Portugal & Spain May 16
Well, yesterday came and went, sadly with no sign of the part for our bike. The lady from the BMW shop rang to say it will not be here until Monday, so we will be staying until then.
Luckily, we have been keeping ourselves amused by spotting Ronnie Corbett lookalikes, visiting the donkey in the next field and dodging the unbelievable amount of rain to visit the nearby lake where there are herons and storks nesting with their young.
At times the bar at the hotel is teeming with people, others there may be one or two persons popping in for a tiny coffee before leaving again.
The people that run and work at the hotel we find ourselves in are friendly and the hotel although pretty basic, does good food, and is sometimes very lively.
Friday evening saw us sitting in the bar with a table of 5 men in front of us, and their 5 ladies behind us. Their talking was so loud and animated that we couldn't hear each other speaking! Elsewhere, when the weather is good we regularly see a group of men and a separate group of ladies taking a walk in early evening, before their dinner, which they generally eat after 9pm. The retired people (jubilados) here seem to really enjoy themselves.
Yesterday was a fiesta (party/celebration day) for Saint Gregorio, which meant the entire town, was closed down and everyone went for picnics and horse displays in the countryside. We were invited, but it was 5 km away, and the weather was very disappointing, so we stayed away.
On Friday we walked into town in search of gluten free bread for me, and visited lots of tiny shops. It was raining, and the streets were packed with many people with shopping trollies and umbrellas. When we entered the supermarkets we discovered that umbrellas are placed in a bucket at the door, but shopping trollies, and indeed the shopping baskets of the supermarket can just be left anywhere in the aisles. Luckily, for us Paul at a foot taller than most, can just look over most of the local's heads to the shelves, to see what's for sale.
That just reminds me of a time, many years ago, when, in Spain we took a funicular car up to a monastery, Santuari de Quedalt. At the top, I paid a visit to the loo. Whilst I was in there Paul held my motorbike jacket for me, and when I came out a coach load of tiny Spanish jubilados had arrived, and were all trying to give him their coats. They thought he was the cloakroom attendant!
I think we're proving somewhat of a similar attraction here, we're not sure that there's many locals left that don't know who we are yet.
We now await tomorrow, to see if that will see us back on the road.
So here we are, still in Brozas. The bike has developed a fault but has kindly given us some clues as to what is wrong. We think?
Anyway, after a bit of research and a phone call to a very helpful BMW dealer in Salamanca, a new part is on its way. It may arrive tomorrow, Saturday, but Monday is more likely.
Luckily for us the hotel is really good and the people here very friendly and helpful.
At least we've been able to do some washing and have plenty of time to get it all dry.
So, we're off now to see the herons (again!)
Spending another night in Brozas, Extramadura - weather is a bit dire today.
However, for those interested in nature- this is the crossroads for all the heron on their way from all over Europe to Africa, and at the nearby lake they are nesting in the trees. We weren't lucky enough to see any chicks as yet though.
We had a restful day yesterday. We hiked on a walk up and away from the wooden bungalows in the woods, to see if we could find the view of the village set out below us. The walk continued up rocky climbs for seemingly hours, making Paul reminisce about his various rallies that he taken him me his motorbike over rocky climbs and tiny paths. We couldn't find the top, after an hour and a half of climbing upwards, so turned back, although Paul was still convinced the view was "only another corner away".
This morning we headed out of Cortegana, and the road took us through Jabugo, a town very famous for it's Bellota ham, a very special (and delicious) type of Serrano ham. There are a lot of companies in this town producing this ham, and it's heavily advertised in each and every cafe and restaurant.
We headed onward through lots of small villages, until we entered Extramadura, which has the reputation for being one of the hottest/coldest parts of Spain. It is peppered with trees, and we've seen a good many Eagles in the last hour or two.
A small roadside hotel is our stop for tonight. Near a lake, which we are just off to explore.