Jul 142018

During our recent holiday around Spain we did not visit all the places that we had planned due to the poor weather on the north coast which is unusual for this time of year. However, we had a great time away for an extended period in our Adria Sonic, we covered a total of 2163 kilometres and this consumed 255 litres of diesel which cost €308 and we stayed in 6 different campsites for a cost of €309.

A brief review of our campsites in order:

  • Camping Entrerobbles near Soria – this was our second visit to this site and nothing has changed in the 12 months since our last visit, there was still no wifi, the pool wasn’t yet open despite the 32 degree temperature. The mushroom meal in the campsite restaurant was very good like last time. The site is remote and transport is needed for a longer stay. Cost €23pn.
  • Caravanning Oyambre near Comillas – again this was our second visit to this site and nothing had changed in the year since we had last stayed here. We stayed in the same area as last year. Unfortunately the weather was poor with rain, wind and grey skies every day. The campsite restaurant was as good as before and the staff as usual were very helpful. The taxi into Comillas for the Friday market was only €6 each way. ACSI site. Cost €19pn.
  • Camping Cudillero near Cudillero – a nice grassy site with large pitches and excellent fast wifi. The campsite restaurant was just OK and nothing special. This was another site where transport was required to do any local exploring as it was some distance from town and a steep climb down to the beach down a twisty road. The weather here was terrible with torrential rain, hail storms and high winds. ACSI site. Cost €17pn.
  • Camping Pedro Ponce in Sahagun – this site is a municipal one and is right on the pilgrim route from Santiago de Compostella. The touring pitches are large grass areas with unmarked pitches so that you can take as much room as you need. We stayed here for some time as we liked the site and it was only 10 minutes walk into town. There was lots to see in the town as well as a large Dia supermarket. The campsite restaurant looked nothing and the menu was nothing special, however, the chef was excellent and everything was home-made from local produce and was excellent and very cheap. Refurbished wash blocks and modern facilities with free wifi made this a remarkably cheap site and was a favourite. €15pn
  • Camping Ruta de la Plata near Salamanca – this site was very disappointing given that it was an ACSI site, the wash blocks and in fact the entire site was old and tired and in need of some time and money spending on it. The earth pitches were over grown with weeds, the trees were in need of pruning as they scraped both the sides and the roof of the motorhome. There was only one fresh water tap for the whole site and manoeuvring into the grey waste disposal point was not easy. The campsite restaurant was only open for light breakfast and closed for the rest of the day. The only thing to recommend it was the bus stop right outside the door to Salamanca itself. Cost €19.20pn.
  • Kiko Park Rural near Villargodo de Cabril – again this was our second visit to this site in 12 months and nothing had changed. Reasonably large fully serviced gravel pitches with little shade and can be quite windy at times. The onsite restaurant is good and the free wifi speed is OK for emails and browsing but little else. The wash room facilities are starting to look a bit tired with shower doors rotting at the bottom and toilet cisterns not attached to the wall. Our most expensive site and not really worth the money in comparison with other sites that we stayed at on this trip. Transport would be needed if staying for any period of time as it is in the middle of nowhere. ACSI site that cost €28pn.

Holiday route

Jul 112018

We had a bit of a lie in this morning and when we got up we checked the weather forecast for the day. It was due to be another scorcher and at least 4 degrees cooler at home. As a result we decided to pack up and head home, after packing up we had a quick coffee and then left at about 10.30am. We went back through the village and then re-joined the A3 in the direction of Valencia, the closer we got to Valencia the busier the motorway got. We left the A3 turning onto the A7 heading south and towards home. On this section of the motorway we saw two other Adria motorhomes, the first that we had seen since leaving Caravanning Oyambre 10 days ago. We stopped at the service are north of Gandia for a quick sandwich and then continued down the A7 to Ondara. We stopped at the shopping centre and filled the tanks with diesel ready for our next trip and then headed home and were parked up by about 2.30pm. I walked home and collected the car and we unloaded the motorhome and took everything home and then had a refreshing swim in our own pool.

We weren’t away for quite as long as we had intended and we didn’t visit all the areas we wanted to but we still had a very enjoyable holiday.

Today’s route

Jul 102018

Due to the forecast temperature and our disappointment in the campsite we decided to leave this morning rather that stay and go into Salamanca. As a result we packed up and left just after half past nine. We left the campsite and traced our route back to the motorway and followed the ring road around Salamanca and we joined the A50 motorway heading towards Avila. As we travelled down the motorway we saw the cathedral of Avila towering above the spectacular town walls. This is certainly a city that we have added to our must visit list and it was truly incredible to see. We then joined the AP51 motorway and were looking for somewhere for coffee but there were no services on this section of motorway, luckily it was fairly short and we then joined the AP6 motorway in the direction of Madrid and found a service area here for coffee.

We followed the satnav route to the outskirts of Madrid where it became fairly busy and we drove underneath the cable car that runs across Madrid. We then joined the M30 inner ring motorway and were surprised that this was a 3 lane in each direction underground motorway with a 70kmh speed limit. The satnav lost its location needless to say as it couldn’t get a position signal. We were surprised after about 12-15km the satnav suddenly announced take the next exit in 2km, sure enough 1km later the first sign appeared for the A3 towards Valencia, very impressed with the CoPilot satnav. We joined the A3 motorway and as it left Madrid it was a rough concrete road surface, luckily this didn’t last for long and soon became relatively smooth tarmac. We stopped at the A77 service area for lunch and it was excellent. They had home-made cakes in a chiller cabinet and so we decided to treat ourselves to a piece each of Santiago tart for me and an apple tart for Ingrid. The barman cut us off huge pieces and wrapped them up for us. They went in the fridge in the motorhome for afternoon tea after we arrived at our next stop.

We rejoined the A3 and continued towards Valencia and went over the huge bridge over the dammed lake near the campsite, the water level in the lake was even lower than I remember from last year. We turned off the motorway shortly afterwards and went into Villargordo del Cabriel and the on to Kiko Park Rural arriving at just after 4pm. We checked in and were offered the same pitch as we had last year or any other that was vacant. As last years pitch was convenient for the wash block and the restaurant that is where we set up. We then had afternoon tea and the cakes we had purchased at lunchtime. The temperature outside the motorhome was 36 degrees and inside was 38 degrees, a most uncomfortable temperature. After showers we went to the restaurant and had a good meal that was unfortunately spoilt by the large number of flies that bombarded us and so we rather rushed our dinner. After coffee we returned to the motorhome and sat outside with a nice nightcap.

Today’s route

Jul 092018

Just after 1am I was rudely awoken by Ingrid saying there was someone knocking on the motorhome, I got up and checked without going outside and couldn’t see anything and said it may have been the wind knocking a tree branch into the motorhome. I went back to bed, a few minutes later Ingrid was convinced that she heard something else and went out to investigate and found to young teenagers hiding under the rear of the motorhome, I went out and as I opened the door they ran off. I stayed with the motorhome and Ingrid went to tell the security guard, he searched around the site but could not find them. We both had a restless sleep for the rest of the night and got up early to a bright sunrise with clear skies but it was very windy. We completed packing up and left just after 10am but found that the campsite reception did not open until 11am and so we were unable to pay our campsite fees.

We left the campsite and retraced our route back towards Leon on the A231 and on the outskirts of Leon we turned onto the A66 heading south towards Zamora. Soon after we joined the A66 we passed a huge breakers yard, but it wasn’t a normal one for cars but had hundreds of cranes, JCB’s, diggers, tractors and other plant machinery, I have never seen anything like it before. We stopped for coffee along the A66 and then continued to Zamora leaving the motorway to head into the Lidl for some food shopping. After the shopping we followed the satnav back through the centre of Zamora and then back on to the A66. We continued along the A66 until we reached the outskirts of Salamanca and then followed the satnav direct to the campsite. We checked in and were told to find a pitch that we liked.

For an ACSI site we were not impressed with Camping Ruta de la Plata, the site looked generally tired and uncared for. The trees needed pruning as they were very low and scraped the side and the top of the motorhome, there was only one water tap for the entire site and the grey waste disposal point was at the bottom of the site and not easy to manoeuvre into with a 7.5m motorhome. The toilet block was tired and needed some work, there was no soap by the basins and the washing machine and pots and pans washing area was also unloved and old. The pitches were earth partially covered in weeds that needed cutting back. To top the lot the bar was only open for coffee and croissant for breakfast and the wifi only worked in the bar area. We tried to sit outside but there were lots of small flying bugs that were annoying but not biting thank goodness. As a result we decided to stay here just for the one night and head on.

An eventful 24 hours all in all and not one we want to repeat. I emailed Camping Pedro Ponce about leaving without paying and am waiting to hear back from them.

Today’s route

Jul 082018

We awoke again to another clear blue skied sunrise with a slight breeze. I managed  to get the awning closed properly by opening it part way and then pushing the frame forwards, this allowed it to close properly. We turned the ground sheet over to dry in the sun. After it was dry we folded it up and packed it away, cleaned the pegs and put them away too. I drove across to the grey waste point and emptied the grey water holding tank and then parked the van back around the other way, as a result we did not need the levelling ramps.

For lunch we ate in the campsite restaurant. It was an excellent meal with home made salad and home made chips and was really reasonably priced. After lunch I settled down to watch the exciting Grand Prix from Silverstone and Ingrid sat in the sun reading. At about 6pm the sky darkened and the wind picked up but the forecast rain didn’t arrive. After a light snack for tea we stowed some of the items to make departure in the morning quicker and then settled to watch a film.

Jul 072018

As we went to bed last night there was thunder and lightning which then stopped and a little later there was some light rain. This morning we woke to a brilliant sunrise and clear skies but found that the light rain had in fact been much heavier after we were asleep and I had not put enough fall on the awning and so there was a puddle in the roof canvas. I drained it all off, it and the windblockers dried fairly quickly in the sunshine. Looking at the forecast we are due more rain later today and so once the windblockers were dry we folded them and put them away and I put a lot more fall on the awning as we still needed it for protection from the sun.

I got the folding bike out to go into town for some milk and cold meats for today. I found that the road to the town was more uphill than I realised when we had walked it before. After doing the shopping I coasted 3/4 of the way back without pedalling. After lunch I watched the grand prix qualifying and saw the England result on the BBC website. Who would have expected England to make the semi finals. About 6pm the thunder started again. There was some small amount of rain during the evening and there was an unusual sunset.

Unusual sunset

Jul 062018

We stayed at the campsite today just chilling, Ingrid did some washing. We discussed out plans for the last section of this holiday and have decided to stay here until Monday and then head to Salamanca just for two days and then onto Madrid for two days then spend the final night at Kiko Park rural before heading home a day early on Saturday 14th. I made the necessary calls to change our bookings, what is worrying is that the Madrid site didn’t have a record of our booking despite the fact that we have paid a deposit. I will have to sort that out when we arrive. The pitches around us started to fill up during the course of the afternoon with more campers arriving for the weekend. The majority had tents, some of them went up very quickly and others too much longer, they varied in size from large to huge.

For dinner tonight we have decided to try the campsite restaurant. We arrived there just after 7.30 and found it very full, we were the only non-Spanish there. We had drinks, I tried the local cider which was excellent and only €2 for a litre bottle. When the kitchen opened at 8pm we ordered two of their tuna and mushroom pizzas. The first arrived and it was large but not quite enough for two, the chef asked if we wanted the second one, we said yes but in the end we could only manage one and a half before being stuffed. We can highly recommend these if anyone visits this site. We made our way back to the site and turned in early as we were both tired after a day of not doing much.

Jul 052018

We decided to go back up to the town today to do some shopping for food and other bits and pieces. As we left the campsite we saw a large flock of sheep walking along the pilgrims route in the direction of the town. They were lead by the shepherd and his dogs and were all happily following without the dogs encouraging them.

We went up to the main square and got some bits there and then back to the Dia supermarket where we spent longer in the checkout queue than we did shopping for food. It was a good job that we had ‘grannies trolley’ with us otherwise my arm would ahve dropped off with what we ended up buying. We returned to the campsite and had lunch. We then spent the afternoon pottering and reading and then for dinner we had a bbq of the entrecôte steaks that we bought earlier.

Jul 042018

We woke to a brilliant sunrise this morning, at about 8am with the sun shining brightly we had a brief light shower of rain. I decided to see if I could resolve the issue with the kitchen drawers failing to lock properly, I have found the cause and we have a temporary fix but it will have to be properly resolved when the motorhome goes in for its first service in September.

We had a lazy day today, with coffee at the campsite restaurant and later a nice lunch of left over bbq from Monday. The skies got cloudy and the wind picked up and we had another light sprinkle of rain in the afternoon. A 5 year old Spanish girl on the plot next to us has made friends with Ingrid and has been practising her English. Reading and taking it easy took up the rest of the day. A nice relaxing holiday.

Jul 032018

We decided to go into Sahagun this morning to explore some of the sites and to find a bank and the supermarket. Just as we were about to leave our Irish neighbours wanted to chat about satnav’s, leveling ramps and windblockers, we gave them the information wanted and had a general chat about motorhoming. They then packed up and left and we grabbed our stuff and set off to walk into the town. We walked along the main road and then across the polisportu car park and over a pedestrian bridge across the river. We continued into town and stopped at the first bar we found for coffee.

After coffee we crossed the road and entered the small church which housed the tomb of King Alfonso IV and a separate tomb for his six wives. The church was very luxurious and there was a local guide to give us some information about the church. The archway across the main street as well as a couple of the church towers had storks in their nests on. We explored the town and found the Dia supermarket which was much larger than we expected. We walked back to the main square and looked at the menus at some of the restaurants but settled for a small one on the main street in the end and had an excellent mushroom risotto and drinks for lunch.

After lunch we walked back through the town and crossed the old stone bridge across the river and then back to the campsite. After Ingrid did a bit of hand washing we read and pottered for the rest of the afternoon.