Thursday 19th February
San Clemente 39.397221 -2.435641
We've spent the last couple of days saying "au revoir" to the friends we've made over the last few months. Maria and Reyes from the bodega, Tracy from "The Blues House", Dave and Trish, Clive and Vicky, Bruno and Evelyn, Sue and Keith,the lasses from the bakery where we had coffee and freshly baked bread most mornings and the campsite staff. Trish is desolate that she now has no one to share backing vocals with and Dave will have to go fishing on his own. But we've made our reservations so we'll see them all again next winter.
A few hours driving brought us to San Clemente and an Aire recommended by a couple who are also travelling around Spain and who mentioned it on their blog http://themotorhomeyears.blogspot.com.es . They said that if you squinted you could almost imagine you were on one of the prettier Aires in France, I had to actually close my eyes to get that impression but it's nice enough. On the edge of a small town with an adjacent canal which is only missing a Safeway trolley to make us feel at home. As we arrived in the early afternoon the market was just packing up and we noticed a chicken rotisserie van being cleaned up. I didn't expect much success but went over anyway to see if they had a chicken left. We were in luck, they gave us the last two for the price of one! Two delicious chickens for €9, they'll keep us going for a few days.
The temperature is at least ten or twelve degrees cooler now we have moved 160 miles north so it's out with the winter jackets which I expect will get plenty of use from now on. It's toasty in the van though but I wouldn't be surprised to find frost on the ground in the morning. The local police and the Guardia Civil have been cruising around for the last couple of hours and we give them a cheery wave and get one in return which is nice and reassuring.
Tomorrow we set off for another Aire at Pinto on the southern outskirts of Madrid which is only a couple of hours up the road and if we were staying for a day or two we would have visited Madrid but I think we'll save that for another trip.
The Aire at San Clemente: