Saturday, 7 April 2012

6th Apr IBI - HORT DE SORIANA

Well we had an ‘interesting’ night; yesterday evening we were joined, at the aire, by a Spanish family in a caravan (we know they were Spanish as one of our obsessions these days is checking number plates, looking for British ones!) and they had a generator to run their electrics - which they kept running until gone 3.00 a.m. this morning (most campsite rules say that generators can only be operated up until 11.00 p.m.).

We had no idea what time the procession was, so made our way into town just after 11.00; we timed it really well; we could hear this drum beat in the distance which we followed down the hill where we could see a crowd of people. The drummers were marking time for the participants who were rocking slowly from one foot to the other as they shuffled forward (it reminded me of a voodoo funeral in a James Bond film). There were two huge (heavy) floats being carried on the shoulders of some of the participants; one float had a statue of Jesus carrying his cross
this float was followed by two men carrying a cross each, on the other float was a statue of the Virgin Mary with lots of gold ornamentation, candles and flowers (this float was carried by fifteen people front and back).
 The floats were accompanied by people dressed in these really spooky outfits (like purple and black versions of the Ku Klux Klan) and women dressed up in black lace mantillas, black dresses, black tights and high heels carrying very big lit candles (one lady was chewing gum!).

and this was all accompanied by the very loud drum beat (it was impressive).
We had a shortish trip to the aire in the orange groves; the directions in the aire book didn’t bode well “These are old roads lined with orange groves and villas and can be narrow, single lane with passing places at times. GPS will not know all, or the best, roads. Allow some time to find it”!!! Sat Nav had a field day, and due to the book, we followed her instructions – at one point we came around a corner and there was this water pipe across the road, up in the air (with a warning, 4m sign next to it) fortunately we are 3m but there was no prior warning so a bigger campervan would have been in trouble (we are usually one of the smallest vans on sites, there are some really big ones). The road did indeed get very narrow but we found it in the end, unexpectedly there was this fenced off country park type area, with parking bays, picnic tables, children’s play area; but we weren’t sure as we couldn’t see the usual ‘aire’ sign – so we checked with this man, who appeared to be in charge, and he showed us somewhere to park. Then we noticed that all the parking bays had reserved notices and the ‘aire’ sign had been covered up – it was obviously closed for an Easter event. Bearing in mind this aire is in the middle of nowhere the car park was full of cars; families had set up tables and chairs and were picnicking and barbecuing.
CYCLING OVER ORANGES: Good title for a book?
Well that’s what we were doing this afternoon; it’s peculiar there are ripe oranges on the trees (and on the ground) but the trees are also in bloom (the smell’s intoxicating). We returned to the van about 6.00 and there were still cars arriving; the last ones stayed until about 9.00.
This was my favourite house, it was a lovely green that doesn't show in the photo

But this one was rather nice too!

Brett has just been out to lock up the van; we double lock the habitation door (we have a bar that goes across the outside) and we put a chain between the driver’s and passenger’s doors – we do this when we’re wildcamping or at aires so we feel quite safe. But while he was out he noticed that the gates to the park have been locked – so we’re locked in!!!! We’re hoping that the man with the key isn’t on holiday over Easter, or we could be here until Tuesday, which could be a real problem as there’s no water!!! We can’t believe it, all the aires have water and now we’re had two in a row without (actually I’m lying this one has water, with notices saying it’s not for drinking as it comes straight off the mountain).


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