It was already hot when we got up this morning so there was no question of having breakfast indoors; indeed I’m sure we could have slept outside as well last night. A bowl of Frosties and some fresh bread set us up for the day (along with the usual 4 cups of tea) then we went through our hitching up routine on auto-pilot. Before we left we went over and said goodbye to Charlie and Maureen with whom we had spent yesterday evening and we wished them well for their tour of the Holy Shrines.

I quickly found the road to Logrono despite Victoria being uncommonly reluctant to spark into life and show me the way, so while Mary waited for her to come out of her funk and speak to us, I just followed the road signs and headed off west. After a few more minutes it was clear that our dear Victoria had been taken seriously unwell and was in a cataleptic coma, unable to speak, change screen or even switch off. In short she had frozen! I seamlessly switched my brain back to pre-satnav days and paid attention to all the road signs as well as using my keen sense of direction. It worked.

As we were now in Motorway toll country, I had followed the main road but avoided the Motorway so had to face oncoming traffic for 100 kilometres or thereabouts, quite a change from the carefree gliding up the dual carriageways of the last couple of weeks. All went well until suddenly the passenger side extension mirror fell off onto the road! We frantically worked out what to do, deciding to go back and see if we could find it and fortunately we came upon an exit only a couple of kilometres down the road. With a rather nifty off to the right, left, under the road and left again we drove back the way we had come, keeping our eyes peeled for signs of our poor, unfortunate mirror.

Mary spotted it some yards ahead of us, I braked and stopped, checked the road was clear in both directions then bravely sent Mary out onto the highway to collect our prodigal reflector. She returned in triumph, announcing that the mirror was still in one piece. As she closed her door, two articulated trucks overtook me and sped over the very place the errant glass had lain not twenty seconds previous. We were strangely overjoyed with our successful mission and hugged each other before driving back to the nearest village where we were able to execute a reasonable U-turn before once again taking the road to Logrono.

With the help of the ACSI campsite book we followed written instructions which took us eventually to our latest campsite in the village of Navarette, 10 kilometres west of Logrono. We checked in and unhitched then had lunch on the grass in hot sunshine. This prompted Mary to do a clothes wash and I was asked to set up a washing line behind the Magic Caravan to facilitate the quick drying of our towels and other sundries. In such conditions, most of our washing was dry within the hour and the rest wasn’t that far behind to be fair.

Having discovered this site had really good and free Wi-Fi I set about surfing the Internet to try and find out how to give Victoria the kiss of life. On a Tom-Tom forum I discovered her complaint was unusually common and was often cured by holding her power button down for a full thirty seconds until a drumming sound could be heard. In desperation I asked her to excuse my somewhat intimate probing and pushed her life source, holding the pressure on for what seemed like an eternity. How great was my joy when she suddenly burst back into life and told me to “Turn around when possible then turn sharp right!” She was alive! I’m welling up just writing this!



Tea was a cheeky wee Spaghetti Carbonara, the first time we’ve tried this dish using local ingredients such as their smoked ham diced into cubes. It turned out quite edible if not a tad salty. We chilled out after tea and waited for the weather to change which the forecast said it would. Right on cue the first rumbles of thunder were heard coming from the mountains to the south and soon we were treated to some impressive flashes of lightning followed by the inevitable downpour which lasted a couple of hours.

All is quiet again as midnight approaches although it is really dark with the sky being heavy with rainclouds. I think cosying up in bed with a good read and the curtains shut is a distinct possibility tonight. It’s always great when a storm is threatening and you know you are safe and sound inside your home. It makes you feel like a hamster (not that I know what a hamster feels like normally, you understand).

We’re back on the move tomorrow – Zaragoza this time, our second last trip on the Tour of Spain.