Graffiti, Curches & Tyres.

Having spent the afternoon moseying round the enduro event & pits (all for free) I returned to the van to find Mrs Mac soaking up the rays. She looked about done to me (30 mins each side at gas mk 6) so I suggested a wee beer to cool down and thought, it would be rude for her to drink alone, so joined in with a tinny or two. The rest of the night was a blurūüėé

Sunday was a motorcross event and the parking began to fill from 0730hrs so we made a decision to move.

We hit the A62 (E80) and headed south west. Our first thought was, has there been a nuclear explosion or is the road closed? as at times we were the only vehicle on the road. Strange, this is a main motorway through Spain – I’ve never seen the M6, M3 or M62 empty between 1000-1400hrs on a Sunday!

We spent the night on an Aire at Valladolid. Not a remarkable town. Nice river walk but marred by graffiti, loads of it. In fact it appears that Spain has a real graffiti issue.

Another observation is that there appears to be a lot of half finished housing estates and small towns now going to waste (& covered in graffiti). During the drive (through spaghetti western sets) we noticed it was either small holder farming or barren wasteland which prompted me to do a bit of research.

In 2009 Britain had a population of 60 million over 229,000 sq km.

Spain had 45 million over 504,782 sq km.

So next stop Madrid. We headed for a site on the outskirts. Upon arrival it had the appearance of a shantie town. Very old residential caravans with extras added and all very tired looking. Apart from that, the site was convenient for the bus to Madrid and the staff were more than helpful.

Tuesday was spent exploring Madrid with the help of the open top bus company. For info, Madrid has more churches than you can imagine. I felt the need to try the local delicacy- calamari sandwich. Fantastic ( would have been better with tomato sauce though)

Over the last 2 weeks I’ve been monitoring the front tyres and although still legal were very worn and decided to ‘deal with it’. The site provided a couple of local companies and having rung them (& no one spoke English), I emailed them with the assistance of google translate. I was concerned I had maybe told them I wore white sneakers, had a dozen doughnuts and would like a date. I was relieved when I received the following reply from one of the companies ‘ Neustra empresa no¬†vende neumaticos ‘ ( we don’t sell tyres).

Thereafter the campsite staff assisted and this morning we had 2 new front tyres fitted at a local tyre place where the staff were brill and the manager gave me a fleece ( I hope that wasn’t his subtle way of saying he’d fleeced me) Mrs Mac also got a polo shirt as we left!

So tonight we are in the village of Lagartera¬†, approximately 60 miles SW of Madrid. Lovely little ‘real village ‘ dominated by a medieval castle.

The game plan is to head over towards Caceres before heading south to Seville and then heading into Portugal. The reason for this route is to maximise the use of free motorway- as portugals main motorways are all tolls and expensive- we calculated it would cost us over £100 to travel our planned route.

So tomorrow is another day and we sort of have a plan!

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