Campanario to Villalba de los Barros, via Medellin

I took another stroll last night, making sure to obey the instruction not to go out of sight of the motorhome 🙄. Evening sun, stunning hills, and I reckon I even found an Iberian Lynx’s paw print, so after a quick look around me in all directions I headed back without delay 😉.

The most peaceful night you could imagine. Even the frogs were considerate, and chose not to disturb us. In the morning, we did the “why don’t we head off now, and make coffee along the way” thing, mainly to get an Internet fix, but there are never any suitable places to stop when you want one. When we arrived in Campanario proper, I insisted on coffee and chocolate biscuits before things became ugly.

We were here simply because a friend had stayed here for several weeks very many years ago, and so we thought we’d pop in as we were in the neighbourhood. Nice little town, and the lighting was ideal for Sophie’s photographs.

After a free services stop in the town of Villanueva de la Serena, we headed for Medellín. So we were in Guadalupe yesterday, Medellín today – it’s starting to sound like we’re on a tour of Latin America. Medellín is dominated by a castle on a hill, with a Roman Amphitheatre just below. They have free motorhome parking under trees, just alongside the river, and near an ancient bridge.

As we arrived early afternoon, we stayed indoors in the shade, deciding to visit the sights later in the cool of the evening. Sophie pursued her objective of perfecting baking hot cross buns, using a pressure cooker as an oven. We actually have an oven, but a bit like me with technology, she likes to push the boundaries. I spent the time catching up with blog posting as well as pushing some boundaries of my own on the laptop.

A short stroll had us up amongst the ancient buildings, and we got to see the Roman ruins by the skin of our teeth, with 15 minutes to each get our €3’s worth, before the site and museum closed. That was absolutely fine because that’s the extent of my attention span for such things anyway.

It turned out to be a much quieter night than we’d anticipated. We’re great fans of “away from it all” overnight stops, where the risk of being disturbed is close to zero. In a town, on the other hand, even if in a beauty spot away from the hubbub, thoughtless people with loud cars and music are too common a feature. There were only hints of such behaviour, but nothing late, and we slept very well. We might have thought twice though about staying on a Friday or Saturday night.

After using all the standard motorhome services, we then set our sights on Merida, the capital of Extremadura and home of Spain’s most impressive Roman ruins, including amphitheatre, temple, and bridge. We had discussed beforehand that at €12 a pop to see an amphitheatre was probably not going to happen. This is not completely because we are tight Philistines, but rather because we’ve seen the incredible Roman ruins at Orange, Nimes, and Arles, so it just seemed unnecessary.

Despite this poor attitude, I had researched the best parking opportunities and walking routes to at least sneak a free peak at the sights. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, there was not a parking space to be had, along any street, and this was not even a weekend, but it was clear that we would not be visiting Merida’s famous ruins.

There was nothing else to do but pop in to Lidl, where I took on the ambitious solo task of collecting our essentials, using a very detailed list from Sophie. Apart from a melon, I pretty much nailed everything on that list. Unfortunately, in my enthusiasm, I forgot the Cava, which is clearly not such a priority for Sophie as it is for me. As Portugal is beckoning us and we may have to finally yield over the next few days, I really will need to top up with Cava shortly.

After putting in just over €4 of LPG to top us right up, we said goodbye to Merida. Incidentally, we topped up exactly a week ago, and today’s 6 litres represented just a third of a tank.

My objective was a Park4night overlooking a large reservoir, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It’s a Friday night, so I expect there’ll be some sight-seers during the evening, but it is a dead-end road, so there’ll be no passing traffic.

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