10 weeks, 2800 miles in the motorhome, 1300km’s walking/cycling, a new approach to running and Salamanca – 23/10 – 27/10

….. We can’t decide if time is flying past or, going slowly … but we are definately beginning to lose track of it 🙂

It has been 10 weeks since we set off in the motorhome from Bagnoles de L’Orne and it is difficult to believe that we have crammed so much in… yet there is so much more to see!

We had heard from several people that Salamanca is somewhere not to miss, so we thought as we were ‘roughly’ in the area we would have a look and see what was so special.  We arrived at Don Quijote Campsite (16 euros all inclusive) late afternoon and settled into a quiet evening. The campsite is about 6 kms outside Salamanca and it is right at the end of the season, so there were only a few of us on the campsite including a British couple (Janet and Tim) travelling through Spain for 8 weeks or so with a Teepee … great fun 🙂

On Friday (I’d like to say morning, but I think it was about 12:15 by the time we actually left) we set off into Salamanca to have a look round – beating our own record of how much time it can take us to get out the door (I think that was partly doing the clothes washing, and part swapping stories with Janet 🙂 ) ….  the cycle ride in was along the river pretty flat and we soon found the market once we abandoned the bikes.

The indoor markets in Spain are a completely different level to France – they are cheap and have an abundance of fresh meat, fish and fruit and veg – whereas in France you pay a premium in ‘Les Halles’.  The market in Salamanca had a disproportionately high number of ‘Carniceria’s’ where they sell both fresh and cooked/cured meats. … I am not going to complain, but it was difficult to choose!

Once we had stocked up on food (Keith has turned into a Mule with his back pack) we continued our wander through the old town, admiring the beautiful buildings along with the red stone that everything appears to be built in here…..

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I think it is a little like Oxford or Cambridge in so far as all the university colleges are situated in beautiful buildings as well…. quite impressive

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All in all, if you like architecture …. its fairly nice to wander around – if you don’t, it is still nice to wander around and there are lots of nice looking restaurants and bars but as you can imagine, lots of tourists.

To cleanse my language palate between France and Spain I managed to finally start (and finish) ‘Born to Run’ which is one of the long distance running books that I bought before I left my last job in Worcester.  It talks about technique, history and the evolution of running, so coupled with ‘Eat and Run’ (The hint is in the title) which I read last year has finally swayed me to try and switch to forefoot running.  For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, different people run in different ways, striking the ground with either the heel, mid foot, or forefoot first.  Research in the last five or so years shows that heel strike (my current approach) causes more injuries, and that in fact we should be moving (back) towards barefoot as all the support provided in trainers actually weakens the foot and over time is likely to lead to more injurys……  Anyway, not wishing to bore you, following my calf injury last year it is something I have been thinking about for a while, but as I am running more – I have decided to bite the bullet.  It isn’t something you can do over night … and as Keith found out a couple of years ago when he first started, you need to build it up slowly or you soon find out that you can’t walk, let alone run as your calf muscles and achilles cramp up and go on strike.  So…. Saturday 25th October was the beginning of my new approach to hopefully injury free, running.  For my first run I built in 8 minutes of my 34 minute run on forefoot in two minute bursts……. my calves hurt a little today, but we have also been on a long walk…. roll on tomorrow I am ready for you 🙂 ….. I will let you know how I get on, but if my initial run is anything to go by, I felt so light on my feet I am expecting to be running further and faster in no time ……. patience 😉

Anyway, Saturday was the ‘big match’ Madrid vs Barcelona …. so after my run we headed out to explore the local little village to see if there were any bars to watch it in (whilst also buying an unlabelled bottle of Rioja for 2 euros… just curious to see what it tastes like) and fell upon a motorhome/caravan accessories place.  We are still trying to see if there is any method to pick up Spanish TV as they have restricted who can get it on Satellite and we may have found a solution….albeit not completely legit.  The chap from the shop told us to come back on Monday morning and he can check it out further, so with a smile on our faces we headed back to the campsite for an afternoon of cleaning Mika (sometimes she needs a proper scrub) and then on to the bar on the campsite to watch the game.

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