13th February 2017. Úbeda to Seville, Spain.

It was pouring with rain this morning but we had a plan worked out for today.  Darren would get his work finished and I would edit some photos then we would go and look at Santiago Hospital which is now an exhibition centre then we would move on to Baeza where they also have an aire.   We could explore Baeza tomorrow then go to Seville the following day where we would meet our friends Janet and Paul  on Wednesday.  However as per usual nothing goes to plan.

While Darren was in the shower I could hear a tapping noise and discovered the needle on the rev counter was madly  flicking up and down! I got the camera out to video it so I could show Darren  but the minute I turned it on it stopped doing it.   We couldn’t work out why it was doing that and then forgot about it until an hour later when Darren witnessed it for himself.  For some unknown reason the radio started making a strange whiring noise and while Darren was looking at that the rev counter started flicking about again!  He chose the turn it off turn it on again repair method (luckily) only to discover the battery was completely dead! Weirdly the gauge said the battery was fully charged!

Darren phoned our insurance/recovery company on the number they’d given us and then had a very strange conversation with a cheerful young woman.  She told us the coordinates Darren had given her showed us as being in the sea!   Darren gave them to her in degrees as she’d requested and he knew the coordinates were correct because we’d followed them to the aire.  Her next request was for a postcode.  He told her 223400 and she said her computer said we were in Glasgow!!??? After a lot of getting nowhere she put him on hold and spoke to her supervisor  who gave her a different number for Darren to call, the RAC!.

The man at that call centre was on the ball and everything was sorted in a flash. He said a mechanic would be with us within the hour and he was.  I was a little concerned that my Duolingo Spanish lessons hadn’t included how to talk mechanics.  The mechanic was a nice smiley man who didn’t speak a single word of English but somehow with a lot of miming and the use of my limited Spanish vocabulary he jump started us and suggested we left the engine running and a good drive would recharge the battery.  So we decided to head for Seville, a 4 hour drive.  We felt it was better to break down there than miss our friends if it happened again in another town.


The landscape as we drove towards Cordoba and on to Seville was beautiful and varied.  To begin with there were olive groves as far as the eye could see then the landscape changed to rolling hills (reminiscent of The North Downs) covered with a patchwork of bright green fields and rich dark soil, changing to red further into our journey,  with the occasional wide river flowing with muddy water from the heavy rain we’ve been having today.  In one smaller river we passed I saw 2 storks paddling in the water and a few miles later a raptor flew across a field as we passed.  We saw some solar farms with photovoltaic panels on the ground beneath them the ground was  smothered by thousands of little white wild flowers.  We also passed another solar farm with strange panels that looked like they might be heating water.  Nearer Seville the fields were divided by low hedges and ditches.

We made a quick stop for coffee at a garage, Darren left the engine running while he nipped to be flummoxed by he machine and having no change.  The nice man in the shop came to the rescue and we got our coffee.  We continued on the Seville to try and find the aire.  The SatNav took us in ok but a road was dug up leaving us at a large car park.  There were a few motorhome parked there so we considered just staying put but it did seem like the place to be for a few days.  So we went freelance on the navigation and after a bit of nearly getting/confounded by one way streets we finally made it.  It’s a gated carpark right by the canal and a main bridge into the old town so a great spot.

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