|After driving from Bilbao along the coast to Santander, we headed inland through the ancient village of Santillana del Mer (as the guide book describes it "a proud little stone village with time-warp qualities...) and then through the dramatic peaks of the Picos de Europa (that reminded us, in parts, of the Grand Canyon). After the breathtaking scenery along the north coast and through the Picos, it was a bit of a let down to drive between Burgos and Leon where it is flat and very dry. By the time we got to Ponferrada, we realized the mountain driving had taken its toll and there was definitely something wrong with the brakes. We found a Ford dealer who pronounced the brake pads shot and, owing to a truck strike, none could be shipped in. Cooling our heels in a nice town while the car got fixed was no big deal for us but why did this have to happen when we had a guest on a limited schedule? As it was, the Service Manager organized having a set of brake pads made for us, insisted on finding us a wonderful hotel across the street from the castle in the old town and dropped us off there. We had a break from camping, did our laundry in the sink and hung it all over the lovely room, ate meals out - and made the best of it.