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