Hoyos del Espino to Candelario
Actually two neighbours did join us in the end, but kept their distance, which was good. Perfectly peaceful night. As it was forecast to drop to -4C we kept the heating on low, and deployed our extra thick “bear” blankets. I even took the unusual step of washing and shaving before bed, because experience from the previous night had taught us that the water may struggle to go down the pipes in freezing conditions. Anyway, we didn’t feel the cold at all.
After a busy morning we made sure to get a modest walk in, and despite the great sunny conditions it was only about 5C, so hats and scarves were required.
We then headed off along the very attractive plateau and valley, after which I added the obligatory castle into the itinerary at El Barco. A simple, but really authentic and not squeaky clean castillo, with easy parking. Within the basic square wall you could stand with the storks nesting on each corner looking down you, wondering what all the fuss was about.
We then took a diversion off the official Back Roads Spain drive to attend to some practical motorhome necessities at Piedrahita. After this we got ourselves back on course. At this time of the day the sunlight was at its very best, and the rugged landscape really came into its own.
At one point we passed over a bridge in the little village of Puente del Congosto and the castle and rugged waterway and surrounding rocks caught Sophie’s attention. As I drove through the place I explained that there was nowhere to park, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer. So we pulled over out of town and consulted Google maps on satellite setting to zoom in on the place to seek out a suitable stopping point, which we did find back on the other side of the bridge, and behind some farmhouses.
So we walked over a medieval bridge and did a thorough job of the village itself and right down to the water’s edge. So with Sophie suitably overjoyed at this find we continued on our way.
My plan was to park at the much-acclaimed small hilltop town of Candelario, which has a remarkable snow-capped mountain backdrop. The “official” Park4night spot was next to the sports centre, but looking at the photos it seemed that motorhomes actually parked in the large parking area beyond.
Always craving our own space, we headed into the football pitch sized area and chose a spot pretty much in the middle. It actually was a football pitch if the rusting goals at each end were anything to go by, but the grass had long gone and a solid compacted earth base had taken its place.
Time was getting on by now, and we’d already had a few walks that day, so we decided to stay put and just look out of the windows as the sun slowly setting, illuminated the attractive town and beautiful mountains above it.
Forecast minimum temp was -2C, which was much warmer than the last two nights, so we were not at all concerned. A town visit would likely take place tomorrow.