The Rain in Spain Sent Us Insane So We Left

Trip Start Apr 08, 2007
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Trip End Dec 22, 2007


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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

After our long drive via Leon we finally arrived at our next home, a place called Cudillera. Cudillera is a small coastal town 30 minutes west of Avilles on the north coast of Spain. By the time we found a campground and put up our tent it was nearly 8pm so we played Frisbee, had our dinner and went to bed.
 
Our main focus for the next day was to get the Citroen's 1500 kilometre free service done which is part of our lease agreement. The last 2 weeks we had passed so many Citroen dealerships in large towns and also towns we never thought there would be one. So we headed into Avilles to find the local one there. Mandy asked a local where it was and he drew a map for us but we still took over two hours to find it. We eventually found the dealership right up near the port. The guys at Citroen spoke very little English and our Spanish was limited to asking for one bread please, and buying beer, not a lot of help in this situation. They kept talking in Spanish at a hundred miles an hour, and we kept responding in English and we finally worked it all out. They asked us to bring the car in straight away and they did the service then and there. What a relief. We headed back to camp and had lunch and then set out exploring the beaches for surf.
 
The weather was pretty average but the surf was looking good up the coast further. We could see where we wanted to get to from our local headland but actually getting there would be more of a challenge. The main problem is that they put a sign off the highway to go to beach A, but at the next four intersections and roundabouts there's no signs at all, so we have no idea which way to go. This is not limited to finding beaches, it's trying to find anything, shopping centres, villages, towns, capital cities, countries....
 
So the waves, yes I did finally get to surf the Atlantic Ocean, at a beach called Playa los Quira. And yes, it was very good. 4 foot and clean cross offshore. Only a few of us out too, good fun. After the waves we found our way back to camp quite efficiently, and had a couple of beers to celebrate our successful day.
 
The next morning the wind was up so there would be no back up waves. We packed up camp and set off westward again. Our intended destination was a town called Tapia, but when we got there we weren't that fussed, so we decided to keep going. As we drove along towards Fez, the weather changed for the worse again. Three hours of wind and rain later we arrived at Valdovino, in north western Spain, not far from Ferrol, which is exactly how we were feeling. The wind and rain had not improved, so the idea of putting up a tent was not appealing, so we paid a fortune for a cabin at the camping ground instead. 60 euros (A$95) might not sound that much but this thing was seriously small. The bathroom was as big as the one's on planes, and the bed was crammed between two walls about 5'8" apart. I'm 6'1" so stretching out was not an option.
 
We awoke to the tranquil sound of heavy rain. If anyone tries to tell you that the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plains, you tell them I said it's all lies. The rain in Spain falls mainly on us, and only a bit falls on the plains. We'd had enough so we headed south. If going west across Spain wasn't going to work we'd go south and go to a whole new country - Portugal.
 
And it worked, as the border came into sight the clouds began to thin, the rain stopped and by the time we crossed the bridge into Portugal the sun was out. Wooohooo! Along the coast the landscape started to change from hilly green forests, to a more flatter, drier  environment and the beaches became long stretches of sand rather than short deep bays along otherwise rocky strips.
 
We made our camp near a town called Viana do Costello, maybe an hour south of the border. The town here has a great village atmosphere, especially as they were celebrating St John's Day. There were people dressed in traditional dress playing piano accordions, dancing and having a great time in the main square. Not far from there we had the best pizza we'd had so far in Europe. The other good thing we found here was that the bakeries in Portugal have not only breads and sweet stuff like muffins and cakes, but also ham and cheese pastries. Finally I don't have to have sweets anymore. I'd kill for a pie though but am not holding my breathe.
 
The down side of St John's Day became apparent later that evening. Apparently it's also mandatory to let off fireworks every 30 minutes or so right through the night. So just as we'd be almost back to sleep, bang bang whistle they'd be off again, setting off all the dogs in the neighbourhood again.
 
We'd been here a few days and seen all there is to see, so we set off again south towards....
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