Thursday 31 May 2018

Spain, May/June 2018. Day 11

Good morning campers.  Well after a night of solid rain it has finally cleared up and the sun has sort of come out; well we are sitting outside anyway and it's warm.  Peter and Linda have gone off for the day but we decided to stay here where there is a reliable phone signal waiting for a call from the RAC.  They have just rung to say that we have a collapsed front nearside shock absorber and the car will be ready on Monday afternoon.  Only €250 too so things could be a lot worse.   The noise of it was stsggering; we thought a gas cylinder had exploded.  The RAC European travel have come up trumps again as they did with the Freelander in 2013.  I cannot recommend them highly enough.  We are on a quest to see how many countries we can breakdown/have accidents in.  So far we have done France, Switzerland and Spain; my friend Steve's Land Rover even broke down twice on our overland trip to the Sahara: once in Morocco and once in the UK, still it is 1968 vintage.  Just don't come with us on our next road trip, especially if we choose a new country.
Still, while we have been sitting here we have enjoyed watching the local jays and our resident greater spotted woodpecker hunting for grubs in the grass.  Vultures soar overhead and chough fly over in large flocks.  Common red billed ones down here but we saw yellow billed alpine ones high on the mountain yesterday.  We also found large numbers of beautiful, tiny daffodils only an inch high - narcissus asturias.  There were large numbers of beautiful spring and trumpet gentians too, as well as spring pasque flower.
This afternoon  walked up to explore the village of Baro on the other side of the valley.  We really enjoyed our (very steep) walk.  The villages are attractive and very photogenic.  We were accompanied by a very friendly goat and by the sound of cow, sheep and goat bells in the valley below.  Black kites hunted above and we found bee, man and lizard orchids.  There is a cheese producer in BarĂ³ selling sheep, cow and goat's cheeses as well as a mixture.
When we got back to the site it was time for a swim shower and punch in the bar.  Excellent.
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Wednesday 30 May 2018

Spain, May/June 2018. Day 10

Woke to the usual low cloud this morning but decided to push on with our plans to drive up the valley to Fuente De for the cable car up into the big mountains.  We were quickly whisked up to 5800 feet and much to our surprise, as we arrived, the clouds parted to reveal a wonderful view of snow covered mountain peaks.  After a cup of hot chocolate in the cafe, Peter and I set off to tackle the 8 mile circular walk back down.  Heather and Linda enjoyed a walk from and back to the upper station before returning to camp.  We were surprised by how much snow there was, on one occasion necessitating kicking steps up a 15 foot vertical snow wall.  Sounds more desperate than it was!  We were delighted with the flower studded high alpine meadows and spent a lot of time photographing them: spring and trumpet gentian, hoop petticoat daffodil, spring pasque flower, saxifrages, mountain kidney vetch, lots of dog's tooth viloets which were full out and superb, butnt tip, pale flowered and bird's nest orchids and loads of statuesque giant ashphodel in the woodland.  We also came across os superb crown moth, a day flying moth with huge feathery antennae.  The walk down was superb and finished through wonderful ancient woodland. 
And now dear reader the main part of today's blog!!!  On returning to the site we were slowly unpacking and preparing to go out for a supermarket shop when we heard a very loud bang making us all jump but we were unable to find it's source.  Until, that is, I reversed the car out to go to the shop.  There was an immediate clanking noise as if something was catching or broken.  We rang our European cover who, hopefully, have come up trumps once more.  We wait the arrival of the cavalry who should be here at any time.
Watch this space!!
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