After a nice hot shower and a nice hot cup of tea we locked the bikes and the Mobile to a tree, unhooked the electrics and drove into a town to get some groceries and find a bank.
We could find both about 25 km north in the hillside town of Torecilla en Cameros. We took a minor road in off the highway and wondered at times if we were going to make it through the narrow streets and closely packed cars – apparently there’s a much larger road in a little further along.
We stopped and asked a local man where the supermarket was and he told us in pretty good english to cross the bridge, turn right, park the campervan and walk up. His instructions were good – we turned a corner and went up and over a very narrow, steep stone bridge, turned right and found a nice little parking area about ½ mile on. After parking we walked back a bit to some wide stone stairs and climbed up to the ‘main’ road.
We didn’t walk very far before we saw everything we needed – cafes and bars, a bank and a supermarket that was actually open – it being the lunch hour by now. When we were doing our shopping it was kind of funny – we were looking at the veggies and talking about what we had and what we might need. I then asked the young girl for ‘dos tomate’ and she laughed and said ‘you can ask me in english’ but of course that was an easy one and she did understand my attempt at spanish.
We picked up a few other things, then retrieved Mo from where she’d been tethered outside and strolled back along the main road. We stopped at one of the cafes for a drink – it was a really nice little town, with lots of folks walking around or sitting together chatting. So nice to see the locals out and about and socializing during a weekday.
Heading back towards the campground we decided to continue on past it and check out the ‘Ermita de la Virgen de Lomos de Orios’ that was just 5.5 km further up the road. Along the way we had to stop for a flock of sheep – they were milling around on and beside the road, and two of the three large sheepdogs were actually lying on the road. They had no inclination to move until their owner made a hand gesture, then they immediatley got up and herded the sheep all to the side.
The ‘Ermita’ was in a very lovely spot but I’m not sure how old the building was, and the satellite dishes on one side kind of ruined the ‘hermitage’ idea of it.
The next morning was slightly brighter and eventually turned a bit sunny. We took our time packing up – I had to dry the tent fly out a bit and aired out my sleeping bag and tent.
We left the little campground around 12:30 – it was a lovely place and we were a bit sad to leave it. We headed north to Logrono to meet Ricardo later this evening, but with some time to kill we parked the campervan and walked into the city centre/old town.
We walked around some, then sat at a cafe and got a drink – once again incredibly tasty rioja. I had to restrain myself – with some effort – from getting into a verbal confrontation with four women at a nearby table. Two of them were smoking and I really, really wanted to say something like: ‘if you want to commit suicide by cigarette – go ahead! I don’t care! – but you have zero right to pollute the air that I breathe and give it to me second hand’.
But – I did restrain myself and chose to leave instead of having another lovely glass of rioja.
We went back to a lay-by and had a nice dinner of pasta and salad, then went out to meet Ricardo to pick up the three cases of rioja he’d gotten for Tony. We met him and his lovely wife Christina and their bellisima daughter Lucy just at the edge of town. Ricardo’s grandparents owned a place there and they still have it which they use now in the summer.
We had a really nice visit over a drink, then loaded the cases of rioja up – Lucy had left to go out with friends – she’s fifteen now and getting her wings, so to speak. She’s a lovely young lady and seems very well brought up so I’m sure she’ll do well.