|Hi. When I left the campsite on Saturday, I drove back towards Santander. It kind of gos against the grain but I wanted to visit Santillana del Mar (which is not on the sea!). It was well worth the short journey, such a beautiful mediaeval town. I viisted the museum of the Spanish Inquisition - I hadnt expected or planned to cos after all¨"no one expects the Spanish Inquisition!" They had 70 instruments of torture there grueseom stuff. Really lovely sloping cobbled streets and lots of little shops selling locally made goods so I bought some cider, marmalade and chocolate. The cider has to be pured from a great heoght apparently so that is what I did later that evening'. That is meant to make the best of it but it was horrible, might use it for cooking yet though!
When I left Santillana I headed for a village called Bustamente. It was really small and quiet, so unlike the Cuban I know who has the same name! I stopped on a grass verge overlooking the village and made lunch, sat and listened to the peace, only interrupted by the huge bells that all the coes seem to wear here - and they walk all over the place in this area!
After lunch I headed towrads the Picos, I saw some amazing scenery but the orad was narrow and winding and there were no opportunities to stop and take photos. Ducky performed well up and down the orads, round tight bends I've never really driven in mountains before it was amazing. Some of it reminded me of Englans, really lush green hillsides and little streams tumbing over rock's - aaaah. I set off in another direction, still close to the Picos but after a long drive it started to pur with rain and showed no sign of letting up, so I asked Jane to take me to a nearby campsite. Ok it's confirmed, Jane is USELESS at Spanish campsites! I was not in the mood to be messed around but did find it, without her help in the end. I had 2 lovely conversations with the lady in the offcie at the site. She was so excoted that I was travelling alone, she thought a holiday without a husband would be very tranquilla - she didnt seem too bothered about holidaying without children though! Both these conversations were IN SPANISH! and she understood me and me her (Thanks Brigitte). Once I had parked up I discovered that I hadnt been driving in the mountain range called the Picos at all, just round the putside, but they sure looked like mountains to me!
Sunday I left the campsite following it's one way system to lave. It was then I relaised how young so many of their trees were so I drove very slowly, branches brushing me as I went - then I saw a man chasing me, he returned my aerial dish which had been pulled off. I've no way of putting it back at the moment, but I dont have a TV anyway. It's amazing how many Spanish people take their TV and sit and watch it for hours in the evening! I followed a road right into the Picos, all roads come to a dead end when the going gst too rough, but I saw some amazing peaks, had a little ramble around a meadow at the foot of som mountains then carried on. I drove a lot stopping whnever I could - some of the views have been stunning truly amazing. I drove to around 1800m, my ears hurt a lot and it occured to me that if I wasnt travellin alone, I could have joing the mile-high club!!!
Finally I stopped in a town where I found a shop that could take the photos off the camera card and put them onto a CD, and I asked IN SPANISH and they understood me. But sadly - I spent 40 minutes trying to upload the ones that linked to the first post and got bored with waiting, so I don't there will be any there. I shall have to wait til I can do it on my own laptop when i find a wireless connection then I can sit in th sun or drink or something while it chunders away. I am now in Asturais, the second province on my list, though yesterday I also drove through Castille y Leon, that's becasue the Picos straddle all three provisnce (inc Catabria where I started)
I'm tired after all that careful driving, especially yesterdat when the rock overhung the (narrow) road and I had to drive slowly carefull round bends half on the wrong side of the road. So I'm in town now to post this, buy some food, then I'm heading back to the beach for a rest - well I deserve one!!