Tuesday 28th October.
We are parked up this evening in Calatayud at an Area de Servicio Para Autocaravanas, that is a car park with water, waste dump and a dedicated parking area for folks like us. It's just a two minute walk to the heart of this provincial city and suits us quite nicely. Yesterday we spent the night in a car park on the outskirts of Soria where overnight parking was "tolerated" according to our guide book. When we first started motorhoming we weren't terribly confident about stopping overnight other than on campsites or dedicated motorhome parking locations. We also planned our stops, not just our journey, days in advance. As we gained confidence we now have a vague idea where we are going and are happy enough parking (not camping, there's a difference) anywhere we think we'll get a nights sleep and feel safe. In France it's easy, just about every town or village has an Aire de Camping Car with varying degrees of services. This area of Spain doesn't have much at all listed in our guide books as far as Aires are concerned and we now try and avoid campsites, unless we need a washing machine, due to the cost. Also most of the campsites inland are now closed for the winter. Consequently we now look at a town or city in the general direction we want to go and which is not too far a drive and hope we'll find somewhere to stop the night. So yesterday we set off from Burgos planning to stop in a car park in the Parque Natural, Canyon del Rio Lobos. We arrived there in the early afternoon in scorching sunshine, had some lunch and then after watching some large birds of prey (eagles?) soaring and circling above us decided that the location was a bit remote for an overnight stay. We pushed on to Soria, parked up and walked up into the town. We needed a pharmacy to get some more dressings for Phil's leg and, mission accomplished, found that there wasn't too much to entertain us in Soria. We were parked next to a Monastery which was open to visitors but which was, in fact, closed. As was the Cathedral (what is it with Cathedrals in provincial Spanish cities? They're all closed!)
When we set off this morning we only intended stopping here for lunch and a quick look around but seeing as the new motorhome parking area had recently been opened we parked and set off for the Tourist Information office. Unfortunately the staff didn't speak English, which is not a criticism, I doubt whether the staff in the TIO in Bradford or, say, Bristol speak Spanish, but they gave us a map and invited us to look around their in house Roman museum gratis. Did I comment upon broken pottery, busts with missing noses and small sections of excavated mosaic? No, I didn't. We explored the town for a while and having worked up an appetite came back for some lunch followed by a cheeky siesta.
We met an English couple here when we arrived who were on their way home and they told us of a parking spot next to the Guardia Civil in Teruel which is where we'll head for tomorrow, stopping on the way at Laguna de Gallocanta to see if we can see some cranes.
The entrance to the church of Santa Domingo in Soria.
Strange weather today. We set off again in glorious sunshine and although it was a bit nippy it was shorts and flip flops. We drove through some mist off the fields which turned to fog and then low cloud and when we stopped for coffee we thought we'd seen the last of the sun, it was cold so we changed into jeans. We arrived here and within 30 minutes it was really hot and sunny again! Good forecast for the next few days though, mid 70s - you're welcome.