Villalba de los Barros to Salvatierra de los Barros

What an amazing place for the night. Late afternoon, we enjoyed a lovely walk along the dam and along the lake, which was so still the reflections were excellent. It is a vast body of water, but in the stillness you could hear the sheep bells from the far shore. A few cars popped down to enjoy the view, and by sunset, before 8pm, we were on our own again. The next time we saw anyone was when some fishermen turned up at 8am. The area is well lit too.

Seeing as it was a Friday night, I have to confess to expecting at least a couple of younger people turning up late in their cars and playing the obligatory loud music, and so waking us. As I drifted to sleep to the sound of just the water lapping below us, I realised that expecting something negative to happen can actually rob you of the pleasure of enjoying what you already have. Philosophy lecture over 😉.

We had a lovely relaxed morning, as I checked my Pinterest section on places recommended for visits and overnights in Portugal, and Sophie continued her baking experiments in the pressure cooker. I think she’s making good progress 😉.

At the time we were starting to prepare to leave, an older chap, probably our age, but looking older of course, turned up in his car, 70s music blaring out, whilst he took in the view. With lyrics like “I’m not in love”, and “I don’t want to talk about it”, I confess to wanting to join in and let him know these were sentiments we were feeling about his music. To think that I had expected this poor behaviour from youngsters. Sophie thought that maybe he does that because his wife doesn’t let him play his music at home. Sounds familiar, maybe that’s what I should do then.

First stop was Zafra, which was interesting and had a nice square and a castle, but I think we’re becoming a bit blasé about such things at the moment, preferring the fantastic natural scenery that Spain offers. The motorhome aire by the bullring was functional and convenient, but why anyone would choose to spend the night there, next to a roundabout, and with resident caravan dwellers already getting well-oiled, is beyond us.

Fortunately, there was a Lidl in the town, so the Cava omission from the previous day was rectified, so as to ensure a plentiful supply for when we find ourselves in Portugal shortly. However, it’s all coming back to me now that there’s a nice little Portuguese red that Lidl stock that will no doubt turn my head.

Good old Back Roads Spain was then directing us to the last stop on our last “Drive” of the book for a while, and this was Jerez de los Caballeros. Remembering to read the small print, the recommendation was to take the long way round, via Barcarrota. This turned out to be a great move as the scenery on these lovely empty country roads was very attractive.

We had it on our minds that we would likely try and find an overnight spot before we made it to Jerez de los Caballeros. There were no obvious Park4nights that pulled our strings on the intended route, but we’ve learned over the last week or so that there are still plenty to discover, so we just ambled along with an open mind.

Not long after Salvatierra de los Barros, a town with an imposing, but pretty much inaccessible by vehicle castle, we found a picnic area, set nicely away from the road and with magnificent views. It’s a little neglected but an absolutely ideal spot for us. So here we are with a great aspect and our night’s accommodation sorted. We’ve also created a new Park4night.

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