We’ve now been in Spain for a week, we have just arrived in Santa Elena in Andalucia, about 250 k south of Madrid.
We are on a campsite in the Despenaperros National Park and have wifi…yeah! 

Today’s drive down the A4 motorway from Aranjuez was quite boring initially, industrial and agricultural  landscape eventually giving way to olive groves interspersed with vines and then rolling hills. Unfortunately we stayed on the motorway too long, following Tom Tom which took us through a series of tunnels, we should have come off at a previous junction and gone the scenic route. Never mind, as we came into the campsite and I went to reception to pay, Nigel spotted some birds we have never seen before….azure winged magpies….beautiful!

Azure winged magpies

To go back to our arrival in Spain, the first night was spent in a lovely aire which we had to ourselves in the foothills of the Pyrenees.

Since then we have stayed in various campsites as aires are few and far between on our route. First stop was Mendigorria where we were the only people on the huge campsite for several hours, then two more outfits arrived. Here we were able to use our washing machine and get all of our washing done (apart from bedding) and hung out to dry on the airer. Nigel then cycled around and I had a walk up to the hilltop town with the dogs.

Washing day motorhome style

Burgos Cathedral
One of the many vaulted ceilings

Our second campsite was at Burgos where we stayed two nights. The first night we had a heavy frost, brrr, it was cold in the morning, glad we’d had the central heating fixed!  We caught a taxi into town the morning after we arrived and enjoyed several hours in the amazing Cathedral. We were both enthralled by its splendour, it is the most ornate ecclesiastical building we have ever been in. We had audioguides but it was just too much to take in!

The showers at the campsite were also remarkable…lashings of hot water at an incredible pressure, felt like hydrotherapy! Burgos was an excellent spot for dog walking, around the campsite there were cycle and footpaths and they were very well enjoyed by the locals, a constant stream of groups of walkers and singles were making the most of the dry weather. I have never seen as many people out for a walk anywhere and only a few of them had dogs!

Friday 23rd we moved further south on to a little village called Riaza, the campsite was quiet and pleasant and we strolled around the village in the morning and saw the old bullring and enjoyed the architecture.

On Saturday 24th, we carried on our journey which took us quite easily (though the traffic was heavy) through the centre of Madrid and into the town of Arunjuez. The Madrid skyline was fantastic, the architecture modern and futuristic. Too bad we couldn’t stop and explore but with a seven and a half metre motorhome, parking is not easy! Aranjuez campsite was another good overnight stop but was not dog or cycle friendly. Here we met up with another couple we had seen on the campsite in Burgos but had not spoken to, they are also on the same Morocco trip as us.
Thisevening we had a catch up on facetime with Drew, Alana and Hattie. Priceless! Wonderful to see and talk to them and Hattie was very alert. I’m very proud of Drew, he’s a great dad!

Tomorrow the Sierra Nevada, we hope!