The first week of our aborted summer trip (Northern Spain)

Discussion in 'Spain' started by jumartoo, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    On Monday 27 July we left Totana for what was intended to be our summer tour away until October. Our first day we drove towards Teruel. From junction 100 of the A23 autovia we headed towards a small village, Formiche Alto from where we picked up the signs to a via ferrata. This particular ferrata has three sections, the first two suitable for novices and is a cross between an aided climb and a walk up the river bed. The final section starts after the last escape route and becomes more of a physical climb.

    Of course we did all of it.

    The night we arrived we wild camped just after the track to the river. The track is drivable but not in a motorhome, so we found a parking area and walked in.

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    Overnight wild camping spot

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    Starting the ferrata

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  2. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    We had a full morning out, starting early and returning to the van before 1.00 pm so we decided to drive to Albarracin and stop for lunch.

    Just before Albarracin we stopped next to the river in a shady parking area and had lunch and spent the afternoon there. I even went in the river which is a first for me! Martin wasn't quick enough to get a photo tho.

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    As the weather cooled we headed to Albarracin intending to stop at the motorhome parking there. We didn't see any signs and we didn't use the GPS so we carried on through. Now we were driving in torrential rain so we pulled up until it eased off.

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    As we've been to Albarracin before (cycling the Ruta del Cid two years ago) we decided to go to the village of Bronchales as we'd managed to find information about walks starting there.

    Not finding a suitable area to stay before the village, we drove through and followed a information sign up a track to a sink hole viewing area. We parked up and strolled over to look at the "hole".

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    The hole was huge, not able to tell from the photo.

    We returned to the van and settled down for the evening until the lightning began. We looked at each other and prepared the van to move. We were the highest thing up there!

    We drove back into Bronchales and parked next to a play area and small chapel. It was raining so thought we'd be OK there. We went to bed at 10.30, the rain stopped at at 10.40 the kids came out to play with their Uncle. Luckily they were small kids and 20 minutes was sufficient! After they left we had a quiet night.

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    Parked in Bronchales
     
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  3. Anthea M

    Anthea M Funster

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    Judith Lovely start to your holiday and spectacular scenery so sorry it was curtailed so suddenly .hope Martin is feeling a bit better at home.
     
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  4. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    The next morning we woke to another sunny day, the storm having passed over. We set off along the track directly from the motorhome. We arrived at a junction with walking route boards. Two of the boards gave the same destination in opposite directions so we reckoned it would make a circular walk. We took the route to the left which was a broad track through farmland.

    We stopped to view some birds of prey. If we see more than two together we assume they're Griffon Vultures. We saw three together and then two more later on. A little further along we came to more route posts and started to head back. The route now followed a path (GR red and white marks) through oak woodland, passing a Fuente before climbing a short hill in the open. Eventually we arrived back at the earlier junction and back to the van. This was approximately a 10km easy walk.

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  5. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    We were still following our previous cycle route, albeit in reverse and we wanted to stop at the refuge we'd overnighted in. We drove through Orihuela del Tremedal and up the hill towards Idea. We pulled off the road at the refuge (good wild camping spot) and put the kettle on for coffee.

    I went to look at the refuge. The old broken fence around the area has been replaced and new benches and tables added. From the deposited remains on the ground it appears that this can be used for people travelling on horses.

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    We continued on towards Medinaceli to stay on the Motorhome parking there. Heading down to the N211 the town of Molina de Aragon came into view.

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    The next photo was taken through the windscreen whilst at the fuel station!

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    We arrived at Medinaceli in time for lunch. We'd cycled through here also. We were the only motorhome in the huge mixed parking area until later in the afternoon when four enormous German Merc trucks arrived, followed a little later by a Belgian caravan!

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    Roman arch and mosaic.
     
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  6. Anthea M

    Anthea M Funster

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    Stunning photos Judith!
     
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  7. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    All taken on mobile phone.
     
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  8. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Many thanks for posting this. Spain is a dangerous place - you mentioned driving through Teruel at the start and this morning I read in the news a matador was killed there yesterday. And someone else has been killed during a bull running at a village near Valencia. :(
     
  9. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    I've started so I'll finish!


    We were meeting friends from the UK who had spent the night at the motorhome stop at Cabarceno. We had arranged to meet at the parking at the Cañon del Rio Lobos. After a quick stop for shopping we headed up the valley to the gorge. We stopped short to put on Co-Pilot. Now anyone using this, take care. It wanted us to go up the switchbacks, past the viewpoint and into the forest on the left of the road and above the gorge! Our friends later told us their GPS wanted them to do the same thing approaching from the north!

    The parking is along the valley floor. If approaching from the south turn left immediately after crossing bridge. If from the north after the switchbacks turn right before the bridge. Simples!!! We stayed the night of July 30th and parking was free. However the park ranger told us payment would start the next day. This is still only €5 so won't break the bank!


    Looking down to the gorge from the viewpoint. The parking is near the river not up in the "gods"!
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    Our friends arrived late afternoon and we went for a walk up to the Ermita and cave.

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  10. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    Hopefully these tragic deaths may help the cause to ban bullfighting etc. None of our friends like it.
     
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  11. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Great pictures. We've only just touched that canyon and didn't get to the Ermita. A must for our next trip to Spain.
     
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  12. irnbru

    irnbru Funster Life Member

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    Nice photos and blog. Sorry your trip was cut short.
     
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  13. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

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    Yep, and the same sentiments from me too Judith.

    I am surprised, as many of the photos are amazing. (y)

    Will you continue the blog, ie, up to the present? It might help others, who may find their best laid plans changing all of a sudden.

    Cheers,

    Jock. :)
     
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  14. Kool Kroozer

    Kool Kroozer Funster

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    Stunning pics, that's my kinda holiday
     
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  15. jumartoo

    jumartoo Funster

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    As requested by @JockandRita I'll continue.

    Friday morning we left the cañon and drive up the switchbacks to go to the village of San Leonardo de Yague to do a bit of orienteering training for the competition starting the next day. During the day we started to meet up with friends from many different countries who we hadn't seen for some time. We had especially looked forward to meeting our Welsh friends just back from a 10 month trip to the southern hemisphere. We all got parked up together for a good chat and they were preparing for the big match!!!

    The orienteering went well on Saturday and we all decamped to the parking for the next area. The Welsh contingent were still buzzing from the result.

    Sunday morning we had the second race. I finished my race and walked back to get my bag and Martin was sitting on the ground with blood all down his arms. I thought he'd had a problem with his calf muscle again and fallen but he told me he'd stepped off a cliff into thin air and dropped about five metres into a cave hitting a boulder on the way down.

    The ambulance was at the event and Pablo, one of our friends, brought the first aiders over to Martin. He was taken into San Leonardo to the health centre for assessment. I arrived there with Maria (the "little star"!) and the decision was that Martin needed to go to Soria for x-rays. At this point we all thought it was just a technicality so Pablo and Maria took Martin in Pablo's car whilst I went to sort out the motorhome and inform our friends what had happened.

    By early evening they hadn't returned. Eventually we got a phone call to say he was being kept in overnight and so arrangements were made to get me and the moho to Soria. Luckily Spanish vehicle insurance covers the vehicle not the driver so there was no problems there and Fermin, Maria's brother drove it for me. He's a doctor so wanted to have a word with the doctors at the hospital and see the x-rays for himself.

    Anyway, to cut a long story short Martin ended up in hospital in Soria for two nights, before being transferred to a private hospital in Zaragoza for three nights. The motorhome was driven back to Totana by Salvador, Maria's husband and put into their garage. The insurance connected to our sport licence was used for the hospital stay. All the arrangements were made by Maria, who went out of her way to make sure we weren't bothered. She even washed Martin's black dusty feet on his admittance the first night! I said she was a star!

    Friday afternoon Martin was released from Zaragoza and our vehicle insurance arranged for an ambulance to bring us back. The insurance was happy that we'd arranged to get the motorhome returned but they would have sent a driver for that also had it been necessary. The President of the Spanish Orienteering Federation rang our Regional President to say that anything the insurance doesn't cover they will pay for.

    We are now back in Totana until Martin can travel again. He sustained four broken ribs, damage to a lung, luckily not punctured, various cuts and bruises. He says he knows he's lucky to be here.

    The moral of this story is make sure you have sufficient insurance to cover all eventualities. We were lucky that we were still in Spain and even luckier that we were with many friends who took over and arranged everything. What we have learnt is that I need to know more about the working of the motorhome and I need to bite the bullet and drive it!!!

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    Martin in hospital in Zaragoza looking well because of the drugs!
     
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  16. Anthea M

    Anthea M Funster

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    Wow reading this made me realise how much worse it could have been for Martin and that although he is in pain he knows how lucky he was .
    You are very lucky to have wonderful friends who could help.
    Hope the recovery goes quickly and you can resume some of the trip if not this year but next year.
    Good luck with the driving:Eeek:
     
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  17. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    That gets a thanks for both of you coping so well. 5m onto rocks.... the possible outcomes don't bear thinking about. We've certainly been a lot more cautious since Mary fell last year and ended up in plaster.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
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  18. Baycott

    Baycott Funster

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    Must have been very worrying for you.
    Glad Martin is on the mend and hope he recovers fully very soon.
     
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  19. Debs

    Debs Funster

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    Wow Judith.....hadn't realised the extent of it all....I suppose you just have to deal with it at the time & it's probably just sinking in now:Eeek:.

    A positive thing though is that with Martin being so fit I imagine recovery time will be super speedy:)....can't imagine he likes sitting still for long going on your posts about your normal daily activities:D
     
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  20. Ralph-n-Bev

    Ralph-n-Bev Funster

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    Gosh Martin was realy lucky. Hope he's back to full health soon. You realy "don't know what's round the corner " do you ?
    Thanks for posting the lovely pictures.
     
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