The Land of Rioja 

Lovely quiet night at the monastery. Three other motorhomes for company, but as is common, those three, quite unrelated vehicles cosied up nice and close to each other, whilst we positioned ourselves at the other far more scenic end of the carpark.

There was, of course, a price to pay for this cavalier attitude, because when the first coaches of the day started arriving, and had to manoeuvre around us, I was “encouraged” by Sophie to immediately get up and dress and move the motorhome to a less hazardous position. I duly carried those orders, whilst the lady of the motorhome stayed in her bed. 

This morning was noticeably chilly, which is probably how the atmosphere here will be shortly when Sophie reads my exaggerated account above. 12C compared to the norm of at least 22C. The warm coats had to be dusted down as we headed into town in search of bread. 

After lunch we hit the road, with first stop Nerja. The planned parking area was full, and less than inspired by the town we promptly left. Next stop was the old town of Elciego, known primarily for “one of the most acclaimed buildings in Spain, the Hotel Marques de Riscal…The main structure is wrapped in titanium ribbons in glittering pink and gold”. The photos will give you a better idea. 

Prize for most impressive town of the day goes to Laguardia. An attractive, medieval hilltop town with the Cantabrian mountains as a very immediate backdrop. Unfortunately for us it was a Saturday, Easter, and the weekend of some major event going on (not sure what though due to our poor Spanish language skills at present). This meant parking was a challenge to say the least. One circumnavigation found every possible parking space taken. On the second attempt Sophie spotted somewhere “off piste”, a grassy patch right at the bottom of the hill and across the main road, where half a dozen cars had congregated, and this is where squeezed ourselves in. 

It was a fair old haul up the hill, with my wristband telling me I’d achieved all my day’s exercise goals by the time I’d reached the top. Anyway, it was all worthwhile and a very pleasant visit was had. When we drove out of our space on leaving, a very grateful motorhoming family moved straight in. 

Final visit before heading for our overnight stop was Bodegas Ysios, described as “a spectacular bodegas…with the craggy Cantabrian mountains as a backdrop, it’s a wonderful sight”. That pretty much sums it up. 

Progress so far (travelling roughly N):

 

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