N 40.37659°, W 04.27792°
Some days even dogs won't chase you.
As we set off driving I arbitrarily took a longer track out of the Bardenas Reales Park than originally planned and, distracted by hoopoes and an unidentified raptor, I didn't notice the satnav do a subtle route re-calculation.
Suffice to say that instead of a planned long-driving day on quiet roads with Segovia as a rough via-point, we ended up committed to a horribly long monotonous motorway-based drive that meant the genuine horror of circumnavigating Madrid.
It was also a bad day for weather; cold, windy and raining quite a bit.
A couple of times we left the motorway for lunch and tea-stops but it did little to lift spirits. This tract of rural Spain at least seems to have felt the full force of the country's well-documented economic decline. We saw dilapidated and abandoned houses everywhere as well as abandoned half-built road and housing projects. And there was hardly anyone to be seen. It appears that there's been a population migration and it all felt a bit like crumbling Romania meets the Mary Celeste.
Getting past Madrid came towards the back end of an already long day and it was every bit as bad as I'd feared - only worse. At least we found where all the Spanish have gone: they're all driving like nutters in battered cars in and around the capital.
The 'best' crash we saw was on the opposite carriageway to us where a 40 foot artic that had jammed a saloon car sideways along its front bumper and pushed it along for God knows how far with the truck driver blissfully unaware of its presence. Everyone seemed OK but the snarl it caused was instantly about six miles long.
So, a pretty monotonous day with bad weather and some very testing driving compounded by some expected bad behaviour from the fridge (remember everyone - do NOT buy a Dometic Waeco compressor fridge - or even have one given) and less-than-expected bad behaviour from the Webasto diesel heater (required a reset to fix).
At least we pretty quickly found what seems to be a nice 'this'll have to do' kind of overnighting spot and if you look up the coordinates in mapping software you'll have a better idea of where we are than we do.
Oh, as a side note; we can confirm our first house martins of the year.
Sent from my Nexus 4