Friday 10th January – Wildcamping Location – Ribadeo – Aviles – Gijon (90 Miles)
Another fantastically quiet night, apart from the glorious sounds of the sea that is !! We awoke again totally refreshed and a little earlier this morning, it was only 09:15 !! Again we sat in bed with our coffee, the bedroom blinds fully open, and we sat just looking out at the waves roll in then break into white surf before crashing onto the rocks. We both could have stayed here longer, but we are very conscious of not wanting to be seen to overstay our welcome, and perhaps spoil it for those following in our tyre tracks.
We got up and prepared ‘Big Momma’ for moving on. I certainly wasn’t going to attempt to go back out the way we came in, which ‘Snoopy’ was directing us to do, I chose to ignore her and go with my gut instinct. This payed off as we found a much easier route out and would need to remember this for the time in the future when we would return, we both had said that we would return to this very welcoming, friendly and peaceful part of the Northern Spanish Coast.
So today’s itinerary was to travel to the ‘coastal’ town of ‘Ribadeo‘, not to stay, just to look around and perhaps pick up a carton of ‘UHT’ milk. It was not a long journey, we entered the very busy town and found a convenient ‘car park’ that had more than enough space to accommodate ‘Big Momma’. This didn’t initially look like a ‘tourist’ resort but the array of signs advertising the direction of a number of hotels and then the ‘tourist tat’ shops confirmed that it was. It wasn’t a pretty town as such, we had seen much better, but it wasn’t unpleasant either and we spent a little bit of time just meandering through the streets. There was a harbour and a Marina but we didn’t venture that far, primarily because of the hill we would have had to walk back up had we have done so !! On the way back we called in to a quite large local Supermarket to get our carton of ‘UHT’ milk and also came out with a ‘few‘ other items, namely more supplies of the local falling over juice !!
Our next scheduled night stop would be in the town of ‘Aviles‘, our guide book stated that it was parking at a ‘Restaurant’ that also had ‘Motorhome Services’. Getting out of Ribadeo caused us no problems and as it was conveniently located next to the A8 ‘Toll Free’ Motorway we were soon speeding our way on some beautiful smooth road, and with ‘Cruise Control’ set, it was sit back and just enjoy the magnificent scenery. Our ‘road map’ showed part of thus Motorway ‘Under Construction’, it wasn’t, it was finished !! ‘Snoopy’s’ mapping didn’t know that so it showed us driving over green fields and ‘Snoopy’ was having a bit of a ‘fit’ to say the least. We just ignored her remonstrations of “Turn Right”, “Turn Left“, “At the next opportunity do a ‘U’ turn“, at any moment I expected to see ‘smoke’ pouring out of her before bursting into flames and disintegrating on the dashboard, we turned the volume on the iPod up a bit louder and just ignored her !!
We arrived at Aviles and because of some new road layouts we took the wrong turn off one of the roundabouts and ended up doing a ‘three-point turn’ on a narrow, but busy, outer suburb road !! We got back onto the right road but only to discover that the ‘Restaurant’ car park was full with cars !! It did have one of those ‘Blue & White’ Motorhome Services signs at the entrance but there was no way we could have entered the car park, let alone turn around in it if we had decided to try, and where the ‘Service Point’ was, well that was anyone’s guess !! We had no option, the queue of cars behind us meant we had to keep going, but that led to a narrow ‘out of town’ road that just kept getting narrower !! We pulled over, we re-programmed ‘Snoopy’ to take us to ‘Gijon‘. We had planned to visit ‘Gijon’ tomorrow, oh well, what’s that I said about needing to be flexible ? This is where ‘Snoopy’ decided to take revenge for me ignoring her earlier !! Oh yes, she took us out of Aviles alright, via narrow, twisting country roads, ‘the bitch’ !!
Eventually, she led us back to the sanctuary of the wide, three-laned Motorway and at last my ‘bum cheeks’ could relax once more !! But not for long, to get to our next ‘tolerated’ parking place in Gijon I had to drive through the centre of this very large, very busy, three-lane, one way, sprawling city centre that had a fetish for traffic lights, pedestrian crossings and roundabouts, and of course the now common place occurrence of drivers who say, ‘I will just abandon my car in the middle of this busy city street’ !! I have never heard one person say as many “Hail Mary’s” so fast, I am thinking of nominating our Shazza for an entry in the ‘Guinness Book of Records” !! I may even get her to nominate me for the amount of ‘squeaky noises‘ that bum cheeks can make !!
We arrived at our car park, our ‘Tolerated’ parking place. How can I describe in words this wonderous place for this is no ‘run of the mill’ car park. This is a ‘upper class’ car park with its neatly pruned six-foot high hedges, its decorative lamp posts that adjoin and give direct access to a beautifully maintained and landscaped ‘public’ park, adorned with Palm trees. This park that gives direct access via well maintained footpaths and cycle paths to a wide and beautiful promenade which extends right around the ‘horseshoe’ harbour and beach for a distance of three miles !! This city has what you may call a ‘Cosmopolitan’ feel, similar to London, Venice, Paris, Barcelona and I dare say many more. It is lined with streets that would take days to explore !! We have just one, for we are in urgent need of some ‘Motorhome Services’, another one of those places that will be added to our ‘Must Return To’ list !! However, we do still have a few hours to explore the long promenade, and explore we did, our walk covered a distance of 6.5 miles !! Hopefully the photographs will give you just a small taster of what we experienced !! We stopped on our return ‘leg’ for a well deserved coffee at one of the numerous Cafe/Bars that fronted the Promenade and used their ‘free’ WiFi to catch up with Emails, download some photographs into my blog and then get one of them published, I still have two pre-drafted ‘posts’ to publish but they will have to wait for another ‘WiFi’ opportunity somewhere else along our route !
When we returned to ‘Big Momma’ we saw another Motorhome entering the car park, some company for ‘Big Momma’. It did a circuit and it looked as if they were not sure whether they could park here. I noticed that it was a ‘Spanish’ registered van and as it approached to where we were parked I gave them a friendly wave. When the van pulled up the male solo driver wound down his window and we engaged in short but very pleasant ‘Spanglish’ conversation. We settled down for the evening’ tired from our walk but feeling all the better for it. The car park emptied and I settled down to draft out today’s activities for the next blog ‘post’ and to bring an end to another ‘interesting’ day on ‘Big Mommas Great Adventure’