The Foskett and Jones’ vans crept out of Riaño and continued southward along the N625 through beautiful valleys dotted with charming hamlets, more Tyrolean than the Spain I had expected. Every church had at least one stork nesting on its belfry.
We skirted the region’s capital Leon and joined the A66, the motorhomers, favourite route to the south. We stopped at Benavente to fill up with diesel (€1.23/litre!) and then to Salamanca.
Salamanca is famous for many things, but to my mind nothing more so than that it has a Decathlon, that renowned supplier of cheap sporting goods including tyres and inner tubes.
So, at the same time as ticking off yet another store in our “I-Spy book of Decathlons” Andy and I replaced the shoddy Chinese tyres and tubes on our dog chariots for a pair of Decathlon’s finest Chinese tyres and tubes.
Then it was a five-minute trip to our next campsite on the outskirts of town, Camping Regi.
At the last minute we had changed our intended campsite for the majestic Camp Regi as we had found out that our friends, David and Jackie, once of our street were stopping there on their way to the south coast. They had crossed the Bay of Biscay the day after us (and not got caught up in the ferry fire as we had feared) and overtaken us as we enjoyed the Picos.
The Gisborne Camping Club was reunited, ten months since our last rendezvous in North Wales for Helen Williamson’s wedding. Once Dave had recovered from Jackie’s five-hour walking tour of the city they joined us for a glass or two and chat into the night.
Before we said goodbye we had already arranged the next meeting, in two months time in the Peak District. Let’s hope the weather is Spanish!