Friday 24th November – Spain
We have now left the higher country and are travelling through the valleys. So different here with not a mountain to be seen except way out on the horizon. Again very little greenery and the few trees we see are now without leaves. It is farmland here with ploughed fields everywhere but they are all brown so not sure what grows here. Everything is so flat now you can see highways criss-crossing everywhere for miles with so many overpasses literally man made looking like arches in the distance.
Our camp for tonight: Parking de Autocaravanas, Leon
Green trees now appear as we arrive in the large town of Leon. Again a very busy and populated town.
We arrived at our campsite, a great spot in the middle of town, with about 15 free spots provided by the local municipality. The town is split by a river (though not much water in it) and the campsite backs onto the boardwalk which runs along the river.
Parking inspectors were booking cars just in front of us – motorhomes are free but not local cars! We befriended the inspector who spoke a little English and soon he gave us a wealth of local knowledge and directions to the Catedral Leon, the Museum and the Old Quarter where of course he said the best and cheapest tapas could be found.
We never get sick of the majestic cathedrals and unusual architecture in Old Towns wherever we go, so again spent a few hours walking. Didn’t however stop to eat as we have been doing a little too much of that since arriving in Spain. Back for a delicious home cooked chicken and vegetable soup and made it through another alcohol free day.
Saturday 25th November
Had a little rain overnight but today is another beautiful day of cloudless blue skies.
Travelling along the flat open valleys was really easy, so we put on the iPod music and just enjoyed the scenery. Through more cultivated pastures – this time with a few patches of green vegetation showing through and acres and acres of vineyards again with more bodegas.
Saw the most unusual cloud formations along the horizon. Banks of white clouds really low with the sun shining on top of them. Normally the view you get when in a plane above the clouds.
Camp for tonight: Parking de Valorio, Zamora
First appearances driving into this town were deceiving with street after street of nondescript apartment blocks. A real surprise package during our walk through Old Town where it was hauntingly beautiful with medieval monuments throughout. Again a spectacular Catedral and Museum as well as never ending streets of old buildings and many town squares.
The campsite was adjacent to a large and beautiful park where there is a children’s playground and gym equipment for the adults. The park is huge and beautiful with trees in full Autumn colours. We sat and watched many of the locals using the gym. It was really cold outside late evening and even colder in the morning, but there they were in full tracksuits, gloves, beanies and scarves training in the cold. We sat inside Ziggy with the heater on watching ☺️.
Sunday 26th November
Only drove a short distance today to Salamanca and again another cloudless blue sky for our short but sweet trip.
Our camp for tonight: Parking de La Santisima Trinidad, Salamanca
The roundabouts in this town are really scary. They include streets that go through the middle of the roundabout, traffic lights, stop signs and give way signs and the traffic criss crosses through them. We were so glad to see the end of them and happily parked Ziggy here for the rest of the day. The campsite is beside a beautiful old church with a children’s playground beside the camp spot and then the river.
A short walk across the bridge and we were in the heart of Old Town. Visited the Salamanca Catedral which is just amazing. Built in late gothic and baroque styles, the two parts incorporate the old Catedral built in the 16th century and then the Catedral Nueva (new) built much later in the 18th century. Every street has old Renaissance style churches and buildings which lead to several small squares. The most spectacular square is Plaza Mayor built in the 17 hundreds. This was full of life with flamingo dancers performing in the centre.
Bars and cafes again around the extremities of the square with so many young people just sitting, eating, drinking and enjoying themselves. As we had been walking for hours, it was time to sit and enjoy and watch until it became so cold and late, we headed back home before it became too dark.
Monday 27th November
Another great day though a little overcast at the beginning.
We travelled along one of Spain’s scenic routes from Bejar through Plasencia and then onto Caceres. The highway wound through hilly countryside with picturesque views across the mountains and valleys.
Really enjoyed the travelling today and in no time arrived in Caceres.
Our camp for tonight: Area de Valhondo- 10, Caceres.
We had been warned this was a popular spot and filled up quickly so were surprised to find when we arrived at 1.30pm that only 8 of the 20 spots were occupied.
Had a quick bite and then headed off to the historic centre of Old Town about 800m away which was truly extraordinary. Narrow cobbled streets twist and climb among ancient stone walls lined with palaces and mansions. The skyline is decorated with turrets, spires, gargoyles and enormous stork nests. Built in the 16th century and protected by its defensive walls, it is still almost intact. Again several squares meet at different points throughout Old Town but Plaza Mayor is the feature. Bit quiet on a Monday but still had time to stop, have a well deserved drink, and take it all in.
Back to Ziggy to find the camp site full and every spare spot along the way, there was a motorhome – even the spaces delegated for bus parking were full of motorhomes.
Remarkable given the number of motorhomes here, it is really quiet. We have been so lucky with our choices of campsites with very few along the way being noisy or troublesome.