Our overnight stop for the first night was a place called Elephant Park, now I imagined this is like someone saying you’re staying at ‘Sea View’ when you’re in the middle of Birmingham for instance.
We sort of got a wee bit lost on the way, but no matter it was only a few km’s back-tracking up windy hill lanes at nearly midnight…. But we finally got to the aire at about midnight. There were quite a few other moho there so we felt safe enough.
When we woke this morning, the sun was shining but black clouds threatened in the distance. If we wanted to go for a walk it had better be soon.
We wandered about 5 metres from the van and came across a cable car station, the cables disappeared into the far mountains. As we walked a little further we saw a herd of elephants including a tiny baby one which could only have been a few weeks old. We watched as it teetered and toppled about, it’s legs not really strong enough for its body. A mother, aunt or Nanny elephant was tenderly by its side coaxing it to twist and pull at vegetation. We watched and marvelled at the hierarchy of the group, each elephant having it’s own role to play. What a wonderful place to find. And it’s free…..
Moving on, we drove through the villages and ended up on the A8 and E70 towards Torrelavega. Then the temperature dropped…. rapidly…. soon we were looking at snow capped peaks, then snow on the hillside then finally as we reached 1600m altitude we we in a white out. The temperature plummeted to 1°c it was freezing. The windscreen wipers were freezing up as they couldn’t cope.
As we got over the mountains and started to descend into the plains the snow stopped just as suddenly as it had started as the temperature began to rise once again. We were now onto the plains, miles and miles of flat land, what vegetation was here has been cultivated and removed for winter storage and feed. We followed the A6 and E70 until we reached the outskirts of Palencia. Two hills surround the city, on the closest stands the 30-metre high statue of Christ known as the Cristo del Otero (the fourth-tallest statue of Christ in the world), it dominates the area and can be seen for miles.
The stopover tonight is an area de autocaravanas just on the outskirts if the city. It’s free, and had a 9.2 rating on camper contact. You are requested yo buy fuel from the Petrol Filling Station opposite and can stay for free, enjoy electricity, showers, toilet facilities & free Wi-Fi. So what’s there to moan about ? The attendant welcomed us and gave us details of how to get Wi-Fi, the code for the abluts and a map of the city. We in turn purchased our fuel at 1.27€ per litre (good rate) plus a tasty fresh baguette, some chorizo and some water.
After a tasty lunch we ambled along the canal to the city and spent a relaxing 10,500 steps meandering through the streets. We gazed up at the gargoyles high on top of the Cathedral and enjoyed seeing all the statues that were dotted here and there throughout the city.
Black clouds once again threatened and we made our way back to Vera II. I put dinner into the oven and we sat down an hour later to eat 2 x piping hot home-made lasagne with crusty slices of baguette.
Nite nite… sweet dreams.. where are we going to end up tomorrow…?