Pilgrim Central

As it turned out, Sophie was delighted with her WC emptying vantage point. After thinking it would be a quiet evening with a couple of other neighbours, about five or six more punters turned up around 8pm. Now my priority when arriving at a parking area is to bag the best stop that somehow meets at least 90% of Sophie’s strict criteria. I’m rarely that desperate that I need to dive straight in and tip out and top up everything. 

Our later arriving neighbours last night clearly took another view on the matter. Each dutifully queued up and, where I’m in and out as quick as I can be, they all seemed to make a real meal of it, after the obligatory cassette emptying routine, some started unrolling huge hosepipes, and some even began washing down their large motorhomes. 

So Sophie had plenty to entertain her from her special vantage point. Interestingly, even when they’d found spaces to squeeze into there seemed a constant flow of the same punters toing and froing with plastic basins, buckets, and bottles collecting even more water. It was as if they’d come directly out of the Sahara and desperately needed as much water as was physically possible. 

The great news was that in true motorhoming tradition the place became a peaceful haven again in no time, and in fact the next morning when we woke up a little on the late side, there was only one neighbour left. 

Keen to get in our constitutional, we wandered up to Astorga’s centre to see the cathedral and Gaudi’s building adjacent to it, plus a few pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. 

Town visit over we gave the front of the van the once over and then headed off, grateful for the breeze the open road gave us. 

Next stop was the big pilgrim town of Ponferrada. Big easy motorhome parking only a stone’s throw from the historic centre, and more pilgrims than you could shake a stick at. 

As the heat increased I was looking forward to driving to the Las Medulas area in the mountains, characterised by large yellowy orange peaks, and the site of ancient Roman gold mines.

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