Sheep and Streams

It’s very reminiscent of the UK’s Lake District where we overnighted. Rolling hills with mountains overlooking, the babbling stream just in front of us, and the sound of sheep bells, and the sound of the sheep themselves. 

Incredibly peaceful, with a very occasional car passing. Absolutely our ideal spot, away from it all and yet we can be totally self-sufficient, although a Lidl visit will need to happen in the next couple of days. 

Another practical advantage of Spain so far is, with only one exception, we’ve had great 3G everywhere, and we are currently far away from any major areas of population. In France we have more occasions when the signal has been more flakey. Without 3G we have no Internet, and without the Internet I can’t work, and if I can’t work then these trips wouldn’t be happening. 

On a tenuously related note, Pam who we met at San Vicente de la Sonsierra recommended an app called maps.me. They’d recently been in the Sahara and had found the app indispensable in Morocco. With this free app, essentially all you do is download the maps you’ll be needing when you’re away, and after that you don’t need the Internet when researching routes etc, which is brilliant. Also, it knows where you are on the map. You need never get lost again. 

I was trying it today and, offline, pinpointed the tiny carpark we’re currently parked in and was then able to check out all the roads and paths all around us, which is great for checking out potential walks and cycle routes. It even shows facilities, so for the little village of Pineda de la Sierra, which we discovered earlier around the corner, we can locate their drinking water fountains, restaurants, bars etc, but it’s the water supply that really interests us. 

I’ve already been checking ahead on our likely route, for monestary and castle carparks, which might be suitable “Park4Larbs”, where Park4night doesn’t have any obvious overnighting spots. 

We both had busy mornings, me with my head in a laptop, and Sophie getting overheated in the kitchen. By the way, this is the first trip I’ve been able to keep my laptop charging all the time I’m using it, and this of course is courtesy of our new solar panel and a decent inverter. On previous trips if my laptop battery ran out, I had to run the engine to charge it a bit, or just hit the road. There had been many a time when I was having to work flat out to get stuff done before the machine just turned itself off. 

Back to Sophie in the kitchen. After preparing our supper for this evening she then undertook to cook some danish-style pastries in the oven. With frangipane and pecans involved, the results were very lovely, and light. There was only one mishap, when the cooking parchment literally caught fire, but we survived to enjoy our elevenses. 

Not being able to finish our massive goats cheese, fig jam, and tomato half-baguettes yesterday we’d kept half each for today, and these too were very tasty. 

After lunch, and following a day yesterday of zero exercise, we grabbed our safari hats, and Sophie her walking poles. This was prior to me trying out maps.me, so we found a likely path and followed it. We were soon on a “Via Verde”, which seemed to be something like a disused railway route and suitable for walkers and cyclists, although the latter would be advised to watch out for the frequent, and not insignificant, potholes. 

We followed this until we came to Pineda de la Sierra, and after exploring it we then came back along the quiet main road. After the event our route was clearly shown on maps.me, so I can see this being a brilliant tool that I’ll be using daily from now on. 

It’s 6:15pm and I can only assume that we’re going to spend another night here. Fantastic, it’s idyllic. Now all we need to do to enhance my delight is to work on how to discuss second nights much more in advance. When you’re not sure what’s happening later in the day you can’t really relax and enjoy the day to the full, knowing that you can indulge in that lovely second night, and not have to think about planning. 

So I now look forward to the usual excellent cuisine for our evening meal, and an evening outside reading. 

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