we ignore her pleas to turn round when possible. What a great road, lots of turns but nothing sharp, no steep bits or hairpins, just out for a Sunday drive.

More hydroelectric dams with half empty reservoirs.

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And down by the waters edge a house.

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And another building.

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And more. The dam was started in 1935 but the civil war interrupted work and it wasn’t completed until 1960. The town had 600 inhabitants at the turn of the 20th century which had dropped to 100 by the time the dam was finished (these were the people living in houses higher up the mountain, not the sub aqua team). There had been no forward planning to build new houses so these people were just moved on to find their own way.

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Moving on we saw a road sign with a cow in a tunnel, what could it mean? Obvious really, when it gets cold or wet, the cattle take shelter. And it was getting cold and wet, we had a little argument, I said it was snowing, Lucy said it was just sleet? What’s the difference?

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I eventually won the argument when the sleet started settling. Then to settle the argument once and for all two sleet ploughs passed us with all lights flashing. I think we may have been very lucky travelling today and not leaving it a day or two.

Just before this point the road had become very narrow and bumpy but it only lasted a couple of miles, here we are just entering the Sierra de la Demanda and this is where my ignorance starts to shine brightly.

Spain is a hot country, it was lovely and warm last year travelling around the Mediterranean coast, we sunbathed on Xmas Day. I now realise that much of Spain is very high up. Here we have just climbed to 4,000 feet, I’m expecting to go down the other side of a mountain but it’s almost flat for mile after mile. We found an aire for lunch, it was snowing, it was cold and it wasn’t the best aire in the world (6 out of 10, maybe 7 in the sun) so off to the next aire. Still miserable so lets keep going south.

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We eventually got to a view point on the edge of the Rio Lobos canyon. We’ll be down the bottom in 5 minutes after a lengthy series of hairpin roads and it did stop snowing by the time we got to the bottom.

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We are parked overnight in an aire on the edge of El Burgo de Osma next to a very impressive church. We’ll have a look round in the morning.

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