Back to Spain and the coast at Ribadesella.

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June 24th 2014
Published: June 26th 2014
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Think we’re now on plan Q. We’ve missed out a couple of night’s stops from our original plan A and having now decided not to make the night halt near Leon we have time for 3 days on the coast.

We had chosen a campsite last night – before the thunder storm cut the electricity and the internet. At Ribadesella which is where we spent the last night of our honeymoon in 1995. Interesting to go back to see if we remember it.

The first thing to check when we woke was the state of the ground. So much rain came down in the night we were concerned we might be a bit stuck. No standing water was a good sign but then it started to rain heavily again and by the time we were ready to leave there were soggy puddles all round. The worst part was getting up the steep hill to the reception and campsite entrance. The road being only partly surfaced the overnight rivers of water had made some nasty grooves and Tandy struggled hard but valiantly and made it, to our relief, to the top.

The route for today’s drive was mainly motorway as it was a bigger distance than we prefer to do in a day and the poor Tandy wanted something a bit easier than it has been subjected to over recent days.
Back to Braganca and we picked up a road heading East then due North towards Leon. We drove through some really wild countryside, high moorland and across into Spain. A really remote area, both sides of the unmanned border, we passed very few other vehicles, no animals and only very isolated villages.
Apart from a pretty bad road surface on the inside lane once we were on motorway it was at least a slightly easier drive for both Tandy and driver Bob.
I was concerned that we needed a supermarket. The fridge, freezer, cupboard and vegetable basket were all bare. Very. Could just about make one more meal and after that nothing. We saw only two supermarkets between the campsite in Portugal and that in Ribadesella, Spain. The first was inaccessible as we were on the motorway and the supermarket was in the town below.
The second was Closed (we discovered later it was closed as the locals were celebrating St John the Baptist’s day).
We left the motorway, which runs along the coast right to Santander, 20 km before the Ribadesella turn as I hoped that would give us the best chance of finding a supermarket. We saw not a single one, not a teeny weeny food shop in sight. On the outskirts of Ribadesella we saw the closed one and we then searched the town for another but without success.
We headed for the campsite to ask advice. That is when we learned that the nearest open supermarket was at least 20km away but the campsite had a small one and the closed one would be open tomorrow.
What a struggle we are having buying food. We have never before had any problem so can’t understand what is going wrong. We always do our main shopping when travelling as our motorhome is 7 metres long so we need the bigger carparks offered by supermarkets so we can park. No supermarket means we cannot shop. We can pick up bits and pieces if we happen to find local shops and markets but only if we are on foot or on the scooter, as parking is so difficult everywhere we have been this trip. Every road in town is lined with parked, often double-parked, cars. Roads out of town seem to be without parking, lay-byes of any sort. We’ve even struggled driving through miles and miles of countryside to find anywhere to pull over to make a drink.
Have to say we are rather looking forward to our next visit to France where we can find supermarkets wherever we want them and where we can stop for lunch.

Despite the aggravation of feeling like Old Mother Hubbard, the campsite is a delight and compensation. Two pools, one inside and a lovely, slightly warm, outside one. Gorgeous views over the Picos mountains, restaurant, bar, excellent sanitaires, little shop. And only a 5 minute ride on Kisbee into town and the sea.
We are not expecting any storms tonight and though the hot weather of last week has cooled it seems to be reasonably settled so we can have a relaxing 2 days by the sea. Hopefully we can pick up some bits and pieces of food to tide us over.

Campsite = Ribadesella Camping

Our rating = 9.5 / 10 - can't fault it

Price - Asci - €16

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