A bit more of Salamanca and Leon – 4/11-9/11

On Tuesday night Keith made good use of the sparking new Spanish Satellite box and watched the Liverpool vs Real Madrid game whilst I almost threw my computer across the motorhome as Firefox was playing silly buggers – a problem finally resolved by un-installing and re-installing it….. I can see why people hate technology.

As agreed, on Wednesday morning we headed over to ‘Caravan Sitmon’ who parked us up in a garage, plugged us in to their electrics so we didn’t get too cold (it was 2 degrees), and piece by piece dismantled the fridge freezer/oven unit so that they could take the oven out and have a look at it. After about an hour they disappeared off with the oven into the workshop, and a little more than an hour after that they returned with what looked like a working oven (or at least it had a closed door) 🙂 …. it was looking good as they started to fit everything back together we were feeling pleasantly surprised that we would actually be done and away before lunch … amazing.

However…. when we went to check the fridge freezer/oven unit once everything was back in place there wasn’t any power to the unit – as they hadn’t touched the electrics the engineers were a little surprised, but straight on the phone to Madrid where after a bit more diagnostics they found that somehow during the process of moving the unit the main control box had gone …. luckily we didn’t have too much in the fridge or freezer :(. So, now fridge, freezer and oven-less we were in the hands of Dometic Madrid who were sending out a new part. The guy who owned Caravan Sitmon was incredibly apologetic, but it was just one of those things – it wasn’t their fault and thankfully he really pushed Dometic to send the part as quickly as possible. Meanwhile he offered us a secure place to park up between the family buildings (they have two blocks with each sibling owning flats above the garages/workshops and sharing the long stretch of grassed land behind the buildings for the dogs to run free on), electricity and a place to empty the toilet.

As we now had at least another couple of days to kill we boringly (but necessarily) managed to catch up with the washing (down to the last pair of socks….) and then on Thursday caught the bus into Salamanca and spent another day wandering around and exploring it further. Thinking we would at least be waiting until Friday afternoon for the part to arrive we were surprised to see the engineer arrive at 10am tools in hand ready to fit it. Amazingly (we have got used to the laid back Spain) we actually took longer to pack up the motorhome than they did to get everything working and sort out the paperwork. Somehow he had persuaded Dometic to cover everything under warrantee despite them telling him that hinges weren’t covered and we left without paying a penny, just leaving a bottle of wine and some chocolates to say thank you.

As it was fairly early, we decided to set off for Leon which is just under 200km north of Salamanca. We had found an ‘Aire’ online which looked interesting and the guy who owned Sitmon had also printed out the details for it as it is one of his friends who runs it. Unfortunately when we arrived there wasn’t anyone there… we obviously should have phoned ahead. Several phone calls later and a trip to a café in the centre of Leon, we picked a key fob from a waiter and settled ourselves in for the night making our first batch of rolls in a few weeks (now the oven is working), in what is basically a secure parking lot with facilities about 7km outside Leon on the edge of an industrial estate!

In the morning, after checking in with the owner of the ‘Aire’ we headed into Leon on the bikes. Leon is a well-proportioned city, split between an old walled part, and a really nice new part – both with lots of shops, bars and restaurants. Initially we walked towards ‘Hostel San Marcus’ which used to be for the pilgrims and military to stop and rest their weary feet, but now has been restored impeccably and from what we saw of it, is the most beautiful hotel/museum. If you are looking for somewhere special to stay… I would say this is the place. If you don’t have the budget but are passing through Leon definitely go and have a look – the room to the right just inside the entrance to the hotel has the most beautiful carved wood ceiling and the courtyard is stunning.

Leon1_20141108

As it was so cold we felt that it was important to stop off in a couple of the bars to warm ourselves up whilst we were exploring and the ‘Barrio Humedo’ was heaving with people taking in a drink and ‘tapas’– the atmosphere was great…. just didn’t really want to get on the bikes and cycle back in the rain 😦

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