A Shock To The System !!

Coria to Salamanca (106 Miles)

The one downside to ‘Wildcamping’ are those damn night noises, it doesn’t matter where we are, we can be in the company of other Motorhomers or completely isolated, miles from civilisation, but I still hear them. Shazza never hears them, she is confident with our additional ‘in house’ security arrangements combined with the normal van security that no-one is going to get in, and to that extent so am I. However, it’s the damage that can be caused by someone ‘attempting’ to get in that causes me concern as it will still be me at the end of the day who will be left to get the repairs done !! However, let me just put this into perspective, no-one has actually ever attempted to break in to ‘Big Momma’, the night noises are either the van just settling and cooling down at night, a bit like how a house has certain creaks and groans and you just learn to accept and live with them, or the noises are caused by the breeze or wind, but until my brain can figure out the reason or source then I just cannot sleep. So, the night noises kept me awake yet again, well after Shazza went into snoring mode, which she absolutely refutes, one day I will play her back the recordings on my iPhone !!

Shazza had set the alarm clock, something we rarely do these days, we generally just get up when we are good and ready and never before our first morning Cuppa under the duvet, but we didn’t want to linger, we were grateful to have been allowed to overnight on the doorstep of this town without being told to move on, we didn’t want to out stay our welcome, we did however, still have the customary morning Cuppa. Today was not scheduled to be a long journey, but neither was yesterday’s ‘Shazzas Mystery Tour’ !! Today should be a mere two and a half hour, 106 mile, trip to Salamanca. We were initially going to stay on an Aire near to the town centre, it didn’t have ‘any’ services but we didn’t need any for a couple or three days. However, we consulted the ‘Works of Fiction’ and it didn’t make very good reading, it was forecasting below freezing temperatures at night and even ‘Snow’ on Friday !! So we consulted our ACSI Campsite guide and discovered ‘Camping Regio’ just on the outskirts of the main town, more importantly it had a bus stop right outside the gate of the site, but it also had all the usual provisions, Motorhome Service Point, Showers, Toilets, EHU and WiFi, if it was going to get ‘wintery’ then it would be worth every penny of the €16 nightly fee and this would be much better than a ‘no services’ parking place !

We had already started to feel the change in the weather, the internal temperature gauge now reading 5 degrees(c) in the morning instead of the 14 degrees we had become accustomed to !! So, we were soon packed up and on the road, the sun was still waking up but it looked as if we would get another blue sky travelling day. It was ‘toll free’ Motorway all the way and once again we were making good time and enjoying the views.

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Eeeek !! Is that white stuff on the mountains to the right what I think it is ?

Eeeek !! Is that white stuff on the mountains In the middle of the photograph what I think it is ?

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We hadn’t felt the need to make a flask of coffee for the journey but after an hour we both wished we had. Shazza suggested that if I could find a decent place to stop she would not only make me a coffee but a ‘Bacon Buttie’ to go with it. Now this really was going to be a challenge, another thing that the Spanish don’t seem to do, that all other European nations do, is to provide ‘rest areas’ on Motorways for drivers. Of course there are Service Stations but these are generally just places to get fuel, not nice grassed picnic areas to pull over for an hour or so, or the time it takes to boil a kettle, fry some bacon and eat your sandwich. However, this was no ordinary challenge, this was a ‘Bacon Buttie’ challenge and for that I would pull out all the stops !!

Now then Shazza, did I do good or what !!

Now then Shazza, did I do good or what !!

How is that for a view to look at whilst chomping on a lovely hot, crispy bacon Buttie !!

How is that for a view to look at whilst chomping on a lovely hot, crispy bacon Buttie !!

Suitably fed and watered we were soon on our way again but there was to be a dramatic change in the scenery and temperature as the Motorway clawed its way high up into the mountains. We could see the low cloud clinging to the mountain sides and a few peaks pushing through them into daylight again but we hadn’t expected the very sudden change that confronted us. We had climbed up a peak in sunshine and blue sky, then suddenly, without any warning we hit this………………

This is not Fog, this is driving through the clouds !!

This is not Fog, this is driving through the clouds !!

It was more than a little bit eerie, but after a couple of minutes it was back to this…………

One minute it was this......

It was not a particularly warm day, irrespective of what it looks like in the photographs, the external temperature didn’t get above 11 degrees(c), however, the second we entered the cloud the temperature plummeted to 6 degrees(c) !! It reminded us a bit of last year’s trip when we drove through part of the ‘Picos Europa’ mountain range a bit further North from here, but it all adds to the driving memories of such trips.

‘Snoopy’ did another great job guiding us to the front door of ‘Camping Regio’, which is actually behind the ‘Hotel Regio’, although a ‘Open All Year’ site in the winter you book in at the Hotel Reception. The site didn’t look very much in its drab winter livery, all the leaves on the trees had gone and the site only had a few vans already pitched, notably the majority were with ‘UK’ registrations, and as I discovered later, most were bound for Santander in a few days time. The site facilities were very clean, piping hot water in the showers, although they were of the ‘push button’ variety, the WiFi without the iBoost would have been usable but with the iBoost it made connection a little bit faster with the stronger signal.

After coffee, and the last two ‘English Butcher’ sausage rolls, Shazza suffered with her ‘Restless Legs’ syndrome again and we know what that means don’t we ? Having stepped out of the van on a couple of occasions, even wearing a thick sweater, the icy cold wind just bit straight through, it was certainly ‘A Shock To The System’ and served to confirm that we are now back in to colder climates and will need to dress appropriately !! So, as well as thick sweaters it was also rain jackets with inner fleeces attached, I was glad that I had remembered to leave my gloves in the pocket, I had a feeling I may just be needing them as well. Fortunately, with the cold air biting at our ears, Shazza didn’t feel inclined to walk me the three and a half miles into central Salamanca, we did less than 4km today but at least we had our ‘daily walk’, which I just know that Sandra (Baxterbus Blog) will be pleased to read !! However, I have a feeling that Shazza will more than make up for it when we go on another one of her ‘Expeditions’ tomorrow so best I get a good restful sleep. At least there will be no ‘night noises’, there are never any night noises when we are parked up on ‘Aires’ or Campsites, I wonder why that might be ?………………………..

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16 Responses to A Shock To The System !!

  1. s& says:

    Nearly there :0(
    we start to pack up and wash down tomorrow, then back to the north coast for an overnight on Sunday , then leave the site late on Monday as the ferry is not till 11.00 pm !! Enjoy your last few days , pos Skype Sunday eve ???
    S&L xx

    • So you guys have finished the latest project and will get a bit of leisure time before the next one 👍 Unfortunately we are likely to be on an Aire on Sunday evening so anticipating no WiFi, however, if I get a signal on the iBoost and you are on-line will give you a call 👍 Safe journey, speak soon 😄

  2. shawnandemma says:

    Good morning to you both. I think you should both start practicing wearing multiple layers of clothing to get used to the extra weight (and I don’t mean all those sausage rolls and bacon butties) Don’t want to depress you, but youv still got around 1500 miles north to go and it’s cold cold cold up here. I hope March brings the warmer weather, normally between now and May we have some of the best of the year. Enjoying the blogs as allways. Have a safe trip. Shawn.👍

    • Hi you two, wore multiple layers today, started very cold but by lunchtime was lovely and warm 👍 no snow, as forecast by the Works of Fiction, should have known really 😄 Keeping an eye on the weather up North and keeping fingers crossed for a March heatwave 😂😂

  3. You’ll be pleased to hear it’s been raining for two days here in Corinth, but I am still wearing my shorts….safe travels

    • Never pleased to hear anyone has got bad weather on their trips, we come away for Winter Sun 😎 The BBC weather got it totally wrong, again !! Very cold this morning, jumpers and fleeces had to be worn but the sun was out and we had a good day in Salamanca 👍 Hope your weather improves 😉

  4. Jennifer Jones says:

    We have stayed at Camping Regio and done the bus ride to Salamanca . Happy memories of our trip

  5. Baxterbus says:

    I have my money of you walking into Salamanca rather than catching the bus 🙂 The bacon butty made us very envious, we haven’t seen proper bacon for over 3 months. Sorry its cold there, just to be fair will share with you, snowed here again today! – followed by 7 hours on torrential rain. Ah to be in Greece in winter – bet you find its drier and warmer at the Elf / Elfette site. 🙂

    • Hand over your money now !! 😂😂 We got the bus in and out, didn’t prevent her from making me trek 13km though 😧 Weatherman got it wrong about the snow, it was icy cold in the morning but nice and warm in the afternoon, still had fleeces on though !! Hope your weather improves 👍 The Bacon supplies were re-stocked from the ‘English Butchers’ in La Duquesa, all gone again now though 😪

  6. nomaggsrush says:

    Sorry to hear about the crap weather, but at least, for once, I’m not jealous. Pretty please, can you try and bring some of those double figured temps back with you? I’m sick of layering.

    • We have been watching the weather for Northern Spain and UK for a few weeks now, so we kinda knew what we were coming back to 😳 No sunshine or high temps to bring back, was rather hoping for an ‘Indian Spring’ 😂😂

  7. Thomas Hope says:

    I love the description “this is not fog but a cloud were driving through” 😉 Isn’t that the same thing ? LOL

    • You may be right 😄 I think of fog as being at ground level, this was actual low cloud up in the mountains, it hung around the face of the mountains and the peaks then protruded through. It was a bit like being on an aircraft but I don’t think of that as fog 😂

  8. Graham Baines says:

    Hi there Eric and Shazza and welcome back to Blighty. I hope you have a great time catching up with family and friends over the coming days and look forward to your forthcoming blogs with the statistics for your trip with great anticipation.
    Like all who have responded I would also like to state what a loss we would feel if you were to “Hang up your boots” from the blog (if not from Shazza’s little expeditions) as I have been following your adventures off and on for quite some time and have found them to be both entertaining and more importantly inspirational.
    I have never been a great user of “social media” type sites and have only very recently joined the modern age and created my own Facebook page so I am perhaps guilty of being one of the “Lurkers” on the site as I have only been a regular reader rather than a responder (something that I will have to get over if the coming months go as planned), but let me stress how much I have enjoyed reading every one of your posts.
    For the past couple of years my wife Sue and I have been dreaming of retiring from our jobs and retiring as early as financially possible. Our children are all grown up and becoming independent and we have always loved following the sun and going abroad as often as we could. We had first raised the idea of traveling France in a campervan with a view to buying a small property if and when we found an area we both liked and believed that we would be happy to settle in. however over time, this idea evolved into travelling more extensively rather than buying and staying in any one area. As such we began to think about a larger vehicle in which to travel and I began trawling the internet looking for advice and guidance. This was when I first happened across blogs such as “Our Tour” written by Julie and Jason and “Europe by camper” by Adam and Sophie.
    These sites opened our eyes to further possibilities and as we read more, we began to realise that this lifestyle and the freedom that it offered was something that we really envied. However, there was still the big question of financial viability which needed to be considered. Late 2014, saw me looking deeper into our finances and the discovery that pensions legislation had changed somewhat and was due to change even further from April 2015 for those aged 55 or over (me exactly) and that the new regulations would mean that we would be able to access our pension pots which had been held separately to our existing company pensions from our respective 55th birthdays. Further investigation into previous company pension which we held revealed even better news and we have now taken the plunge and decided to retire as of May 2016 when sue reaches her 55th.
    We are now at the stage of searching for a suitable vehicle for our retirement and have narrowed the choice down to either an Autotrail Comanche (Island bed) or a Cheyenne 840SE (slightly older range but twin fixed singles), both of which are tag – axle vehicles or an Autotrail Savannah (twin fixed singles) but on a shorter chassis. We have visited a couple of motorhome shows and the NEC show in Birmingham looking for advice and inspiration and are still happy with the above choices but would love some feedback from users of either type. We are going to visit the national Motorhome show at Peterborough in April again looking for inspiration on our choice of vehicle and inspecting as many pre-owned MH’s as possible.
    Once again Eric and Shazza many thanks for your ramblings on your ramblings I wish you a happy stay back in the UK and hope that time passes quickly until the next chapter in your adventures. Apologies for what now seems to me like an overly long introduction, perhaps there is a way to talk further rather than my seemingly hijacking on your blog pages, either via the Facebook icon (does this keep my writings off your blog and hence keep the blog “cleaner”), or via old fashioned email?.

    All the best for the future

    Graham (and Sue) Baines

    • Graham (and Sue), I really don’t know what to say about your very kind words on the blog, except a sincere thank you. It appears that I have gathered quite a following, which was never anticipated when I started writing my ramblings, it was initially for friends and family. Please feel free to write to me via Email and I will try to answer as many of your questions as possible (Email address on Contact Page on blog).

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