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Friday, 27 November 2009

Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the wheel



Driving in Spain is proving to be a learning experience and there are a number of differences to driving in the UK.

Road repairs in Spain do not bother taking along generators and traffic lights: the first indication we usually get of roadworks is a yellow flag being waved by someone in overalls, making us wonder whether we have driven in to a Grand Prix by mistake. The yellow flag is invariably followed by a man (it always is), with a mobile phone and a stop / go lollipop to direct the traffic and after a spot of off-road driving along a dusty track we are back on the road again.

Away from the coast the absence of road signage to places makes you wonder if an invasion is expected in the near future and the Spanish wish to confuse the enemy. We drove to Cieza north of Murcia, hoping to find a cave with ancient paintings which are designated as a World Heritage Site. We accepted that this particular site did not have its own brown signposts directing the visitor and instead planned to find the two roads the cave could be on and hope to track it down. We eventually found both these roads, by navigating using the sun and a compass, as none of the road numbers or towns along them were on a sign post in Cieza. However, we never found the cave.

Cieza was unusual and most Spanish towns have road signs, but perhaps this is why everyone else we meet has a satnav; we're not persauded that they are the gadget to own and we will continue to muddle our way through our trip, 'its not the destination, its the glory of the ride.'

We did find fantastic scenery of sculpted bare mountains, in glorious colours and we drove many kilometres through arid fields of peach and orange trees. We stopped for photographs and watched a pair of Golden Eagles flying around the crags.

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