We’re here: N40.62384 W0.09186. It’s the free aire at Morella (pronounced moraylya), a fantastic spot. We’ll stay here again tonight and make the most of it.
The weather is: sunshine poured down on us until about 2pm. It’s clouded over now as the sun drops towards the castle, but still bright.
The castle here has been the scene of conflict for 1000 years. Christians have fought Muslims. Spanish have fought French, and Spanish have fought Spanish, up until as recently as the civil war here in 1938. It’s notable that the maps and information boards all talk about conquest of the Moors, Carlist and Napoleonic wars, but no mention is made of General Franco, even though his conquest apparently did huge damage to the place. It’s as though the Spanish simply want to ignore the fact within loving memory their grandfathers ripped each other’s families apart. Curious.
On a lighter note, we walked the 1km into town this morning, after dropping some cubed beef and meat stock into the slow cooker. Oh, and after Ju had trimmed my hair. Not to worry beard fans, the ginger growth remains intact! B-)
The walk took us past a San Miguel lorry. It was a beautiful sight, only blighted by the gothic aqueduct behind it.
Walking on upwards into the town, we passed bollards to stop any vehicles too wide for the streets from entering. It seemed the locals take this as a challenge and we saw vans squeezing through the narrow wall doorways.
The town’s almost entirely constrained by the walls. Although we did notice the odd football pitch and cemetery had spilled out beyond the lowest wall. We read that the town was slowly dying until tourism came to the rescue. With the purchase of some pastries and tickets to the upper castle (€3 each), we help out. If you’re not so keen on helping out, come on a Tuesday as it’s free. We saw a sign saying a €20m project was underway to transform a convent at the bottom of the castle into a state hotel, but the work’s clearly stalled. Ju spotted a Crisisopoly Tshirt where the Monopoly man was swinging from a rope. Seems the Spanish like to poke fun at the economic reality, but funds are clearly tight nevertheless.
As we climbed up the innumerable (OK, 99 of ’em) steps, the view became wider and grander. The whole of the town is laid out, including a tiny bullring, complete with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.
We also became aware of a coachload of Spanish nippers who overtook us, besieged Charlie, and embarrassed us with their English.
After several hours of wandering, gawping and photographing, we realised we were starving. To be fair, Charlie had been trying to alert us for ages. We promptly quit the town and are safely back in Dave, with some salad eaten. The slow cooker smells delicious.
For those interested, we’ve sold a few books, and only need a few more advert clicks to hit Google’s £60 payout limit. Hoorah! Almost enough to buy a tank of diesel, but a great feeling to make some money ourselves.
Next job: fit a switch to the cobbled together cab fan, so we actually turn it on and off as we drive (a nice to have feature in my book). Time to reach for the pliers!
Have a great weekend folks.