Blog 58 was supposed to be so short as to be non-existent. No such luck.
We packed our bags, loaded the car and set Miss GPS for the road out of Madrid. Simple? Of course it was. We were on our way to Zaragoza for a stop-over before heading to Barcelona , a total of 600 kilometres over two days. Once we were safely on the A2 we put Miss GPS to bed because all roads were heading for Zaragoza
We were smiling away thinking how good we are at this navigation thing and missing all the toll roads. But as we know, pride comes before a fall. Just as we came to the appropriate exit we were confronted by a Police barrier and Road Closed sign. No alternative but to continue on and thankfully the Zaragoza signs reappeared, but also the toll road sign. Two toll payments later and we began to notice landmarks reappearing. Not long after this we arrived back at the original road closed point and realised we had spent an hour driving in a giant circle somewhere near the airport!
Miss GPS resumed duties and we were soon on the correct road to Zaragoza. The landscape changed to wide open spaces well cultivated with large fields of grain. As we headed further away from Madrid this changed to scrubby country with dark red soil. Castles stood guard on hills above little towns. The A2 highway is being upgraded and the new sections make for easy driving, however this all proved most confusing for the GPS which assumed we had left the road system and were going cross country at times! But true to form our assistant landed us at the co-ordinates given to us by the hotel website. One problem – no hotel.
After searching for a while we asked a mother and her two sons (early teens) for help. One of the sons was so excited to be able to practise his English he was away with directions about left, right, supermarket, Il Campo, road to Logrono. All was so simple and we were friends for ever. Well, no. Now time to try out our Spanish on another unsuspecting group. A group of five quickly formed around us all trying their best, but in the chorus of help we heard ‘Il Campo’ again and ‘10 kilometres’ along the Logrono Road. So thanking a bemused group of people we headed in the direction of Il Campo, we hoped. And there it was – a large distribution centre – and nearby, the hotel. It was about 10 kilometres and 45 minutes from where the co-ordinates said it should have been. But it wasn’t all bad. We made lots of friends and had a good laugh with the hotel receptionist who assured us the co-ordinates on the hotel website would be updated.
As for visiting the old city of Zaragoza. At this stage we’re not too sure. Large black clouds hang over the city and there is lots of lightning and thunder. An early night instead may be this tour group’s decision.
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