Day 4: – 8th April 2022 – Burgos to La Villa de Don Fadrique, La Mancha
Am up with the lark, hoping to get on the road early… hoping…. I go down and drop my room card key at reception, there’s nobody around so I just leave as I have already paid. I start to make my way back up to the bike. I must take some photos on the way… hang about, where’s my phone. Oh no, I’ve left it in the room. I walk back to the hotel, but everything is shut and I don’t have a key card so can’t get in. I try ringing the bell, no response. After a few minutes a delivery guy arrives with supplies for the attached restaurant, he seems to sympathise, but he doesn’t have a key either; I think he was hoping I would let him in! I try the bell a few more times and then give up, I’ll just have to wait until someone comes. After about another 10 minutes, two guys come down the stairs and open the door on their way out so I am able to nick back in, retrieve my key card and find my phone buried in the bed.. well at least I found it, but so much for the early start. Here’s a couple of pics.
Google maps routes me through rural farmlands and villages, which ordinarily is my riding of choice, but it is quite a dull day and very, very cold… I am hoping it will soon warm up a bit as I head southwards.
After a while I decide to change to faster roads but Google maps keeps routing the long way round. I have to change the settings to allow it to route on motorways and toll roads as I have decided to head for Harley Madrid. The small tank bag is held on with magnets but the vibration is causing it to rub and scratch the paint so I want some polish and scratch remover; as you can see I don’t need much of an excuse to visit a Harley dealer do I? I arrive in Madrid and the main Harley shop is closed, of course, it was the last time I was here.. looks like I may never see the inside! I try another HD on the outskirts, which is open, but useless, they don’t have very much at all, in fact it is more of a clothing outlet. Across the way is a general motorbike shop so I try there. I manage to get a tube of scratch remover and a bumbag to replace the tank bag, I don’t want the damage to get any worse.
Back onto the rural roads now heading into the region of La Mancha… Don Quixote where are you?
As the evening light fades I find a lovely rural town for my overnight stay.
I am greeted by a perfect host; he doesn’t speak English of course and my Spanglish is a bad as ever. The room is delightful, old style typical Spanish furniture and huge. I go back down to gather my luggage as he watches me from the door step having already motioned for me to bring the bike off of the road and park it right outside the door. It does feel a wee bit creepy, but he then offers me a beer and some delicious serrano ham with crisps, very much appreciated. Even before I can ask he spreads out a local map and proceeds to show me the best places to eat. He highly recommends one place just a 5 minute walk away. We manage to successfully communicate via a translation app and have quite a conversation using that and some gestures; he has a bad knee and has lived in La Villa de Don Fadrique his whole life, but his wife is from the next town. When I mention Don Quixote he immediately goes and finds some tourist guides for me to peruse, they are in Spanish of course, but how lovely is this guy.
I polish off the ham and crisps, take my leave and head off for the recommended restaurant… it’s shut. I remember he also recommended another place and I try to find it, but get a bit lost. I do come across another place, which is very busy, full of local people so I guess it must be a good alternative, well I hope so.
I decide on a steak this evening and it arrives just about ready to walk off the plate, I do prefer my meat fairly well done, but it is huge so I only need to eat the cooked edges and that is enough for me. I leave the restaurant and look on google maps for a walking route back to my accommodation. I have my earbuds in and am listening to music, but then I can hear muffled shouting behind me; I turn around and it’s the waiter from the restaurant! He has run up the road after me with, believe it or not, my iPad, which I have left behind on the table.. Oh wow, muchos, muchos gracias, I am so grateful, I didn’t even realise I had left it. No sooner has he turned away than another waiter runs up and hands me my earbud charging case, I mean how wonderful are these people, just amazing.